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Dog Vomiting Blood

Dec 19,2023 | puaintapets

Dealing with digestive issues in your dog can be quite unpleasant, and when you notice blood in their vomit, it's natural to become concerned. In this guide, we aim to help you understand why your dog might be vomiting blood and what steps you should take.

Discovering blood in your dog's vomit can be a distressing moment for any pet owner. However, it's essential not to panic but rather to approach the situation with knowledge and care.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this chart is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice or diagnosis. If you have any doubts or questions about your dog's health, we strongly recommend contacting your veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic promptly.

Keep in mind: The lighter the blood, the lighter the emergency.

The darker the blood, the more chance you need to call your vet NOW!

Here is a table summarizing the different types of blood in vomit and their potential causes:

Type of Blood Appearance Potential Cause
Bright red, liquid blood in vomit Fresh blood Esophageal bleeding
Dark red, clotted, or coffee ground-like blood in dog vomit Partially digested Stomach or upper intestinal bleeding
Foamy and pink-tinged or has small specks of blood in dog vomit Irritation Less serious than other scenarios

Related: Dog Vomit Color Chart

Is Dog Vomiting Blood An Emergency?

Yes, a dog vomiting blood is considered a veterinary emergency. It is a concerning symptom that can indicate a serious underlying medical condition. Recognizing the symptoms and identifying the cause plays a vital role in treatment.

Dog Vomiting Blood

What Does Blood in Vomit Look Like in Dogs?

Blood in vomit in dogs can vary in appearance depending on the source and location of the bleeding. Here are some common characteristics of blood in vomit that you might observe in your dog:

Color

The color of the blood can provide clues about the source of bleeding:

  • Bright Red: Fresh, bright red blood typically indicates recent bleeding, often from the stomach or the upper part of the digestive tract.
  • Dark Red or Brown: Darker-colored blood may suggest that the bleeding has occurred further along in the digestive tract or has been exposed to stomach acids for some time.

Consistency

Blood in vomit can appear as:

  • Liquid: If the blood is liquid and mixed with stomach contents, it may make the vomit appear like a pink or red fluid.
  • Clots: In some cases, blood clots or coagulated blood may be visible in the vomit.
  • Quantity: The amount of blood can vary from a small streak or specks to a more significant portion, depending on the underlying cause and severity of the bleeding.

Coughing Up Blood Vs. Throwing Up Blood In Dogs

Coughing up blood in dogs refers to the act of expelling blood from the respiratory tract, typically through the mouth or nose during a coughing fit. Common causes of coughing up blood in dogs include respiratory infections, lung diseases, pneumonia, bronchitis, or the presence of foreign objects in the airway. This can lead to gagging, which can sound a lot like vomiting, but it’s blood coming up from the lungs, not the stomach.

Throwing up blood in dogs, also known as hematemesis, involves the expulsion of blood from the stomach or upper gastrointestinal tract through the mouth during vomiting. Hematemesis can result from various issues, including gastrointestinal bleeding, stomach ulcers, ingestion of irritants or pancreatitis, foreign object ingestion, inflammatory bowel disease, or certain infections.

What Causes A Dog to Vomit Blood?

Vomiting blood in dogs can result from a wide range of underlying causes. It's essential to identify the specific reason for this alarming symptom to ensure proper treatment and care for your furry friend. Here's a comprehensive list of potential causes for a dog to vomit blood:

1. Ingesting Foreign Object

Dogs may ingest items like toys, bones, or small objects that can cause damage to the digestive tract, leading to bleeding. Vomited blood can derive from a cut in the mouth, a wound in the esophagus, or an ingested toxic chemical. 

2. Food Allergy

Some dogs may develop allergic reactions to certain foods, so do your research before giving human food to your pet as a snack. Allergies can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloody vomit in extreme situations.  

3. Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers are extremely painful. Ulcers in the stomach or gastrointestinal tract can result from various factors, including medications, stress, or certain diseases, and they can lead to severe bloody diarrhea or hematemesis that looks like dark coffee grounds, which is a sign of digested blood.

4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease resembles stomach ulcers where excessive stomach acid erodes the gastrointestinal lining of the stomach and causes severe pain. It is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract, which can lead to bleeding and bloody vomit. 

Dog Vomiting Blood

5. Antifreeze Poisoning

Ingesting antifreeze is highly toxic to dogs and can result in severe health issues, including vomiting blood. Antifreeze, or ethylene glycol, is liquid drainage often used as brake fluid, motor oil, and removing wood stains, solvents, and paint. It can be found in the kitchen cabinet and as an automotive radiator coolant. Left untreated for 8+ hours, a dog may develop kidney disease and die. Call your vet!

6. Parasites

Intestinal parasites like hookworms can cause irritation and bleeding in the digestive tract, leading to bloody vomit. Tiny parasites like hookworms and heartworms attach themselves to the intestinal wall and feed on their host's blood. This feeding process can cause damage to the intestinal lining, leading to bleeding. 

Dog Vomiting Blood

7. Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections such as gastritis or enteritis can result in stomach inflammation and bleeding.

  • Gastritis: Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining. It can be caused by various factors, including bacterial infections, such as Helicobacter pylori or Escherichia coli (E. coli). When bacteria infect the stomach lining, it can lead to irritation and inflammation, potentially resulting in bleeding. Symptoms of gastritis in dogs may include vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, and, in severe cases, bloody vomit.
  • Enteritis: Enteritis refers to inflammation of the small intestine. Bacterial infections, such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, are common culprits for enteritis in dogs. These infections can cause significant digestive distress, including diarrhea, vomiting, and sometimes bloody diarrhea and bloody vomit.

8. Blood Clotting Disorder

Dogs with coagulation disorders, like hemophilia, may experience spontaneous bleeding throughout their body, including the digestive tract. Hemophilia is a hereditary condition characterized by a deficiency in clotting factors, which are essential for normal blood clotting.

In dogs with hemophilia, even minor injuries or trauma can lead to prolonged bleeding, and this can manifest in different ways, including:

  • External Bleeding
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Digestive Tract Bleeding

9. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, which can lead to severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and in some cases, blood in the vomit. It's a painful and serious condition that requires prompt veterinary care.

10. Spinal Disorders

Spinal disorders themselves typically do not directly cause vomiting blood. However, spinal issues can lead to mobility problems, including difficulty swallowing or regurgitation, which may be misinterpreted as vomiting blood.

11. Liver Disease

Liver disease can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting. While it's not a common cause of vomiting blood, severe liver disease can result in bleeding disorders, which may contribute to blood in the vomit.

12. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)

HGE is a condition characterized by sudden and severe bloody diarrhea and vomiting, often with an unknown cause.

13. Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

This syndrome is related to an empty stomach and can lead to bile irritation and potential blood in vomit.

14. Cancer

Gastrointestinal tumors or cancers can cause bleeding in the digestive tract, leading to bloody vomit.

15. Canine Parvovirus (CPV) Infection

CPV is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe digestive upset, including bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Throwing Up Blood and Mucus?

The first and most crucial action you should take is to call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. Describe the situation, including the presence of blood and mucus in your dog's vomit. They will provide guidance and instructions on what to do next.

Do Not Give Food or Water

While you await veterinary guidance, refrain from giving your dog any food or water. This can help prevent further irritation to the stomach and digestive tract.

Do Not Give Food or Water

Take the Dog's Temperature

To take your dog's temperature, you'll need a digital thermometer and a little patience. 

First, brush or comb the hair away from where you want to take its temperature. Some people prefer to use rectal readings because they are more accurate. But if your dog has had previous bad experiences with being poked in the butt (or if they just don't like it), then an oral or axillary reading is a better option.

Observe Your Dog

Take some photos of the vomit, collect it in a plastic bag, take a photo of your dog’s food brand/bag, and head immediately to the closest emergency facility available to you. Keep a close eye on your dog's overall condition. Note any other symptoms they may be experiencing, such as weakness, lethargy, abdominal pain, or changes in behavior. This information will be valuable for the veterinarian.

Cleaning Vomit

Cleaning up dog vomit can be an unpleasant but necessary task for pet owners. It's essential to clean it properly to prevent stains, odors, and the spread of bacteria. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean up dog vomit effectively:

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda or cornstarch onto the vomit stain. These absorbent materials will help soak up any remaining moisture and neutralize odors. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes.
  • Using a plastic scraper, dustpan, and brush, or a paper towel, gently scrape away the dried or semi-dried residue. Be careful not to press too hard, as you don't want to damage the surface underneath.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine warm water with a few drops of liquid dish soap and a splash of white vinegar. Mix until it forms a soapy solution. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the soapy solution, and gently blot the stain. Avoid scrubbing vigorously, as this can push the stain deeper into the fabric or surface.
  • Wash the cloth, sponge, and gloves you used with hot water and detergent to remove any remaining vomit residue and odors.

Cleaning Vomit

Treatment for Dog Vomiting Blood

Your veterinarian will perform various diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the bleeding. This may include blood tests, imaging (such as X-rays or ultrasound), and endoscopy (using a camera to examine the gastrointestinal tract).

Treatment will depend on the identified cause of the bleeding. Common causes include gastrointestinal bleeding, toxin ingestion, infections, or underlying diseases. Treatment options may include:

1. Medications to control vomiting and stomach acid.

  • Medications to address specific conditions, such as antibiotics for infections or anti-inflammatory drugs for inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Surgery to remove ingested foreign objects or to address severe issues like stomach ulcers.
  • Management of underlying diseases or conditions, such as cancer or clotting disorders.
  • Treatment for poison ingestion may involve inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal, or other specific antidotes.

2. Blood Transfusions

In severe cases of bleeding, your dog may require a blood transfusion to replace lost blood and improve their clotting ability.

Dog Vomiting with Other Symptoms

Vomiting blood in dogs is a concerning symptom that can indicate various underlying health issues. When combined with other symptoms, it can provide important clues about the cause. Here are some scenarios related to dog vomiting blood and associated symptoms:

Dog Vomiting Blood and Lethargic

Lethargy, or extreme tiredness and weakness, combined with vomiting blood, is a serious concern. This combination of symptoms could be indicative of a severe condition, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, organ disease, or poisoning. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Dog Vomiting Blood and Lethargic

Dog Vomiting Blood and Mucus

Vomiting blood and mucus together may suggest irritation or bleeding in the stomach or upper gastrointestinal tract. This combination of symptoms should prompt an urgent visit to the veterinarian for evaluation and diagnosis.

Dog Vomiting Blood and Not Eating

If your dog is vomiting blood and refusing to eat, it could indicate a serious problem. Loss of appetite (anorexia) may result from pain, nausea, or the underlying condition itself. This situation requires prompt veterinary care to address both the vomiting and the loss of appetite.

Dog Vomiting Bright Red Blood and Mucus

Bright red blood in vomit typically indicates fresh bleeding. This, combined with mucus, suggests irritation or injury in the upper digestive tract. Conditions like gastritis, ulcers, or foreign body ingestion could cause it. Urgent veterinary care is essential to diagnose and treat the underlying issue.

Dog Vomiting Blood and Worms

If you observe both blood and worms in your dog's vomit, it may indicate a severe parasitic infestation. Some parasites can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Your dog should receive treatment for both the parasites and the bleeding, so consult your veterinarian promptly.

FAQs

What is Dog Vomit Slime Mold?

Dog vomit slime mold, scientifically known as "Fuligo septica," has a peculiar name that might lead to some confusion. However, it's important to clarify that dog vomit slime mold is not related to actual dog vomit or caused by dogs. Instead, it's a type of slime mold that is commonly found in gardens, mulch, and other outdoor environments.

Why is Dog Vomiting Blood but Acting Normal?

If your dog is vomiting blood but appears otherwise normal in behavior, it can be puzzling and concerning. Mild gastrointestinal irritation or a small ulcer can sometimes cause dogs to vomit small amounts of blood without displaying significant discomfort. However, these issues should still be addressed by a veterinarian to prevent them from worsening. Sometimes, minor bleeding from the gums, throat, or mouth can mix with saliva and give the appearance of vomiting blood. This might not be a significant concern if it's a one-time occurrence, but if it continues, it should be evaluated.

Can a Dog Survive After Vomiting Blood?

The chances of survival are significantly higher when vomiting blood is detected early, and appropriate treatment is administered promptly. The cause of the vomiting blood plays a crucial role in determining the prognosis. Some causes, such as minor gastrointestinal irritation or dietary issues, may resolve with minimal treatment. However, more severe causes like gastrointestinal bleeding, toxin ingestion, or underlying diseases can be life-threatening and require aggressive treatment.

What Does Pink Vomit in Dogs Mean?

Pink vomit in dogs can have various causes, and the color may offer some clues about the underlying issue. Pink or reddish-colored vomit can occur if your dog recently consumed a meal with red or pink coloring. Pink, frothy vomit can be a sign of respiratory distress in dogs. Several different conditions, including pneumonia, congestive heart failure, tracheal collapse, or bronchitis can cause this.

Why Dog Vomiting After Drinking Water?

A dog vomiting after drinking water can be due to various reasons, including gulping too much water too quickly, gastrointestinal issues, or underlying health problems. If it persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult a veterinarian for evaluation and guidance.

What Should I Feed My Dog After Vomiting Yellow Bile?

If your dog has vomited yellow bile, it may be due to an empty stomach or a minor gastrointestinal upset. In most cases, you can help your dog by providing a bland and easily digestible meal to soothe their stomach. Such as boiled chicken and rice, plain boiled rice, boiled sweet potato, pumpkin puree, and low-fat cottage cheese.

Dog Vomiting White Foam Home Remedy

Vomiting white foam in dogs can be a sign of various underlying issues, including an empty stomach, gastritis, or other gastrointestinal problems. While home remedies can sometimes help alleviate mild cases of vomiting, it's essential to note that persistent or severe vomiting should be evaluated by a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment. 

  • Give your dog's stomach a break by withholding food for 12-24 hours.
  • Ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. 
  • Frequent, small meals.
  • Adding a small amount of plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to your dog's food can sometimes help regulate digestion and reduce vomiting.

Conclusion

Dog vomiting blood is a concerning symptom that should never be ignored. While it can be distressing to witness, understanding the potential causes, recognizing associated symptoms, and seeking immediate veterinary care are crucial steps to ensuring your dog's health and well-being. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough evaluation, including diagnostic tests, to determine the underlying cause and provide the necessary treatment to help your beloved pet recover. Remember that early intervention is key in addressing this alarming issue and helping your dog on the road to recovery.

 

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