Persistent Vomiting in a Dog: Is It An Emergency When Your Dog Keeps Vomiting? Pirate’s Story

Everything was going great for Pirate until one day he kept vomiting brown liquid with bits of grass. It’s not like never threw up before, of course, he did every now and then.

By early afternoon, Pirate vomited six times already.

That in itself is a big red flag.

Chronic Vomiting in a Dog: Is It An Emergency When Your Dog Keeps Vomiting? Pirate's Story

Projectile vomiting, vomiting repeatedly, vomiting blood (fresh or digested), unproductive wretching, any of these things are an emergency. So is vomiting combined with other symptoms such as lethargy, weakness, shaking and signs of distress and pain. ~Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog

Pirate was clearly not feeling well, and his mom reached out online to see what she should be doing. With this constellation of signs and symptoms, there is only one correct answer, and that is to see a vet asap.

Meanwhile, Pirate was getting worse.

As they arrived at a pet hospital, Pirate threw up all over their lobby and was extremely weak. He needed help quickly. They needed to run blood work and x-ray his abdomen to see what was happening.

An obstruction was high on the suspect list.

Pirate wasn’t eating or pooping for a couple of days. His vomit almost looked like feces. He threw up any water he tried to drink and was getting seriously dehydrated.

X-rays didn’t show any obstructing object. However, there was an area which seemed full of feces or gravel … Pirate needed surgery.

Once the veterinarian got in, they discovered wire and a piece of plastic stuck in Pirate’s intestine. The whole thing was hooked on the back of his tongue.

The surgery went well, but a chunk of Pirate’s intestine had to be removed, and things could still go either way.

However unbelievable this sounds, such things happen way more often than you’d think.

Nobody had a clue how Pirate got his mouth on whatever this came from, and his life was still hanging in a balance.

Pirate is a fighter, though, and by the next day, he was starting to look better.

By the time he was released from the hospital, Pirate was acting as if nothing ever happened.

“Death’s door? What do you mean by death’s door? I just had a little upset tummy.”

Because his mom did not wait with getting the care he needed, Pirate made it.

His odds were dropping quickly, and if she did wait, he might have died. The strange pieces that ended up in Pirate’s intestine turned out being parts from a kids toy which accidentally made it into Pirate’s yard. No matter how careful you might be, things can still happen which are beyond your control.

What you do have control over, though, is making the right and timely decisions for your dog.

If your dog vomits repeatedly, that in itself calls for medical attention. Paired with any other concerning signs, it needs to be an emergency trip.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Vomiting

Categories: ConditionsObstructionsReal-life StoriesSymptomsVomiting

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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