Puppies have fragile bodies and immune systems as they are still in the process of growth and development. So when they start vomiting, worry and distress set in on their pawrents. Many factors can suddenly trigger puppy vomiting.
Read on to discover what these are and learn how to manage puppy vomiting.
Why is my puppy throwing up?
Is it normal for puppies to puke? Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of your dog’s contents in the stomach. It is not uncommon for puppies to throw up.
An upset stomach is the most common cause of dog vomiting. However, throwing up may also be a sign of a health problem. When should you be concerned about your puppy’s puking? There is a wide range of reasons why puppies throw up, including:
Cause of Puppy Vomiting #1: Empty Tummy
Is your puppy vomiting bile? This could mean that your pup has an empty tummy. It usually happens in the morning when there is no food intake overnight. Ensure that your puppy follows a regular feeding schedule to keep him from vomiting bile.
Cause of Puppy Vomiting #2: Eating Too Fast
Gluttony is common in puppies. This is especially true with several puppies eating from the same bowl. When they get greedy, they dive straight into the food, which often leaves them overstuffed.
As soon as the puppies play and run around the house, they are likely to throw up what they have just consumed. This is likely the case in a puppy vomiting undigested food not long after eating.
If you have two or more puppies, it is best to feed them in separate bowls to eliminate competition. A slow-feeding bowl is recommended because it slows down eating, which will give the puppy enough room to digest food.
Cause of Puppy Vomiting #3: A Change in Diet
Is your puppy vomiting white foam? That is a sign of GI distress. Puppies are known to have fragile and sensitive tummies. A sudden change in their diet may cause problems with their digestive system.
How do you switch or introduce new food? Try to create a mixture of both new and old foods as a gradual transition.
Remember that a puppy throwing up can be a result of providing table food, as some of the human meals might seem perfectly healthy to us but harmful for adult dogs, let alone puppies. As such, try to minimise or avoid it altogether.
Cause of Puppy Vomiting #4: Food allergy or Sensitivity
Though rare, some puppies could develop allergies or sensitivities to certain food or ingredients. Both food allergies and sensitivities result in an upset stomach followed by puppy vomiting.
Food allergies occur with other clinical signs:
To lower the chances of triggering food allergies in your puppy, consult the vet before making changes in his diet. Another thing to remember is to introduce a new food in small amounts.
Then watch out for signs of allergies. If your puppy shows these symptoms, stop feeding him the new food and get him checked by the vet.
Is your puppy vomiting undigested food? It could be due to ingesting something inedible if it is coupled with clear liquid or yellow-green bile.
Young puppies explore the world by gnawing and chewing on anything they could get their paws on. This includes a piece of bone, your socks, plastics, chewing gum, or any object within their reach.
This can cause blockage in his GI tract, which can lead to puppy vomiting. If this happens, please take him to the vet immediately.
A puppy throwing up or drooling on his first car ride is normal. The stress causes him to vomit. Also, having a full tummy in a moving vehicle can be very uncomfortable for your pup.
According to Dr. Patty Khuly, “Most pups ‘grow out’ of this. The inconvenient neurochemical dynamics of canine motion sickness seem to even out either with age or with practice.”
If carsickness persists after a few rides, it might be due to anxiety. It is best to seek advice from your vet. Alternatively, take training classes that would ease your dog’s anxiety.
Apart from the mentioned causes above, puppy vomiting can also be a symptom of other illnesses, which include:
- Acute liver or kidney problems
- Addison’s disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Gastro ulcers
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Pancreatic disease
- Intestinal parasites
- Viral infections
Do puppies vomit when teething?
The occurrence of vomiting in puppies is uncommon when teething. However, if your pup’s teething is very painful, he may experience vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhoea.
To avoid placing too much pressure on his stomach and throat, split his meals into 3–4 portions.
With that said, puppy vomiting whilst teething should not last for a long time. If these symptoms persist, get your puppy checked by the vet.
What can cause a puppy to have diarrhea and vomiting?
Several different reasons can cause simultaneous puppy vomiting and diarrhoea. The onset of both of these conditions may be due to:
- Parasite infestation
- Adverse reaction upon eating certain food
- Digestive tract inflammation
- Viral infection
- Anxiety and stress
- Ingesting poisonous substances
- Stomach blockage
- Liver or kidney failure
Puppy vomiting and diarrhoea can suddenly become life-threatening if not given appropriate treatment. These can cause your pup to experience severe dehydration potentially. Seek advice from the vet immediately if he has vomited multiple times and several bouts of diarrhoea.
What does parvo vomit look like?
A puppy that vomits due to canine parvovirus will have a thick and foamy consistency. Its colour may have a yellow-brownish tinge or the same shade as coffee, which is a sign of blood.
Other symptoms to watch out for are energy loss, fever, hypothermia, and bloody diarrhoea. The stools will often have a yellow or mustard hue.
If your puppy exhibits these signs, he needs urgent medical care. Canine parvovirus is extremely deadly, especially to puppies. Without immediate vet treatment, death may become an inevitable outcome within 48–72 hours.
What should I do if my puppy throws up?
As a dog owner, it is deeply concerning to see your puppy throwing up and getting sick. However, it is important not to panic. Observe his symptoms. Some cases of puppy vomiting are only mild and short-lived. Here are some measures that you can take whilst monitor his condition:
- Check his vomit before cleaning it up.
Take note of its colour as it can indicate the cause and severity of the underlying health problem. Also, observe if it contains evidence of dietary indiscretion, such as pieces of plastic or clothing. Bring him to the vet right away if his vomit has traces of inedible objects.
- Inspect his mouth and look for obstructions.
Examine the inside of your puppy’s mouth and check for anything that might be lodged in his windpipe. If he has ingested a large or irregularly shaped item, you might still find it in his throat. In a situation like this, take your pup to the vet without delay.
- Withhold food and water sources for a few hours.
Take away your puppy’s food and water for at least 2 hours so that his stomach can ‘rest.’ You may also prolong it to 8–12 hours but contact your vet first.
- Limit your puppy’s water consumption after.
Avoid allowing your puppy to drink large amounts of water after he has stopped vomiting. This is to prevent him from throwing up again. Introduce water gradually once you’re done withholding his food and water. Begin by giving him at least 1–2 tablespoons of water every 15 minutes. If he throws it up, try offering him ice cubes every 3–4 hours. If he can hold it down, you can slowly increase his water intake.
- Offer your puppy bland food in small amounts.
Once the time for withholding his food is up, start feeding a bland diet to your pup. It can be composed of 2 parts boiled white rice combined with 1 part boiled ground chicken.
Use lean meat as too much fat can upset your puppy’s stomach further. Make sure that you have completely removed the bones and skin. Try serving 1/2 cup per 23 kilos every 1–2 hours. If your puppy vomits after eating, give him a lesser amount of food the next hour.
Note: Do not use leftover rice. Newly cooked rice has a much higher starch content, which binds food in your pup’s stomach.
When should I take my puppy to the vet for vomiting?
If your puppy has quickly recovered without showing any symptoms within 12–24 hours, he will likely be okay. However, if puppy vomiting persists, it is best to bring him to the vet for a professional diagnosis.
Some symptoms accompanying his vomiting may indicate that he needs to be taken to the vet ASAP. Immediate medical attention is necessary when the following signs manifest:
- The vomit has blood.
- Your puppy has chronic vomiting and not eating.
- His vomiting is followed by diarrhoea.
- He has a fever reaching over 103°F.
- He is becoming lethargic and fatigued.
How do you induce vomiting in a puppy?
Inducing vomiting in puppies is usually recommended as first aid in instances of poisoning. However, keep in mind that it should only be done with the consent of an expert. Thus, be sure to call your vet beforehand as a safety precaution.
Below is the step-by-step guide on how to induce vomiting in a puppy:
- Get hydrogen peroxide. Make sure that it is not expired, or else it will not work. The hydrogen peroxide should have a bubbly appearance.
- Load the recommended amount of hydrogen peroxide in an oral syringe or turkey blaster. In general, a dog should only have 0.5–1 ml of hydrogen peroxide per half a kilo of his weight.
- Let your puppy sit or stand. Then pull back his upper lip and insert the oral syringe or turkey blaster into the corner of his mouth.
- Tilt his head up and slowly administer the hydrogen peroxide into his mouth. Once it fills his mouth, he will instinctively swallow it.
- Take your puppy for a walk after giving him hydrogen peroxide. This will cause the substance to bubble and irritate his stomach, causing him to vomit.
- If your puppy doesn’t vomit within 15 minutes, administer the same dosage. Bring him to the vet right away if he fails to throw up.
It is highly discouraged to induce vomiting if your puppy is weak, unconscious, suffering from medical conditions, or frequently throwing up.
This first-aid method is also not advisable for brachycephalic dog breeds as they are prone to breathing difficulties. The best course of action is to seek immediate medical help.
How to diagnose and treat puppy vomiting
To stop your puppy from throwing up, the vet needs to determine the underlying cause. He will run a few diagnostic tests such as X-rays, blood work, stomach ultrasound, and faecal analysis to make an accurate diagnosis.
Severe conditions will require more diagnostics, including examining Addison’s disease, a blood test for pancreatitis, or surgery to acquire biopsies.
Treatments for puppy vomiting caused by stomach inflammation are commonly composed of anti-nausea medication and switching to a bland diet.
Surgery, intensive therapy, and hospitalisation with injectable medication may be required as puppy vomiting treatments for more serious conditions.