Definition of Vomiting
Vomiting, medically referred to as “emesis,” is the forcible ejection of stomach contents out through the mouth. It is an active central nervous system reflex that can be triggered by many things, such as stress, excitement, ingestion of foreign objects, pancreatitis, kidney disease, liver failure and dietary indiscretion. Vomiting isn’t the same as regurgitation, which is the passive backflow of undigested food or fluid out the mouth without abdominal effort. Vomiting is stressful and unpleasant for dogs and their owners. It usually is preceded by nausea, profuse salivation, licking of the lips, repeated swallowing, retching and forceful, uncomfortable abdominal contractions. Dogs that sense the impending need to vomit may become anxious and seek reassurance from their owners. Vomiting causes dehydration and can also lead to nutritional imbalances, electrolyte disturbances, muscle weakness, tremors, inflammation and irritation of the esophagus, poor body condition, weight loss and aspiration pneumonia.