Help! Why is my dog vomiting blood?
Hematemesis, or bloody vomit, can be a severe clinical sign of many different diseases or other traumas. If you see any blood in your dog’s vomit, contact a veterinarian immediately. We’ve compiled a detailed list of things to consider if you notice blood in your dog’s vomit.
This article was written by a FirstVet vet
Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
1. If your pet is on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as carprofen (Rimadyl, Novox), meloxicam (Metacam), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox), discontinue this medication until discussing with your vet. In rare cases, these can cause gastric (stomach) ulceration.
2. Let your vet know what type of food and treats your dog eats, and what they have recently eaten.
3. Could your dog have gotten into something? Consider:
- household cleaning products
- household plants
- backyard compost piles
- foods toxic to dogs
- dog toys
- mushrooms in the woods
- newly laid down fertilizer
Sharp foreign bodies can perforate the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Some toxic plants and household products can cause severe oral and gastric irritation. Sometimes pets get into things that are toxic to them, and we never quite figure out what it was, but we can treat them successfully.
4. Look in your dog’s mouth (if they will allow you) to see if they have bloody gum or loose teeth.
What should I do if my dog is throwing up blood?
The bottom line is that if your dog is vomiting blood, a trip to the vet is necessary. Blood work will be done to determine if your pet is anemic, if there is inflammation or infection, and to evaluate the liver, kidneys, pancreas, sodium, potassium, and chloride levels. X-rays and ultrasound of the stomach and abdomen are useful in determining if there are any abnormalities such as herniation of the intestinal tract into the stomach, telescoping of the intestinal tract, foreign bodies in the stomach or intestinal tract, etc.
Have more questions about vomiting in dogs?
Schedule a video consult to chat with one of our vets.