Signs Of Nausea

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There are three stages to vomiting. It begins with nausea. The signs of nausea include:

  • listlessness
  • shivering
  • hiding
  • yawning
  • lip smacking
  • increased salivating
  • increased swallowing

Causes Of Vomiting

Dietary Causes

  • Scavenging (indiscretions)
  • Overeating
  • Food intolerance
  • True allergy

Gastric Disorders

  • Inflammation (gastritis)
  • Parasites
  • Ulcers
  • Foreign bodies
  • Tumours
  • Bloat in dogs (Dilatation-volvulus)
  • Motility problems

Intestinal Disorders

  • Inflammation (inflammatory bowel disease, colitis)
  • Parasites
  • Foreign bodies
  • Tumours
  • Infections (parvovirus in cats and dogs)
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Telescoping of intestines (intussuception)
  • Constipation

Other Abdominal Disorders

  • Inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Inflamed peritoneum (peritonitis)
  • Abdominal tumours

Metabolic And Hormonal Conditions

  • Kidney failure
  • Liver diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Underactive adrenal gland in dogs (hypoadrenocorticism)
  • Overactive thyroid in cats (hyperthyroidism)
  • Blood poisoning (septicemia, endotoxemia)
  • Electrolyte and acid-base upsets
  • Anxiety, fears, phobias

Poisons And Drugs

  • Lead
  • Antifreeze (ethylene glycol)
  • Strychnine
  • Heart medications (digitalis)
  • NSAIDs
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Some antibiotics

If food is vomited undigested, the cause of vomiting is likely to be in the stomach. If the vomit contains yellow bile the problem may be in the intestines. Blood in vomit indicates ulcers or erosion to the lining of the system. The most common cause of vomiting is scavenging, a condition we will politely call a "dietary indiscretion".

Types Of Vomiting

The different ways pets vomit give us clues to the cause of the condition.

Acute Vomiting

Pets "cure" themselves of their scavenging indiscretions by vomiting back foods and foreign bodies that should not be in the stomach. Worms are also removed this way. Acute vomiting also occurs as a result of motion sickness. With otherwise healthy pets simply withhold food and water for two hours after the single vomiting episode.

Intermittent Vomiting

Intermittent vomiting may be caused by food allergy but also by more serious conditions such as metabolic diseases, ulcers or tumours. See us within two days when vomiting occurs intermittently over several days.

Persistent Vomiting

Repeated vomiting may be caused by a simple stomach irritation or a life threatening obstruction but warrants an immediate visit to us for treatment to inhibit vomiting and to determine its cause.

Projectile Vomiting

This forceful type of vomiting is often caused by an obstruction preventing food from leaving the stomach. It may also be caused by brain conditions affecting the brain's vomiting centre. See us the same day.

Vomiting Blood

Vomiting blood suggests stomach or small intestine ulceration, poisoning, foreign bodies, tumours or serious infection. See us the same day.

Vomiting Bile

This condition (reflux gastritis) may be a form of mild allergy. Affected pets vomit bile, often at the same time each day, but are otherwise healthy. Vomiting is usually controlled with diet change of stomach protectants.

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