My dog has an upset stomach and is vomiting. What should I do?

Your dog is sick.  Somehow, there is something wrong, and he/she isn't eating or being active. There is vomit or diarrhea or both.  Your dog is attempting to vomit without success.  It seems your dog has an upset stomach.

What should you do? First step: Understand that there are deadly issues that have vomiting or diarrhea as symptoms.  You should call your veterinarian immediately as the following life-threatening illnesses can upset your dog's stomach: Parvovirus, an intestinal blockage, gastroenteritis, bloat, and pancreatitis.  These are serious issues that are not cured by giving your dogs Tums or antacids.

The first and most important problem to address is gastric dilatation, more commonly known as "bloat" as it can kill your dog within hours.  Bloat is when your dog's stomach fills with air and twists inside its body.  This twisting of the stomach cuts off blood flow and oxygen flow to vital organs.  The veterinarian will diagnose bloat with an x-ray, but get your dog to the hospital immediately if you suspect this to be the cause of your dog's stomach discomfort.  Symptoms include (but are not limited to):


  • Your dog will attempt to vomit without doing so.  It makes retching, coughing or gagging sounds.
  • Anxiousness, restlessness, moving around or not wanting to sit or lie down due to discomfort.
  • Wanting to be let outside in the middle of the night.  Your dog is not acting like his usual self.

This is an x-ray of a dog with bloat. This stomach problem can be fatal. X-ray of a dog with bloat

Take your dog to your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has bloat.

Another disease that can cause vomiting is the parvovirus.  Parvovirus or Parvo needs immediate treatment due to its lethality.  It can kill your dog quickly if left untreated.  WebMD has an excellent article on parvovirus here.

While the remaining issues that we mentioned (gastroenteritis, an obstruction or intestinal blockage or pancreatitis) are not as severe as bloat and parvovirus, they still need medical attention.

We wrote this post because every day, hundreds of people visit Marvelous Products' page "70 of the most frequently asked questions regarding "can I give my dog" and their answers."  They are looking for information on "Tums for dogs" or "antacids for dogs."  We want owners to know that intestinal issues in your dog can be a serious problem that may need an immediate trip to the veterinarian.

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