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What is Inducing Vomiting?

Inducing vomiting in your dog should only be undertaken either on the advice of a veterinarian or by a veterinarian, as there are medical conditions that make this unadvisable. Inducing vomiting in a dog is an emergency treatment used to expel a toxic or harmful substance from your dog's gastrointestinal tract, before it can be absorbed or cause damage. It must be undertaken shortly after ingestion, before the substance has passed through the stomach, to be effective.

In an emergency, your veterinarian may recommend you induce vomiting in your dog prior to transporting your dog to the veterinarian when time is critical. In these cases, only induce vomiting as instructed by your veterinarian. Certain poisons or existing medical conditions can be aggravated by this treatment, so it is important that your consult your veterinarian first. If possible, it is preferable to get veterinary treatment as it will be more effective and your pet can be closely monitored by your veterinarian in cases when poisoning has occurred. 

Inducing Vomiting Procedure in Dogs

Induction of vomiting as a treatment to remove a toxic or harmful substance from your dog's gastrointestinal tract needs to be conducted within two to four hours of ingestion of the substance if it is going to be effective.

If your dog has ingested a harmful substance, contact your veterinarian to determine if you need to induce vomiting at home prior to visiting the vet or whether to transport your pet immediately to the vet for treatment. This decision will be based on how long it will take to get to the vet, whether the substance ingested and its toxicity can be identified or requires veterinary diagnosis, and the toxicity or potential damage of the substance ingested. 

If your veterinarian recommends you induce vomiting, the most common method recommended is to administer 3% hydrogen peroxide, by mouth (orally). The usual dosage is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your pet’s weight. It can be administered by a syringe, turkey baster or eye dropper if available. This method usually results in your dog vomiting within 10 to 15 minutes, if it going to be effective. If possible, giving your dog a small meal prior to administering the hydrogen peroxide may help in the treatments effectiveness. If it does not work, it can be repeated once more. If a second attempt is unsuccessful, transport your dog to the veterinarian immediately. Regardless of whether your attempts at inducing vomiting in your dog are successful, your dog should be subsequently treated at veterinarian as vomiting only removes 40-60% of the ingested substance and further treatment of an ingested toxic substance may be required by your veterinarian. If you are unsure what substance your dog has ingested, take a sample of vomit with you to the veterinarian for analysis.

If vomiting is induced at your vet, he or she will administer an emetic that can be more effective than hydrogen peroxide and administer other follow up treatments.

For dogs, your veterinarian will administer apomorphine hydrochloride to induce vomiting. This medication may be administered orally, intravenously, or subcutaneously. It may be administered in a tablet placed under the eyelid (conjunctival sac) which dissolves and is absorbed; it is not as effective when administered intramuscularly. Vomiting usually occurs within 5-10 minutes. If administered using a tablet in the conjunctival (eyelid) membranes, excess dosage not absorbed can be removed when vomiting starts therefore avoiding administering more medication than is necessary. If it is not effective, additional dose are not useful.

Additional treatment with activated charcoal or other medication to prevent absorption of toxins may also be administered by your veterinarian and supportive care provided as necessary.

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Efficacy of Inducing Vomiting in Dogs

Inducing vomiting will help minimize the effects of ingestion of a toxic or harmful substance. For the treatment to be useful it must be administered within 2-4 hours of ingestion. Antiemetics only remove about 40 to 60 perent of the stomach's contents, therefore while this is a useful emergency intervention to reduce the effect of a harmful substance being injested, further intervention by a veterinarian will be required. If conditions exist that preclude inducing vomiting, gastric lavage may be another treatment option.

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Inducing Vomiting Recovery in Dogs

Recovery from induced vomiting will depend on what substance was induced, its toxicity level, timing of intervention, and how successful the treatment was. 

Apomorphine can cause central nervous system side effects such as excitement or depression. Dehydration can result if vomiting is prolonged. Your dog may require supportive treatment during recovery for central nervous system (CNS) symptoms, dehydration, or organ damage caused by toxicity. A special diet may be recommended by your veterinarian to provide organ support and restore electrolyte balance to your dog. You should monitor your dog for any concerning symptoms and report them to your veterinarian.

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Cost of Inducing Vomiting in Dogs

Treatment for inducing vomiting in your dog can vary widely. Depending on your location, inducing vomiting in your dog can range in cost from $300 to $500. Additional costs associated with treatment of ingestion, e.g. activated charcoal, medications, hospitalization and supportive therapy can range up to $5,000, depending on the severity of your pet’s condition and treatments required.

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Dog Inducing Vomiting Considerations

Treatment is only effective shortly after ingestion, usually within 2 hours. CNS stimulation or depression is a side effect of apomorphine and dehydration from vomiting is a risk. Both of these side effects can receive supportive treatment from your veterinarian.

Side effects of peroxide are rare but can include peroxide-induced brain inflammation. 

Animals that are at an increased danger of aspiration have an increased associated risk with emesis treatment of aspiration pneumonia. Dogs with laryngeal paralysis, megaesophagus, upper airway disease, and brachycephalic syndrome may be at increased risk for aspiration during vomiting and treatment with an alternative therapy such as gastric lavage may be considered.

If your dog is already showing symptoms of toxicity that include central nervous system symptoms, they are at an increased risk for aspiration, and as absorption of toxins has already occurred emesis may not be particularly effective.

Be sure to provide your veterinarian with information regarding any medications or conditions your dog has so they can determine the appropriateness of this treatment.

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Inducing Vomiting Prevention in Dogs

Dogs are curious creatures. Removing toxic and harmful substances from your dog's environment so they are not apt to sample them or accidentally ingest them will prevent accidental poisonings or ingestions, and eliminate the need to induce vomiting in your dog. Be sure to identify all house and garden plants and check to see if they are toxic to your dog. Many common household and garden plant are not safe for dogs. Avoid giving human food to your dog unless you have checked whether they are appropriate for dogs. Many human foods such as grapes, chocolate, and citrus fruits are toxic to dogs. Remove small choking hazards from your dog's environment and keep all toxic substances such as household cleaners inaccessible to your pets. These precautions will also make your home safer for visitors with children or other pets.

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Inducing Vomiting Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Miniature Australian Shepherd

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Eight Months

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Unknown severity

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My dog ate some bakers chocolate chips, I have him hydrogen peroxide but he hasn't thrown up yet. I'm scared and need help

Jan. 9, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for question. Hydrogen peroxide can be repeated one time, 10-15 minutes apart. For a dog the size of the breed of your dog, a teaspoon is probably an appropriate dosage. If your dog does not vomit at that point, it would be best to take him to an ER immediately, as they have medications that can help induce vomiting safely.

Jan. 9, 2021

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Golden Retriever

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Eight Years

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1 found helpful

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My dog ate approximately 30 snickerdoodle cookies last night at approximately midnight last night. She is acting like she wants to throw up but now is resting.

Dec. 13, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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1 Recommendations

The main concern would be chocolate toxicity if the recipe contained chocolate and enough chocolate was inside. As she ate so many we would also be worried about a stomach upset / gastroenteritis, whether there was chocolate or not. If she has not eaten enough chocolate to he concerned, we would expect her to improve quickly with rest and a 12-24 hour fast (she can have water) followed by a day of bland food such as chicken and rice. However, if she seems lethargic or very unwell, a vet visit is best as lots of fat and sugar could lead to e.g. pancreatitis.

Dec. 13, 2020

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Aidi

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five

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Vomit

Dog are Tampa, I induced vomiting and now she won't eat and vomited again

Nov. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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If you induced vomiting (and you don't say how), the effects and nausea can last quite a while. What did you induce vomiting for? Was there a toxicity? This could cause vomiting. It is best your pet is seen by a vet.

Nov. 24, 2020

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Maltipoo

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Fourteen Months

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None

He ate 3 black grapes. I gave him one teaspoon of peroxide and within two mins he vomited. What do I give him now. I believe he is hungry and thirsty

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If he vomited the grapes, you may be okay. If he is showing any signs of vomiting or diarrhea, or lethargy, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian right away, as some dogs are affected by grapes, and it can cause kidney failure in them. Some dogs are unaffected, but we never know which dos will have a problem. I hope that he is acting normally and is fine!

Oct. 5, 2020

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German Shepherd

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Six Months

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Ingestion

My pup ate a paintbrush that had wood stainer on it. The stainer is poisonous. I've induced vomiting. He's thrown up 3-4 times, 2x being kibble and bristle and now with mostly clear bile. It's been 30 minutes since and he's playing and running around. What should I do next?

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I'm sorry for the delay, this platform is not set up for Urgent emails. I hope that your puppy is okay, and that you were able to seek veterinary care if needed.

Oct. 10, 2020

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Sandy and Charlotte

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Vizsla and Goldendoodle

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9 Years

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Had just came in from work, found a bottle of 81mg bayer aspirin on the floor, torn to pieces with aspirin all around it. I have two dogs and didn't know who the guilty party was, so induced vomiting in both dogs, they did vomit, all foam, found no pills in any of it, there was bits and pieces of their breakfast which was over eight hours before I forced them to vomit. Not sure if any were ingested, they have a coating and I do not see any discoloration on carpet where I found the bottle and pills, also pills were not wet from salvia. Would it be safe to let them ride out the night without taking to Emergency Vet? And what do I look for, and how to keep them comfortable.

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Sue

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Shepherd

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10 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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None

How long do I have to hold water and food for after inducing vomit with peroxide? My 85-90 lb shepherd ate a whole sticky note pad and I gave her 5-6 teaspoons of peroxide and sure enough there was the whole wad of sticky notes in her vomit.

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Willow

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Bernedoodle

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2 Years

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Mild severity

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None

Okay my dog has eaten her fair share of things but we never find the right way to give her hydrogen peroxide we have been trying for an hour and a half she is at least 60(Haven't had her weighed recently) and she is terrified of peroxide. My family working together try to get the peroxide in her mouth... It is the most frustrating thing I have experienced. What should I do? We have literally tried everything the only thing that works is distracting her and squirting it in her mouth does anyone have a better way? So far we have gotten some but she keeps spilling it and she has gagged but not actually vomited... She is so stubborn. Please help.

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Zuko

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Pointer Bay

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8 Months

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Fair severity

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None After A Hour

My dog zuko ate abunch of sauted onions,less then 1/4 a cup. Was able to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. He is about 55 pounds. It seems like they came out whole. Cant afford a trip to the emergency vet and banfield wont see him since I've already induced vomiting. Will he be ok?

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Charlie

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Chihuahua

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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Sleepy

I thought My 8-10 lb chihuahua ate a grape, he didn’t he pushed it under the couch. I was so worried I ran to the gas station and bought hydrogen peroxide 3%. I mixed it with ice cream, 1/4 teaspoon. Then about 25 minutes later I did the same thing. He wasn’t throwing up, so I gave him 1/2 teaspoon with some water. He never threw up, I later looked and seen the grape under the couch. I gave him bread and water after to absorb the hydrogen peroxide. I just want to know if his stomach will be okay after the hydrogen peroxide.

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