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Blood in Dog Vomit: Causes & Steps to Take (2024)

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specks of blood in dog vomitYou may have recently noticed specks of blood in your dog’s vomit and, understandably, are feeling alarmed. It could be an indication that something serious is going on with your pooch – but don’t panic just yet! Hematemesis (hee·muh·teh·muh·suhs), the medical term for vomiting blood, has many possible causes along the spectrum.

While it can indeed signal a troubling issue needing to be addressed by a veterinarian right away – there are also more common reasons why this might happen too. In order to understand what steps you need to take next – let us explore what these causes could be and how you should respond if ever faced with this situation again in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Specks of blood in dog vomit can be a sign of underlying health issues such as stomach ulcers, liver or kidney disease, tumors, foreign objects, or parasites.
  • Any amount of blood in the vomit requires urgent veterinary attention, as early treatment gives the best chance of recovery.
  • Diagnostic tests such as physical exams, blood work, imaging, endoscopy, and stool sample analysis may be necessary to determine the cause of the blood in the vomit.
  • Treatment options for specks of blood in dog vomit can include medications, intravenous fluids and hospitalization, dietary changes, surgery, and addressing the underlying illness.

Examining the Vomit

Examining the Vomit
When you notice those red flecks, take a deep breath and start snapping photos to show the vet.

Get a good look at the color and texture – are the specks bright red or dark and coffee-ground like? Note the amount and take several pictures from different angles.

Check your dog’s mouth carefully for any injuries or foreign objects lodged in the gums or between teeth.

While extremely concerning, specks of blood don’t necessarily mean an emergency. It could simply be irritated stomach lining from eating something that didn’t agree with your pup. But bloody vomit needs the vet’s expertise, so make an appointment as soon as possible.

They’ll examine your dog and the vomit photos closely, asking about any change in appetite, energy level, medications, or diet. Diagnostic tests like bloodwork, imaging, and endoscopy may be recommended to identify the cause and proper treatment.

Try to stay positive – the specks may just be a temporary upset stomach. With the vet’s guidance, your dog will likely bounce back quickly.

Understand the Possible Causes

Understand the Possible Causes
There are a few potential causes for those worrisome specks of blood in your dog’s vomit. A painful stomach ulcer could be eroding the lining of the stomach or upper small intestines, leading to irritation and bleeding.

Various medical conditions like kidney disease, liver disease, or a clotting disorder may also cause bloody vomit. Ingesting foreign objects, parasites like hookworms, or even food allergies can damage the digestive tract and cause bleeding.

We’ll need to examine your dog and likely run some diagnostic tests to pinpoint the exact cause. Then we can focus on targeted treatment to resolve the vomiting and prevent future episodes.

Stomach Ulcer

Your pup’s painful vomiting could be from excess stomach acid eating away at the lining, so call the vet right away if a possible ulcer is suspected.

Watch for signs of bloody discharge that may indicate an intestinal tract injury.

Many pets with ulcers experience reduced appetite and weight loss.

Monitor your pet closely to ensure they’re not lethargic or listless due to pain or discomfort caused by a stomach ulcer.

Excessive amounts of stomach acid can cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal system, resulting in damage and bleeding along its walls, leading to blood being expelled through vomit – this is known as gastritis or more commonly called an ‘ulcer’.

Veterinary care is essential to diagnose any underlying causes such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites that might have triggered it.

Medical Conditions

Other medical conditions, such as liver and kidney disease or clotting disorders, can also lead to bloody vomit. A vet must diagnose the underlying cause of your pet’s condition for an appropriate treatment solution.

This may include checking for foreign body ingestion or allergic reactions that could be causing stomach irritation and inflammation. Blood tests will determine if there are any abnormalities in their platelet count, which could indicate a clotting disorder like hemophilia.

An accurate diagnosis combined with targeted treatments is key to helping pets suffering from these issues recover quickly with minimal long-term effects on their health!

Parasites or Foreign Bodies

Swallowed hooks cut your pup’s gut lining. Hookworms latch on and damage the intestinal wall, causing bloody specks in vomit. Regular monthly deworming prevents hookworms from taking hold. But any intestinal parasite can erode the digestive tract when present in large numbers, causing bleeding.

Severe roundworm loads irritate the stomach lining too. Parasites are a common culprit behind blood in vomit or stool. Foreign bodies like bones, toys, rocks, or sticks can scrape, puncture, or tear the esophagus, stomach, or intestines when swallowed.

Immediate veterinary care helps identify and remove foreign objects before digestive acids further damage the injured area. Bloody vomiting requires prompt evaluation to uncover the cause and direct proper treatment for your pup’s health.

Visit Your Local Vet

Visit Your Local Vet
Seeing those specks of blood in your dog’s vomit is understandably concerning. The next step is to make an appointment with your local veterinarian for an exam. Getting prompt veterinary attention is crucial whenever there is any presence of blood.

Here are 3 reasons why you’ll want to visit the vet right away after noticing your dog vomiting blood:

  1. Identify the Cause – Your vet will perform a physical exam and recommend any necessary diagnostic tests to pinpoint what’s causing the bleeding. It could be something straightforward like an ulcer or more serious like a tumor.
  2. Receive Targeted Treatment – Once the underlying cause is determined, your vet can provide medications, dietary changes, or other treatment tailored to resolve the vomiting and prevent future episodes.
  3. Rule Out Emergencies – Some potential reasons for bloody vomit like poisoning or clotting disorders can become life-threatening. Your vet needs to thoroughly evaluate your dog to rule out any emergencies requiring hospitalization.

Getting to the bottom of those worrying specks of blood is crucial. Don’t hesitate to call your trusted veterinarian for an urgent exam. They have the expertise to identify the cause and map out an effective treatment plan.

Steps to Take if Your Dog is Vomiting Blood

Steps to Take if Your Dog is Vomiting Blood
You’ll want to stop feeding your dog immediately and call your vet right away when you see those worrying specks of blood in the vomit. It’s also helpful to take your dog’s temperature, photograph the vomit with blood in it for your vet to evaluate, and then clean up the mess quickly to minimize your dog’s exposure to it.

Stop Feeding

Don’t offer food or treats right now since there’s blood in the vomit.

Type of Food Frequency Amount
Water Frequently Small sips
Low-fat bland diet Small frequent meals 1/4 of the normal amount
Regular food Only once vomiting stops Gradually increase

Seeing blood in vomit is worrying. Visit your veterinarian promptly for an examination. They will identify the cause and provide proper treatment for your pup to recover.

Call Your Vet Right Away

You’ll want to contact your veterinarian right away if you notice blood in your dog’s vomit. Seeing blood can indicate a serious issue like an ulcer or cancer affecting your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Don’t delay – call your vet or emergency clinic promptly to get your pup the veterinary care needed to diagnose and treat the cause.

Take the Dog’s Temperature

We’ve got to take your pup’s temperature pronto. A fever could mean infection or inflammation brewing somewhere.

  • Use a digital rectal thermometer lubricated with petroleum jelly.
  • Make sure your dog is calm and gently insert about 1 inch into the rectum.
  • Wait for the beep, then check the temperature reading on the display.
  • Normal temperature is 100-102.5°F. Higher could indicate illness.
  • Record the temperature and report it to your veterinarian.

Take a Photo of the Vomit and Blood for Your Vet

Take a picture of the vomit you see and keep it handy for your vet, as this can help them identify what might be causing the issue. But if taking a photo is too difficult in the moment, don’t worry – just make sure to note any details that seem important.

Snap a photo of the vomit containing blood or specks if you can. This gives your veterinarian visual evidence to evaluate potential causes like intestinal lining damage, injured gums, or swallowed foreign objects.

Simply describe what you see if photographing is challenging right then. Tracking all specifics aids prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Clean Up the Mess Quickly to Minimize Your Dog’s Exposure to It

Immediately clear that disturbing scene, hon, so your pup avoids revisiting trauma.

  1. Use paper towels or rags to soak up liquid.
  2. Put solids in a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Remove any traces using an enzymatic cleaner.
  4. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
  5. Discard soiled items properly.

Cleaning quickly minimizes ongoing stress for your dog. Now focus on comfort and care while contacting the vet promptly.

Is a Dog Vomiting Blood an Emergency?

Is a Dog Vomiting Blood an Emergency
You’re kidding yourself if you think specks of blood in your dog’s vomit aren’t an emergency, friend. Any amount of blood in vomit is a major red flag that something serious is going on inside your pup.

It could be a sign of severe liver disease, bleeding in the stomach or intestines, or potentially life-threatening conditions like a blocked intestine.

Don’t wait to see if it happens again or gets worse. Blood in vomit is always an emergency. Large amounts of blood vomit could lead to dangerous blood loss or point to rapidly progressing diseases like cancer.

But even specks of blood signify injured tissue somewhere in the digestive tract.

It’s tempting to blame small blood spots on something minor like your dog eating a sharp bone. But you can’t know the cause without veterinary testing. Allergic reactions, ulcers, masses, and clotting problems can all cause bloody vomiting.

Don’t play guessing games with your dog’s health. Rush to the emergency vet at the first sight of blood vomit. They’ll examine your dog, run tests like bloodwork and imaging, and start crucial treatment right away.

Early action gives your dog the best chance of beating whatever is causing those worrying spots of blood.

Why is My Dog Throwing Up Blood but Acting Normal?

Why is My Dog Throwing Up Blood but Acting Normal
If your pup is displaying no symptoms other than vomiting blood, it’s essential to seek veterinary care right away. While they may seem fine otherwise, the presence of blood indicates there is something seriously wrong.

Here are some reasons a dog could have bloody vomit but act normal:

  • Stomach ulcers – These painful sores on the stomach lining can erode deep enough to cause bleeding.
  • Clotting disorder – Problems with blood clotting can lead to spontaneous internal bleeding that gets vomited up.
  • Early cancer – Stomach, esophageal or bowel tumors may bleed before other signs appear.
  • Blocked intestine – A partial obstruction can cause bleeding as digested food backs up.
  • Kidney disease – Damaged kidneys allow toxins to build up and upset the stomach. Dogs can feel normal until kidneys fail.

While it’s reassuring your dog is acting normal otherwise, blood vomit is an urgent situation. There are many possible causes, some life-threatening. Your vet will run tests to determine where the bleeding is coming from and the underlying cause.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial, even if your dog seems fine. Don’t wait – get to the vet immediately at the first sign of bloody vomit.

What Will a Vet Do for a Dog Throwing Up Blood?

What Will a Vet Do for a Dog Throwing Up Blood
When you notice those first worrisome specks of blood in your dog’s vomit, it’s natural to feel scared and unsure of the next steps. Rest assured, your veterinarian is equipped to thoroughly evaluate your pup and get to the bottom of this distressing symptom.

Upon arriving at the clinic, the vet will begin with a physical exam, carefully checking vital signs and palpating your dog’s abdomen for pain or abnormal masses. Bloodwork will likely be recommended to assess organ function and look for signs of infection or clotting problems.

The vet may also take radiographs or perform an ultrasound scan to visualize the digestive tract and surrounding organs.

If the cause remains unclear, the next step could be endoscopy. This procedure uses a tiny camera on a flexible tube to directly examine the esophagus, stomach, and upper intestines. Endoscopy allows the vet to identify sources of bleeding and collect tissue samples for biopsy if needed.

Some dogs may also need testing for heartworms or viral infections affecting digestive health.

Ultimately, treatment will depend on the underlying cause identified through diagnostic testing. However, supportive care such as IV fluids, anti-nausea medication, stomach-coating drugs, or a special gastrointestinal diet may be provided initially.

With close monitoring and the appropriate treatment plan, most dogs recover well from episodes of bloody vomit once the vet determines the root problem. Stay positive – you’ve taken all the right steps by seeking prompt veterinary attention.

Dog Vomiting Mucus? Here’s Why and What You Can Do About It

Dog Vomiting Mucus? Here’s Why and What You Can Do About It
Gastrointestinal issues can cause your dog to vomit mucus, sometimes with specks of blood. If your pup vomits white, yellow, or clear slimy mucus, dietary troubles, foreign body ingestion, allergies, or gastrointestinal, liver, or pancreatic diseases may be the culprit.

As a veterinary professional, I recommend scheduling an exam right away to pinpoint the cause through diagnostic testing so we can provide prompt, effective treatment.

Diet Troubles

Your dog’s dietary habits should be carefully evaluated to determine if ingested items are triggering the bloody vomiting.

  • Monitor ingredients and brands of dog food closely.
  • Eliminate snacks, treats, table scraps, and garbage access.
  • Transition slowly to a hypoallergenic or bland diet under vet guidance.
  • Keep detailed records of what your dog eats to identify triggers.

Pinpointing and avoiding dietary triggers is key to preventing further stomach upset episodes. Promptly contact your veterinarian for personalized recommendations on ideal food options and portions for your pup’s needs.

Eating Something That Was Not Food

You’ll need to act quickly if your pup swallowed something dangerous. Your dog’s mouth and throat should be carefully examined for signs of injury or foreign objects lodged inside. Note any blood or unusual odors. Don’t induce vomiting without vet advice. Seek emergency care if you suspect internal damage or obstructions.

Stay vigilant for vomiting, appetite changes, and signs of pain, which could indicate complications. Prompt veterinary attention is crucial for identifying and addressing underlying causes.


If allergies trigger your dog’s bloody vomiting, an elimination diet can help identify the problematic ingredients.

  1. Look for signs of irritation like redness, swelling, or itchiness.
  2. Note if vomiting happens after eating certain foods.
  3. Keep a food diary to identify patterns.

Allergies can cause an overreaction of the immune system leading to inflammation, nausea, and bloody vomit. Work closely with your veterinarian to pinpoint and avoid allergy triggers through diet trials and medication if needed.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Y’all would freak if your pooch’s upchuck suddenly looked like a crime scene. Specks of blood or excessive bleeding in vomit can indicate serious gastrointestinal problems like ulcers, cancer, or bowel disease.

Don’t panic, but do contact your vet promptly for an exam. They’ll run tests to pinpoint the cause and provide proper treatment.

Liver Disease and Pancreatitis

You’d be alarmed if your dog started vomiting up bile or bloody mucus, as that can indicate serious liver issues or pancreatitis. Get to the vet pronto for tests and treatment to resolve the underlying problem before it becomes dire.

  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever

Bloody vomit and mucus can signify severe liver disease or pancreatitis in dogs. Don’t delay – consult your veterinarian right away for proper diagnostics and treatment to address the root cause.

Treating a Dog Vomiting Mucus

Treating a Dog Vomiting Mucus
Seeing those worrisome specks of blood in your dog’s vomit is upsetting, but try to stay calm. As a veterinary professional, I’ll be able to determine the underlying cause and get your furry friend back to full health.

I’ll perform a thorough physical exam, checking vitals and palpating the abdomen to feel for masses or pain. Based on initial findings, I may recommend bloodwork to check for issues like clotting disorders, liver or kidney disease, electrolyte imbalances, and anemia from blood loss.

Diagnostic imaging like x-rays or ultrasound allows me to visualize the GI tract and look for foreign bodies, tumors, ulcers, or bowel thickening.

Once we identify the culprit, treatment will depend on the diagnosis. Medications can reduce nausea, acid production, and inflammation in the GI tract. In severe cases, hospitalization for IV fluids, anti-nausea injections, and monitoring may be necessary.

If an object is obstructing the intestines, surgery may be required. With time and care, your dog’s GI tract will recover.

In the meantime, feed bland, low-fat foods in small, frequent meals. Bring stool samples to check for parasites and avoid foods that could have caused food poisoning. Working together, we’ll have your pup feeling better in no time. Call to schedule an appointment so I can begin the diagnostic process right away.

How PetPlus Can Help

How PetPlus Can Help
With PetPlus, you can get the professional care your pup needs to quickly diagnose and treat their bloody vomit.

  1. Comprehensive Veterinary Exam – I’ll perform a head-to-tail physical exam, focusing closely on your dog’s abdomen, checking for masses, pain, or fluid buildup.
  2. Diagnostic Testing – Based on exam findings, I may recommend bloodwork to check for anemia and issues like kidney/liver disease. Ultrasound and x-rays allow visualization of the GI tract to spot tumors, ulcers, foreign bodies, or thickened intestines.
  3. Targeted Treatment – Once we know the cause, treatment can begin. This may include medications, intravenous fluids, hospitalization, or surgery for obstruction.
  4. Follow-Up Care – I’ll schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your dog’s progress. We’ll work together to prevent recurrence through proper preventives, dietary changes, and prompt care for concerning symptoms.

With my veterinary expertise and PetPlus’ convenient telehealth options, we can quickly get to the bottom of your dog’s condition. Let’s connect today to discuss your dog’s symptoms so I can recommend the appropriate next steps for diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are the Symptoms of a Dog Vomiting Blood?

Vomiting blood can be a sign of a serious illness. For example, if your dog is vomiting bright red blood, it could indicate stomach ulcers or cancer conditions like esophagus and stomach tumors. Other medical causes include liver and kidney disease or clotting disorders that need veterinary testing for diagnosis and treatment.

What Causes Blood in a Dog’s Vomit?

Several serious issues like ulcers, internal bleeding, or cancer could be causing your dog’s bloody vomit. Don’t panic, but contact the vet immediately for an exam to determine the underlying cause and proper treatment.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Vomiting Blood?

Follow your vet’s advice for diagnosis and treatment. Prevent recurrence by identifying dietary triggers, providing small, frequent meals, scheduling regular check-ups, and keeping your dog calm after eating.

Stay vigilant for concerning signs like lethargy or diarrhea and contact your vet promptly.

Is It Normal for a Dog to Vomit Blood?

No, vomiting blood is not normal for dogs. Seek immediate veterinary care if your dog vomits blood to determine the underlying cause and receive prompt treatment. Stay calm, but act quickly, as bloody vomit indicates a serious health problem that requires veterinary attention.

How Do I Know If My Dog Needs to See a Vet for Vomiting Blood?

Take your dog to the vet immediately if there’s any blood in vomit. Although specks may seem minor, it indicates stomach irritation or damage needing prompt diagnosis and care. Do not wait – early veterinary assessment gives the best chance for effective treatment.


No matter the cause, if your dog is vomiting blood, you must take action immediately to ensure their health and safety. A vet will help you make sense of the situation and provide the necessary treatment and support.

With the right care and attention, you can help your pup recover and prevent further episodes.

As with any medical emergency, it’s important to stay calm and act quickly. Specks of blood in dog vomit can often be indicative of a serious underlying health issue, so don’t wait to seek help. Your vet is your best resource for the care and safety of your canine companion.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.