Question: “Doc, my 9 month old lab puppy just ate some garbage out of the trash this morning. Since then he vomited three times. What should I do?”
Answer: As with any medical condition, we would be happy to perform an exam at any time, especially if the pet is vomiting severely or becoming dehydrated or lethargic. However, many of these episodes of vomiting are caused by gastritis, an inflammation of the lining of the stomach caused by eating something unusual. Most episodes of gastritis end on their own after a few hours if all food and treats are taken away. So the best thing you can do for your vomiting pet at home is to take away all food and treats for around 12 hours. It is important to continue to let your pet drink water though to prevent dehydration. If after 12 hours your pet seems normal, happy, and has stopped vomiting, it is time to try a little food. If your pet can keep that food down and continues to act normally, you probably just survived a minor episode of gastritis. Never hesitate to call your vet though if your pet continues to vomit, if you think your pet ate an object like a sock or toy, if your pet seems painful, or if you have any other concerns regarding your vomiting pet.