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Vomiting in Dogs and Cats

Vomiting is one of the most common reasons pets are taken to the vet. However, there are lots of causes of vomiting, some more serious than others. So it’s important to understand what could be affect

Vomiting is one of the most common reasons pets are taken to the vet. However, there are lots of causes of vomiting, some more serious than others. So it’s important to understand what could be affecting your pet, and when you need to seek help from your vet. 


What causes vomiting? 

There are lots of primary causes of vomiting, including: 

  • Acute gastritis. Usually caused when your pet eats something half rotten, such as your dog overeating from the bin, or your cat eating a dead mouse. 
  • Over-grooming. Longhaired cats can vomit hairballs as a result of over-grooming. 
  • Cancer of the stomach, or the upper intestine.  
  • Food allergies. These are common and can occur even if you’ve been feeding your pet the same food for years. 
  • Foreign bodies. This is more common in puppies, who tend to chew on things they shouldn’t. 
  • Twisted stomach. This is more common is deep-chested dogs such as Great Danes or boxers. This is an emergency situation causing acute vomiting and bloating of the stomach. If your dog looks bloated, take them to the vet immediately. 
  • Intussusception. This is where the intestines telescope in on each other. It tends to occur in puppies and kittens, especially if they’ve had worms. 

There are also some secondary causes of vomiting, including pancreatitis, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, uterine infections, Addison’s disease, hyperthyroidism and viral infections. 
 

When should I take my pet to the vet? 


If your adult pet is otherwise well and happy, is keeping down water and has only been vomiting for 24 hours, then you can manage the problem at home. You should avoid giving your pet food for 24 hours to rest the stomach. Once the vomiting stops, try introducing small, bland meals such as chicken, fish, white rice or scrambled egg. Once your pet is eating normally and keeping food down, you can introduce their normal food. 
 

If you have a puppy or kitten that starts vomiting, you should get them checked by the vet as soon as possible - they can easily become dehydrated. 

If you have an adult dog or cat that has been vomiting for longer that 24 hours, vomits up blood, can’t keep water down or starts to look depressed, then you should take them to see the vet. 


If you have any questions about vomiting in cats and dogs, speak to one of our resident vets