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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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What to do if my dog keeps throwing up?

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My dog has been throwing up constantly for about 12 hours. There is no diahrea. I am very worried about him. He has never been this sick before. What should I do?

Profuse vomiting can be quite serious for these wee ones even without diarrhea.

First, can you tell me if there is anyway he could have gotten into something he shouldn't have? (ie toxins, trash, chemicals, people food, or non-edible items/foreign bodies)?

Can he keep water down ?

What is he bringing up?

How is he in himself? Restless, lethargic, collapsed?

Any signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, skin tenting, tacky/sticky gums)?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't know of anything he ate from the list you provided. He is not keeping water down and is throwing up yellowish white bile now. He is acting like his normal self except he is throwing up about every 20 minutes to half an hour. His gums are sticky so I am afraid that he is definitely dehydrated.

I am relieved that you don't think he has eaten anything toxic or things that could lodge or obstruct within the gastrointestinal tract since those would be emergency situations for Barclay. That said, if he cannot keep water down and dehydration is starting to arise, then I would strongly advise that he is going to need to see a vet so that he can at the very least receive anti-vomiting medication via injection.

There are oral options you can try at home but as I am sure you can appreciate vomiting of this severity will make keeping any oral medications that you might give near impossible. And when we have dogs who cannot even keep water down, we do tend to find that we need to intervene to halt the vomiting (preferably before dehydration can get any worse, as to avoid having to hospitalize him for IV fluid therapy).

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, vomiting can suddenly arise for a wide range of reasons. The most common reasons for a dog his age to show these signs are dietary indiscretion (eating something he shouldn’t have), ingestion of a foreign body (ie toys, bones, trash, etc.), toxins, viral infections (ie parvo, distemper, etc), pancreatitis. intestinal parasitism, and a bacterial gastroenteritis. If he isn't a mischievous wee soul or you are sure he couldn't have ingested anything of worry, then hopefully we can put worries like toxins and foreign bodies (which we' d want to address as soon as possible) lower on our list of concerns but it does leave a range to still consider here.

For the moment, I would advise resting his stomach from everything for the next few hours. Ideally, over that time frame, you'd want to potentially see his vet, get him started on treatment with a view to settle the vomiting and then reintroduce small volumes of water to see if he can keep that down.

In any case, if you haven’t seen further vomiting by that point, then I would advise giving him a small volume (1tbsp) of a light/easily digestible diet. Consider trying boiled chicken with rice, boiled white fish and pasta scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), or cottage cheese with rice. There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis, (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). He can have this, wait 30 minutes and if he can keep it down this can be repeated.

Once he has had an injectable anti-vomiting medication, the vet will likely give you an oral preparation to continue to control his nausea at home. But otherwise, just to note, there are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. The two I tend to recommend are Pepcid (LINK) or Zantac (LINK). This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if he does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset gut signs. Do note that if he has profuse vomiting at this stage, it will be a struggle to get any oral medication to stay down (hence why vets often start anti-vomiting medications by giving them via injection).

Overall, to hear he has such profuse vomiting, cannot keep water down, and is already showing signs of dehydration in this short time frame does ring alarm bells. Therefore, we do really want to get some anti-vomiting medication into him and have his vet have a feel of his belly to just make sure he hasn't ingested something you might not have realized. Once the vomiting can be stopped, the cause addressed and appropriate treatment initiated; you will be in a positive to address the dehydration and get him back to normal.

If your vet is not open just now, then to find an ER vet local to you, you can check HERE and @

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My vet will open in 3 hours. Is it ok to wait up to 4 hours from now to see the vet? I am really concerned about my dog but if it's ok to wait a few hours I rather see my own vet.

In this case, since toxins/foreign bodies are less likely, you can try to just rest his stomach (remove food and water) to see if he can just settle over the next few hours. You can try a wee bit of water in 2-3 hours to see if he can keep it down but plan to follow up with his vet as soon as they are open. He will likely be fine to wait, its just if he does become collapsed, has belly pains, or anything of that nature, then you'd want to have him seen sooner.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I took Barclay to see the vet later that morning and they didn't find any blockage. They gave him an anti-vomiting injection and also hydrated him since he wasn't drinking any water. He had a modified diet of baby food for three days and was back on regular food yesterday. He is now back to his normal self. Thank you for your help and expertise.

Thank you for the update on wee Barclay and for you kind words.
I am very glad to hear that no blockage was found (since it is always a worry with the profuse vomiting he had) and that he has responded so well to treatment. I suspect he must have picked up a GI stomach bug or managed to eat something that really didn't agree with him but its grand to hear that it has been settled and he is back to his normal self.

Take care & have a lovely day