An Australian Shepherd throwing up blood is a frightening sight. Yes, it is common for Australian Shepherds to vomit once in a while but the appearance of blood is not.
Australian Shepherds can sometimes throw up white foam, clear liquid, yellow form, mucus, bile, or after eating or drinking.
The question is, why does an Australian Shepherd throw up blood?
We’ll cover the reasons behind an Australian Shepherd throwing up blood and what to do about it.
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Why Is My Australian Shepherd Throwing Up Blood?
An Australian Shepherd throwing up blood, also known as hematemesis, occurs due to a variety of reasons, the most common reason being diseases and conditions that corrode the stomach lining exposing the blood vessels leading to gastrointestinal hemorrhage and throwing up of blood.
These conditions include inflammation of the stomach lining, ulcers, a reaction to drugs especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which are drugs used to reduce inflammation, high temperature, and relieve pain.
Our guide on Australian Shepherd throwing up or vomiting further explains what causes vomiting and what you can do to help your Aussie.
The vomit can come out as bright red blood or in partially digested blood that is in clots and brown.
The other most likely causes for an Australian Shepherd throwing up blood include:
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Infections ( Parvovirus)
- Toxin ingestion
- Poisoning (toxic plants, pesticides, lead or iron, snakebites)
- Kidney and liver disease
- Gastrointestinal obstruction
- Addison’s Syndrome
- Stomach or esophagus tumors
- Vigorous throwing up
- Coagulopathy (lack of proper clotting)
Sometimes throwing up blood can be due to an Aussie having a respiratory problem that results in coughing up blood which they swallow and then vomit.
In other cases, an Aussie may also have a dental problem or mouth sores that bleed, which may be mistaken for throwing up blood.
Critically ill Australian Shepherds are more susceptible to throwing up blood as well as puppies that have not yet had their parvovirus vaccination.
Should I be worried if my Australian Shepherd is throwing up blood?
An Australian Shepherd throwing up blood at any point is a cause for concern because it is a clear sign of a serious underlying problem that requires immediate medical attention.
An Aussie may also have other symptoms in addition to this which include abdominal pain, lack of appetite, fever, shock, weakness, pale gums, a low heart rate, and diarrhea tinted with blood.
An Australian Shepherd also produces vomit with different consistencies and colors. These vomit types can give you an idea of what could be the cause of the vomiting, however, this does not give a complete diagnosis.
To learn more about the different Australian Shepherd vomit types and the possible causes the below guides provide a comprehensive explanation of each:
- Australian Shepherd throwing up clear liquid: what it means and how to help
- Australian Shepherd throwing up mucus: Read before you panic
- Australian Shepherd diarrhea and vomiting: What you need to do
What To Do If Your Australian Shepherd is Throwing Up Blood
An Australian Shepherd throwing up blood should be treated as an emergency that requires a veterinarian to examine your dog.
When your Australian Shepherd vomits blood in whichever form, that is either little spots of blood, fresh or brown, small or large volume of blood, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.
The veterinarian will conduct a full physical examination, analyze your dog’s medical history, and ask you about the circumstances leading up to the vomiting.
This includes your Australian Shepherd’s recent intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, vaccinations, other symptoms, evidence of ingestion of toxins around the home, or possible traumas that could have led to internal bleeding.
Also, various diagnostic tests will be conducted to uncover the underlying cause of the vomiting of blood.
An Australian Shepherd will first be given an anti-nausea medication to control and intravenous fluids to manage dehydration and shock from loss of electrolytes caused by the vomiting.
If the case is severe and your Australian Shepherd lost a lot of blood, they will be given a blood transfusion to treat anemia. They may be hospitalized for monitoring of their condition.
The treatment will depend on the test results which help in the diagnosis of the cause of the bleeding and vomiting of blood.
Infections will be treated, antacids will be provided if ulcers are present, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will be discontinued, and activated charcoal provided for possible poisoning.
A bland diet consisting of boiled chicken and white rice will be recommended to help the stomach to calm down and heal.
How To Prevent Your Australian Shepherd From Throwing Up Blood
Australian Shepherds will throw up in their lifetime and some circumstances are beyond our control such as the sudden onset of nausea, and reaction to a drug or disease, however, some measures can be implemented to prevent them from throwing up blood.
Regular health check-ups
Health checkups for your Australian Shepherd are important in checking their health status and early diagnosis of any diseases.
This helps to prevent and/or manage conditions that may lead an Australian Shepherd to vomit blood. Therefore have regular checkups for your Australian Shepherd.
Prevent access to potential toxins
Household products, chemicals, and plants can be toxins to an Australian Shepherd when ingested.
Keep these products away where your Great cannot have access to them and prevent them from eating plants that may be harmful.
A low-fiber, low-fat diet is best for an Australian Shepherd with liver disease which is among the reasons why an Aussie may vomit blood.
Generally, diet plays a big role in an Australian Shepherd’s health therefore feed them the right healthy diet they require depending on their age, and health status, guided by your veterinarian.
Update vaccination for puppies
Puppies that have not yet been fully vaccinated for parvovirus are susceptible to infection and throwing up blood due to the infection if they get it.
To prevent this, ensure that your puppy is vaccinated and you keep up with the scheduled appointments.
Throwing up is common in Australian Shepherds and other dog breeds however it should not be ignored because sometimes it is caused by a serious underlying problem.
An Australian Shepherd throwing up blood is a cause of concern and should be immediately attended to by seeking medical attention.
Always consult your veterinarian about your Australian Shepherd vomiting so that an early diagnosis can be made and your Australian Shepherd treated to prevent fatal outcomes.