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Digestive System: Vomiting

Vomiting is a reflex contraction of muscles causing forced discharge of stomach through the mouth.

Vomit may be accidental but very severe or may be less severe but chronic.

Very many dogs don't sort out what they gulp but fortunately they have a vomit reflex that allows them to clear the stomach if needed.

Therefore for many dogs vomit is normal.


Many things can stimulate vomiting:

1. Sudden change of food the dog is used to and other points concerning something the dog eats, for example, picking up something, which is not actually eatable in the outdoors. This could be grass or some garbage
2. The changes in chemical composition that can result from renal deficiency, diabetes, or a developing bacterial infection
3. The disorder of stomach function, including that caused by swallowing of a foreign substance, stomach ulcer, cancer or such a dangerous disorder as a gastric torsion
Asteriks and Ksiusha 4. The intestinal disfunction, provoked by a helminth contamination, constipation and some types of diarrhea, for instance
5. The nervous system reaction onto stress
6. Nausea or other disorders of vestibular apparatus, for example diseases of ear.
7. Head injuries
8. Some kinds of infection, for example, distemper or parvovirus hepatitis

Vomiting may be a life hazard, though everything depends on the causes, duration and frequence.

If this is not an occasional event one should consider vomiting as a potential peril.

Strong and frequent vomiting should be treated as an accident, since it greatly affects the chemical balance in the organism.


Vomiting may be the only or one of the symptoms of such diseases as acute gastritis caused by a bad food.

In case of some other intestinal diseases vomiting may be accompanied by other symptoms like diarrhea.

1. Nausea. When the dog feels sick it concentrates on what goes inside, abundant salivation begins, it licks its lips and swallows all the time.

2. Belch. Stomach walls begin to contract and later this may stimulate stomach discharge. A hampered breath may take place at this stage.

3. Vomit. At this stage the diaphragm and abdominal walls contract simultaneously evoking the process that results into a sudden increase of pressure inside the stomach and the stomach contents through the gullet and mouth comes out.


Methods of treatment depend upon the range of disease and its reasons. In most cases it's possible to cure vomiting without using drugs, but if the dog fell ill because swallowed some foreign substance only the surgical operation can help the situation.

If the vomit is sudden and severe, an intensive therapeutic treatment is needed to control the disease and prevent the consequences of changes in the organism chemical composition.

In those cases when one is unable to determine the cause of vomiting the treatment should be based on a certain regime:

1. During the first 24-48 hours don't feed the dog

2. Apply an immediate intravenous injection by means of dropper of physiological solution alternating it with a Ringer-Lokk solution or Trisol (or Acessol). Add B group vitamin solutions (except for B12 vitamin) and C vitamin.

3. Medicine control of nausea and vomiting impulses is used to let the animal's digestive system relax and prevent further loss of liquid. One might use such drugs as Cerucal and Dicyon. 1 tsp or 1 table-spoon of warm salt solution each 10 minutes until vomit ceases may help stop vomiting impulses

4. Gentian, St.-John's wort or Peppermint tincture will relieve the vomiting symptoms.

In most serious cases one should begin such a regime at the same time as the animal's checkup.

As the causes of disease are cleared up one should start the next step of treatment in accordance with the diagnosis.

Preventive measures

One can't avert vomit but may reduce the risk:

- Make the vaccination of your dog in time
- Conduct worming routinely
- Bar the dog from picking up outdoors
- Don't feed the dog before walking and training
- Don't feed the dog before journeys
- Bar the dog from abrupt changes of feeding and food
- Don't allow the dog to gulp large lumps of food
- Don't give the dog big portions of food
- Don't leave things the dog could swallow while playing with.

Irina Barykina

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