Vomiting is one of the most common reasons that pet owners seek veterinary medical help. The reasons can range from such benign causes as upset stomach secondary to a new food source or gastritis all the way to life-threatening conditions such as intestinal obstruction and Parvoviral Enteritis.

Whether or not to seek emergency veterinary care for vomiting is a difficult question. Vomiting is a clinical sign of disease, not a diagnosis, and the cause should be actively sought.

Our recommendation for vomiting is to call and consult a veterinarian about your pet before making the decision whether or not your pet requires medical attention.

If your pet is exhibiting mild symptoms and you feel that there is no need for emergency medical care, our hospital recommends the following steps be taken at home:

  • Restrict food for 12 to 24 hours. If vomiting resolves, offer a bland diet such as chicken and rice or low-fat cottage cheese and rice.
  • Make water available at all times unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian.
  • When fasting a small breed dog be careful not to fast too long or you may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure of the proper protocol for your pet.

Closely monitor for any change in your animal's condition that indicates a worsening situation. Do not hesitate to seek medical care if you feel uncomfortable with your pet's condition.

Small dogs and cats can develop life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte imbalances in a very short period of time.

In closing, vomiting is the most common clinical sign that veterinarians confront. The causes range from benign to life-threatening. Use common-sense and do not hesitate to contact the hospital if the condition merits.