Dogs Throwing Up Blood: Everything You Need to Know About Hematemesis or Vomiting of Blood in Dogs
Is your dog throwing up blood? No matter how you try to keep your dog’s health in optimal condition, there will always be times when his immunity is compromised, and he will be vulnerable to various dog illnesses. When your canine is exhibiting any odd or unusual habits that prevent him from reaching his maximum potential, your pet is maybe suffering from a serious ailment.
This should prompt you to seek immediate medical help to save the life of your precious best friend. Some of the most common symptoms of many dog illnesses include loss of appetite, excessive drinking, changes to excretion patterns, and personality changes. But what will you do if you see your beloved pup puking blood?
Hematemesis is the condition of puking or vomiting blood in dogs. We’ll cover the proper management for this condition and how you can help your pup in case hematemesis occurs!
Hematemesis in Dogs: Why is My Dog Throwing Up Blood?
Hematemesis is a common medical terminology that is used in diagnosing various human or animal illnesses. The root word hemat means ‘blood’ while the suffix emesis means ‘vomiting.’ Hematemesis or vomiting of blood in dogs is a serious emergency. If you see your dog vomiting blood, immediately call your vet and have them diagnose your dog’s condition.
Medical professionals Lisa D. Carlson, DVM, and James M. Griffin, MD, have a concrete and rational explanation about hematemesis in dogs. Their book “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” describes this condition as an indication of an active bleeding point somewhere in your dog’s digestive tract.
The fresh streak of blood in the vomitus could be a sign of an underlying condition that needs to be managed. Vomiting may also indicate that your dog is at risk for other life-threatening conditions such as gastric inflammation.
How Will I Know If My Dog Is Vomiting Blood?
Vomiting blood can drastically change the normal bodily functions of your dog. Hematemesis may be hard to diagnose since the symptoms can be confusing and challenging. However, the vet may base his diagnosis on the following medical parameters:
- Severity of bleeding
- Color of blood in the vomitus
- Your dog’s level of consciousness
Your dog’s gastrointestinal tract (GI) is also extra-sensitive and may easily be affected by intrinsic or extrinsic factors that include:
- Gastric or duodenal ulcer
- Chronic illnesses
- Presence of a foreign substance inside your dog’s stomach
Is a Dog Vomiting Blood an Emergency?
Absolutely. While certain home remedies may provide some immediate relief for your dog’s condition, professional help is the mandatory assistance your dog will need. Immediately contact your vet or bring your canine to the nearest animal clinic for appropriate treatment.
If not immediately treated, hematemesis can lead to severe blood loss, resulting in multiple organ malfunctions.
What Can the Vet Do If My Dog Is Throwing Up Blood?
As soon as you bring your dog to the clinic, the vet will perform a series of tests to determine the underlying cause of the bleeding and the severity of the condition. They will document the health history of your canine. Possible tests for diagnosis may include:
- Complete blood count
- Urine/fecal analysis
- Imaging tests
- Internal organ function screen tests
Once the vet comes up with a diagnosis, the vet will start to develop a plan of care for your canine, which may include:
- IV (intravenous) fluids to treat dehydration
- Other medications such as deworming, anti-nausea, anti-vomiting, and gastric protectant
Dog Vomiting Blood? Here’s What You Need to Do.
Vomiting at least once or twice a month is normal in dogs. However, if vomiting persists and is accompanied by blood, your furry friend might be having internal issues. This is usually the time when you might need to get medical attention for your dog. Remember that you must also do your part by making sure your dog is hydrated at all times to prevent further complications.
You might also need to change their feeding habits. Give them lots of attention and make sure they feel secured and loved at all times.
Hematemesis in Dogs – A Sign of a More Serious Problem
Sometimes, the real problem is not internal bleeding. It could also be a sign of an underlying condition that’s been affecting your dog’s health for a long time. The vet can also diagnose the blood in vomitus as a sign of the following conditions:
- Blood clotting disorder
- Intestinal parasites such as hookworm
- Stomach inflammation
- Bilious vomiting syndrome
- Hemorrhagic gastrointestinal issues
What are the Reasons My Dog Is Throwing Up Blood?
When your canine is puking blood, you cannot help but think of the worst-case scenarios. Yet, sometimes the real issues are just minor and do not require extensive medical care. There are several reasons why your dog may be vomiting blood – and here are the most common ones:
- Ingesting foreign objects: Since some dogs love to eat almost anything they find on the ground, including cat poop, the objects they eat might contain harmful substances that can lead to hematemesis.
- Chewing on bones and sharp objects: Rawhide bones are a type of chewable bone that can obstruct your dog’s GI tract, causing inflammation and bleeding.
- Antifreeze poisoning: Antifreeze is liquid drainage usually found at the car’s radiator or the bottom of your cabinet. This is an extremely dangerous and deadly substance. If your dog licks this, it can cause sudden stomach upset, GI bleeding, and other disorders.
- Parvovirus: Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious type of virus that can be fatal. Affected puppies would normally exhibit symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, and extreme vomiting. Severe cases of parvovirus infection can cause hematemesis.
What are the Symptoms and Types of Hematemesis in Dogs?
A vet or an animal professional normally diagnoses vomited blood. The following are the most common diagnoses:
- Fresh red blood – When your dog vomits fresh, light, bright red blood, this may originate from the stomach or upper GI tract.
- Dark or deep red blood – This means the bleeding point originates slightly lower than the GI tract.
- Blood with mucus – Mucous signifies that the bleeding point may be in the stomach, ascending colon, or upper intestines.
- Dark, tarry vomited blood – When the blood is dark, tarry, and looks like coffee grounds, it might be digested blood.
The most common symptoms present may include any of the following:
- Excessive urination
- Restlessness and muscle weakness
- Drunken behavior
- Fast, irregular heartbeat
As previously mentioned, hematemesis in dogs may be a product of various GI disorders such as ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, and hemorrhagic GI issues. This condition may also result from liver failure, blood clotting issues, reduced platelet count, ingestion of toxins, and drug exposure.
Furthermore, hematemesis may also result from a traumatic incident such as a car accident, stroke, iron-and-lead poisoning, snake bites, and third-degree burns.
Diagnosing hematemesis in dogs might not run as smoothly as planned. However, the usual laboratory tests in the veterinary clinic are still considered the standard screening procedures in generating a reliable diagnosis. The initial diagnostic procedure takes the dog’s medical history, which is considered the most important part of the treatment program.
This is usually followed by a series of tests that include complete blood profile, urinalysis, fecalysis, X-ray, ultrasound, and internal organ function test.
As soon as the problem arises, contact your vet and get medical care. Do not induce vomiting when your dog accidentally ingests a toxic substance such as antifreeze. While orally administering hydrogen peroxide offers a quick solution to the problem, it can be dangerous to perform this procedure at home.
If your dog is unconscious, do not do anything to try and make him feel better. If you do, you are just risking his precious life. The only thing your furry friend needs is immediate help from an animal professional, like a trained veterinarian.
Living and Management
The recovery stage is probably one of the most delicate stages in this hematemesis journey. Yet, it is also the most fulfilling one. Your dog must strictly follow a low-fat, low-fiber diet as advised by the vet. Usually, white rice with boiled chicken (not raw) will serve as his regular meal throughout the healing process.
As for dog treats, it’s best to opt for healthier options. Your vet might also suggest other more detailed treatment plans.
Related Article: Organic Dog Food
Hematemesis in dogs is indeed preventable. Becoming a responsible pet owner is the ultimate preventive measure for this condition. When you provide your canine a safe and clean environment at all times, you are preventing many of the major risks of various dog injuries and illnesses.
Never let your dog play or roam around without guidance. Always keep them in sight and be mindful of everything they do. Eliminating the things that could potentially harm your canines, such as harmful substances or sharp objects, significantly reduces the chances of catching hematemesis. You can also send your dog to an obedience school!
Final Thoughts – Dog Throwing Up Blood
Hematemesis or vomiting of blood in dogs is a serious condition that needs prompt medical management. This is a medical emergency that you should never try to take care of at home. If not properly handled, hematemesis in dogs can lead to serious health conditions. Never let these worst-case scenarios happen to your furry friend.
Give him lots of love, attention, and guidance for him to feel safe at all times. Most importantly, give your furry friend the proper medical attention he deserves.
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