If you’re a dog owner, you may have witnessed your canine companion regurgitate, say, for example, after gobbling up that 'winner-winner chicken dinner’ in a matter of just a few seconds. “But is dog regurgitation normal?”, you might be wondering. The answer depends on whether it’s simply due to them eating their meal too quickly or if there is an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.
While dog regurgitation may sometimes be mistaken for vomiting, they are not the same and have different treatments (if needed) as well. A dog regurgitating food while otherwise seeming healthy and okay probably doesn’t warrant a visit to the vet. Meanwhile, regurgitation in dogs that occurs repeatedly may be a cause for concern. Note that no matter what the cause, recurrent dog regurgitation may have serious effects such as aspiration pneumonia and malnourishment.
Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet
- What Causes Dog Regurgitation
- Dog Regurgitation vs Vomiting
- Dog Regurgitation Treatment
- How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment
What Causes Dog Regurgitation
Seeing your dog regurgitate may make you wonder, ‘Why is my dog regurgitating?’ There may be times when a dog regurgitates just because they ate their meal too fast. If they otherwise seem okay, there is no need to worry. But if the regurgitation continues, it’s time to bring your dog to the vet.
Some causes of regurgitation in dogs are due to certain underlying conditions. These may include throat and esophageal disorders such as:
Foreign Bodies: When a foreign body causes a blockage in your dog’s esophagus, this may make it hard for food and water to pass, causing regurgitation.
Megaesophagus: This happens when the esophagus becomes weak, resulting in food just sitting in the esophagus instead of being pushed into the stomach until it’s regurgitated. Among the possible causes are:
Toxicity: due to exposure to toxins such as lead, botulinum, and organophosphates, among others.
Esophagitis: This is due to severe or chronic inflammation in the esophagus. This may be the case when they have gastric reflux or GERD. Apart from regurgitating, you may notice another symptom in your dog, causing you to ask yourself, ‘Why does my dog burp so much?'. When your dog has gastric reflux, this may irritate their esophagus, causing regurgitation and burping.
Hiatal hernias: This occurs when the contents of the abdomen pass through the diaphragm and put pressure on the esophagus, often due to trauma or a congenital birth defect.
Hypothyroidism: Low levels of the thyroid hormone are thought to be related to the megaesophagus, although more studies are needed to prove this.
Vascular Ring Anomaly: This phenomenon makes it hard for food to pass. It’s also known as the persistent right aortic arch.
Addison’s Disease: This disease can affect the muscles of the esophagus, which may lead to megaesophagus.
Tumors: If there are benign or malignant tumors in or around the esophagus, this may lead to a narrowing of the passage of food and water, resulting in regurgitation.
Dog regurgitation may also be congenital. Dog breeds that are more prone to dog regurgitation include:
- Miniature Schnauzers;
- German Shepherds;
- Labrador Retrievers;
- Great Danes;
- Irish Setters;
- Wire Fox Terriers;
- Chinese Shar-peis.
Monitoring your dog for signs is important to be able to detect problems. The Petcube Cam can greatly help in this area. With dog regurgitation, for example, the Petcube Cam may help you monitor if the symptom is recurring, how they look and behave when the signs manifest, as well as any other accompanying symptoms that your dog may exhibit. Being able to detect symptoms early on may help you give your dog the treatment that they need, especially with symptoms that should be taken seriously.
Dog Regurgitation vs Vomiting
When we talk of dog regurgitation vs. vomit, they are different symptoms, so it is important to know which of the two your dog is exhibiting. On one side, vomiting in dogs often happens with warning signs such as licking of lips, drooling, retching, or heaving. On the other hand, regurgitation occurs without any warning.
The contents also differ. With vomit, the food or fluid comes from the stomach, appearing partially digested. With regurgitation, the food or fluid is completely undigested, so it will look the same as when the food was ingested. This is because it came from the esophagus.
The treatment for dog regurgitation and vomiting is different too, and it depends on the cause.
Dog Regurgitation Treatment
Treatment would depend on what is causing the dog's regurgitation. For instance, if it is due to a foreign object, it may be possible for your vet to remove it and give you a prescription for medications to give your dog at home. Other cases, however, may need to be treated more aggressively.
Treating the underlying issue is necessary. Medications and a special diet may be prescribed.
A gastric lavage as well as IV fluids may be recommended, depending on what toxin your dog was exposed to and the symptoms they’re exhibiting. Medications may also be prescribed to aid the stomach.
This usually involves treating your dog with medications to help control their hormones and adrenal glands.
Medications are often prescribed to control the reflux. In severe cases, surgery may be advised to repair the hiatal hernia.
Depending on whether it’s benign or malignant, treatment methods may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment
Recurrent and severe cases of dog regurgitation may lead to a pet emergency. While we don’t want our dogs to undergo any emergencies, these things may happen unexpectedly. With this, it would be better for us to be prepared and make sure that our dogs will be given the best treatment when they get into an emergency. The Pet Emergency Fund by Petcube makes this possible.
With the Pet Emergency Fund, you get $3000 a year to protect up to six pets from pet emergencies, with the payments given right after treatment. Not to mention, they accept dogs and cats regardless of age, breed, and medical history. They also have an online vet service that allows you to consult with certified vets 24/7.
Our blog readers get an exclusive 27% off on subscriptions if you follow this link.
My dog keeps burping and licking her lips. What does it mean?
Even if several hours have passed since they ate or drank water, a dog that keeps burping and licking their lips could have acid reflux.
Why does my dog burp in my face?
According to Veterinary Partner research dog burping may be caused by an upset or any imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract.
How to prevent regurgitation in dogs? And what are some home remedies for dog regurgitation?
Feeding smaller and more frequent meals may help prevent overload and irritation in the esophagus, throat, and stomach. Slow feeders or puzzle feeders may also be useful. In some cases, a change in diet or a special diet may help.
Occasional regurgitation may just be normal. If it is recurrent or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, however, it’s best to schedule a vet visit. Repeated regurgitation can be dangerous since it can lead to aspiration pneumonia, so it shouldn’t be underestimated. Monitoring any signs and relaying them to your vet may indeed be helpful.
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