Hematemesis: Dog Throwing Up Blood
Dogs, like most mammals, tend to suffer from various illnesses and conditions throughout their lifetime. Sometimes, they exhibit symptoms that are hard to understand. One of these is vomiting of blood or known medically as hematemesis.
Hematemesis is both a symptom and medical condition that primarily affects the digestive and respiratory systems of dogs.
When your dog is throwing up blood, you need to seek immediate help from trained animal experts. Remaining calm is vital because dogs tend to mimic the stress levels of their owners, a study from Sweden’s Linköping University suggests.
Calm down. Take a breath and continue reading below so you can get rid of your worries and help your dog get better soon.
Why do dogs throw up blood?
Hematemesis can be a result of various conditions in a dog’s body. This may result from an injury to the dog’s esophagus, irritation of the stomach or intestines, gastrointestinal (GI) infection, inflammation of the lungs, and GI tumor. If your pup ingested a poisonous chemical or chomped down on sharp objects that harm the GI tract.
How will you know if your dog is vomiting blood?
When fresh red blood marks a dog’s puke, this may mean the bleeding originated from the stomach or upper part of the small intestine. If it is from the lower part of the intestines, the blood would resemble coffee grounds. Feces may also contain blood that can either be derived from the colon (if it seems fresh) or from the intestines or stomach (if it appears dark or gluey). Weariness, sudden loss of appetite, irregular fecal matter, and diarrhea are other indications to be taken note of.
Things to Do If Your Dog Throws Up Blood
There is only one crucial step you need to take with an alarming situation: go to the nearest hospital and consult a veterinarian. Bleeding from the digestive tract then throwing it up, especially if blood loss becomes excessive, can be fatal. It can also give rise to more complications in other organs and, worse, can lead to premature death.
How can a veterinarian help?
Seeking help from a licensed veterinarian is the best thing to do in this situation. They will run a series of tests and scan through your dog’s history to determine the severity of the condition. These are done to find out the amount of blood loss, your dog’s ability to form blood clots naturally, and to trace the root of the bleeding. The tests may consist of X-rays, an internal organ function screen, fecal analysis, complete blood cell count, and clotting profile.
Once the source of the bleeding is known, the veterinarian will recommend a suitable treatment for your canine’s condition. Treatments may include anti-vomiting medications, gastric protectants, deworming, and supportive care with the administration of intravenous fluids.
Dog Vomiting Blood? Here’s What You Need to Do
Before bringing your dog to the vet, you might want to jot down the things you have observed in your dog for the past few days. Answer the following questions as a guide:
- Have you noticed any alteration in your dog’s food intake and lifestyle?
- Did you and your pet move to another residence? Did this make any change in your dog’s behavior?
- Did you change food brands for your dog?
If you can provide this information to your vet, you will make his work a lot easier and your dog’s treatment accordingly.
Warning Signs That May Be a Cause of Concern
Here are ten symptoms that might indicate a more serious problem:
- Changes in urination (either in color, smell, or consistency of the urine)
- Changes in thirst (intensity of thirst and volume of fluid consumed as a reaction to water deprivation)
- Loss of appetite (lack of desire to eat)
- Blood in the stool (an indication that there is bleeding in the GI tract)
- Diarrhea (loose, watery fecal matter discharged three or more times in a day)
- Severe lethargy (extreme state of lacking energy)
- Cases of stumbling and collapsing
- Pale or white gums (a sign of acute blood loss)
- Abdominal pain (signs may include abnormal breathing patterns and change in posture)
- Sudden weight loss
If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your canine to the nearby veterinary clinic.
Reasons Your Dog Throws Up Blood
Establishing the reasons why your dog throws up blood provides an easier path for your dog’s recovery. Below are details on what might be causing your dog to vomit blood:
- Dogs and chronic vomiting. This kind of vomiting continues longer than a day or two. It is best to have your dog checked up by a veterinarian right away.
- Dogs are swallowing foreign objects. Usually, dogs ingest items like toys, jewelry, clothing, shattered bones, strings, and toxic chemicals that can either damage or block the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract.
- Dogs and bacterial infections. Dogs, especially when outdoors, are likely to be exposed to different kinds of bacteria. Bacterial infection happens when your dog’s immune system is weak and unable to fight off these bacteria, enabling the bacteria to reproduce in its body.
- Dogs and parasites. Dogs get infected by parasites at some point in their lives. Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, Giardia, and coccidia are among the most common types that may dwell on your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
- Dogs and stomach ulcers. The stomach lining shields the stomach from the harm that gastric acids may inflict when breaking down food. A stomach ulcer is characterized by infections that form in the lining of the stomach. It can reach a certain point where, when untreated; it can lead to anemia or stomach punctures that can be fatal to your canine.
Symptoms and Types
A dog throwing up blood, especially if it comes in great amounts, should be considered an urgent situation. As a dog parent, you should watch out for any of the following symptoms:
- Vomit having specks of blood. It is important to pay attention to the color. If it is bright red blood, this shows that the blood is fresh. If your dog coughed up dark blood, forming clots, the injury inside your dog’s body might have existed for a while.
- Dark grains similar to coffee grounds are visible in the vomit. It is frequently termed ‘coffee ground vomitus’ and is triggered by GI (gastrointestinal) tract bleeding.
- Coexisting symptoms include hematochezia (blood in the stool), diarrhea, fever, tremors, and abdominal pain or discomfort.
- Blood vomiting among dogs is classified as either acute or chronic.
- Acute – abrupt but grave symptoms
- Chronic – nauseating contents that comprise blood within numerous intervals per week
Here are some of the more common causes of hematemesis in dogs:
- Munching on bones: Once swallowed, the bone can block and enlarge your dog’s digestive tract, causing bleeding. If the bone breaks, the broken fragments can injure your companion’s mouth and esophagus, enter the stomach and intestines and cause swelling.
- Consumption of foreign objects: Dogs tend to put everything inside their mouth and chew them. Examples are dirty socks, tennis balls, or toxic chemicals, which, when devoured, can trigger vomiting.
- Switching food brands: This can cause an allergic reaction that can eventually lead to throwing up blood.
- Forgetting to feed your dog: Overlooking your dog’s feeding hours can increase bile in the gastrointestinal tract lining. This can yield blood spots in your dog’s puke along with yellow or green bile.
Once brought to a veterinary hospital, the vet will likely perform tests to decide on the perfect treatment for your dog. A complete blood count is done to provide the veterinarian data on your pet’s hydration status, anemia infection, blood clotting ability, and how its immune system responds.
Urine is then tested to detect defects and check pre-existing health conditions. Another option is fecal analysis, which allows the vet to verify if your dog has intestinal parasites, e.g., roundworms. Ultrasound and X-rays will locate internal instabilities.
The cause of blood vomiting greatly impacts how your dogs should be treated. Following the determination of the cause, and if vomiting is no longer excessive, your dog’s recovery may already take place at home. The vet will prescribe some types of oral pet medications for your dog to continue taking at home. A prescription may consist of medicines that would lessen vomiting, cure stomach ulcers, decrease the level of stomach acids and enhance appetite.
However, for extreme internal bleeding, or if your dog continues to vomit blood excessively, a blood transfusion or IV treatment will replenish all the fluids lost.
Living and Management
Your dog’s diet should be made of easily digested foods and should be low in fat and fiber to not harm their digestive tract. Asking your vet for a diet plan is a good idea to avoid picking the wrong food choices that might pose a danger to your companion.
Nonetheless, boiled chicken and white rice are typical home-cooked options that could help your dog’s recovery. This is because it has adequate nourishment to put your dog back on the road to wellness.
Prevention is always better than cure. To avoid getting into too much stress and worrying when your dog gets sick, you must guarantee that deadly plants, food, and chemicals are out of their reach. Additionally, have your dog checked up by a vet regularly to monitor overall health status. As an owner, you need to ensure your canine is always healthy and in the best condition.
Dogs are proven to be a great human company. Taking care of them is one of the ways people relieve stress. But when they are in trouble, the anxiety you experience may be great.
Hematemesis, though common, is not some illness to be ignored. If your dog is throwing up blood, give your full attention to them so you could handle the situation appropriately. They need the best care possible to survive a possible medical emergency like hematemesis. A treatment plan that maximizes wellness and minimizes sickness is a necessity.