It is incredibly concerning when your dog throws up and has tremors or their body shaking. A dog with tremors alongside vomiting is a clear indication of a problem.
We outline the potential causes of dog throwing up and tremors as well as what to do and when to seek help.
Here’s why dog throwing up and tremors occurs
Dog throwing up and tremors are symptoms that sometimes occur together due to underlying disorders which includes illness, diet, gastrointestinal infection, poisoning, stress, medication side effects, and dietary indiscretion. Tremors or shaking is also a sign that a dog is in pain, due to underlying health problems.
Dog throwing up and tremors
Vomiting or throwing up is the forceful expulsion of the stomach contents or upper intestines. This means when a dog vomits, the stomach contents are brought back from the stomach into the esophagus and mouth as either digested, partly digested, or undigested food.
Occasional episodes of vomiting in dogs are common and normal, however, frequent throwing up as well as other concerning symptoms can be a sign of a serious underlying problem.
The severity of vomiting can be severe or mild depending on the underlying cause. Vomiting can improve on its own within 24 hours without medical attention but if it is prolonged it can be a sign of an underlying health condition.
The vomiting starts with nausea and other symptoms followed by the forceful removal of food or liquid from the mouth. Signs that indicate your dog is experiencing nausea and may vomit include:
- Excessive lip licking
- Excessive swallowing
- Eating of grass
- Retching, gagging, heaving
Trembling or shaking in dogs, on the other hand, is an involuntary movement of the muscles or twitching that can be caused by several underlying conditions.
Tremors can manifest as mild shaking or more severe, full-body shaking. The tremors can affect dogs of any age, size, or breed.
The signs of dog tremors include:
- Muscle spasms of the whole body
- Shaking when they try to move or walk
- Shaking in the limbs while they are resting
- Increased anxiousness when involved in any task that requires movement
- Constant twitching that occurs when sleeping
- Difficulty in completion of simple tasks such as climbing stairs
Possible causes of dog vomiting and tremors
Tremors are not typical symptoms of a dog vomiting, however, in some cases, a dog may experience throwing up with tremors as a result of an underlying condition.
The possible causes of a dog throwing up and tremors are:
Throwing up and tremors can be symptoms of a wide range of illnesses in dogs, including viral or bacterial infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and systemic diseases.
These diseases and conditions include parvovirus, distemper, kidney or liver disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, colitis, or cancer.
Shaking can be a symptom of a neurological disorder, such as a seizure. Seizures can be caused by underlying conditions such as low blood sugar, infection, trauma, or tumors, and can range from mild to severe.
Illness can also cause tremors or shaking in dogs for a variety of reasons which can be caused by pain, fever, infections, or side effects of medication.
Also, when dogs experience pain due to illness or injury, they may engage in a variety of behaviors to indicate their discomfort. One of these behaviors is trembling, which is a common sign of pain.
Gastrointestinal infection by bacteria, intestinal parasites, or viruses is the most common cause of throwing up and tremors in a dog.
Bacterial infections in dogs include Salmonella, coccidia, or Escherichia coli (E. coli) while viral infections include parvovirus. Parasitic infections can be from roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.
Shaking is also the result of a dog’s body trying to fight off the infection. When the immune system is activated to fight an infection, it can cause the body to produce fever and shivering or shaking as part of the natural response to combat the illness.
Additionally, the infection may cause dehydration, which also leads to tremors accompanied by throwing up.
Change in diet
A change in your dog’s diet can cause vomiting and tremors due to food intolerance or allergy, an upset stomach, and stress.
This is because it takes time for your dog’s stomach to adjust to the new food and a sudden change to a new food may cause vomiting.
Dogs are also sensitive to changes in their routine and environment, and a sudden change in diet can be stressful. This stress can lead to digestive upset and other symptoms such as tremors or shaking.
To avoid these problems, it is important to introduce changes to your dog’s diet gradually, over the course of several days or weeks, to give their digestive system time to adjust.
Also, it is important to choose a high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food that meets your dog’s individual needs.
A stressed dog may also experience vomiting including tremors, which may appear at the same time.
Stress and anxiety also cause a variety of symptoms including pacing, licking, drooling, yawning, crying, barking, and hiding.
Stress can come from a variety of sources such as a change in their environment or routine, new people or pets, loud noises, and other fear-related stressful situations.
Poisoning in dogs can lead to a variety of symptoms, including throwing up and tremors. This is because many poisons and toxins can cause gastrointestinal upset and also affect the nervous system.
Dogs may accidentally ingest toxic substances such as household cleaners, contaminated food or water, pesticides, insecticides, poisonous plants, or human medications, which can cause throwing up and other symptoms.
Side effects of medication
Medications can sometimes cause side effects in dogs, including throwing up and tremors which may happen at the same time.
The side effects can occur due to irritation of the digestive tract, allergic reaction, and neurological side effects which cause tremors or shaking.
Dietary indiscretion refers to eating non-food items or food that is not part of a dog’s regular diet. This can lead to throwing up and tremors in dogs due to the development of an upset stomach, bacterial infection, gastrointestinal obstruction, and stress.
Dogs may eat non-food items or consume food outside of their regular diet due to stress or anxiety, which can also lead to digestive upset and other symptoms such as tremors or shaking.
Dog throwing up and tremors: What to do
If your dog is experiencing both vomiting and tremors, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
Here are other signs that indicate that you should see a veterinarian immediately:
Prolonged or severe symptoms: If your dog’s vomiting and tremors are severe and persist for an extended period of time.
Blood in vomit: If there is blood in the vomit, this could be a sign of a serious underlying condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Additional symptoms: Other symptoms may accompany vomiting and tremors, such as diarrhea. If your dog is vomiting along with diarrhea, this can quickly lead to dehydration and other complications.
Other symptoms to look out for include lethargy, lack of appetite, breathing difficulties, signs of pain or discomfort, fever, and signs of dehydration, such as a dry nose or mouth and sunken eyes.
Toxin ingestion: If you suspect that your dog has been poisoned, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
Seizures: If your dog is experiencing seizures with vomiting and tremors, it is important to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Seizures are symptoms of a serious neurological condition.
If your dog is a puppy or an older dog: Puppies and older are generally more vulnerable than healthy adult dogs so delaying treatment could result in their condition worsening or becoming more difficult to treat. Therefore, it is essential to seek immediate medical care.
Key Takeaway: Dog throwing up and tremors
Throwing up and tremors in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors. While occasional vomiting is normal in dogs, persistent vomiting alongside other symptoms such as shaking requires veterinary attention as soon as possible.
If you notice your dog showing these symptoms suddenly or for extended periods of time, consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
By addressing the underlying cause of the symptoms and providing appropriate care, you can help ensure that your dog remains healthy.