Your dog puking is never a good thing.  Some pet owners dread the noise and leap into action knowing the signs of their dog.  It can be even more concerning as a pet owner when you look down and see that your dog has vomited blood. 

Vomiting blood (hematemesis) never a good sign, even if it is just a speck.  A speck of blood can turn into more if not treated right away.  It is important to call your vet even though vomiting blood in dogs is more common than you would think. 


Causes Of Blood In Vomit

Lots of things can cause your dog to vomit blood.  It could be something more serious like the disruption of the lining of the esophagus, or irritation of the stomach or intestines, inflammation in the stomach or intestines.  It could also be caused by a cut in their mouth from chewing on a stick or foreign object.  Trauma, an ulcer, cancer, inflammation, or a foreign body could all be reasons your dog is vomiting blood. 

Conditions that could cause blood in the vomit are Addison’s disease, bacterial infection, blood clotting disorder, Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, intestinal blockage, kidney disease, Pancreatitis, Parvovirus, or respiratory tract problems.  Blood in vomit can also be a side effect of certain medications your dog may be taking.  



When your dog has puked it is important to remain calm.  If you start to panic your dog will pick up on your emotions and it can cause them to overreact as well. 

Take pictures if you can so you can show them to the vet.  Make sure you pay attention to how it looks. 

  • Bright red blood may mean trouble in the digestive tract. 
  • If they are puking mucus as well it could mean trouble in their intestines or stomach. 
  • Dark blood, clotted blood, or blood that looks like coffee grounds is blood that has been partially digested.  Which could mean your dog has been bleeding for a while and blood is moving down into the stomach. 
  • Also note the amount of blood.  It is mostly blood, or just specks. 

If your dog seems to be having trouble keeping food and water down as well as puking up blood it may be best to withhold food and water until your vet advises you something different.  Check if your dog has any other symptoms along with the puking.   Such as pain, or lack of appetite.  



Once at the doctor they will want as much description as you can give them so they can make sure they examine your dog properly.  They will most likely start with a physical examination, checking for cuts in the mouth, or stomach pain.  After the physical exam there are a number of different tests your doctor may want to perform.  A urinalysis or blood test may be done to check for any underlying conditions.  Imaging such as X-rays or ultrasound may also be useful when looking for obstructions.  A fecal check for parasites may be important if other options are ruled out.  Infectious disease testing may also need to be done. 


Treatment Options

Treatment for your dog puking blood depends on what is causing it as well as the severity of it.  Some dogs where the severity has passed may be able to go home with their owners after their exam.  Doctors may send you home with an oral medication if your dog seems to be doing better. 

If the situation is more severe your dog may need to stay in the hospital for a few days.  If your vet thinks your dog could be dehydrated they may want to administer IV fluids.  Your doctor may prescribe antacids, anti-inflammatories, anti-parasites, or antibiotics are all possible treatment options for your dog.  Depending on the cause exploratory surgery or surgery may be needed as well.  


Emergency Situation

If your dog is a puppy and is vomiting blood it is considered an emergency and you should find emergency services for your pet immediately.  It could be a sign of Parvovirus which can be fatal in puppies.  If your dog has a large amount of blood in their vomit, stool, or diarrhea and it’s a significant amount of blood loss this is another instance that emergency actions should be taken. 

Along with the puking blood if your dog is experiencing other symptoms such as fever, listlessness, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or the inability to keep food and water down along with puking blood, don’t wait for your vet to get you in.  



Don’t ignore blood in your dog’s vomit.  Even if they puke one day and seem fine the next.  There is something causing that amount of blood to be vomited.  Before it turns into something more serious it is important to call and talk with your vet.  Seeking help quickly can help get your dog the treatment they need.  

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