Vomiting is caused by stomach inflammation (gastritis) and sometimes happens when dogs eat grass or food that has gone bad. It is essential that you make a clear differentiation between regurgitation and vomiting at the outset.
Regurgitation is defined as a passive, retrograde movement of ingested material, usually before it has reached the stomach. Failure to recognize the difference between regurgitation and vomiting often leads to misdiagnosis. Regurgitation may occur immediately after uptake of food or fluids or may be delayed for several hours or more.
Because of the wide variety of disorders and stimuli that can cause it, vomiting may present the clinician with a major diagnostic challenge. A complete historical review with emphasis on all body systems is essential for determining a realistic and effective initial work-up plan and treatment protocol. All too often concentration on only the gastrointestinal tract leads to an incorrect diagnosis and inappropriate treatment.
Consideration of the following features is useful in assessing and diagnosing a vomiting dachshund:
- duration of signs
- signalment and past pertinent history
- environment and diet
- systems review (e.g., history of PU/PD, coughing and sneezing, dysuria or dyschezia, etc.)
- time relation to eating (vomiting of undigested or partially digested food more than 8-10 hours after eating often indicates a gastric motility disorder [more common] or gastric outlet obstruction [less common])
- content of the vomitus (food, clear fluid, bile, blood, a material with fecal odor)
- type and frequency of vomiting (projectile? chronic intermittent? cyclic? morning vomiting only?).
Uncomplicated gastritis is when your dachshund is alert and with no fever and is best treated without using any drugs. If the vomiting continues for more than 24 hours, or, if at any time your dachshund acts depressed and unresponsive and continues vomiting, see a vet as soon as possible.
Steps to take to help recover from an extended period of vomiting
- The digestive tract needs complete rest to let the stomach lining repair itself. Allow no food or water until your dog has gone at 6 hours without vomiting.
- Begin with small amounts of water at frequent intervals. If vomiting episodes begin again wait another 6 hours without food or water. Try not to get discouraged. Your dachshund’s stomach may need complete rest for 24 or more hours before it fully recovers enough to accept additional fluids/food.
- If there is no additional vomiting, offer water every 15 minutes or so. Give your dachshund one teaspoonful at a time.
- Over a period of a few hours gradually increase the amounts offered until your dachshund’s thirst is satisfied.
- If you wish, give clear liquids such as chicken broth, or a little Jell-O. After at least 12 hours, when your dog’s thirst has been satisfied, you may begin giving small amounts of food.
Bland diet for vomiting dogs: Mix 1-1/2 cups of cooked white rice with 1/2 cup of cooked chicken or turkey meat (no grease, no skin). Boiled or baked potato may be substituted for the rice.
- Over a period of 24 hours, gradually increase amounts being fed until your dachshund’s hunger is satisfied. Don’t rush things. If vomiting occurs now, you must start over from the beginning.
- The following day, begin mixing the bland diet half and a half with your normal dog food. Instead of 1 — 2 big feedings, divide the normal amount into 4 — 5 small feedings.
Most common causes of vomiting
- Indiscretion (e.g., table scraps, garbage ingestion, spoiled food, grass)
- Food adverse reaction (dietary sensitivity)
- True food allergy
- Intestinal (including Giardia)
- Gastric (Physaloptera)
- NSAIDs must always be considered
- Other drugs (e.g., cardiac glycosides, antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents)
- Renal disease
- Liver disease
- Electrolyte abnormalities
- A foreign body that has been eaten
- Hypertrophic gastropathy (uncommon)