Help for Chronic Vomiting in Pets

Help for Chronic Vomiting in Pets

By Shawn Messonnier

Chronic vomiting in pets has many causes, including parasites, inflammation, infection, obstruction, poisoning, and cancer. Vomited material from pets with gastrointestinal problems often contain yellow, green, or brown bile fluid. For acute vomiting or diarrhea, often symptomatic treatment with medications (such as metoclopramide) and dietary supplements (such as glutamine, probiotics, marshmallow, and enzymes) usually resolves the problem within 24-48 hours.

If your pet has a chronic problem, this indicates an underlying problem that should be properly diagnosed so the correct treatment can be prescribed. I recommended several microscopic fecal examinations to check for parasites, bacteria, and yeasts. If none of these organisms are found, sometimes deworming a pet will still help. Of course if the problem still continues, a deeper problem may exist. In this case I recommend an endoscopic examination and biopsy to check for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD,) of which there are several causes.

While pets with IBD usually require immunosuppressive drugs like prednisone, most of my patients can be gradually weaned off of these drugs by using various supplements (such as the ones mentioned above, plus homeopathic medications) and a low antigen diet. IBD can cause or be associated with pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening. Early diagnosis is needed to prevent secondary problems like pancreatitis and allow proper healing of the GI system. Don’t put off proper diagnosis and treatment. I see way too many pets whose prior doctors said that problems like these are “no big deal,” only to have the pet become very ill (sometimes terminal.) With early diagnosis and treatment, most pets with IBD can live normal lives (and many of my patients are actually cured of this disorder.)

Shawn Messonnier, DVM

Author, 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog, The Allergy Solution for Dogs, and the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats. Dr. Shawn is the medical consultant for Pet Togethers, a pet supplement company.

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