Vomiting, also called “emesis”, is the act of expelling contents from the stomach through the mouth. There are multiple causes of vomiting. An occasional, infrequent isolated episode of vomiting is usually normal.

Vomiting is a symptom that can be caused by disorders of the gastrointestinal system (stomach and/or intestines) or it can be secondary to a disease from a different system (such as from cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, or infectious diseases). This can make the diagnosis of the cause of the vomiting a challenge.

Vomiting can be defined as acute (sudden onset) or chronic (longer duration of one to two weeks). It is important to consider the duration and frequency of the vomiting when evaluating the severity of the condition and diagnostic plan. The severity or concurrence of other signs will determine the recommendation for specific diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the vomiting.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • The cause of vomiting may be diagnosed by a thorough history, physical examination, bloodwork, fecal examination for parasites, a parvo test, abdominal x-rays and/or abdominal ultrasound. In some situations, contrast x-rays (Barium series) or exploratory surgery may be required to diagnose the underlying cause of the vomiting.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease,  the underlying cause of the vomiting, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Pets with vomiting may be treated by withholding food and water, fluids, antibiotics, and medications to reduce vomiting. For some diseases, endoscopy or surgery may be indicated. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:

  • Dehydration
  • Blood in vomit
  • Weight loss
  • Ineffective vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness

Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!