When to See Vet for Dog Vomiting that Contains Blood

by Shawna
( KY)

Reader question: Should I arrange an emergency visit with a vet for dog vomiting that contains blood?

I have a 3 1/2 yr old Staffordshire terrier. He weighs between 35 and 45 pds. He has been an otherwise healthy dog.

It all started this morning. At first he threw up a large amount of food. That he had ate late last night. Then the 2nd and 3rd time he threw up it was bile and foam. Then the last 2 times it was bile, foam, and blood. I am almost positive he has not eaten anything foreign (like toys or bones) except his food for the last 3 days. I do usually let him have a few piece of whatever I am eating at that time.

Yesterday he did eat a few pieces of my cereal that I had dropped. I don't know if that would be the cause of this. He is kept inside. His stool is normal. The last time he threw up was around 3 hours ago.

I live in a very rural area and there are no vet offices open today. I would like to know if this is something serious. If so I will find one in a neighboring town where one is open. I would just like to say thank you ahead of time.

Vet Suggestion for Dog Vomiting and when to see the Veterinarian

Hi Shawna,

I doubt a few pieces of cereal would cause the type of vomiting that you describe. I am concerned that you have seen some blood in your dog’s vomit. You didn’t mention how much was present. More than just the smallest amount is a big warning flag and warrants an immediate trip to the veterinary clinic.

Significant amount of blood in vomit or stool can be associated with some really bad diseases and also shows that the normal barriers between the gastrointestinal tract, which contains a lot of bacteria, and the blood stream have broken down.

Ignoring the blood for a moment, I would also need to know what your dog’s demeanor is before I could tell you whether or not you should take a wait and see approach or drive to the next town to see a vet.

If your young, otherwise healthy dog vomited three or four times, stopped and was otherwise bright and alert, the chances of this being an emergency are pretty low. But, if he was also depressed or weak, you shouldn’t delay getting him in.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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