Why Does My Shih Tzu Vomit?
No one likes to see their pet sick, especially when they are vomiting. Much like humans, dogs and cats only vomit once or twice per year on average. Sometimes, a dog may eat something that doesn't agree with his stomach and may get sick. This is normal and should not be unexpected.
However, if your dog vomits more frequently, such as every other month or less, then it's time for you to pay attention to other signs and symptoms and possibly seek medical treatment for your pet. Unexplained vomiting may be a sign of something more serious, and all too often it gets ignored or rationalized away with excuses such as eating too fast, hairballs or that the dog consumed grass.
Unfortunately, just like with humans, vomiting on a fairly frequent basis often carries with it a deeper meaning. This means that dog owners will have to pay attention to their pets if they vomit on a frequent basis of more than a few times a year and not make assumptions that they are okay.
What Causes Vomiting?
Unfortunately, there are so many different reasons that finding a single cause without further examination is impossible. There are arguably a hundred or more different causes for unexplained vomiting in your pet that range from what they eat, what's in their food, abnormalities in their digestive track, liver, pancreas or kidney and even hormonal imbalances may be contributing factors.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the more common causes of unexplained vomiting in dogs, as the lining of their stomach and intestinal tract becomes inflamed and the result is that it becomes harder to keep food down. There is no specific cause of IBD, but it may be one of the reasons that your dog is vomiting regularly.
As soon as you notice your dog is vomiting more frequently than once or twice a year, take them to the vet. You will need to tell the vet about how often they have vomited, when it occurs and any changes that have been made to their diet over that time. In some cases, the vomiting may be caused by a specific change or incident, but most of the time, it will be harder to track down.
The vet will then perform a physical examination and take blood and urine tests to check if the liver, kidneys or pancreas may be involved. There may also be ultrasound or X-rays used to see if there is a physical issue that is causing the vomiting. Also, the vet may conduct an endoscopy into the bowels to see if there is something obviously wrong.
Even if the source of the vomiting turns out to be benign and easily correctable, it really pays to take your dog to the vet and establish a strong medical history. This way, the the next time something like this happens, you'll know more about what to do. If anything, the sooner such an issue is addressed, the better it will be for your dog and you.