My Dog Is Throwing Up Blood
If your dog is suddenly throwing up blood, you are likely scouring the internet for any possible explanation.
Bloody vomit is not something to take lightly, so you want to be sure to handle it appropriately from the start.
In this article we will discuss the potential causes of bloody vomit in dogs, and help you better understand how to offer your pup the best care possible.
Is Throwing Up Blood An Emergency?
So should you panic if you find a pile of bloody vomit in your home? While you should not automatically assume the worst, you should certainly jump into action as soon as possible.
Bloody vomit in dogs is considered a medical emergency, and should always lead to an immediate trip to the vet.
A dog throwing up blood could be experiencing anything from standard GI upset to a potential toxicity, so it’s best to always take this symptom seriously.
What Could Cause Bloody Vomit In Dogs?
If your dog is vomiting blood, you may be racking your brain for any potential cause behind this strange occurrence.
To help you better understand all the possibilities on the table, let’s get into some of the most common causes below.
Severe GI Upset
Sometimes a dog’s current GI upset can be so irritating to the GI tract, that a dog will have blood present in their vomit. This is extremely common if a dog has vomited multiple times in a short period, as their esophagus may be extremely irritated from the ordeal.
While a small amount of blood present in your dog’s vomit can point to standard GI upset, a large amount of blood often falls into the diagnosis of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE).
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)
HGE in dogs is a condition characterized by an acute occurrence of bloody vomit or stool. HGE often begins without any notice, creating a startling jelly-like appearance to a dog’s vomit or stool.
These pups will often experience bloody vomit, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, and abdominal pain.
HGE dehydrates a dog far quicker than standard GI upset, causing dogs to become violently ill in a short amount of time.
HGE in dogs often requires aggressive hospitalization, aiming to correct the GI upset and restore adequate hydration.
The exact cause of HGE is still unknown, but is often treated with GI antibiotics and gastrointestinal protectants.
When treated at the first sign of illness, most dogs make a full recovery.
Intestinal parasites can wreak havoc on a dog’s GI tract. Intestinal parasites of any kind can cause severe irritation within a dog’s stomach and intestines, especially if they have a severe parasitic infection.
Not only can a dog experience bloody vomit due to intestinal worms, but they will likely display other signs of GI upset as well.
Intestinal parasites in dogs can also cause diarrhea, increased flatulence, decreased appetite, distended abdomens, and even abdominal pain.
If your vet fears intestinal parasites in your dog, they will typically perform a fecal exam to search for any parasite eggs within their stool.
By examining a stool sample under a microscope, they can not only diagnose the specific worm your dog is battling, but also prescribe the medication needed to ban the worms for good.
Some forms of infectious GI illness can lead to bloody vomiting in our canine friends. Contagious diseases like Parvovirus and Rotavirus can cause severe irritation within the GI tract, leading to severe GI upset in the dog affected.
Not only can these conditions cause bloody vomit in some dogs, but they can also cause a slew of serious GI symptoms to follow.
Dogs with infectious GI illness may experience bloody vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, abdominal pain, lethargy, and even collapse.
Treatment of an infectious GI illness in dogs will vary based on which condition is present and how ill the dog is.
Most of these conditions require hospitalization to address their dehydration, while also beginning a treatment plan of GI antibiotics and GI protectants.
Toxicities are another potential cause of bloody vomit in dogs. Certain toxins can be extremely irritating when consumed by mouth, causing a dog to experience bloody vomiting due to the local damage. Not only can the toxins themselves be damaging to the GI tract, but they can also lead to systemic complications and bleeding disorders.
This can make it challenging for a dog to clot properly, leading to bloody vomit and diarrhea during GI upset.
Treating a toxicity will vary based on the toxin the dog consumed, and how severe the reaction is. The best way to handle a potential toxicity in your pup is by taking them to your vet’s office immediately, and reaching out to the Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661 on the way (if you know what toxin they consumed).
Eating Inedible Objects
Dogs are known to eat and chew on things they should not. This can result in them swallowing objects that are not meant to be swallowed, leading to potential irritation in the throat and GI tract.
If your dog happens to consume something that is sharp or challenging for them to swallow, this can cause them to experience bloody vomit.
If your dog happens to consume an inedible object, it’s best to reach out to your vet from the moment you notice what happened. Your vet can determine the best plan of action going forward.
Not only can dogs develop clotting disorders when they consume toxins, but they can also develop these disorders as a result of an inappropriate immune response.
Clotting disorders are a life-threatening condition that can cause an array of concerning symptoms, ranging from bloody vomit to bruising on the skin.
Clotting disorders in dogs can cause bloody vomit, bloody diarrhea, bruising on the skin or gums, petechiae, anorexia, lethargy, and more.
If you fear a clotting disorder in your canine companion, it’s important to contact your vet immediately. These conditions often require aggressive care to treat appropriately.
When To See Your Vet For A Dog Vomiting Blood
As you can see, bloody vomiting in dogs can have multiple causes that range in severity. Because of this, it’s always best to reach out to your vet the moment your dog’s bloody vomiting begins.
There is no way to know just how serious your dog’s situation is, so it’s always best to seek veterinary advice from the start of their symptoms.
When dealing with something as potentially serious as bloody vomit, it’s always better to be safe.
Bloody vomiting in dogs is a strange occurrence that should always warrant an immediate vet visit.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 10 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! Read more about us here.