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What to Do When Your Pet is Vomiting

It’s not uncommon for animals to be sick from time to time. This is particularly true for dogs who are notorious for eating everything and anything that they come across, even if it’s not technically food! In most instances, an animal vomits to rid their body of something that is impossible for them to digest. It’s an involuntary reaction that they don’t have any control over. However, there are occasions where vomiting, especially persistent vomiting, is a sign of something more serious. 


As an owner, watching your pet vomit can be very stressful. Here’s what you need to know about pet vomiting, including what you need to do if your pet becomes sick.

Vomiting vs. Regurgitation

One of the most important things to understand is the difference between vomiting and regurgitation. Animals regurgitate a lot. This is the removal of undigested food which has only just reached the stomach or may even still be in the esophagus. Animals tend to regurgitate food if they have eaten something too quickly or something that isn’t actually food. It often comes back out looking much the same as it went in. Vomiting is different since it involves the expulsion of partially digested substances.  

Why is my pet vomiting?

One of the first things that you need to ask yourself is if there is an obvious cause for your pet’s vomiting. As we know, most animals start to become sick when their body is trying to rid itself of something that it shouldn’t have eaten. If you have seen your pet chowing down on grass, mud, moldy food, or something else inedible and they start to be sick, it’s probably nothing to worry about. However, there are plenty of other causes of pet vomiting, including:


  • Gastritis or gastroenteritis

  • Gut infection as seen in parvovirus

  • Gut blockage or twisted stomach (GDV)

  • Worms 

  • Pancreatitis

  • Womb infection

  • Kidney disease


Vomiting can be a symptom of a much more serious disease. If this is the case, it’s likely that the vomiting will also be accompanied by other symptoms. Exactly what these will be will depend on the underlying cause. For example, a twisted stomach, better known as GDV, is a life-threatening condition that also causes severe bloating. 

Signs you need to contact your vet

Although most instances of pet vomiting will pass without professional intervention, there are some symptoms that mean that you should take your pet to see your emergency veterinarian in Killeen as soon as possible. You should contact Animal Emergency Center of Killeen right away if your pet:


  • has been vomiting for more than 24 hours

  • is vomiting constantly with no breaks

  • also has a bloated and/or painful stomach

  • is retching and trying to be sick but not bringing anything up

  • is bringing up blood or black dots that look like coffee granules in their vomit

  • is confused or disorientated 

  • shows signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes, pale gums, or excessive panting

  • has collapsed



If you are concerned about your pet’s vomiting, don’t hesitate to visit Animal Emergency Center of Killeen in Killeen, TX. Call (254) 628-5017 to schedule an appointment.

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