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Dog throws up 3-5 times per week.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shih Tzu
Age: 6-12 months
Max is active & playful. He's a picky eater but seems to eat enough and drinks plenty of water. But he throws up 3-5 times a week. Never food in it; just yellow phlegmy bile. Any ideas?




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. This is something that a lot of my clients ask me. Often we don't know why a dog will vomit a few times per week.

Here are a few thoughts.

It would be great to keep a food diary for Max. Write down EVERYTHING that he eats. Then, when he vomits write that down as well. You may start to make a connection that the vomiting is related to a particular type of treat or food that he is getting.

It's not a bad idea to try a change to a different kind of food. It's hard to know what a good food is, but three that I recommend are Iams, Royal Canin and Science Diet. Sometimes one food will sit better than another in a dog's stomach.

Is Max the type of dog that will eat toys or other things that he shouldn't? Some dogs who vomit occasionally do so because there is something stuck in their stomach. I once had a patient who was a cat who vomited every now and then. When we took xrays the cat had a stomach full of hair elastics! He needed surgery to remove them and did not vomit after that.

Some dogs will vomit if their stomach is really empty. You can try spreading out his feedings so he gets more feedings through the day. If he vomits in the morning, then try offering him some food just before bedtime.

You can also give him some famotidine (pepcid) which you can buy at the pharmacy. This is an antacid that helps with vomiting. The dose is 0.5mg per pound, so if your dog weighed 5 pounds then his dose would be 2.5mg which is 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet.

I hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.