Vomiting appears to be common in cats and dogs, although the actual frequency is unknown. Many cases of uncomplicated, non-severe, acute vomiting are not presented to veterinary practices. One study estimated that, among dogs presented for vaccination, about 1·8 per cent of animals had vomited during the previous two weeks. Another study based on owner questionnaires reported that 18·9 per cent of dogs vomited in the two weeks after receiving the questionnaire; only 5 per cent of these were presented to a veterinary surgeon. The clinical importance of vomiting stems from its association with a large and varied group of diseases, and the potentially life-threatening consequences of vomiting, such as aspiration pneumonia, fluid and electrolyte depletion, acid-base derangement and oesophagitis. This article describes a diagnostic approach to vomiting in dogs and cats, and provides guidance on how to decide whether an animal requires medical or surgical intervention.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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