Reasons your dog may be vomiting up blood (and what to do about it)

Like us, it is not unusual for our canine friends to have an upset stomach from time to time. However, the presence of blood in your dog’s vomit always requires an immediate call to your vet. There are many different potential causes, ranging from relatively benign irritation to potentially severe and fast-moving emergency conditions. Our team at Pavilion Crossing Animal Hospital & Grooming in Riverview provides peace of mind to pet parents from Wesley Chapel, Florida, and the surrounding area with exceptional and complete critical care services. 

The first step to getting your pet “back to normal” and happy again starts with pinpointing exactly “why” your dog is vomiting like this. Dr. Keshava Eega accomplishes this with our range of advanced diagnostic/onsite lab capabilities.

Breathe easy – we are here for you! 

We appreciate that seeing blood in a pet’s vomit is incredibly concerning. However, there are things we can do together, as a team, to quickly get to the source of your pet’s distressing symptoms. It is helpful to take photos of and even collect some of what is regurgitated. It is also important to note any additional items that may be coming up in the vomit, which could indicate that your pet swallowed a potentially toxic substance or a potential irritant (such as parts of a tough toy or chew). 

Not all blood is the same. Bright red blood generally comes from higher up in the body or the esophagus. It’s possible that oral conditions may also be to blame for some discoloration. Typically, pinker or foamier blood is caused by irritation and may be less serious than some of the other possibilities mentioned here. 

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Dark, clotted blood that resembles coffee grounds may come from the lower part of the body. The color and texture indicate that it has been partly digested. So, it may be from other parts of the intestinal tract, such as the stomach. Also, how your dog is vomiting provides clues. There is a difference between “coughing up” and “throwing up” blood. The former is distinguished by a honking sound accompanied by a forward motion, whereas strong, heaving motions characterize the latter. Coughing up blood generally means that the bleeding originates in the respiratory tract versus the GI tract (where bleeding associated with throwing up blood often originates). Taking a video of your dog also helps us quickly determine what may be happening. Other red flags and things to share with us include noting the following:

  • Bloody, loose stools 
  • Tarry or very dark feces
  • Very light or pale gums 
  • Weakness
  • Lack of energy 

Of course, Pavilion Crossing Animal Hospital & Grooming will not be able to determine what is going on with your dog until we can conduct an examination. This evaluation may include tests to look for parasites, assess organ function, and identify potential infectious diseases, bleeding disorders, foreign bodies, and other sources of blood in the vomit. With an accurate diagnosis, we can start getting your dog back to feeling and “being” their tail-wagging best self in no time. Call our team in Riverview, FL, today at (813) 670-8881.

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Meet Pavilion Crossing Animal Hospital

Dr. Keshava Eega
Pavilion Crossing Animal Hospital

Dr. Keshava Eega moved to the United States in 2003 to further his passion for practicing high-quality and modern veterinary medicine in a challenging environment. Having graduated from the College of Veterinary Science in Hyderabad, India, he then completed his Master’s in Animal Science and the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam in 2006. Dr. Eega then completed his clinical rotations at the Louisiana State University, School of Veterinary Medicine and subsequently obtained his license to practice Veterinary Medicine in the state of Florida. Dr. Eega possesses thirteen years of experience in corporate practice in Orlando as both an Associate Veterinarian and a Lead Doctor. Through the course of his tenure, he has gained vast and widespread experience and exposure in both the practice of high-quality veterinary medicine and soft tissue surgeries. He also possesses professional interests in preventive care, senior pet care, skin cases, nutrition, behavior and wellness exams, particularly for both cats and dogs. Dr. Eega also possesses Fear Free certification which enables him to rid pets, owners and even veterinary health care teams of fear, stress, and anxiety. Hence, in the hands of Dr. Eega, you can be assured that your pet receives modern, customized care in a comfortable environment!

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