Doberman Throwing Up: Understanding What’s Normal And What Is Not

Occasional vomiting of a Doberman is not a cause for concern because it often happens and does not last for a long time. 

However, if throwing up occurs frequently and for a prolonged time, it may be a signal of a serious medical condition.

Read on to learn the reasons why your Doberman is throwing up, the potential complications, what to do and when to see a veterinarian.

A Doberman throwing up occurs due to a gastrointestinal infection, intestinal parasites, food intolerance, diet change, ingestion of foreign objects or toxins, diseases (pancreatitis, cancer, liver or kidney failure), reaction to a medication, heatstroke, and motion sickness.

Throwing up can improve on its own within 24 hours without any medical attention or not knowing the cause but if it is prolonged, it can be an indication of an underlying health problem.

Throwing up occurs due to either vomiting or regurgitation.

doberman throwing up

How do I know if my Doberman is vomiting or regurgitating?

There is a difference between regurgitation and vomiting. It is important to know the difference because they are caused by different factors and also have different treatment options. 

By recognizing the difference, you can be able to provide details of your dog’s vomiting to your veterinarian, which will be helpful in the diagnosis.

Vomiting is an active process and involves the forceful expulsion of contents from the stomach and the upper intestines through the mouth while regurgitation is the expulsion of contents from the esophagus, throat, and mouth. 

Vomiting lasts for several minutes and comes with symptoms including nausea, restlessness, repeated swallowing, licking of lips, and salivation.

This is followed by abdominal contractions and forceful expulsion of liquid or food from the mouth. 

Vomiting can occur right after eating or hours later.

The vomited contents can come out as digested, partly digested, or undigested. 

Regurgitation is a passive process that occurs quickly and often without warning. Compared to vomiting, there are no symptoms before regurgitation.

Your Doberman is usually fine then in one moment they suddenly spit out contents from their mouth. 

This means there is no contraction of the stomach muscles and a Doberman simply leans its head forward and the swallowed contents roll out from its mouth. 

Your dog does not have control over it. The swallowed food does not make it to the stomach and comes back out with the help of the esophagus muscles and gravity.

Regurgitation can occur immediately after eating, drinking, or hours after having a meal. 

Regurgitation is caused by a congenital esophageal disorder or by an acquired disorder. 

Congenital esophageal disorders are esophageal birth defects that cause a dog to be more susceptible to regurgitation. 

On the other hand, acquired disorders that lead to regurgitation are due to esophageal, throat, or systemic diseases.

Congenital esophageal disorders that cause regurgitation include cancer, gastric reflux, Addison disease, and an enlarged esophagus which does not facilitate easy movement of swallowed food to the stomach.

Congenital regurgitation is common some dog breeds including the Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland, German Shepherd, Fox terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Irish Setter, and the Chinese Shar-Pei.

Acquired regurgitation is experienced  in all dog breeds and at any age.

Acquired disorders that cause regurgitation include poisoning, ingestion of foreign objects that obstruct the throat, cancer, gastric reflux, and rabies.

If your Doberman is regurgitating, the common symptoms to look out for:

  • Coughing 
  • Increased breathing noises 
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Swelling in the throat 
  • Increased appetite 
  • Runny nose 
  • Bad breath
  • Throwing up of undigested food, water, or mucus.

Doberman Vomit Color

A Doberman can vomit different vomit types depending on the color. This can give an insight into what could be the cause of the vomiting however this does not give a complete diagnosis.

Consultation with your veterinarian and diagnostic tests that they conduct helps in reaching a more accurate diagnosis of the problem.

The chart below summarizes Doberman vomit color and the possible causes:

Doberman vomit color

Possible Cause

Clear liquid

Occurs due to the expulsion of saliva or water when your dog vomits on an empty stomach. 

White foam

Can be caused by a buildup of stomach acid in the stomach which becomes foamy when exposed to the air when vomited.


Occurs due to diseases or conditions that corrode a dog’s stomach lining exposing the blood vessels.

Yellow foam

Occurs due to vomiting of partly digested food with bile which is yellow or green. Happens when a dog has not eaten for a while, eaten a lot of fatty foods, or grass, or drank a lot of water.


Happens when a Doberman drools excessively and swallows the drool that pools in the stomach. This is then vomited out as mucus due to nausea.

Read more on these vomit types and how to help your dog:

Recommended reading:

The video below shows a Doberman throwing up yellow foam:

So, do Dobermans have stomach problems?

All dog breeds have stomach issues, some more than others which involve problems with the digestive system. 

Dobermans also experience stomach issues just like any other dog. Stomach issues can be caused by illnesses or conditions that inflame or irritate the stomach.

Common stomach problems that Dobermans experience include incomplete digestion of food, bloat, sensitive stomachs, upset stomach, food allergies or intolerances, and parasitic infections.

These stomach issues lead to several symptoms that include, regurgitation, vomiting, diarrhea constipation, bloating, bleeding, dehydration, or abdominal pain.

See Also: Can German Shepherds and Dobermans live together?


The most common complication of a Doberman throwing up is severe dehydration and loss of electrolytes which is life-threatening to a Doberman if treatment is not provided in time. 

Continuous vomiting leads to severe dehydration because a dog’s body loses fluids through vomiting.

Throwing up is also a symptom of certain serious health conditions including, infection, disease, or poisoning. 

An underlying health condition could lead to the deterioration of a Doberman’s health and even death.

Regurgitation can also be caused by serious health conditions and can also lead to severe outcomes if left untreated.

What To Do When Your Doberman Throws Up

Occasional throwing up is not a cause for concern when your Doberman experiences it because it is common. A dog will usually vomit and continue to be active as usual.

If your Doberman does not present other signs of illness that indicate they might be sick, there is no cause for concern.

If this is the case with your Doberman where they vomit once and act normal, keep an eye on them to investigate whether the vomiting continues or if other symptoms will appear.

Withdraw their food for 6 – 12 hours but provide a lot of drinking water. This home care allows their stomach to calm down and also repair itself. 

If the throwing up is not continuous, feed them their regular food after this withdrawal period. 

When To Seek Help

Throwing up is a common occurrence for any dog as well as a Doberman, however, if it is frequent and with additional symptoms, this can indicate that something else is wrong with your dog.

In this case, medical care is needed. The appearance of other signs of illness should not be ignored because of the complications they might bring if left untreated.

Seek medical care when your Doberman:

  • Continues to vomit 
  • Vomits blood
  • Has a fever
  • Lethargic 
  • Vomits and also has diarrhea
  • Has abdominal pain
  • Dehydrated (Signs include lethargy, thick saliva, panting, dry nose, and dry sticky gums)
  • Seizures 
  • Ingested a foreign object
  • Tries to vomit but nothing comes out (dry heaving)
  • Vomits a large quantity of food
  • Refuses to eat

Contact the veterinarian within 8-12 hours when the throwing up is frequent, that is, when your Doberman vomits over 2 times in this period. This is because this constant vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration.

Also, collect and take a sample of your Doberman’s vomit to your veterinarian. This will help in the determination of whether your dog threw up or regurgitated the contents.

Treatment is different for regurgitation and vomiting therefore this helps in the diagnostic process.

The vomit sample is also used to test for toxins. Share more information with the veterinarian if you noticed other signs of illness from your dog.

Treatment For Doberman Throwing Up

The diagnosis is reached depending on the diagnostic test results that are conducted to determine the underlying cause of the vomiting.

Treatment varies depending on the diagnosis. The treatment options include:

  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Anti-inflammatory medication 
  • Treatment for disease 
  • Fluid therapy to treat dehydration and loss of electrolytes
  • Probiotics to treat bowel and intestinal inflammation
  • A bland diet consisting of boiled rice and boiled chicken 

In most cases, you will provide home care to your Doberman after the veterinarian’s guidance and the treatment provided. In severe cases of dehydration, your dog may be hospitalized to be treated for dehydration.

During the treatment period, your Doberman is required to be on a bland diet for 24 hours to allow its digestive system to gradually repair itself. 

 Dobermans that have sensitive stomachs that cause them to throw up due to some ingredients in their food require a change in diet. The veterinarian will recommend a suitable diet if this is the case for your dog.

The veterinarian may recommend a limited ingredients diet, a prescription diet, a moderate-fat or protein diet, or high-quality dog food. 

How To Prevent Your Doberman From Throwing Up

Although occasional throwing up for a Doberman is normal, you can put in place preventive measures to prevent it from occurring frequently. This includes:

Lock up potential toxins

Vomiting due to ingestion of toxins occurs if your dog has access to potential toxins around the home. This includes gardening chemicals such as pesticides or household cleaning products. 

Prevent this from occurring by locking these products to prevent accidental ingestion and poisoning.

Visit the veterinarian for medical checks

Medical checkups help in the assessment of your dog’s health status and early detection of disease. 

Early detection of disease allows early treatment and management of conditions. This prevents throwing up which is a symptom of some diseases. 

Motion sickness management

Some dogs experience motion sickness when in a moving car or train, leading them to vomit in addition to other symptoms.

There are methods to prevent your Doberman from having motion sickness and the adverse effects.

Prevention and management of motion sickness in your dog include withholding mealtime before traveling, administration of anti-nausea medication, keeping a calm and quiet car environment while on a car trip, and also taking short trips to allow your dog to get used to car trips.

Prevention of dietary indiscretion

Dietary indiscretion is the consumption of items that are not meant to be eaten including non-foodstuffs or unusual items.

Like all dogs, Dobermans will eat just about anything they find interesting from smell and taste. This includes garbage, frogs, or harmful plants.

Therefore limit access to potential items that they should not eat. Vomiting usually occurs because of a stomach upset caused by eating either non-food items, spoiled or items they should not eat. 

Keep your dog from chewing on foreign objects

Foreign items such as broken toys, sticks, or pieces of bone are potential hazards for your dog when they chew on them and swallow them. This can lead to esophageal obstruction. 

Therefore when you spot your Doberman eyeing these items or chewing on them, stop them from the action. 

Also, keep these potentially harmful objects away from your dog.

Summary: Doberman Throwing up

Occasional vomiting is not a cause for concern however when vomiting is very frequent or when a Doberman vomits several times within an 8 -12 hour period, this is a sign that something may be wrong with your dog.

A Doberman throwing up is a very distressing situation and it can be because of an illness that requires medical attention.

Observe your Doberman and take note of how frequent they vomit, and if they also show other symptoms of illness. 

Seek medical care if your dog continuously vomits and has additional symptoms. The underlying cause of the throwing up will be determined and treated, bringing back your dog to health.


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