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Vomiting vs. Regurgitation

Here is an article from the vet I received and wanted to share:

When you come home to find a mess on the floor, it is easy to assume that the dog vomited. Vomiting is very common in dogs, as they often eat weird things! There are actually many other causes of vomiting, including parasites, kidney disease, liver problems, pancreatitis, and food allergies. Overall, there are probably at least 101 causes of vomiting.

When you take your dog to the veterinarian, the doctor will ask questions and determine if the dog is truly vomiting, or if the dog really has regurgitation, because they have different causes. You will be asked if you saw the process and what the mess looked like.

Vomit

Vomiting has many causes, but results in the stomach ejecting its contents through the mouth. Very active vomiting can also cause intestinal fluid to be brought up. When vomiting, a dog will often precede the act by retching, actively using the abdominal muscles, to force the contents up and out of the body. The process is often strenuous and dynamic.

The vomitus, meaning the material that was vomited up, comes from the stomach or intestines, and therefore contains a lots of fluid. The fluid may be a range of colors, from clear, to white foamy, yellow, green, brown, or even red if there is fresh blood.  Blood that has been in the stomach longer will become digested, and look like coffee grounds when vomited up.

Of course, there could be many other things in the vomitus depending on what was eaten. There could be dog food, which will look like it is starting to digest rather than its original form. Non-food material may look digested, or it may look like the original form depending on whether the  material can be digested. Objects like metal, plastic, and many fabrics cannot be digested.

Regurgitation

Regurgitation, on the other hand, comes from problems in the esophagus, the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach. A dog that is regurgitating will just burp up  material. There is no active movement from the abdominal muscles pressing on the stomach.

Since the food or other material does not make it to the stomach, it is not digested;  food will look much like it did when it was eaten. Sometimes there can be water in the material that is regurgitated if the problem is a megesophagus. This is a disease where the esophagus is not a straight tube, but becomes flaccid and dilates. Things that are ingested may just sit in this dilated area, not reaching the stomach, and will be regurgitated later.  Often, there can be fluid with food that is regurgitated.

Diseases of the esophagus include ulcers, inflammation, foreign bodies stuck inside the esophagus, tumors, and megesophagus. This is why it is important to know if that mess on the floor is caused by vomiting, or by regurgitation.

It is important to differentiate between vomiting and regurgitation.

Vomiting is a dynamic process, with the dog actively using its stomach muscles.

The material produced by vomiting will look digested.
Regurgitation is a passive process, the dog appears to just burp up contents.
The material produced does not appear digested.

Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or notice continued vomiting or regurgitation from your dog.

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Recipe Friday – Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Puppycakes

These are great treats for any leftover pumpkin from Thanksgiving.  Remember to use real PUMPKIN and NOT pumpkin pie filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of whole wheat flour (regular or white) (for dogs with gluten or wheat allergy, about 3/4 cup of rice flour or almond flour can work, you may have to add more, just depends on how moist you like the batter.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 Cup skim milk
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened & unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/8 Cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 Cup water

Frosting:

  • 1/4 Cup pumpkin
  • 1 oz low fat cream cheese

 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2. Mix flour, egg, olive oil, honey, skim milk, peanut butter, pumpkin, and water together. Batter should be thick.

3. Pour into cupcake tins about 2/3 full.

4. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool.

5. Frosting directions: Mix 1/4 Cup of pumpkin with 1 oz of cream cheese. Mix until smooth like frosting.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. Frost the cupcakes in any design or in any fashion you wish.

7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, if you have leftovers for longer than a week, freeze the rest and defrost as needed.

Acute Vomiting In Cats

Isis’ vet has shared this article with me from the Petmd website.  It is a great website and a good article.  If your cat is vomiting often, there may be an answer here.

Sudden Onset of Vomiting in Cats

 

Cats will commonly vomit from time to time, often because they might have eaten something that upset their stomachs, or simply because they have sensitive digestive systems. However, the condition becomes acute when the vomiting does not stop and when there is nothing left in the cat’s stomach to throw up except bile. It is important you take your pet to a veterinarian in these cases.

 

While vomiting may have a simple, straightforward cause, it may be an indicator of something far more serious. It is also problematic because it can have a wide range of causes, and determining the correct one may be complicated.

 

The condition described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this condition affects dogs, please visit this page in the petMD health library.

 

Symptoms

 

Some of the more common symptoms include:

 

  • Weakness
  • Non-stop vomiting
  • Pain and distress
  • Bright blood in the stool or vomit (hematemesis)
  • Evidence of dark blood in the vomit or stool (melena)

 

Causes

 

Some possible risk factors include:

 

  • Tumors
  • Heat stroke
  • Liver disease
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Changes in the diet
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Gobbling food/eating too fast
  • Allergic reaction to a particular food
  • Food intolerance (beware of feeding an animal “people” food)
  • Adrenal gland disease
  • Dislocation of the stomach
  • Intestinal parasites (worms)
  • Obstruction in the esophagus
  • Metabolic disorders such as kidney disease

 

Diagnosis

 

Bring a sample of the vomit to the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then take the cat’s temperature and examine its abdomen. If it turns out to be no more than a passing incident, the veterinarian may ask you to limit the cat’s diet to clear fluids and to collect stool samples over that period, as the underlying cause may be passed along in the stool. Occasionally, the cat’s body may use vomiting to clear the intestines of toxins.

 

If the vomit contains excessive amounts of mucus, an inflamed intestine may be the cause. Undigested food in the vomit can be due to food poisoning, anxiety, or simply overeating. Bile, on the other hand, indicates an inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis.

 

If bright red blood is found in the vomit, the stomach could be ulcerated. However, if the blood is brown and looks like coffee grounds, the problem may be in the intestine. Strong digestive odors, meanwhile, are usually observed when there is an intestinal obstruction.

 

If the obstruction is suspected in the cat’s esophagus, the veterinarian will conduct an oral exam. Enlarged tonsils are a good indicator of such an obstruction.

Treatment

 

Treatment is dependent on the underlying cause of the vomiting; some of the veterinarian’s possible suggestions include:

 

  • Dietary changes
  • Medication to control the vomiting (e.g., cimetidine, anti-emetic)
  • Antibiotics, in the case of bacterial ulcers
  • Corticosteroids to treat inflammatory bowel disease
  • Surgery, in the case of tumor-caused vomiting
  • Special medications for treating chemotherapy induced vomiting

 

Living and Management

 

Always follow the recommended treatment plan from your veterinarian. Do not experiment with medications or food. Pay close attention to your cat and if it does not improve, return to your veterinarian for a follow-up evaluation.

 

Recipe Friday – Cheddar Pumpkin Treats Gluten Free (For Dogs)

Your dog will come running for these tasty treats.  I will post the gluten free version, plus the recipe if you wish to make yours not gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 1/2 cup Soy Flour (or you can use 1 cup of whole wheat or regular white flour, if you want a “lighter” gluten free flour, since soy flour is kind of heavy, you can use about 3/4 cup rice flour, you may need to play around with the measurements, since density and moisture content may be an issue)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

3. Spread by hand onto the prepared baking sheet 1/4 inch thick. Then use a knife, or any kind of sharper cooking tool to kind of score it into a grid for cutting pieces later when cooked.

4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned at the edges. (you may need more time for this step)

5. Cool and break into pieces then refrigerate.

Dogs and Flatulence

This is an article I received from Sasha’s vet and I thought I would share.  We all have dealt with flatulence from dogs at some point or another.  Sasha was suffering from room-clearing flatulence for a long time, until we found out it was from her wolfing (no pun intended) down her food.  Sometimes it is as simple as that, other times it can be something serious.  Read on:

What Is Flatulence?

Flatulence occurs when gas accumulates in your dog’s intestinal tract and colon. This is a normal process that occurs when bacteria break down certain types of food. While it can be disruptive and disconcerting, it is rarely indication of a severe health problem.

What Are Some Causes of Flatulence in Dogs?

Dietary causes are the main source of flatulence in dogs. Low-quality foods with ingredients that can’t be fully digested can cause gas. So do random table scraps and foods containing lactose. Some animals may also have food sensitivities and allergies, too, so it’s important to find out what your dog’s stomach can and cannot handle.

Flatulence can also occur when a dog wolfs down his food. If he eats too fast, your dog may swallow air that will eventually have to find its way out.

Which Dogs Are Most at Risk?

All dogs are prone to flatulence, especially if they’re fed a low-quality food with fillers and artificial preservatives, random table scraps, too many snacks or foods they’re allergic to.

Could Flatulence Be A Symptom of Another Health Issue?

Persistent canine flatulence can be a side effect of certain medications and can also be a symptom of other medical problems.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Dog’s Flatulence?

Feeding a consistent and healthy diet is the best way to reduce your dog’s flatulence. Here are a couple of rules to follow:

  • Feed your dog a nutritious, highly digestible food. Do a little research to find the brands that are appropriate for his age, breed and lifestyle. Watch out for ingredients like ash, low-quality proteins and corn products that make your dog feel full, but aren’t rich in nutrition. And do ask your vet for advice about pet food.
  • Don’t feed your dog random table scraps. Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods are common.
  • If your adult canine is a fast eater, you might divide his portion in half and let him eat two small meals a day.
  • Know your dog’s allergies and food sensitivities, and steer clear of foods that will irritate her stomach.
  • Some dogs are also lactose intolerant, so dairy is a no-no.

You’ll know you’re feeding your dog a healthy, highly digestible food when he no longer has gas and begins to excrete firm, well-formed feces.

What Are Some General Hints for Choosing a Healthy Dog Food?

  • Look for food that has an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) label claim.
  • Choose premium rather than generic or economy-brand dog foods.
  • Meat—not a meat by-product—should be first on the list of ingredients.
  • There is low or no ash.
  • There is minimal to no corn, cornmeal or wheat, fillers that can irritate allergies.
  • There are minimal to no chemical preservatives.
  • Omega fatty acids, which have great health benefits, are included in the ingredients.

When Is It Time to See the Vet?

If your pet’s flatulence persists even though you’ve changed his diet and aren’t feeding him anything out of the ordinary, schedule a visit with the veterinarian. Your dog may have a medical problem, gastrointestinal irritation or a food sensitivity you aren’t aware of.
Source: apsca.org

Recipe Friday – Pancakes For Cats

These treats are different than what a human would eat, but cats love them!

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz ground beef (lean is best) (if your cat cannot eat beef, chicken is fine, fish is a bit moist for this but can kind of work)
  • 3 Tablespoons Oatmeal (you can buy gluten free if your cat has allergies)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Catnip

Directions:

1. Knead all ingredients together and form balls with it.

2. Put on a cookie sheet and flatten out to desired thickness but not so skinny so that they will burn.

3. Put under the broiler (or 425F), for eight (8) minutes, four (4) on each side OR until crisp.

4. Put on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes

5. Cut into bite size pieces and give these to your cat as a treat.  Store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.  These should keep for about 2 weeks.

Most Common Cat Ailments

If your cat is acting off, many can be suffering from some of the following ailments.  Of course, if you are at all worried about your cat, a trip to the vet would be in order.  Many times the vet can reassure you to let you know that your cat is all right and just needs a bit of medication to become all better.

If your cat is showing signs of lethargy, dull coat, weakness and vomiting, these can be symptoms of hyperthyroidism.  It can be treated with medication and your cat can go on and live a long and healthy life with treatment.  This disease usually affects senior cats.

If your cat is scratching, has pimples, inflammation, hair loss, this can usually mean food allergies, flea allergies, or sometimes ringworm and all are treatable if you take your cat to the vet, get some tests and medication, or ointment can help.

As well, having your cat on pet insurance BEFORE these ailments rear their ugly heads can help to cut down the costs considerably.

Here is the article I found this information in, and you can find out more common ailments and how they can be treated by your vet.