What to do When your Cat or Dog is Vomiting

home_2If there’s one single universal fact of pet ownership, it’s that no pet owner ever wants to hear the sound of a dog or cat vomiting. And it’s not just because it’s a drag to clean the carpet—it’s because it’s not always easy for pet owners to tell if a dog or cat is simply expelling something undesirable, or is more seriously ill. Of course, cats and dogs will occasionally vomit to clear their stomach or esophagus of something like a hairball, shoelace, or other object or food item they have consumed on a whim, but constant vomiting might well be a sign of a more serious condition. And, of course, if vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, blood in the stool, or fever, it’s time to call VRC, your local veterinary specialist in the Philadelphia area.


Cats, as cat owners know, will vomit for a variety of reasons. Hairballs are a common complaint, especially during the spring and winter shedding seasons. Cats will also vomit from consuming their meal too quickly, or playing too soon after eating, which (if it happens occasionally) is not necessarily cause for concern. But, vomiting may also be an indicator that your cat is seriously unwell. Vomiting is associated with gastrointestinal and whole-body complaints such as parasites, ingested toxins or chemicals, viral or bacterial infections, pancreatitis, failure of the kidney, liver, or gall bladder, and foreign bodies such as toys or a too-large hairball. If your cat is vomiting on a regular basis, and is not helped by a bland diet or withholding of fluids or food, it’s time to seek medical care.


Just about all dog owners will also be familiar with vomiting. Dogs love to follow their noses, which leads them to get into garbage and other stinky situations. If your dog vomits after getting into trash, animal waste, or yard clippings, it may not be time for an emergency vet visit, but if your dog cannot stop vomiting, seems listless or in pain, or has glazed eyes or is salivating more than normal, they may have gotten into something more dangerous than leaves or food remains. Also, keep a look out for shivering, swallowing, hiding, lip-smacking, and signs of dehydration including sunken eyes and tacky mouth and gums.


At the end of the day, however, it’s your call as a pet owner whether you think your dog or cat needs emergency medical attention. If your dog or cat is vomiting, you’re concerned about his or her health, and your primary veterinarian is not available, the best thing to do is call your local 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital. VRC Specialty Hospital in Malvern, PA is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which means we’re around even for those inevitable 3 AM sicknesses. We take your pet’s health seriously, and we know what a worry it can be when your companion isn’t feeling well.


VRC in Malvern, PA is a specialty veterinary health care clinic that provides emergency medicine and critical care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Give us a call at (610) 647-2950.