Why Does My Golden Retriever Keep Throwing Up? (Vet Explains!)

by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

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Why Does My Golden Retriever Keep Throwing Up?

Is your Golden Retriever vomiting? There are many different reasons that your Golden Retriever can be vomiting. Depending on why they are vomiting would depend on what you need to do to stop them from throwing up.

Usually, it is best to find out why your Golden Retriever is vomiting so that you can correctly fix these issues and help stop them from vomiting.

Why is my dog vomiting?

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Sudden Change in Diet
  • Foreign body obstruction
  • Parasites
  • Organ Failure
  • Bloat
  • Pancreatitis
  • Heat Stroke
  • Parvovirus

9 Common Reasons that your Golden Retriever may be vomiting

These are 9 of the most common reasons that your Golden Retriever may be vomiting and what you can do to help them feel much better.

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is caused by an infection of your Golden Retriever’s GI system.  This usually happens when your dog eats something that they should not have eaten.  When your Golden Retriever vomits, the lining of their intestine will become inflamed. 

This will lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in your Golden Retriever’s stomach, causing an infection to develop. This will also cause your Golden Retriever to vomit and possibly even have diarrhea.

For mild gastroenteritis signs, you can try offering a bland diet and give them probiotics to help. If this does not help or your dog has a more serious cause of gastroenteritis, you will need to see your vet for prescription medications.

Sudden Change in Diet

If you suddenly change your Golden Retriever’s diet, it can cause them to vomit or have diarrhea.  If you are going to change your Golden Retriever’s diet, it is best to do so gradually.  This is one example of how you can slowly transition your Golden Retriever to its new diet. 

  • 75% of their old food and 25% of their new food for 2 to 4 days
  • 50% of their old food and 50% of their new food for 2 to 4 days
  • 25% of their old food and 75% of their new food for 2 to 4 days
  • 100% of their new food.

Never just abruptly change to a new diet, or your dog can have GI issues like vomiting and diarrhea.

Why Does My Golden Retriever Keep Throwing Up?

Foreign Body

If your Golden Retriever ate something that they should not have, this could easily get stuck in their intestines.  Golden Retrievers are known for putting things in their mouth and eating things that they should not have, such as socks, toys, underwear, and other indigestible objects.  If you have a large Golden Retriever, they may be able to pass the things that they ate. If you have a smaller Golden Retriever, these will not pass through their intestines and can easily get stuck along the way. 

Golden Retrievers who have a foreign body obstruction will vomit no matter what you give them at home to prevent them from vomiting.  If you think that your Golden Retriever may have an obstruction, it would be best for your Golden Retriever to see your vet.

Your vet will recommend that you have an x-ray taken of your Golden Retriever to look for any obstruction. They may even give your dog some barium which is a white dye that they can watch move through their intestines to confirm a blockage.

If there is a foreign body obstruction, most of the time, your Golden Retriever will need to have surgery to remove the blockage.

Parasites

Some internal parasites can cause your Golden Retriever to vomit.  You may also see these worms in their vomit.  If you are noticing worms in your Golden Retriever poop or vomit, it is best for your Golden Retriever to see your vet.  Your vet will check a fecal sample and get your Golden Retriever the appropriate de-wormer to get rid of these parasites.

If you get a new Golden Retriever puppy, it is best to have them checked for parasites right away. Many puppies have parasites that they can easily spread to your other dogs.

Organ Failure

If your Golden Retriever has kidney or liver failure, this may cause them to vomit.  Many dogs with these issues will also have other signs showing that they are very sick such as not eating, watery diarrhea, and lethargy. 

If you notice that there is anything wrong with your Golden Retriever, it is best for your vet to see them as soon as possible.  Your vet can run bloodwork which can quickly show if they are having any issues with their internal organs.  Your vet can also develop a treatment plan to help your Golden Retriever start to feel much better and live a longer, healthier life. 

Bloat or Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV)

The medical term for bloat in a Golden Retriever is Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV).  If your Golden Retriever has bloat, they may also try to vomit.  You will also notice that your Golden Retriever has a large, bloated abdomen. 

If you think that your Golden Retriever has bloat, it would be best for your Golden Retriever to see your vet right away.  Many times, Bloat is a life-threatening medical condition that will need surgery right away.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is commonly seen in Golden Retrievers and other dogs right after eating a high-fatty meal.  If you have given your dog table food, they can develop pancreatitis.  One of the main signs you will see in Golden Retriever with pancreatitis is vomiting and diarrhea.

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas.  This inflammation will cause your Golden Retriever to have abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.  In small dogs with pancreatitis, they can quickly become dehydrated from the loss of fluids through vomiting and diarrhea.

If you think that your Golden Retriever may have pancreatitis, it is best for them to see your vet.  Your vet will recommend that you run bloodwork to check for dehydration and pancreatitis.  If your Golden Retriever does have pancreatitis, depending on the severity, your Golden Retriever may need to stay in the veterinary hospital on IV fluids for them to get better.

Most dogs will quickly recover from pancreatitis after a few days of treatment. Some dogs can become very sick and never recover from pancreatitis.

Why Does My Golden Retriever Keep Throwing Up?

Heat Stroke

If your Golden Retriever gets overheated, they can develop heatstroke.  Usually, dogs who have heat stroke will be panting a lot, vomiting, having diarrhea, and maybe unresponsive. 

If it is a very hot summer day and your Golden Retriever just started vomiting, you may want to check their body temperature using a rectal thermometer to see if they are suffering from a heat stroke. 

Your Golden Retrievers temperature should be between 99.5 to 102.5.  If your dog’s body temperature is over 103, they are either running a fever or are overheated.

If your Golden Retriever is overheated, it is best to help them cool off with cool water and a fan.  If their condition is very severe, your Golden Retriever will need to see your vet for IV fluids.  This will help cool them off quicker.  Heatstroke can be life-threatening, a life-threatening condition if not treated right away.  Make sure your Golden Retriever has plenty of shade on a warm summer day and plenty of water. 

Parvovirus

Parvovirus is a virus that is commonly seen in unvaccinated puppies. This virus will attack the lining of your dog’s intestines, causing them to vomit and have bloody diarrhea. If you suspect that your dog has parvo, it is best that your Golden Retriever sees your vet right away.

Your vet will be able to test your dog for parvo and start them on medication to help them recover. Some dogs who develop parvo can become very sick and even die without proper and quick treatment. It is best to never wait to see your vet if you suspect your Golden Retrievers has parvo.

What Should I do if my Golden Retriever is vomiting?

If your Golden Retriever just vomits once, this may be just a one-time occurrence, and they will recover just fine.  Other times your Golden Retriever may continue to vomit. These are a few things that you can do to help them stop vomiting

Offer your Golden Retriever a bland diet

If Your Golden Retriever continues vomiting, offer them a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice to help calm their stomach will help.  It is usually best to withhold them from food for about 6 to 12 hours then offer them this diet. During this time, make sure that your dog has access to fresh, clean water. They still need to drink water to help keep themselves hydrated.

Give you Golden Retriever over the counter nausea medication

You can try to give your Golden Retriever some nausea medication to help calm their stomach. Pepto-Bismol is commonly used for mild cases of nausea. The dosage of Pepto-Bismol is 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds every 6 to 8 hours. If your Golden Retriever still vomits while having this medication, they should see your vet for prescription medication.

Take your Golden Retriever to see your vet

If your Golden Retriever is vomiting for more than 24 hours or has other signs of illness, it would be best for them to see your vet.

Your Golden Retriever may need bloodwork, x rays, or an ultrasound to see what is causing them to vomit.  Your Golden Retriever may be able to be treated at home with just oral medication, but in severe cases, your Golden Retriever will benefit from staying in the hospital on IV fluids

Take your Golden Retriever to see your vet

When is a vomiting Golden Retriever an emergency?

The most common thing people want to know is when is my Golden Retriever vomiting an emergency and when they can wait and see if they get better. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, you should take your Golden Retriever to your vet or the nearest emergency vet clinic right away.

Your Golden Retriever is Vomiting blood

If your Golden Retriever is vomiting blood, it is an extreme emergency. There may be an abdominal mass inside them that has ruptured, severe heartworm disease, or GI ulcer-causing them to vomit blood. It is best that you rush your Golden Retriever into the vet right away.

Your Golden Retriever is Vomiting black coffee ground material

Black coffee ground-like material in your Golden Retriever’s vomit is a very bad sign. This could be a sign that your Golden Retriever has a ruptured GI ulcer or they are vomiting old, dried blood from a GI bleed. Your vet will want to see your Golden Retriever right away.

Your Golden Retriever’s Abdomen is extremely bloated

Bloat or GDV can cause your Golden Retriever’s stomach to be very enlarged, causing them to vomit. Masses on the liver and spleen can also cause your Golden Retriever to vomit and have a bloated abdomen. Golden Retrievers are very prone to developing hemangiosarcoma on their spleen and liver.

Some Golden Retrievers who have end-stage congestive heart failure can have a very bloated abdomen and vomit when their All of these are medical emergencies and should see a vet right away.

Your Golden Retriever’s Gums are white

If your Golden Retriever’s gums are pale and white, they may be bleeding internally. This can cause your Golden Retriever to vomit, feel very bad, be lethargic, and collapse. White gums can mean that your Golden Retriever has low blood levels, and they may need a blood transfusion. If you ever notice white gums, you should take your Golden Retriever to the vet right away. 

If you see any of these signs or symptoms in your Golden Retriever and they are also vomiting, the best thing to do is to go to your vet clinic or the nearest emergency hospital right away. The quicker they start receiving treatment, the better the outcome.

Final Thoughts

If your Golden Retriever is vomiting, there may not be anything wrong with them, causing them to vomit.  This may be just a one-time episode that quickly goes away, and your dog returns to normal.  There may also be a medical reason that is causing your Golden Retriever to vomit that needs to be addressed. 

If your Golden Retriever continues to vomit, it would be best for them to see your vet.  They can help you determine what is causing your Golden Retriever to vomit and help you get them the right treatment so that your Golden Retriever can return to their happy and healthy life.

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