DOG HEALTH CARE
All About Dogs and Vomiting
Have you ever watched in disgusted amazement as your dog, who has just vomited on the rug, feverishly tries to eat it up before you can get to it? This behavior may seem bizarre to us but in the dog world it is par for the course and is considered a delightful course indeed. Dogs probably strive too hard to eat their vomit because 1. their mothers regurgitated food for them when they were puppies and 2. their heightened sense of smell reveals the actual food particles in it.
Some vomiting is normal for dogs. Dogs vomit for many reasons including an irritated stomach, eating too fast or too much, or sometimes because of nervousness. A large amount of the time, vomiting is not something to worry about but sometimes it can indicate a serious condition. If your dog vomits once or more a week and it is accompanied by diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, check with your vet. The trick is know a bit about canine vomiting, what to do, and when to haul your butt to the emergency vet.
How to Know Your Dog is Going to Vomit
This may seem silly but it helps to know the signs of a dog getting ready to vomit so you can have necessary equipment on hand before the expulsion. A well-prepared dog owner can recognize the signs, grab her cleaning carrier and paper towels and beat the vomit to the floor. It can also help you prepare in case it is a situation where you’ll need to get help immediately.
Signs of a Pre-Vomiting Dog:
Wretching – that noise that comes from your dog that sounds like he has something stuck in his throat. You will also see his throat straining back and forth.
Stiff Stance – your dog may become rigid as he attempts to keep from vomiting.
Wandering – a dog will often wander aimlessly right before he vomits.
How to Deduce if Your Dog Has Eaten Something Poisonous or an Object
The first thing to do is to check your dog’s vomit. It may make you a bit queasy but, by doing this, you can look for any bits of foreign objects. Keeping an eye on your dog, look for food or products he might have eaten in the immediate area and the area he has just come from. Signs of things eaten include wrappers, crumbs, pieces of an object (such as a plastic bag) and things that used to be there that aren’t now.
List of Some Common Dangerous Things Swallowed
Any fruit pits
Raisins or grapes
Cleaning products – any cleaning product is dangerous to dogs, though the natural ones are far less toxic.
Some household plants.
Things We Forget About
Bones that splinter
Toys with removable parts
String, rubber bands and even dental floss
Sugarless chewing gum
How to Induce Vomiting in Emergencies
Always try to call your vet or emergency clinic before considering inducing vomiting. Induce vomiting ONLY when it’s absolutely necessary and you’ve talked to a professional unless you suspect he’s eaten something dangerous (especially anti-freeze). But do not attempt to induce vomiting if your dog has lost consciousness or swallowed something that can harm his throat on the way back up, such as a sharp piece of bone.
To induce vomiting, open your dog’s mouth gently and squirt a small amount of an emetic like hydrogen peroxide or ipecac syrup down his throat. It takes around a teaspoon of ipecac syrup per 10 lbs. of body weight to induce vomiting. An overdose can cause heart problems so try to be accurate when measuring. Wait ten minutes and retry. If he doesn’t vomit after the second try, get him to a vet immediately.
What to Do After Your Dog has Vomited
Make Certain There is No Obstruction – gently place your hand in his mouth and at the top of his throat. If he is wheezing or has trouble breathing, there could be an obstruction further down so get him to the vet immediately.
Give Him Fluids – including electrolytes.
Keep Him Warm – a blanket and hugs work well.
Reassure Him – make sure he doesn’t think he’s done something wrong.
Feed Bland Food – feed your dog a diet of cooked chicken and white rice for a few days.
How to Know When to Go to the Emergency Vet
Safe is always best so if you have any reason to be worried, call your vet or the emergency clinic immediately and go there. Also, look for signs of poisoning or obstruction. These include chills, shaking, breathing difficulty, seizure, drooling or staggering. And when you check your dog’s vomit, if you see any more than a few drops of blood or any amount of yellow bile, it’s an emergency.
Different Ends of the Spectrum – Puppies and Senior Dogs and Vomiting
Puppies and senior dogs vomit more than those in between. Follow these guidelines to look for danger signs but, if after your vet checks him over, don’t worry too much if they throw up almost daily, unless it is accompanied by other signs of illness. They both have less ability to keep food down than adult dogs.
With a bit of preparation you can be a Super-Vomitocious Dog Owner and be certain that your dog will be healthy and safe. Carrying a cloth and some Nature’s Miracle around doesn’t hurt either.
The prospective dog owner plans ahead for their new dog. The seasoned dog owner knows that not everything can be planned for. But it is possible to plan ahead for a very serious and common emergency – poisonous hazards for dogs.
There are many toxic foods and plants for dogs. All of the toxins that affect dogs are too numerous to mention in an article so it is best to research anything you aren’t sure about. Ask your vet or check with an animal organization like the ASPCA.
Some Inside Plants Poisonous to Dogs
Some Outside Plants Poisonous to Dogs
Human Foods That Poison Pets
Avocado: All parts are toxic to dogs
Chocolate: Contains Theobromine, a cardiac stimulant which can be fatal to dogs
Fruit Pits and Seeds: Most contain cyanide
Garlic: Contains Thiosulphate, though a small amount, so a lot would have to be ingested to be toxic. Keep in mind, it builds up in the system
Grapes: Affects a dog’s kidneys
Macadamia Nuts: Affects the nervous system
Mushrooms: Affect the nervous system, kidneys and heart
Nutmeg: Can cause seizures and central nervous system damage
Onions: Contains same toxin as garlic, though in much larger amounts
Raisins: Same as grapes
Sugar-Free Foods: These contain Xylitol, which can cause liver failure in dogs
Tomatoes, Potatoes and Rhubarb: Parts of these contain oxalates, which can be toxic to dogs
Holiday Hazards For Dogs
The holidays are a very hectic time for dogs and dog owners alike and it’s easy to miss some of the plants and foods poisonous to dogs specific to that time.
Christmas: Many of the plants used for Christmas decorating are toxic to dogs, including Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettias. It’s best to find safe substitutes.
Easter: Lilies are highly toxic to dogs, as are Tulips.
Fourth of July: Alcohol can be toxic to dogs so during your BBQs, do keep the beer to yourself.
Halloween: We all know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs but excessive sugar from any source can be as well.
Thanksgiving: Trim that turkey well and keep the gravy for the humans. Too much fat intake, especially over a short period of time, can be toxic.
General Signs Of Poisoning
Though there can be signs that are specific to each toxin, the most common are:
Abdominal Pain (your dog may whine and his stomach will be tender to the touch)
Immediate Treatment of a Poisoned Pet
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms or even if you just suspect he ingested something toxic, call a pet poison hot line such as the ASPCA (1-888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Hot Line (1-800-213-6180). Your local ASPCA might also have a hot line.
If possible, have someone simultaneously call your vet or the emergency vet. They can tell you what to do immediately and prepare for your immediate arrival.
There are home remedies out there such as charcoal and sodium sulfate but it is best to get professional advice before administering these.
An Ounce Of Prevention
Clean House: The first thing to do is take an inventory of all plants in your house. Remove all plants that you know are hazards for dogs as well as those that you aren’t sure about. Also, check your cupboards for toxic foods and place them high up with the cupboard securely closed.
Keep a List and Check It Often: Keep a list of toxic foods and plants for dogs. Be sure to check back regularly with your vet and online sources for the most up-to-date information. Some good resources are the ASPCA, the FDA, and the Humane Society. Also, keep a list of a pet poison hotline, you vet’s number and an emergency vet number by the phone at all times.
A Dog-Safe Home: It can seem daunting when you consider how many food and plant items can be hazards for dogs but with a little preparation and diligence, you can have a dog-safe house, inside and out.