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Regurgitation vs. Vomiting in Dogs

Regurgitation and vomiting are different, with different causes and treatments.

Did you know there is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation? There is, and when your dog is bringing up stomach contents, it's essential to determine which one is occurring because they have different causes and treatments.

What Is Vomiting?

Vomiting is when the stomach forcefully ejects its contents. When a dog vomits, you can see the abdomen muscles heaving or contracting before the vomit comes up. Usually, you can hear a retching noise too.

Before that happens, you may notice that your dog is drooling, and he may look upset or nervous—that's because of the nausea feeling. It's possible that, if you're close enough, you may hear rumbling noises from the dog's stomach before the vomiting.

Vomited stomach contents may look party digested and have yellow or green bile around them.

Vomiting can be caused by a vast number of things, including intestinal obstruction, parasites, metabolic conditions, and many others.

What Is Regurgitation?

Regurgitation is when ingested material comes back up from the mouth, esophagus, or pharynx. The contents come up virtually unchanged from when they went down except for the addition of some saliva and a tendency to be tubular. The abdominal muscles are not involved in getting it out. The dog may cough or gag beforehand, but he won't retch. The dog's abdominal muscles do not heave. Regurgitation usually happens immediately or very soon after the dog eats.

Because regurgitation happens so quickly, the larynx sometimes doesn't close in time, and aspiration pneumonia is a common complication when food or water gets inhaled into the lungs.

Regurgitation is usually caused by an esophageal disorder, especially megaesophagus, foreign body in the esophagus, or eating too fast.

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Aspiration Pneumonia in Dogs

Megaesophagus in Dogs

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Vomiting in Dogs

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