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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog drinks water and throws it up

Resolved Question:

My dog throws up as soon as he drinks water. Within 10 seconds after drinking. This started out as a once in a while thing, now its almost every time he drinks. This does not happen when he eats. Just a couple gulps of water is all it takes. He is other wise fine. I'm really getting worried.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your fellow.

Is this active vomiting (retching with abdominal contractions) or does it seem to passively flow back out with not much effort (which is regurgitation)?

Does he tend to drink very fast? Does this seem to happen more after exercise or can it be any time? Are his food and water bowls elevated or flat on the ground? You might try elevating his water bowl. If he's a gulper you might try putting a large rock in his bowl that he has to lick around to slow him down.

If he seems to be regurgitating (passive outflow) rather than vomiting (active retching) then this can be an early sign of a condition called megaesophagus.
Megaesophagus is a condition where the esophagus is dilated and has weak muscles. Liquids may sit in it and be passively regurgitated back up. Solids, being heavier, use gravity to pull them down into the stomach.

Megaesophagus can be secondary to nerve damage from pulling on the collar/leash too much as well as nerve damage from a foreign body in the esophagus, it can also be due to a low functioning adrenal gland (addison's disease) or a condition called Dysautonomia.

Your veterinarian can do a test called a barium swallow to see how his esophagus works. He'll be given barium orally and then a series of radiographs can be taken to see how he handles it. And they will likely want to check some blood tests as well.

Here is a link to a very good article about megaesophagus:

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sometimes he seems to wretch, other times he doesn't. Yes, his water bowl is flat. Happens any time. Exercise isn't a factor. Does seem to drink fast.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

If he is retching at all, then I would try the rock and elevated water bowl first.
Some dogs drink water when they are feeling nauseous or have some gastroesophageal reflux. So you might also try treating him for acid reflux and seeing if that helps.

Now you can start either
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at one 10mg tab per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours


2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one 10mg tab per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

These are acid reducers and should help settle his stomach and stop the reflux if this is related to gastroesophageal reflux. They are very safe and can be used as needed with him.

If he isn't getting better with acid reducers, an elevated bowl and the rock in the bowl, then a visit to his veterinarian for some diagnostics is indicated.

Dr. Kara and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you