Why Is My Dog Vomiting Blood? - Dog Care Guide
Vomiting can be very common in dogs and is often a result of simple causes such as food intolerance, food allergies, parasites, or even side effects to medications.
But what happens when you see a sight of blood mixed in your dog’s vomit? Blood can be unsightly and can make pet owners very anxious and worried. After all, blood can be a serious indication of a much more serious underlying medical condition.
There are many possible reasons as to why your dog is vomiting blood, but it’s essential that you remain calm and thorough when observing your dog for any underlying causes in order to treat your pet effectively and with the proper procedures.
Dog vomit, dog regurgitation, and blood in dog vomit are all things that fur parents should be aware of. A dog vomiting blood is without a doubt out of the usual, and we’ll cover the different causes of dog vomiting blood, types of vomit (such as regurgitation), and when you should take action and bring your pup to the vet.
Is Your Dog Vomiting or Regurgitating?
It’s important that we first distinguish the difference between dog vomiting and dog regurgitation because they are both symptoms of different types of diseases. Chances are your pet isn’t going to vomit on cue at your veterinarian’s office, so being able to differentiate the two can help you when discussing with your vet the possible treatment options if needed.
Dog vomiting is the forced ejection of the stomach and intestinal contents up from the esophagus and through the mouth, or when your pet brings something out from his stomach. Oftentimes the vomit is mixed with some yellowish or orange bile or digestive fluid, however not all vomit contains bile. Vomiting in dogs is also accompanied by abdominal heaving and is often a symptom of intestinal, kidney, liver, stomach, and other diseases.
Dog regurgitation is a passive process of backflow of undigested food that happens suddenly and is not accompanied by abdominal heaving. Regurgitation can occur with liquids or a small portion of your pup’s last meal. Unlike vomiting, regurgitation is a symptom of esophageal diseases, such as megaesophagus.
What is Hematemesis?
Hematemesis, the medical term for dogs vomiting blood, has a wide range of causes. In order to identify the cause of blood in a dog’s vomit, you should take note of the type of blood found in the vomit.
Fresh blood has a bright red color and has a fluid consistency. Fresh blood in a dog’s vomit and often means that the blood came from your dog’s upper gastrointestinal tract or GIT. The upper GIT is composed of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of the small intestine.
Tarry blood can be brown or black in color and is accompanied by a foul odor, meaning that the blood has had time to clot. Tarry blood comes from the lower gastrointestinal tract, which is comprised of the lower part of the small intestine and the large intestine.
The various causes of a dog throwing up blood can be categorized as infectious and non-infectious. Non-infectious causes are not contagious to you or other pets under your household. Ingesting foreign objects is an example of a non-infectious cause of a dog vomiting blood. Infectious causes such as parasites, viruses, and bacteria can potentially infect both you and other pets living in the same household.
Symptoms of Hematemesis in Dogs
One of the most obvious symptoms of hematemesis in dogs is signs of blood in your dog’s vomit. As we mentioned above, there are different types of blood that can appear in vomit such as fresh blood, blood clots, or digested blood that appear as grains or resemble coffee grounds. Other additional symptoms include black tarry diarrhea (or melena), loss of appetite, and stomach pain.
There are two main types of hematemesis, including:
suddenly occurring symptoms
consistent vomiting of blood which may occur up to several times or more per week
Causes of Dog Vomiting Blood
There is a multitude of reasons as to why your dog may be vomiting blood. We’ll be covering some of the possible causes of bloody vomit in dogs, but we highly recommend you to seek a proper diagnosis with your veterinarian to ensure proper treatment.
Dietary indiscretion is a very common cause of bloody vomit. Anything that your dog cannot properly digest falls under this category, such as bone shards, toys, clothing, garbage, small sticks, and other objects that can injure or perforate the delicate inner lining of your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. In this instance, the appearance of the blood in your dog’s vomit will inform you and your vet about where the hematemesis is coming from. Take note of potential toys or other foreign bodies that your dog may have ingested. Check for small items such as keys, coins, or pens that may have gone missing as they may have been ingested by your dog. They could also have swallowed chicken bones from an open trashcan. An additional symptom of dietary indiscretion would be abdominal pain and dark stools.
Gastrointestinal injuries can be caused by foreign objects or external blunt force trauma. Even if your pup did not swallow your keys, they may have chewed on it. This could cause mouth injuries from which your dog could be swallowing blood. If your dog swallows excessive amounts of blood, this can result in dark-colored stools and blood clots in their vomit. If instead your dog was hit by a car or some other form of blunt force trauma, it could also cause internal bleeding. Blood from injuries in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract will end up in its vomit and stool.
Excessive amounts of external sources of blood can find its way into your dog’s stomach through things like nosebleeds and licking of external injuries, these could also be possible causes for your dog to vomit blood.Acute poisoning, meaning sudden poisoning in dogs, is another cause of bloody vomit. Rat poison, which contains warfarin, is a common culprit in such cases. Acute poisoning symptoms can cause tarry blood or fresh blood in a dog’s vomit. Additional symptoms include bloody diarrhea, black stools, pale gums, and lethargy. Be very careful when using poisons in places that your dog could possibly reach.
Poisoning from heavy metals such as iron can cause your dog to vomit blood.
Plants such as the sego palm and autumn crocus are two examples of fauna that can cause dogs to vomit blood. If ingested, these plants can cause internal bleeding, bloody stools, as well as bloody vomit. Keep your dog safe from plants like these if you own a garden or often take your dogs outdoors.
Certain drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs increase the risk of your dog developing hematemesis. Ibuprofen, a common NSAID, can cause stomach ulcers.
Stomach cancer results in tumors in the gastrointestinal tract which can cause blood in vomit.
Gastritis or severe vomiting can cause blood to appear in your dog’s vomit. The stress of constant vomiting can cause the delicate blood vessels in the stomach or esophagus to rupture, resulting in blood in their gastrointestinal tract. Gastritis can lead to mild to severe abdominal pain, bloody stools, general weakness, dehydration, lethargy, and/or weight loss. Acute gastritis is characterized as vomiting that lasts less than a week, while chronic gastritis lasts more than a week. Gastritis can also be caused by bacterial or viral infections in the gastrointestinal tract.
There are many things your dog could have ingested to cause gastritis:
- Consumption of chocolate, garlic, onions, certain nuts, or spoiled food can cause food poisoning in your dog, which can induce excessive vomiting.
- Your dog can have food allergies and sometimes even develop allergies to dog food that they have been eating for a prolonged period of time.
- Indigestible foreign objects or objects that fall under dietary indiscretion can cause gastritis by inflammation and irritation of the sensitive gastrointestinal tract.
- Antifreeze is a harmful chemical that can cause gastritis, kidney disease, and ultimately kidney failure. Dogs and other animals are attracted to the particular taste of antifreeze, so be sure to keep bottles of it sealed tight and kept out of your pet’s reach.
Bacterial infections can cause gastroenteritis (meaning inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract) and gastritis, which, as previously mentioned, can rupture the blood vessels in the GIT. A bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics as prescribed by your vet. E. coli and salmonella are two examples of bacterial infections that can cause gastritis.
Viral infections in the gastrointestinal tract are another cause of blood in your dog’s vomit. The severity of the infection will depend on the particular strain of the virus and the strength of your dog’s immune system. If you suspect your dog has a viral infection, see a veterinarian as soon as you can.
Some examples of viral infections include:
A highly contagious viral disease. This virus primarily infects young puppies, but older dogs can still be affected. Parvovirus infections spread through contact with infected canines, so avoid bringing young puppies to places frequented by wild or domesticated dogs during an outbreak.
Another highly contagious viral disease that makes its home in your dog’s upper small intestine. Symptoms along with vomiting include depression, diarrhea, and weight loss. Normally, canine coronavirus is mild and does not show extreme symptoms, but combined with parvovirus or some other intestinal infection, the disease can become quite severe and result in life-threatening conditions.
Yet another highly contagious and common virus that could infect your dog and cause them to throw up blood. Symptoms include high fever, coughing, bloody diarrhea and vomit, lethargy, and watery discharge from the nose and eyes.
Keeping your puppies clean, avoiding contact with dog feces, urine, saliva, and vaccinating are just some preventive measures you can take to make sure they are safe from contagious viral infections.
In the GIT can bite, scratch, or otherwise damage the intestinal lining, causing intestinal hemorrhaging and eventually hematemesis.
Feed on blood by biting the walls of the small intestine. Administering heartworm medication to your dog can be used to treat hookworms. Roundworms can cause abdominal swelling due to the sheer volume of parasites, which can damage the intestines and even cause intestinal rupture. Your vet may prescribe medication to deal with this parasite. Young dogs are more susceptible to parasitic infections, but older dogs can be infected as well.
When Should You Have Your Dog Visit The Vet?
Remember that your dog vomiting blood is usually just one of many possible symptoms indicating an underlying cause or medical condition. You should note other accompanied symptoms to help your vet identify the cause of your dog’s bloody vomit.
Some additional symptoms you should watch out for when deciding to take your dog to the vet are:
- Chronic gastritis
- Bloody diarrhea
- Black, tarry stool
- High fever
- Pale gums
- Severe abdominal pain
- Worms in feces
What Should You Do When Your Dog Vomits Blood?
If you notice blood in your dog’s vomit, here are a few steps you can take to help your pup. First of all, remain calm. Do not panic, as it will only make matters worse. Examine the vomit carefully and make note of its appearance in detail. Call your vet if possible and describe the symptoms and the nature of the vomit to them. You can collect the vomit in a plastic bag for the vet to examine later. Be patient while the veterinarian conducts thorough tests to determine the cause of the blood. The vet may take multiple tests to determine what is causing your dog to vomit up blood or show strains of blood in their vomit. These tests may include blood tests, fecal analysis, urine analysis, ultrasounds, and x-rays. Wait for your veterinarian to make a diagnosis and follow their instructions carefully and prepare to make any lifestyle changes if needed.
Your veterinarian may prescribe medication to reduce pain and improve your dog’s appetite. NSAIDs are commonly prescribed, such as ibuprofen, which is used to relieve pain. However, ibuprofen also has the possibility to worsen your dog’s hematemesis if ulcers occur. An alternative and natural pain reliever for dogs you may want to consider is Cannabidiol or CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD for pets is a molecule extracted from hemp. It is one of many types of phytocannabinoid, like Tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the popular psychoactive agent found in cannabis that gives off the feeling of being “high” and overly relaxed. Both CBD and THC have medicinal applications, but CBD differs from THC in that it does not make you intoxicated.
Hemp is from the same species as Cannabis, but it has one key difference. Hemp is bred to have less THC and significantly more CBD. Hemp only has 0.3% THC, which is minuscule compared to the 5-30% THC that Cannabis sativa plants have, commonly known as marijuana.
History of CBD
Cannabis and hemp have been important natural sources of medicine for many centuries. There is a Chinese medicinal text dating back hundreds of years describing the use of hemp and cannabis seeds for medicinal purposes. The entire plant had many uses, and the fibrous plant matter was spun into thread, and woven into fishing nets and clothing or twisted into sturdy rope and made into paper.
Russel Reynolds, the personal physician of Queen Victoria herself, extolled the virtues of cannabinoids. In 1890 he said, “Indian hemp, when pure and administered carefully, is one of the most valuable medicines we possess.”
CBD For Dogs, Cats, and Horses
Pet parents love their furry animals, and there’s no surprise when we find customers asking many questions regarding CBD and it’s safety for our four-legged furballs. CBD designed specifically for dogs is an all-natural product sourced from organic hemp extracts and contains absolutely minuscule amounts of THC.
A common misconception that we want to be very clear is that CBD is not a cure, but simply an additive supplement for your pet’s health.
Here at InnovetPet, we specifically formulate our CBD products for pets, such as:
- CBD Oil for Dogs
- CBD Hemp Dog Treats
- CBD Soft Hemp Chews
- Hemp CBD Capsules for Dogs
- CBD Healing Balms
- CBD Vitamin Dog Chews
- and even CBD for Horses
Our CBD has zero side effects and is completely safe for your dogs - we want to reassure pet parents from across the globe that you won’t have to worry about buying CBD and giving your dog CBD products. Many veterinarians also approve of CBD, and you can consult your veterinarian first for their approval. Our customer service is available for any further questions you may have regarding our products and clarification on giving your pet CBD.
Where To Buy CBD Oil For Dogs
If you are in search of CBD treats and oil for dogs, Innovet is a brand that you can trust! When it comes to CBD oil and hemp-based dog treats, we offer only the best of the best because your dog deserves nothing less.
Dog Vomiting Blood: The Final Verdict
Ultimately CBD can help manage the symptoms of hematemesis. You may consult your vet’s approval if you would like to consider using CBD as a natural alternative to traditionally prescribed medications. CBD can help alleviate pain, which can be a serious issue for dogs that are exhibiting hematemesis. Nobody wants to see their furry best friend suffering. Weight loss can be a huge hurdle for dogs who are suffering from certain causes of hematemesis. Without a proper diet and appetite, it will be difficult for your dog to get better and gain strength to maintain their health. CBD increases appetite, which helps your dog regain the weight they lost while ill. CBD can also be beneficial to pets in general and can reduce general anxiety, help control seizures, and lessen inflammation.