When animals–including your dog, cat or even you–vomit, it usually means that something irritating or infected is in the intestines or that toxins are affecting the brain. The process is a way for the body to eliminate harmful contents in the gut to prevent further damage from happening.
Vomit can be yellow, green or red. If it’s yellow, that means that only stomach contents are being thrown up. If it’s green, the food source has begun its journey in the intestines. These two colors are due to the presence of bile. The difference comes from the place from which the vomit originates.
Red vomit is much more serious. It usually indicates that whatever the animal has swallowed has caused severe enough irritation to the gut lining that blood is leaking from the gut, a stomach ulcer, a bleeding tumor in the gut or internal bleeding elsewhere, as might be caused from certain kinds of poisons or diseases. Digested blood can look like coffee grounds: it may look harmless, but it’s a definite indication that something is seriously wrong.
If your dog or cat only throws up once and you don’t see any redness in the vomit, then your four-legged pal is probably just trying to get rid of something that he or she shouldn’t have eaten. This could include garbage or certain plants. Viruses–such as the Parvo virus in dogs and the Panleukopenia or distemper virus in kittens and cats–can also cause Fido or Kitty to vomit.
If your pet has eaten a foreign body such as parts from a small toy, that entity could lodge in certain parts of the gut and not let anything pass through. This, too, could cause vomiting. If your dog or cat has eaten string or string-like material, this is especial cause for concern because it can tie up the gut and cut right through it.
The best thing to do if you see your pet vomiting blood or notice strange objects in the vomit is to call the DVMs (Doctors of Veterinary Medicine) at Austin Pet and Bird Clinic immediately. Our veterinarians will examine your animal pal from nose to tail to determine the cause of the problem. Your furry friend depends on you to take care of him or her during an illness. So let us help you give your pet the very best care possible. Contact us today!