Vomiting in dogs is bad enough. But when vomiting and diarrhea happen at the same time, pet parents can be understandably alarmed. There are several reasons this happens. Some causes are more serious and severe than others. If you’re concerned about your pet’s health, please make sure to visit your veterinarian immediately.

Let’s take a look at what causes dog vomiting and diarrhea to happen, and whether or not it’s a threat to your dog’s health.

What Causes Chronic Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs?

If your dog has sudden or acute vomiting accompanied by diarrhea, it could be for one of many reasons.

Chronic Gastritis

This is caused by stomach irritation. It can lead to intermittent vomiting and diarrhea. Many different things could irritate the lining of your dog’s stomach, including foreign bodies. If a dog eats something they shouldn’t, it can cause stomach and intestinal issues.

Other causes include illnesses or chemicals. In some cases, a dog will get into something like a household cleaner that can lead to vomiting and loose stools. The dog might also start vomiting blood.

You can call an animal poison control center if you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful. And of course, get your pet to your veterinarian.

blood in dog urine | Dr Marty PetsSymptoms of gastritis include vomiting and diarrhea, black bowel movements, and bilious vomiting.

This means the vomiting of bile. Vomiting will typically increase the more that the stomach and intestines are inflamed.1

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a severe contagious disease caused by a viral infection. This virus often attacks the gastrointestinal system as well as the nervous and respiratory systems. A dog or puppy can contract the virus when near an infected animal who coughs or sneezes.

But that’s not the only way canine distemper can spread. A dog can also get the virus by sharing food or water bowls with an infected animal. A mother dog can even pass it to her puppies.

In addition to vomiting, an infected dog may have other symptoms, including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Facial convulsions
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Hardening of paw pads2

And again, if you notice your pet experiencing these symptoms, consult with your vet immediately.

Canine Gastroenteritis

There are many different reasons why a dog will come down with gastroenteritis. It happens when the gastrointestinal system becomes irritated. This could be due to bacteria or a parasite.

Diarrhea and vomiting are two of the more common symptoms of canine gastroenteritis. In some cases, your dog may throw up a yellowish fluid if the stomach is empty. This is because the dog is vomiting bile.

Dog Is Vomiting Bile | Dr MartyAffected dogs may also have loose stools several times a day and resist being handled around the hind legs or stomach because the area is so tender.

Other canine gastroenteritis symptoms may include:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Lethargy
  • A decreased appetite3

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus

Also known as bloat, this is a severe health problem that, unfortunately, can be life-threatening. It occurs when the stomach dilates due to a mixture of food and gas. When this happens, the dog can’t pass gas.

This can lead to a loss of blood flow to the stomach. In addition, blood can’t get from the abdomen to the heart.

A dog with this problem may try to vomit but nothing comes out. Drooling and excessive panting may also occur. In some cases, a pet may become so weak that they collapse.4

Now, bloat doesn’t usually result in simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea. It’s included on this list because it’s an extreme emergency requiring immediate veterinary care. The faster that care is provided, the better the chances that a dog with bloat can survive.

Why Does My Dog Have Bloody Diarrhea?

There are some cases where a seemingly healthy dog will suddenly experience vomiting and bloody diarrhea. This is a condition known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or HGE. Other symptoms of this disturbing health issue include loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy.

dog vomiting and diarrhea | Dr Marty PetsIt’s not clear why HGE occurs, but there are several potential causes, including:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Intestinal ulcers
  • Viral infection
  • Parasites or Bacteria
  • HGE can affect any type of dog, however small dogs seem to be most vulnerable.5

Keep Your Cool

It can be frightening to see your beloved pet going through something as disturbing as vomiting and diarrhea at the same time. But just because it’s happening, doesn’t mean you need to fear the worst.

It could be an intestinal problem caused by bacteria, one that can be cleared up through the administration of antibiotics. Your vet will determine what has caused the problem and determine the best course of action. Once that happens, there is a very good chance that your beloved pet will once again be happy and healthy.

Learn More:
Husky Health Problems – Concerns Pet Parents May Have to Address
Most Common Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs

1 https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_dg_chronic_gastritis
2 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/distemper-in-dogs/
3 https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/gastroenteritis-in-dogs
4 https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/gastric-dilatation-volvulus
5 https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/hemorrhagic-gastroenteritis-in-dogs