Vomiting is very common in animals. It may indicate serious
problems or just a transient, marginally important event. Dogs and
cats will often ingest grass and vomit it. They "clean the stomach"
from "hair-balls", foreign material or irritants. On occasion mild
indigestion will end up in vomiting of short duration. Young animals
infested with worms will sporadically vomit round worms. Persistent
vomiting is always a reason for alarm. In young
animals, especially dogs, foreign material and poison ingestion are
common and may end up with obstruction, severe gastro-intestinal or
systemic damage. Vomiting in these cases is persistent and at times
projectile. Infectious diseases such as Parvovirus, Distemper,
E.coli and Salmonella are not infrequent. Older animals may vomit
because of systemic (kidney, liver, pancreas or other organ)
diseases or tumors involving the digestive and other systems.
Regurgitation indicates a problem in the upper digestive tract.
Pharyngeal or esophageal foreign bodies, such as a small ball, bone
or a treat, may be lodged and obstruct the inflow of food and water.
Profuse salivation is seen in these cases. Another common reason for
regurgitation is a dilatation of the esophagus, called
megaesophagus. It is a relatively common congenital problem in young
dogs, but occurs at all ages for multiple reasons. Regurgitation is
often a serious problem which is difficult to treat as well as to
Any animal exhibiting regurgitation or serious vomiting should be
treated promptly, as dehydration, electrolyte alterations and other
complications, quickly become life threatening. The veterinarian
will run several diagnostic tests such as blood test and x-rays in
order to formulate a specific treatment.