Pets & Animal Dog Breeds

Post Operative Vomiting in Dogs

    Vomiting versus Regurgitation

    • According to Pet Education, managing postoperative vomiting requires the determination as to whether or not your dog is actually vomiting or regurgitating. PetMD reports that your dog may first begin salivating excessively due to nausea. He may heave and retch forcibly, attempting to throw up. Any undigested food is evacuated from the stomach along with a yellowish liquid called bile. In contrast, regurgitating takes little effort on the part of the dog. The dog's mouth opens and clear or brown liquid may spew from his mouth immediately after drinking water or eating food.

    Common Causes

    • Valley Central Veterinary Referral Center says that your dog may feel extremely thirsty or hungry due to fasting before the operation. Drinking water excessively or eating large amounts of food after surgery may cause vomiting. After an operation, dogs are usually sent home with antibiotics to prevent infection along with anti-inflammatory medications or steroids. Vet Surgery Central reports that these medications may cause nausea which can result in vomiting. Dogs usually feel nauseated within the first few hours of taking the medication and will show signs of sickness. Anesthesia from the operation can also cause nausea and vomiting as your pet will come home still recovering from sedation on an empty stomach. Acid builds in the empty stomach causing vomiting as a result of severe nausea.

    Serious Causes

    • Peritonitis, an infection in the abdomen, is uncommon but a possible complication with stomach or bowel surgeries. Organ failure is another rare but potential complication; therefore, Vet Surgery Central recommends you always contact your veterinarian if your pet has postoperative vomiting.


    • To prevent postoperative vomiting, wait until your dog is alert and moving about normally before attempting to feed him. Abide by his normal diet but limit portions of food and water to small amounts. Administer medications with food to prevent nausea. According to Vet Info, if your dog has symptoms of nausea, he will experience excessive salivating, licking, chewing or dry heaving. Call your veterinarian about dosing information for an acid reducer.


    • Valley Central Veterinary Referral Center recommends that if your dog has already vomited, refrain from feeding him for 12 to 24 hours. Provide small amounts of water and bland food such as rice or boiled chicken. If your dog is able to retain small meals, continue for three days and then slowly reintroduce his normal diet. Administer an acid reducer one hour before eating. If vomiting is continuous or lasts for more than 36 hours, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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