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Posted on 07-20-2012

As I was cleaning up the cat vomit that I had just stepped in, I realized that vomiting is common, and a pertinent topic to discuss for our next blog. The first thing to note is that vomiting, in any way shape or form  it comes out, is not normal. It can be classified as acute versus chronic vomiting. We will focus more on chronic vomiting which is vomiting that occurs for a minimum of 2 weeks.cat_stethoscope_SMALL.jpg

There is a difference in the type of vomiting that can occur as well. There is vomiting and there is regurgitation. Vomiting has an active retching process associated with it whereas regurgitation is a more passive action. Pets that regurgitate have disease primarily in their esophagus. True vomiting can be a result of disease in the stomach, intestines and other parts of the body.

It is crucial to obtain a thorough history for a vomiting pet to be able to determine the inciting cause. Important factors are characteristics of the vomit such as mucous, blood and food, as well as knowing what medications the pet takes and if it's projectile or not. There can be signs of systemic or full body disease as well that could result in vomiting such as kidney disese.

The most common gastrointestinal diseases that cause vomiting are gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), IBD (inflammitory bowel disease), neoplasia (cancer) and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

To determine what is causing the vomiting, several tests should be done. A thorough exam, blood work, fecal screenings and urinalysis are a bare minimum. Then, some animals will need further testing like x-rays, an ultrasound or endoscopy (placing a camera into the stomach to look around and obtain biopsies).

Treatments can range from diet changes such as prescription, highly digestible diets (fed as a diet trial for 3-4 weeks), discontinuing oral medications like anti inflammatories, and specific medications. Most commonly, pets are given anti ulcer medications if there is evidence of bleeding or antisecretory drugs to prevent acid build up or prokinetic agens to keep the GI tract moving in the right direction.

If your pet has been vomiting, please call us at Eagle Animal Hospital (610)458-8789 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you. We serve Chester Springs, Exton, Downingtown and the surrounding area.

Written by Jennifer Granite, VMD

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