Vomiting, nausea, spit, saliva, hairball, digestion, kidney, liver, diabetes, parasites, reaction, neurological, infection, pain, fear, blood, toxin, appetite, lethargic
Vomiting is one of the most common reasons why pets are presented to their veterinarian. Vomiting is not a disease. It can be caused by something as innocuous as eating a bug or it could signify a life threatening illness.
Vomiting is defined as the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth. The material can be food or fluid. It may have tinges of yellow, bile or it could be clear. Some pets become nauseated and will salivate tremendously before they throw up. For others it is a very passive event and the material just falls out of their mouths. Though it doesn't make much of a difference to the person who has to clean up the mess, how your pet acts just before and during the event and what he or she produces can give your veterinarian some vital information when trying to determine the cause.
Part of the territory when you own a pet is periodically dealing with spit ups. Cats ingest large quantities of hair while grooming themselves. This fur may end up on your carpet as a hairball and not in the cat box. Dogs often believe that they are vacuum cleaners and suck up everything in sight. Many items will pass harmlessly out through their mouths or the other end. Objects have been known to reside inoffensively in the digestive tract for extended periods of time. Without warning, they suddenly form an obstruction that requires surgical intervention.
Vomiting does not always mean that there is a problem with the digestive tract. Kidney or liver disease can be the culprit. Underactive adrenal glands, hypoadrenocorticism, or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, can trigger bouts of retching. Internal parasites, especially in puppies or kitten, adverse reactions to medications and even neurological disorders such as a middle ear infection, vestibular disease can also be to blame. Toxins such as snail bait, or antifreeze, motion sickness, pain and even fear have been known to induce vomiting.
So how are you supposed to know when you need to hurry in and see your veterinarians and when can you just wait and see? A good rule of thumb is -
- If the vomit contains evidence of blood. See your veterinarian
- If you know that your pet has been exposed to a toxin or potentially toxic substance. See your veterinarian.
- If your pet has no appetite, is lethargic, has diarrhea for more than two days, or no bowel movement for 24 hours. See your veterinarian
- If your pet is getting worse and not better or if it is obviously in pain. Yes, see your veterinarian now!
It is impossible for me to tell you exactly what diagnostic procedures your veterinarian will need to perform in order to establish a diagnosis and what treatments may been indicated. But be assured, the process will start with obtaining a thorough history from you. Ask other family members what they have observed and whether they may have unwittingly caused the problem.
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