Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Blood in Vomit an Emergency?

72.73% survey participants checked blood in vomit as an emergency.



Do you feel the number of people who answered yes to this question is high enough? Let me ask you this, "If you were throwing up and there was blood in it, would you seek emergency care?"

If blood in vomit isn't one of emergency situations, what is?


Vomiting itself signals a problem. Visible blood in the vomit takes it into a whole other dimension. If a person was vomiting blood, they'd be scared and they'd be in pain. Is that different for a dog?

Any kind of bleeding is an emergency in itself based on the amount of blood loss. And then there is a consideration for the reason behind it which in itself can be an emergency as well.

Blood in vomit can either look like blood or it can look like coffee grounds.


In general, blood that looks like blood comes from bleeding in the stomach or upper part of the small intestine. Blood that looks like coffee grounds is partially digested and comes from "lower down" the GI tract.

If your dog is vomiting blood, they might also show signs of pain, weakness, lethargy, and changes in stool.

Severe blood loss in itself can lead to anemia; a body cannot function without blood.

What can be behind bloody vomit? Anything from GI disease, foreign bodies, trauma, infections, parasites, poisons, tumors, ulcers, clotting disorders, metabolic disorders, liver failure ... even vomiting that is severe enough can cause enough damage to the tissues to cause bleeding.

Blood in vomit requires prompt medical attention. Period.


Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Is Panting an Emergency?
Is Severe Pain an Emergency?
Is Limping an Emergency?
Is Vomiting Bile in the Morning an Emergency?
Is Profuse Vomiting an Emergency?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?
Is Loss of Appetite an Emergency?
Is Reduced Activity an Emergency?
Is Severe Lethargy an Emergency?
Is Inability to Stand an Emergency?
Is Inability to Urinate an Emergency?
Are Cuts and Abrasions an Emergency?
Is Bleeding an Emergency?



Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

37 comments

  1. Blood from either end (in stool, urine or vomitus) is indeed an emergency. Thanks for reminding folks of the facts. This could save a pet life.

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    1. Thank you, Amy; saving lives is the goal.

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  2. I agree!! I would not question if it is an emergency or not. I would consider it one unless the vet told me it is not.

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    1. Definitely. Though, of course, I can't think of a scenario under which a vet would say that.

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  3. We had a foster dog that had blood coming out from both ends. We went to the ER!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was the right thing to do. What happened? Did he end up ok?

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  4. Hey Jana,
    For me, I would think the same as Amy and would treat as an Emergency. Thanks for sharing!

    Bren @ Pibbles and Me

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would definitely consider blood from either end an emergency! Sophie once had blood in her stool, and I took her to the vet. It ended up being a minor issue, but I will always err on the side of safety.

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    Replies
    1. Blood in vomit is much less likely to be a minor issue than blood in stool. It is best to pay attention and take action.

      Delete
  6. Yikes! That would be scary, and I would definitely consider it an emergency! Thankfully my pets have never vomited blood before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find it concerning that almost 30% of people who took the survey did not think so.

      Delete
  7. When it comes to seeing blood in either direction, I would be taking my furr baby to the vet pronto. You never want to mess around with health. Better to be safe than sorry.

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    Replies
    1. Most definitely. Blood coming out anywhere is saying there is a major problem.

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  8. If I saw blood it would definitely be a cause for alarm!! Thank you for this.

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    1. Clearly it wasn't any of you guys you didn't check blood in vomit as an emergency. I'm glad to see that, I wouldn't expect otherwise. SOME did not think so, though, which worries me.

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  9. Yeah...blood in vomit (or stool or anywhere else really) is definitely cause for concern. Frankly, I'm really surprised that anyone who took the survey thought that a dog vomiting blood wasn't cause for a visit to the ER vet. Maybe I'm just a little overly cautious but I'd rather have the vet tell me it was nothing than miss something potentially life threatening.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I know, right? In fact, there was not a single item on the list that was checked by everybody. Even those which are not only emergencies but where mere hours can mean the difference between life and death.

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  10. Blood no matter where it comes from scares the heck out of me. And yes, I would always consider it an emergency and call the vet. So much better to be safe than sorry.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely. More education is clearly needed; I gut my work cut out for me.

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  11. Sorry but if my dog vomits blood, it's off to the emergency room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, most definitely. We need to work on educating people so everybody understands these things.

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  12. At 3.5 pounds if there is blood we go to emergency FAST!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, risks are even higher with small dogs.

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  13. The appearance of blood always sets off alarms with me. Whether in vomit or stool, it's a sign something is out of whack. Thank you for reminding people of this fact. If people don't consider it an emergency, what would an emergency be in their book, I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, it makes me wonder and worry. Even without specific education, if you would rush to emergency if something was happening to yourself, you should do the same if it's happening to the dog. That, at least, should be the simplest rule of thumb. Though I'm more likely to rush with my dog than with myself.

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  14. This would definitely be a signal to get my girls to the vet immnediately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't expect anything less from you guys. You all do a great job with your babies.

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  15. I would be really scared if one of my cats started vomiting and there was blood in the vomit. It would definitely be a cause for alarm. We would be on our way to the emergency vet as soon as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lola has chronic sinusitis and sneezes A LOT! I once noticed blood in her mucus and made an appointment with our vet. It turned out to be nothing, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sometimes violent enough sneezing, coughing, vomiting, or diarrhea can in themselves result in some bleeding simply because of the major irritation of the tissues. But even then it clearly means there is a major problem.

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  17. I definitely voted Yes on this one. Vomiting blood is scary, it doesn't happen for no reason.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing ever happens for no reason; that's something to keep in mind.

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  18. Blood anywhere would probably be an emergency for me. Nala had reddish urine and it turned out she had kidney issues. Kilo spit up a teeny bit once or twice when he had been chewing too long on a bully stick, no blood, just spit. I kept a close eye.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, blood doesn't belong into any waste or discharge. While there are variables, it is not something to take lightly, ever.

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