Your dog may vomit simply because they’ve eaten something too fast or because it just doesn’t agree with them.  However, vomiting can also be an indicator for something far more serious: your dog may have swallowed something toxic, or may be suffering from a condition that requires immediate medical attention, like Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV).  If vomiting is persistent and your dog’s health is clearly declining, get them evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.


Dog vomiting?

Click to Make an Appointment[/box]

What Might Cause a Sudden. or Acute, Episode of Vomiting?

  • Bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Diet-related causes (diet change, food intolerance, ingestion of garbage)
  • Foreign bodies (i.e. toys, bones, pieces of chewies) in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Acute liver failure or gall bladder inflammation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Post-operative nausea
  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Viral infections
  • Certain medications or anesthetic agents
  • Bloat
  • Heatstroke
  • Car sickness
  • Infected uterus
  • Other causes that are not common are too numerous to list

Chronic vomiting that occurs sporadically or irregularly, over a longer period of time, can be due to stomach or intestinal inflammation, severe constipation, cancer, kidney dysfunction, liver disease or systemic illness.

Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive panting, or playing in the hot sun with no water can cause dehydration in dogs. The body loses valuable fluids and electrolytes that are essential in maintaining proper organ function.  When a dog’s bodily fluid drops just five percent, you may begin to see signs of dehydration.

What Should I Do If My Dog Vomits Frequently?

An occasional, isolated bout of vomiting may not be of concern. However, frequent or chronic vomiting can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as colitis, intestinal obstruction or parvovirus. If your dog’s vomiting is not an isolated incident, please bring him to the vet right away for a complete examination and diagnostic testing.


Diarrhea is one of the most common reasons why pet parents seek veterinary care for their canine companions. While it can be triggered by something as simple as a change in food or treats, doggy diarrhea can also signal a serious underlying disease.

What is diarrhea?

Doggy diarrhea is a sign of a health problem; it isn’t a disease itself. The most common mechanism by which canine diarrhea occurs is when unabsorbed nutrients either retain water or draw water into the intestines. In these cases, the volume of fluid overwhelms the ability of the intestinal lining to absorb water and nutrients. Dogs with this type of diarrhea will pass large amounts of fluid or soft stools.

Another common mechanism of diarrhea in dogs results from increased permeability of the intestinal lining. Inflammation associated with disease or irritating substances can cause increased movement of fluid and electrolytes into the intestines and impaired absorption.

Diarrhea can occur suddenly (acute), last for weeks to months (chronic) or occur off and on (intermittent). It depends on the underlying cause.

The many and varied causes of diarrhea

Dogs develop diarrhea for many different reasons. Abnormal stools can occur any time the movement of water or nutrients across the lining of the intestines is altered or disrupted. For example, when your canine companion eats something that’s not part of his or her normal diet, the normal bacteria present in the intestines may be changed, which can lead to acute diarrhea.

Diarrhea can also signal health problems such as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), parvovirus infection and liver disease. In these cases, inflammation and/or damage to the intestinal lining are the mechanisms behind the diarrhea.

Here are some of the most common scenarios in which diarrhea would be anticipated:

  • Change in diet or treats
  • Ingestion of garbage, spoiled food or foreign objects such as toys, bones and fabric
  • Viral infections, such as parvovirus, distemper or coronavirus
  • Parasites, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Coccidia and Giardia
  • Overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diseases in other organs such as the liver and kidneys
  • Toxins/poisons
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Stress/anxiety resulting from rehoming, boarding, travel or the introduction of a new pet or human family member

Your veterinarian can tell a lot from the character of your dog’s diarrhea

When talking with your veterinarian about your dog’s diarrhea, be prepared to answer several questions:

  • How long has the diarrhea been going on?
  • What does the stool look like? What color is it? Is there any blood or mucus?
  • Has your dog gotten into the garbage or compost recently?
  • Have there been any changes in your dog’s food or treats?

Your veterinarian will want to determine if your dog’s diarrhea is associated with the small intestine, large intestine or both. Small intestinal and large intestinal diarrhea have different causes, may require different diagnostic tests and will likely be treated differently.

With small intestinal diarrhea, you’re likely to see large amounts of stool that range from very watery to semi-formed. Defecation frequency is often normal, but could be slightly increased. Stool that is extremely dark or black suggests bleeding may be occurring in the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. Flatulence (gas), stomach or intestinal noises, or vomiting may occur at the same time.

Dogs with large intestinal diarrhea tend to pass smaller-than-normal amounts of semi-formed stool that may be covered in or contain mucus. Dogs typically strain to defecate in addition to passing feces much more frequently than normal. If blood is present, it’s usually bright red and fresh looking.

Intestinal Upset

Intestinal upset is usually caused by bacteria (septic shock), viruses, parasites, medications, new food, or an intestinal blockage, resulting in Gastroenteritis.

Gastric Dilatation

https://www.dunedinamc.com/what-is-gastroenteritis/ as it is beyond the stomach

One Reply to “Most Common Vet Visits: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Intestinal Upset”

[…] (stomach worms) – They are often treated for by your veterinarian if your pet has chronic vomiting.  Pets are infected by eating an intermediate host such as a cricket, cockroach or another animal […]

Comments are closed.