Dog ate chocolate?

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Rubs his nose in vomit.

Species: Dog
Breed: Husky X
Age: 5-8 years
A couple of times in the last few weeks, Atka has gotten sick to his stomach and thrown up a large amount of undigested food. He's always had a sensitive stomach, and tends to eat too fast (we have a slow-feed bowl for him for this reason), and usually is right back to normal by morning, so I haven't been too concerned.

What is curious though is every time this happens (I am never home when it does) when I find the mess it looks like he's rubbed his nose on the carpet in a circle until it bled, then vomited (or the other way around). He has a little sore on his nose as a result (which I've been treating successfully with antibiotic ointment).

It's almost a perfect circle of evenly-spaced streaks of blood. Is he doing this to make himself throw up, or should I be worried about something else going on?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmm...this is a tough question to answer, but I am guessing that the vomiting came first.

Often, when we have dogs in our hospital, if they vomit, they will use their nose to bunch up the blankets in their cage so that they cover up the vomit.

It's possible that what Atka is doing is trying to bury the vomit so that he doesn't have to smell it any more. Or, it's possible that this is a survival instinct. In the wild, if an animal vomits this could be a sign of weakness or sickness. So, if an animal was to vomit then they would likely want to cover it up so that predators don't get a clue that a sick animal is nearby.

I'm not sure what you can do to stop this though. I think the antibiotic ointment is a good idea if it is working for you.

Hopefully that answers your question, but let me know if you have more concerns.

Dr. Marie.


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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.

Customer reply:

That makes sense. The most recent episode, the dogs got bored when I was at work and got into the dog food bag, so he got understandably sick.

The two nights since then he's peed in the house, after almost 2 years of good housetraining. I guess I'll have to crate him until his system balances out a little more. Thanks for your reply!


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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.