Dog owners, at one point or the other, may have witnessed their furry friends throw up after drinking water, but what is left to be seen is whether this is a serious medical condition requiring immediate attention.
Now then, should you be worried if your dog throws up after drinking water? Throwing up after drinking water is commonly seen in dogs, and most times, this is a minor issue that can be easily remedied. However, throwing up water either can be an indicator that a dog is suffering from an underlying medical condition, or may mean that the pooch has water intoxication, both of which are potentially serious situations.
Understanding and being able to distinguish between the different reasons why a pooch may be vomiting after drinking water is important to determine the next course of action in managing this condition. Signs exhibited by dogs suffering from water intoxication, as well as tips to manage the situation are contained in this article. But before we proceed, let’s have a look at reasons why dogs commonly throw up after drinking water.
Why Does My Dog Throw Up After Drinking Water?
Your dog may be throwing up after drinking water, either because it has drunk too much, or that the water it drank has been contaminated, probably with intestinal parasites or toxic chemicals.
Also, additional reasons behind vomiting water can include a sign of kidney failure and your pooch may have unknowingly ingested indigestible foreign objects.
Irregular Drinking Behavior
When a thirsty pooch drinks too much water, too fast, particularly after having just undergone intense physical activity, there is every tendency for the pooch’s stomach to fill up faster than the body system can handle.
Consequently, the dog’s body system fights back to counter this abnormally high rate of fluid intake, and the pooch is subsequently forced to vomit water.
Drinking Contaminated Water
Water bowls can easily get contaminated with bacteria, especially when they haven’t been washed for a couple of days. And if a pooch drinks water from a contaminated bowl, its stomach will likely become irritated, thereby resulting in vomiting.
If a pooch keeps throwing up after drinking water, there’s every chance that the pooch may have picked up some sort of parasite, probably from contaminated water.
Parasites that are typically responsible for a pooch vomiting after drinking water include Giardia and Cryptosporidium. And in addition to vomiting, dogs that have ingested these parasites also typically suffer from diarrhea.
Presence Of Foreign Objects
Dogs tend to pick up a lot of inedible stuff with their mouths. And a pooch that’s been throwing up a lot after drinking water may have ingested a substance that is causing a blockage in its digestive tract.
Dogs that have ingested indigestible substances, along with throwing up water, can also be observed retching in a bid to get rid of the foreign substances.
An Underlying Medical Condition
The points listed above may seem minor, but a dog vomiting after drinking water can be an indication that such a pooch is suffering from a serious medical condition like kidney failure.
Dogs suffering from kidney failure typically consume a considerable amount of water, but they also fail to hold down a significant portion of the ingested fluid, and will instead vomit water or a clear liquid. And in addition to vomiting water, dogs suffering kidney issues may also exhibit diarrhea, loss of appetite and foul breath.
Apart from kidney problems, other medical issues that may cause a pooch to throw up after drinking water include food allergies, hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal ulcers, pancreatic disease, and many more.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Water Intoxication?
You can tell that your dog has water intoxication if you notice symptoms such as irregular movements, abnormal body swelling, pupil dilation, excessive vomiting of water and breathing difficulties, just to mention a few.
In most cases, a dog throwing up after drinking water is a mild medical condition that can easily be remedied without paying a visit to the vet. However, when dogs play in water or are exposed to enormous amounts of water, it is quite possible for the pooches to ingest more water than their bodies can handle, thereby resulting in water intoxication.
Known medically as hyponatremia, water intoxication is rarely seen in dogs, but can be quite fatal if not addressed immediately. Hence, this is why it is very important to get familiar with the symptoms of water intoxication to be able to identify when a pooch is suffering from this condition, and take necessary steps to preserve the pooch’s life.
Signs Of Water Intoxication
Common symptoms that indicate that a pooch is suffering from water intoxication include:
- Irregular movements and a loss of body coordination
- Excessive salivation
- Breathing difficulties
- Bloating and swelling of the stomach
- Vomiting significant amounts of clear water
- Pale gums
- Dilated pupils
It is also possible for a pooch suffering from water intoxication to experience seizures or fall into a coma. And this is because ingesting large amounts of water can cause the dog’s brain to swell to an abnormal size.
How Do You Treat Water Intoxication In Dogs?
Symptoms of water intoxication progress fairly quickly. And without immediate medical attention, water intoxication can claim a pooch’s life within 24 to 72 hours.
Consequently, this is why it is important to call the vet immediately you notice signs of water intoxication in a dog, particularly when the pooch has just been exposed to significant amounts of water.
Treatment for water intoxication in dogs has to be done professionally, and it typically involves the administration of diuretics to increase urine production, as well as hypertonic saline to reduce brain swelling in acute cases.
With proper treatment, dogs suffering from water intoxication typically can recover within hours. But pooches suffering from milder cases of water intoxication may take days to recover.
How Do You Stop A Dog From Throwing Up Water?
You can stop a dog from throwing up water by checking its vomit to determine the cause of the vomiting, refrain from offering the pooch water for some time to allow its stomach to settle and from offering the pooch substances, like ginger which is known to soothe irritated stomachs.
Inspect The Dog’s Vomit
It may sound gross, but inspecting whatever a pooch throws up is the first step to take immediately after the dog vomits. Check the pooch’s vomit for pieces of food, blood, foam, mucus or any other thing that looks out of place.
Presence of foreign objects in the fluid thrown up by a dog can be an indication of a potentially serious condition, and this will give you a clear direction of the next step to take. Also, taking note of substances contained in the fluid thrown up by a pooch can aid a vet in making proper and correct diagnosis.
Avoid Feeding The Dog More Water And Food
While it may be tempting to feed a vomiting dog more water to prevent the pooch from getting dehydrated, this will only trigger the doggie’s gag reflex and lead to even more vomiting.
Consequently, it is advisable that you wait for, at least, two hours after a dog last vomited before offering it water or any other fluid. And when you eventually have to give the pooch water, it is recommended that you do so with ice blocks, to prevent the dog from gulping water too fast, and also aid fluid retention.
Similarly, you should refrain from feeding a vomiting dog as this may upset the pooch’s stomach and considerably worsen the situation.
Give The Dog Clean Water Only
Once you’ve been able to stabilise a pooch that’s throwing up after drinking water, fluids that will be subsequently given to the pooch should be clean, odorless and offered in a clean drinking bowl.
Additionally, if a pooch has a history of drinking too much water too fast, thereby upsetting its stomach in the process, switching the pooch’s drinking bowl to a smaller container can help the pooch master slower drinking, and prevent vomiting episodes in the future.
What Can You Give A Vomiting Dog To Settle Its Stomach?
There are several home remedies that work to settle a vomiting dog’s stomach and bring instant relief to the pooch. And some of these substances include:
Ginger has special antiemetic properties that inhibit vomiting, and can be quite effective at preventing a pooch from throwing up after drinking water, thereby giving its stomach time to settle.
Consider feeding the pooch with pet-safe treats that incorporate ginger as an ingredient. Additionally, you can also try feeding ginger in the raw or powdered form, but you should ensure the pooch is administered an appropriate dosage.
Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm bark has special soothing properties that can help calm a dog’s irritated stomach. And feeding this herb to a vomiting pooch can bring prompt relief to the dog and prevent it from further throwing up water.
Plain pumpkin is effective at settling a dog’s upset stomach. And the fruit’s high water content makes it a great choice to feed and rehydrate a pooch that has been throwing up after drinking water.
NOTE: These home remedies should typically be administered if the vomiting pooch continues to be active, or if the vomiting isn’t progressing rapidly.
However, if a dog continues to throw up, even after administering any of the remedies listed above, and you notice traces of blood in the vomit or lethargic displays, prompt medical attention is needed and you should schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
What Over-The-Counter Meds Can You Give A Dog For Vomiting?
Certain over-the-counter medications prove to be quite effective at relieving a dog’s upset stomach and preventing further throwing up of water. However, we typically don’t recommend using any of these meds on a vomiting pooch without getting a proper vet diagnosis.
That said, some of the OTC meds typically used to treat dog vomiting include Pepto-Bismol, Imodium A/D, and Pepcid. These are typically safe to use for dogs when administered correctly, and in the appropriate proportion. However, misuse of these drugs can lead to some nasty side effects and complicate issues for a pooch that was only throwing up water.