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Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Posted by ruby_red_09 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 30, 09 at 18:06

My nine year old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (Toller) has been vomiting on and off for almost an year now. It has become more common as the days went by and now for the past 3 months she is vomiting daily. Usually 4-6 hrs after she eats. After four vets, 2 blood panels, stomach and chest x-rays, they could not find anything wrong. Today we had the ultrasound done, which shows that the abdominal wall is thickened. Liver, kidney, and spleen are all fine. So now they want to do exploratory surgery to see if they can find anything. I am very much gainst this, as my dog is perfectly healthy other than vomiting episodes. She has not lost weight. We tried all different kinds of food from hypoallerginic to hydrolyzed protein diets and home cooked turkey and rice. It basically does not matter what she eats. We tried metochlopromide, Pepcid AC complete, antibiotics, flagyl etc., etc., with no luck. Right now she is on Cerenia (12mg) and that is the only thing that seems to be able to control the vomiting. Not sure if Cerenia can be given long term.

Please help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

A neighbor's Great Dane was vomiting after meals. It turns out that she was not passing her food through the digestive tract quickly enough. She would vomit often, and was alway so hungry since she wasn't digesting enough food. Finally a vet gave her the drug Reglan, which helped a lot. I don't know of course if that's Toller's issue, but thought that I'd mention it.


RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

ruby - you might want to ask your vet about a more liquid diet, it might be easier for your dog to digest. Just a thought, you might also see if your dogs condition is genetic and if so a breeder might be able to shed some light on your dogs health problem before getting too involved in surgeries.
I do know that continued vomitting can had adverse effects on the throat, esophogas, mouth, teeth etc. Vomit is highly acidic and after so many years vomitting tissues can start to break down...I would opt for more education and a specialist...just my 2 cents - good luck

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Thank for your comments.

Yes, we have tried Regalan both 5mg and 10 mg, 3 times a day, which did not work for her. I also had her checked for breed specific diseases like Addison's disease, which also came out negative.

I have not tried the liquid diets. I will ask tomorrow, I am taking her to the Redbank Veterinary hospital, supposed to be the best in NJ.

Could indiscriminant eating cause abdominal wall thickening? She used to steal chicken bones in her younger years. Could the stomach have gotten perforated, and healed itself which is showing up as additional mass on the ultrasound?

Any thoughts?

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Chicken bones can do alot of damage. Did you tell the vets about the chicken bones? It may be...

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

What does she vomit up?
What kind of treats does she eat?
Does she eat any grass when she goes out?

The stomach xray would have showed any old scar tissue, so I wouldn't worry about the past bones.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Having gone through almost four year of non-stop vomiting with my last dobie, I feel your pain, your fears and your frustration!
(1) did your vet do a barium x-ray study on Toller? This is where the dog is NPO after midnight and in the morning, after taking a scout abdomen x-ray, they give him barium to drink. It's a harmless, chalky white liquid that shows up on x-rays (they use the same on humans for G.I. studies, too). They take periodic x-rays every so often, to view the intestines and bowel as the barium works it's way through. It's harmlessly passed with their bowel movements afterwards. Anyhoo, this ~ more than a plain abdominal x-ray~ can show small lesions and tumors that are either in the GI tract or pushing against the intestines or bowel somewhere else in the abdomen, perhaps on another organ. One of my previous dogs once had an enlarged spleen that was pressing against his intestines, causing a partial obstruction. I realize that your vet has done tests to see if the spleen,liver and kidneys are involved, but there are places to get tumors that might not show on those tests.

2) Another thing that a good bariuim study can show is if the dog's paristalsis has been compromised. Paristalsis is the automatic, rhythmic contractions that propels food and liquids (and toys) down the esophagus and through the stomach, intestines and bowel. We have the same thing, as do most mammals, I guess (I'm trained in human medicine, not animal med). Anyhoo, because of advancing age, disease or whatever, Toller's food may not be moving through like it should. If his food is too dry (for his problem) or too thick, this may be adding to the problem. You can lose your paristaltic motion in just a small section of your bowel or intestines. It doesn't have to effect the entire thing.

3) My last dog, Turk, had many, many intestinal obstructions caused by food (or toys, or furniture pieces, or clothing pieces, etc.) lodging in his lower intestines where he'd had two surgeries to remove foreign objects. Most of his preliminary vomiting occurred 4-6 hours after he ate, which told me/us that something was down at the surgical site, either partially or totally obstructing once more. My thinking is that, with that vomiting timeframe, Toller's problem site is probably in his lower intestines, as well.

4) What does this vomit look like? How much does he vomit? By that I mean, what portion of his meal? Is there bile (yellow) in it? If so, how much? Mucus? Grass? Is the food he vomits ground food (like coffee grounds) or mostly whole pieces of food?

I can't imagine that Toller doesn't have something going on down in his lower intestines, although there are many possibilities as to what exactly. If it were me, I'd insist on a barium study and ask for several x-rays and not just one or two over the period of time it takes for the barium to work it's way through to Toller's lower bowel. With more than a couple films, if the vet sees something suspicious, he can immediately order another x-ray moving the dog into a slightly different position to see more detail in that specific area. If there was nothing of note, I'd take those x-rays and all of his lab work and get a second opinion.
Good luck!

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Thank you Lynn. I am posting the information you requested below. So what happened with your dog? Did it ever get over the problem? If so how?

Ruby Reds Medical History


Intermittent vomiting for past one year. Gradually became more frequent. Past 3 months vomiting daily once. Past month vomiting daily two times. Otherwise healthy, and energetic.

Frequency of vomit: Twice daily

Contents: If fed, partially digested food, and bile. If not fed, just bile with lots of water, slimy, ranging in color from egg white to greenish yellow. No grass, no foreign objects of any sort.

Amount: It varies; mostly its about a quarter portion of her food with a lot of slimy bile.

Timing: 5-6 hrs after feeding

Behavior: Drools, licks and smacks repeatedly, retches, heaves and vomits. Sometimes vomiting while having a bowl movement.

Diets Tried: Lactose free, prescription hypoallergenic, hydrolyzed protein, single source protein & carbohydrate, several commercial dog foods.

Current Diet: Homemade ground turkey and double boiled rice for past 2 months

Medicines Tried: Flagyl (Metronidazole) 500mg 1 tab/twice daily, EFA CAPS, Prednisone (20mgs), Amoxicellin 500 mg, Denosyl 225mg, Regalan 10mg/ 3 times a day, Pepcid AC Complete 10mgs (2 times/day)

Currently on: vomiting under control with 12mg of Cerenia for three days, and giving a break for one day

Tests done so far: 2 CBC blood panel (normal), ACTH Response Test for Addisons disease (normal), Ab & Chest X-rays, abdominal ultrasound

Goal: To contain vomiting without long term use of medications or surgery.

Preference: Symptomatic treatment

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

My Husky did the exact same thing. He had gastric adenocarcimona, which killed him. Nothing came up on lab work, ultrasound looked normal except slightly thickened stomach wall, multiple aspirates of the thickened portion came up with nothing. The vets thought I was nuts because Aleks looked so good. I forced the issue and got referred to a specialist for endoscopy which showed a gastric ulcer. They got a biopsy of the ulcer and it came back gastric adenocarcinoma. He went for surgery because the thickened areas looked resectable. The cancer had spread to all of his stomach and he had to be euthanized a week after surgery. He sure looked good though. This is him 2 days before being euthanized. He had stopped eating by this point, but was still very active (we were on a several mile walk at his favorite park at the time) and he never lost weight.


I would highly recommend the exploratory surgery and multiple biopsies. Endoscopy cannot reach into the intestines, so that is not an option for you. GI lymphoma is a common cause of chronic vomiting in older dogs, but to get treatment you need a diagnosis. OTOH, if it is NOT lymphoma then a diagnose may help guide treatment so he actually stops vomiting.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Ruby, I'm not a vet, but knowing people medicine like I do and having just gone through four years of one gastic illness after another with Turk, before he died this past late-November, I think I know enough to say that there's something very wrong with poor Toller.
As Meghane mentioned, it could be an adenocarcinoma, a lymphoma or a number of other things . . . but this is not normal and I hope that your vets can come up with the correct diagnosis . . . and soon!
I don't blame you for not wanting to put her through a surgery at her age. What's the average age expectancy for this breed? She may be quite old in dog years and not be able to tolerate it well. But, this may be the only way they can finally find out what's wrong with her.

My dobie, Turk, had a terrible habit of eating anything and everything he could force down his throat. At about age five months, he started having days where he would retch many times, vomit up any food we gave him and there was diarrhea, too. His abdominal x-rays showed nothing unusual. He had many blood tests which came back all normal. The vet had us try diet changes. Many different meds were tried. Some worked for a short while but the vomiting and retching always returned within a couple of weeks. One day he ate a dog biscuit that a neighbor gave him. It was hard and big and Turk probably swallowed it in just two big pieces . . . and it totally obstructed him, although we didn't know that then. He vomited all night on and off and I ran him into the vets the next morning first thing. By then he was so ill they had to do exploratory surgery to see if they could save him. When they opened him up they found he'd eaten a piece of door mat way back when this first started that had lodged in his lower intestines and was partially blocking his intestines there. It hadn't shown up on the plain abdomen x-rays, but it was there all the time. I should have INSISTED on them doing a barium study from the get go; I'm so angry with myself still about that! But, as we were giving him a totally soft dog food, most of it was slipping through the partial obstruction. But, when he ate too fast, it bunched up at the site, causing a total obstruction. Eventually, with vomiting and diarrhea, the food would work it's way through. The dog biscuit caused a total obstruction that didn't resolve itself within a couple of hours. Instead, the obstruction had caused 12-inches of his intestine around the site to necrose (die). They saved him then, but the crazy things he got a hold of and ate (rocks, bits of toys, clothing and furniture, etc.) would periodically get lodged at the surgical site. That was his first surgery. The second surgery, when he was three and came from eating part of our wicker chair. He lost another 6" with that surgery due to necrosis.
In all, he had (I believe, as I kept a detailed log, but have since thrown it away) 32 partial obstructions and 5 total ones. The last one killed him right before Thanksgiving.

Asking you how long it took Toller to vomit after eating tells me that the food is moving along fine through the stomach and upper intestines, but when it reaches the lower intestines or upper bowel, something is causing a problem. So much so that it triggers her retching, which results in vomiting part or all of it back up.

The mucus in the vomit tells me that the gut is feeling pain and/or nausea so much that it's producing the excess mucus.

The bile (yellow) in the emesis (vomit) is caused by the excessive retching and vomiting. I can't remember any more about this, although when Turk vomited up bile, I knew things were serious.

Please seriously consider having a barium study done and getting a second opinion. Take all the x-rays films with you because, unless they're read by a vet radiologist, who KNOWS canine x-ray anatomy backwards and forwards, the second vet may spot something the first one missed.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Hi All,

It's been two weeks since Ruby went to Redbank Veterinary hospital. let me give you an update. On APR 1st, Ruby went through another round ultrasound with several needle aspirations, an endoscopy with multiple biopsies which showed a huge ulcer in the fundus area of the stomach. We waited for 3 nerve wrecking days for the results of the biopsy to come back and thankfully it was negative for cancer. So the Dr. started treating her ulcer with Human Prilosec (Omerprezole)- 20 mg per day, and Karafate (500mg) twice a day to coat her stomach ulcer from getting irritated from food. She asked us to continue Cerenia till there is no vomiting for a week or so. I have been giving her Cerenia 10mg every other day to keep her from vomiting. If I delay few hours she vomits immediately. We continued this painful medicine administration which is an unbelievable feat as we need to make her drink a cup of water with each dose and wait for an hour before we can feed her. It literally takes 3hrs in the morning to give her two meds and food before going in to work. However, I don't see any improvement. She has become very picky in eating and started to leave food in her bowl which she never ever did before. I am concerned and I can't reach her vet that did the endoscopy as she went away on maternity leave. Any ideas about how to treat a gastric ulcer aggressively?

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

A non-cancerous gastric ulcer should be treated with the gas-reducer, but also with the right combination and dosage of antibiotics if the ulcer is caused by bacterial infection. Ask about this right away, as most gastric ulcers are caused by bacterial infection. The combination and dosage may have to adjusted a few times before the right combo kicks in.

Cerenia is used to prevent vomiting in dogs who get sick from traveling. Side effects include loss of appetite.

Good luck with this - at least now you have a diagnosis and congratulations for that!

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily


I checked with the vet the test for Helicobacter bacteria was negative. Ruby has been on meds for 5 weeks now, with no improvement. Any idea how long do really bad ulcers take to heal?

Vet suggested trying Flagyl (Metachlopromie?). I am worried about adding one more medication on top of what she already has.

Prilosec 20 mg once a day
Sulfurcate 500 mg twice a day
Cerenia 10 mg (every other day)

If I am a little late on the cerenia, she is still throwing up lots of liquid.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

may 30th..Now Ruby has stopped eating for almost a week. We are enticing her with her favorite foods but besides drooling profusely she shows no interest..She lost one pound..the DR. told us to stop all ulcer medicines as they were not helping. She is still taking Cerenia to stop her from vomiting. The next step is to an abdominal exploratory surgery..Not sure if she can withstand one..Very scared and confused. There is no prognosis, as they are not sure what they might find in there..from the ultrasound they could see that the abdominal wall is very thick..and from endoscopy they could see very large ulcers in the fundal area. What can they do? Resect the ulcer? The Dr. That did the ultrasound said that it is not resectable as it is so large...Please advise.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

If she hasn't eaten for a week, then I don't think you have many choices left. The surgery will give them a diagnosis and then a possible treatment. The exploratory surgery itself is not necessarily a "treatment", if there is something, they can do they will.

Thoughts and prayers go out to you, Ruby and your family.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

I'm sorry to read about all the problems you've had. Having had a lab that had terrible vomiting spells from time to time, I sympathize with the frustration- though you've obviously gotten answers.

Did you end up putting her on the flagyl? Is she on it still? I've read it's used to treat IBS, but it was used on our cat to treat giardia last year. It left her with no appetite and I got to the point of force feeding her as we finished the course of medication. Apparently it leaves a bad, metallic taste in the mouth? I realize that may be far from the problem at hand, but thought it might be worth mentioning.

Lots of prayers for you and your pup.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Hello All,

I have some sad news to share with you all. After Ruby stopped eating last week, we were asked to make an appointment with a surgeon to do an exploratory abdominal surgery. We took her in yesterday, June 1st, the surgeon opened her up and called with in five minutes, saying that the tumor had spread to majority of her intestines and was inoperable. He also mentioned that it seemed to have metastasized as the lymph nodes are swollen. His suggestion was to put her out of her misery. Having seen Ruby go through a very rough weekend, where she was constantly vomiting and suffered from Diarrhea , we decided to put her to sleep. She was a wonderful friend and companion and will be dearly missed. The kids and the family are having a rough time digesting the we were never told she had cancer..all the biopsies were negative...and she was being treated for ulcer..and all of sudden she deteriorated in a week. She never lost any weight..may be a pound or so..but that's it. All her vitals were perfect. The blood tests were impeccable. Yet she was so sick..Poor thing she suffered a great deal. Please pray for my Ruby's peace.
Does any one how to post Ruby's picture here? Copy n paste apparently does not work.

Here are some quotes that reflect how we feel about Ruby:

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." ―Will Rogers

"I said "good bye, I love you",
When I saw that look in your eyes
It was the type of look you give someone
When you know these are your last goodbyes.

You were just a dog some might say
But I know theyre all wrong
You were more than a dog
You were my best friend, and
Now dear friend it is going to be long,
Before I can hold you in my arms once again.

It is hard to put in words how you made me feel
But when I heard your foot steps charging to me,
There is nothing in the world that couldve made me more happy

You were so small, yet
You had more energy than any dog I had ever met
You were so strong.. and Ill never forget,
All the fun times we shared together

You were with me for so short of a time
But you taught me so much
I never knew I could love anyone the way I loved you
All I had to do was touch
Your soft fur and I knew everything would be ok

I dont know what I will do without you
I feel like theres a huge hole in me
Once so filled with joy and glee
Now so empty and cold,
I'm sure your spirit is still with me and I hope you know
I will have and better dog and
There will always be a place in my heart for you..

Wherever you are, I hope you are happy
And have a nice fuzzy bed to sleep in
You can be free now.. no more leashes..
I will see you again..
When my time comes I will look forward to seeing you
And we can be together once more
I will never forget you..
You are forever a part of me
As I am a part of you
Dont worry though.. Im not going to be blue
All Ill have to do is whisper your name to myself
And look for ward to the day.. when I will once again get to hold you"

-Christina Rae Almeida

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

I am so, so sorry about Ruby.

To post a pic, you need the HTML code, which starts like I would love to see a picture of her.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

I'm so sorry. If you email me from here, I will reply and you can send me her pic - I will put it up for you.

RE: Dog chronic vomiting once or twice daily

Here are 2 cute pix of Ruby:

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