As a pet parent, you will undoubtedly be displeased when your dog vomits since you have to clean it up. However, when the vomit has blood, that’s a different story.
So, what causes a dog to vomit blood, how can you treat it, and are there ways to prevent such from happening?
Here’s all you need to know...
What does it mean when my dog vomits blood?
A dog vomiting blood is a condition scientifically known as hematemesis.
There are two categories of hematemesis
- Acute- sudden extreme vomiting (a lot of blood)
- Chronic- regularly vomiting spall amounts of blood
Your pup may vomit partially digested blood which resembles coffee grounds, or fresh red blood, depending on where the bleeding has occurred in his internal organs.
Sometimes the bleeding may originate from the
- Esophagus (a tube linking the mouth and the stomach)
- Upper intestines (intestinal tract section attached to the stomach)
In other instances, excessive bleeding in your dog’s respiratory tract or mouth could result in the dog swallowing the blood and vomiting it out.
What comes first, vomiting or bleeding?
Either scenario can happen first. For instance, significant bleeding could fill your pup’s stomach and trigger vomiting.
On the other hand, vomiting could irritate the digestive tract and cause bleeding.
In addition, bleeding and vomiting can result from a single factor, such as a viral infection.
Causes of a bloody vomit
Common reasons for dogs spewing out blood are
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Inflammatory disorders like IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Toxins like xylitol, pest control chemicals, and heavy metals like lead or iron
- Swallowing a sharp object (a piece of glass, stick, plastic, or bone)
- Blood clotting issues (Coagulopathy)
- Cancer is one of the internal organs
- An obstruction in your dog’s digestive tract is caused mainly by foreign objects that get stuck in the intestines or stomach. Such items include a corn cob, toy, and socks.
- Stomach ulcers from whole-body diseases, side effects of medications, or digestive tract issues that increase your dog’s stomach acidity levels.
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is a severe condition that causes abrupt bloody vomits and diarrhea.
- Traumatic incidences like being involved in a car accident or undergoing a major surgery
- Prolonged vomiting that you don’t treat quickly will eventually cause inflation of the upper intestines, stomach, or esophagus and cause bleeding.
When should you visit the vet?
Immediately you notice your pup is vomiting blood; you should seek professional help.
The reason is a small amount of blood could quickly escalate and become more, depending on the cause of the bleeding.
Your veterinary doctor can catch the cause and treat it before the condition gets worse.
If your dog or pup has the symptoms below, you should seek emergency treatment.
- A large amount of blood in the vomit or stool; Extreme blood loss can easily cause death.
- It’s puppy vomiting. Unlike older dogs, puppies are prone to numerous infections, especially Parvovirus, which can lead to death quickly.
- Your pup has other symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, listlessness, and loss of appetite.
To treat hematemesis, your vet must first identify the underlying cause.
Therefore, he will run several tests that include
- Blood clotting tests
- Urine analysis
- Blood tests
- A fecal test to determine any parasites present
- Biopsies (used only for severe cases)
After the tests, your vet doctor will physically examine the dog to check for abdominal pain.
Once he has identified the cause, he can now proceed to treat it.
Often the treatment entails
- Antinausea medications
- Fluid therapy to hydrate the dog and improve his electrolyte balance
- A bland diet (primarily white rice and boiled chicken) or another diet depending on the particular condition.
- If the bleeding is severe, though it rarely is, your doctor might carry out a blood transfusion.
- Surgery removes any object inside his system that could be blocking the stomach or intestines from working usually.
Depending on your dog’s condition, you may be allowed to go home with him on the same day, or he may be admitted for more observation while undergoing treatment.
While your dog is undergoing treatment, most vet doctors recommend a diet comprising easily digestible foods.
They do so to reduce the stress on the dog’s digestive system.
How can I prevent my dog from vomiting blood?
Unfortunately, there are some causes of vomiting blood that you can’t prevent, like old age.
However, you can avoid most of them. Here is how
Most cases of a dog vomiting blood arise after he accidentally chews on something toxic.
You can prevent such incidences by training your furry friend to observe specific rules.
For instance, some dog trainers teach a dog only to eat food from a specific bowl or offered by a particular individual.
The training is so practical that even if the dog is left alone or hungry, it won’t eat unless you tell it.
Though some people may find such a method unfair to the dog, it teaches discipline and dramatically lowers the chances of him eating something harmful.
- Alleviates stress
- Improves how your dog interacts with people and other dogs
- Helps you to understand your dog properly
- Your dog will behave well even in your absence
Remove toxins from your pup’s environment
Leaving harmful substances like your medications and pesticides such as rat poison could spell danger. This is mainly for pups who are naturally curious and bite on anything and everything.
Removing potentially harmful items from your dog’s environment will protect him and avoid the stress you will incur when he is sick.
If you have a garden with some toxic plants, you may have to consider closing off that section. So, when your pup roams around the garden, it won’t be able to access those plants.
Some diseases that cause vomiting of blood can be avoided by regularly exercising your dog.
Exercise helps your dog lose extra weight and get rid of toxins from his system.
Studies have also shown that dogs that regularly exercise rarely get sick and live longer.
In addition, exercise.
- Strengthens your dog’s bones
- It prevents behavioral complications like barking, excessive licking, chewing, and digging.
- Improves metabolism
- Relieves arthritis as the joints remain active
- Prevents untimely aging
- Allows your dog to socialize
- Improves your connection with the dog
Regular vet visits
Taking your pup for regular visits to the vet is helpful since he may identify diseases that could lead to blood vomiting early and provide treatment.
Your vet can also advise you on the best care for your canine.
A fresh food diet
Most manufactured and processed foods have chemical toxins that could cause organ failure and lead to bloody vomits.
Therefore, it’s best to stick to a fresh food diet since it won’t have any chemicals in it.
Fresh foods such as vegetables and healthy proteins like eggs or liver are ideal; they offer essential vitamins and nutrients to your canine.
Supplements should be a regular part of your dog’s diet; they provide countless benefits, which include
- Boosting immunity
- Offering essential nutrients like vitamin B and C
- Enhancing cognitive development
- Increase nutrient absorption rates
There are many supplements in the market, but we recommend Safe Guard, as it has undergone extensive research and proven effective.
Your dog vomiting blood can get you scared, especially if you don’t know what could be the cause.
However, by seeking immediate veterinary assistance, you will be able to know the cause, and the vet will administer treatment that will prevent further complications. Ultimately your pup will get better and happier.