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Throwing up while playing

My (now 1 year old) Shih Tzu still has digestive issues off & on.  But today I'm wondering about something.  My son was playing with her with one of her favorite squeaky toys and all of a sudden she stopped and threw up.  There was no liquid it was kind of like mush.  Anyway, the thing is she ate breakfast at 7 AM.  So this happened 5 hours after eating.  Why wasn't that food digested and long gone by then?  She usually eats 7:00, 3:30, 9:30, roughly.  This is not the first time she has done this, vomited while playing.  But before today it had always been just shortly after eating, like within 30 minutes.  Which I can totally understand and I've since then tried to keep her quiet for a while after eating.  I'm not baffled by throwing up while playing shortly after eating but 5 hours later?!?  She's fine otherwise, still playing.

She is slowly being transitioned to Wellness Super 5 Small Breed Adult Health from Wellness Core Puppy.  I am going VERY slowly with the transition, it has been a week since I started and I'm just now up to 50/50, no problems what so ever yet, she seems to enjoy it too, so that's a bonus, since she can be weird about eating sometimes.  I'm giving her 3/4 cup a day divided into 3 meals because of her stomach issues.

Could it be a sensitive gag reflex, if dogs even have that?  Why would her food still be in her stomach after 5 hours?  
3 Responses
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. This isn't that uncommon, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Different foods take different lengths of time to digest. I would of course ask whether you think she has managed to get additional food (from anyone or anywhere) other than the set meals you have fed her? This would explain both the vomiting and the undigested food that came up.

It may also be that the change of food (albeit a slow and progressive change) is upsetting her stomach. There may not be much you can do about this, but in theory, everything should settle down once the change has been completed and she has become used to the new food

It is certainly good practice to try and keep her calm for an hour or so after a meal, as she may just be one of those dogs with a nervous disposition and one that gets over-excited with play, and then her digestive tract will react accordingly.

On the other hand, if she seems to be vomiting repeatedly and excessively, try reducing the amount of food you are giving at each meal. I assume you are giving her the manufacturer's recommendations for a dog of her age and size?

Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply Tonyb.  No there's no way she has eaten anything else.  I am kind of strict with her and the whole family knows it.  I'm a little obsessive about how I run my home too. :)   Because she has been so super tough to housetrain she is never far from my sight.  

You are definitely right when you mention the nervous disposition, she is a nervous nelly sometimes, but not a hyper dog.  

I am feeding her slightly less than the back of the Wellness bag recommends.  She is 1 yr old and weighs 13.4lbs.  She is not fat at all she has a very nice body shape.  The Wellness bag says 1 to 1 1/4 cup for a dog 13 - 16 lbs.  Or 3/4 to 1 cup for a dog 9 - 12 lbs.  I am giving her 3/4 a cup a day.  So I am definitely feeding her less than recommended.  She does not get as much exercise as some dogs as we don't live in an area where we can take walks outside.  But she does love a good run through the house and playing chase and/or fetch.  
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi Hopefully, things will settle, but if the vomiting becomes more frequent, then I would certainly consult a vet about it. I am not a great fan of dry food, as after my own research into different diets for dogs I came to the conclusion that many dogs fed for a lifetime on dry food (which was devised purely as a convenience for dog owners and not for the good of dogs), are chronically dehydrated for a lifetime. The long term dehydration damages the kidneys. In some (I believe many) dogs, this leads to early onset kidney failure.

I would therefore suggest changing (not now, but when your dog's digestive tract has settled down a little) to either a high quality tinned food - most of these contain a high water element and are therefore much better for hydrating your dog over it's lifetime - or preferably a natural diet, such as cooked chicken, beef, green tripe, white fish, etc., that can be obtained in frozen blocks from all good pet stores. The latter mixed with a little white rice, pasta or even a high quality mixer, is much better for your dog.

It sounds like hard work feeding this to your dogs, but we have two rescues and it takes literally no more than 15 minutes to cook the meat/fish and feed them using the above diet.

Anyway, have a think about that and let me know your thoughts. Tony
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