Regurgitation in dogs: not to be confused with vomiting

When dogs vomit, the stomach contents are pushed back out through muscle contractions. Regurgitation in dogs is a little different. When your four-legged friend gets the dog food back up, it is not always easy for the layperson to determine whether it is one or the other. Regurgitation in dogs should be treated by the veterinarian as soon as possible - Shutterstock / 135pixels

Regurgitation in dogs is mostly due to a functional disorder, but can also have other reasons. Often, if your dog is regurgitating, you must go to the vet immediately to have the problem treated. Incidentally, for some animal species, including many insects, regurgitation is vital and normal - but it is life-threatening for dogs or humans.

What is regurgitation in dogs?

When doctors talk about regurgitation in dogs, they mean that parts of food come up from the stomach or esophagus and get into the mouth or nasal cavity. The feed does not take the originally intended route through the digestive organs, but the other way round. The difference to vomiting is that the food is not pushed in the wrong direction by pumping abdominal movements.

Also, your dog is usually not sick during regurgitation. In addition, regurgitation in dogs usually takes place immediately after eating (but can also be done later). The feed flowing back can be undigested or digested and is usually covered with mucus or saliva.

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Causes of Regurgitation: Megaoesophagus, Foreign Bodies and Co.

The main causes of regurgitation in dogs are esophageal diseases. There can be several reasons why an esophagus is not working properly; a so-called megaoesophagus is often to blame. It is a paralysis and enlargement of the organ, which leads to an impaired food transport. The "conveyor belt function" of the esophagus no longer works properly, so that food and liquid can get stuck there. The megaoesophagus, actually more of a symptom than a cause, can be caused by various triggers, such as muscle-weakening diseases or hormone disorders.

Other causes of your fur nose not being able to properly absorb its food are an occlusion or blockage in the esophagus. This can be, for example, vascular anomalies or narrowing or foreign bodies. If there are foreign bodies in the esophagus, this is manifested by symptoms such as increased swallowing, salivation, expression of pain or restlessness. In any case, you should take your patient to the vet as soon as possible.