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Series of involuntary spasmic movements of the pet to eject part or all of the contents of the stomach. The vomit of a dog or cat can contain blood. All pets experience vomiting at some point in their lives, and while vomiting may be cause for alarm in some cases, in other cases, it is not. Typically, when dogs and cats are vomiting quite often, cannot keep food down and/or are dehydrated, they need veterinary attention. Some of the more common issues that may cause dogs and cats to vomit include intestinal worms, parvovirus, feline leukemia virus, poisoning, dietary issues and gastroenteritis.

How to Recognize

Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of various health conditions in dogs and cats. Although there are some cases when vomiting is only a minor concern, most of the time it can signify a condition that needs veterinary attention. As such, whenever your pet displays this symptom, it is best to make an appointment with your vet. Vomiting occurs when a pet expels partially digested content from their stomach or upper small intestine. Content can be in the form of food, foreign objects, a yellowish fluid or foam. Furthermore, vomiting can occur with or without blood, and it can occur occasionally, frequently or chronically.

Causes of Vomiting

Most anything that irritates a dog or cat's stomach will cause the animal to vomit. Nausea and abnormal colonic stimulus will most often cause vomiting as well. Dogs and cats have highly developed vomit reflexes, medically known as emesis reflexes. This reflex protects them in case they eat something that is spoiled, contaminated or toxic.


If your pet is vomiting, your veterinarian will need a complete medical history of the animal. You will also need to describe the appearance of your pet's vomit, the frequency of vomiting and any other symptoms that may be present. If possible, the best thing to do is to bring a sample of the vomit with you when you visit the vet. After collecting and recording your pet's medical history, other symptoms and recent behavior, the vet will then perform a complete physical examination of your dog or cat. Other tests and procedures that may be necessary depending on your pet's condition can be found listed below. Complete Blood Count: Fecal Sample and Exam, Urinalysis, Abdominal X-rays, Barium X-rays, Toxicology Tests, Fluoroscopy, Endoscopy, Food Allergy Tests, and Ultrasound Imaging.

Similar Symptoms

Regurgitation is not to be mistaken for vomiting. When an animal vomits, it emits content from its stomach or upper small intestine. When an animal regurgitates, on the other hand, the content comes from the esophagus. Other symptoms that resemble vomiting but are entirely different are as follows: Coughing/Hacking, Choking, Reverse Sneezing, Unproductive Retching and Excessive Drooling.

Possible Conditions

There are many different health conditions that can cause vomiting in dogs and cats. Some of these conditions are minor and may need only minimal treatment. However, in many cases, vomiting can be a sign of a serious illness. While the list of possible conditions that can result in vomiting is quite extensive, some of the most common issues are listed here: Motion Sickness, Intestinal Worms, Overeating, Parvovirus/ Coronavirus, Feline Leukemia Virus, Gastroenteritis, Food Allergies, Gastritis, Distemper, Peritonitis, Poisoning, Cancer, Pancreatitis and Fur Balls.

Treatment for Vomiting

Since there are so many different conditions that can result in vomiting, treatments can vary significantly. In fact, while some of the issues that can cause vomiting require minimal treatment, others require extensive treatments. Nevertheless, depending on an animal's condition, some of the following medications and/or procedures may be necessary: Dewormers, Fur Ball Remedy, Antibiotics, Special Diets, IV Fluid Therapy, Electrolyte Replacement Therapy, Probiotics, Antiemetics, Gastroscopy, Surgery, Chemotherapy and Corticosteroids. If your pet begins vomiting, it can be a warning sign of a variety of health conditions. While some of these issues are mild concerns, others can be quite serious and even life-threatening. As such, if your pet begins vomiting and displays a sudden change of behavior as well, it is best to seek veterinary attention.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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