The process of diagnosing vomiting in dogs differs with each case. As a dog owner, keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, what he’s been eating, and so on so that you’re able to tell the veterinarian everything you can about his condition. In doing so, the vet will perform tests to determine causes of dog vomiting.
Dogs are often taken to the vet to examine bouts of vomiting that are the result of a condition that passes naturally, generally caused by dietary mishaps.
Other dogs may be experiencing regurgitation, which is mistaken for vomiting and requires a different course of treatment.
When a dog has been vomiting recurrently over a period of days, the veterinarian will approach the case by collecting a health history and performing a full physical examination. They will likely ask to take urine and blood samples for a full analysis. These samples yield complete blood count, serum biochemistry profile with sodium and potassium levels, and a urinalysis. The vet may also request a fecal sample.
The Diagnostic Process of Determining Causes of Dog Vomiting
After the initial collection of tests, the veterinarian may choose to continue with abdominal X-rays, as they can highlight foreign items in the dog’s body, obstruction of the intestine, gastric dilatation and volvulus, or loss of intestinal detail.
An abdominal ultrasound may also be performed to identify any existing masses or other abnormalities. If necessary, advanced blood tests will determine the level of functioning of the liver, pancreas, thyroid, and adrenal gland, and will likely include adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation testing, and an assessment of the dog’s blood-clotting ability.
If the veterinarian wants to analyze intestinal motility disorders or stomach issues, they may use radiographic studies looking at the gastrointestinal tract.
These tests are extensive, so if they do not produce the identification of the cause of vomiting, the veterinarian may suggest exploratory surgery, called a laparotomy. This surgery allows the exploration of the dog’s abdomen and collection of biopsy samples. This surgery is commonly performed endoscopically to be less invasive.
Of course, all these tests are quite costly, which is exactly where dog health insurance can come in to save the day.