It was 7:00pm Friday night.
The dinner dishes were cleaned up, and we were winding down after a long week in lazy, couch potato fashion.
My most recent evening entertainment consisted of a Nintendo Switch game called Animal Crossing that was locked and loaded on the big screen while my husband gabbed on his new, ham radio. As I fished the ocean shores of Maraschino Island in hopes of landing a Whale Shark, my husband heartily connected with folks all over the United States including Wyoming, New Jersey, and Georgia.
The evening eased on, mellow and smooth like the calm waters of Houghton Lake in the late evening hour until Dozer suddenly bolted to his feet. With back rigid and shoulders tensed, he heaved until his dinner lay in a warm, steaming pile on the living room rug.
The mound of vomit appeared like he had been given double his allotted rations, and being a Friday night, it surely could have been the case. Friday’s are celebration days, after-all! The only contradiction to the scene was the vomit should not have had a fecal-like aroma.
Something was definitely wrong with this picture.
Deciding there was no sense in cleaning up the mess if there was more to come, I waited, making sure he was done retching before heading to the kitchen for cleaning supplies.
At the sound of the couch footrest slamming closed, I looked over at my husband who sickly lurched away from the scene.
Barely hanging on to his own dinner while Dozer chowed down his kibble for the second time, my husband groaned, “Ewwww, what a disgusting animal!”
On the ham radio, he described the scene to eager listeners, nearly up-chucking from relaying the gruesome details. As he coughed and gagged between words, I hoped I wouldn’t soon have two messes to clean up.
Pointing at the small, white container sitting less than four feet away, I reminded him, “The garbage can is right there if you need it.”
As the last remnants of dog vomit were licked clean, and my husband regained control of his gurgling guts, I shrugged off the event and got back to playing my game. But the ‘why’ of the scene sat fermenting in the back of my mind.
Was this incident something to worry about, or not?
“Did Dozer swim too much?” I questioned.
Being he drinks a couple gallons of lake water every time he goes swimming, then throws it up within 10 minutes afterward, I wondered if he drank more than usual this evening.
“Did Dozer go swimming too close to his dinnertime?” I pondered. I made him wait for at least 30 minutes after swimming before he ate. It should have been plenty of time to rest before eating.
Chalking it up to too much water, I put the event from my mind and resumed the evening’s escapades.
The Next Morning…
Dozer had made it through the previous evening and all night without any emergency mishaps, so I figured he was in the clear to enjoy his breakfast.
Our morning routine consists of Dozer whining hysterically for his kibble, which is poured into a maze bowl so he won’t inhale it so fast that he vomits. Making him sit and make eye contact to receive said bowl takes a few more moments of him prancing around your bare feet with talon-spiked stompers as he cries for his food like he hasn’t been fed in weeks.
Placing the food on the floor in front of him, Dozer smashes his snout down into the bowl in hopes of capturing great mouthfuls of food, but the bowl wins, as usual. The lessons on eating slowly have been ongoing for years now, and I wonder how he hasn’t given himself a bloody nose at every feeding.
Per the morning routine, Tank finishes his food first then hovers around the maze bowl scoring escaped kibble until Dozer is done. While I rinse out their dishes, both sit patiently by the patio door waiting to go outside.
“Gotta pee?” I asked while making my way towards them. Sliding the door open, two eager Malinois blast out of the house to secure the perimeter, then do their business.
I watched for a bit to be certain there wasn’t a stray dog in their territory, then went about puttering around the house until they appeared by the door to be let back in.
All seemed fine and dandy this morning. Then an hour and a half after the dogs had been outside, Dozer hurls a huge pile of steaming dog food on the dining room floor.
“Huh…” I survey the situation to see if he is done being sick while considering the ‘why’ again.
After he cleans up his regurgitated breakfast, I get the carpet cleaner out and scrub the brown stain from the floor noting a slight poop aroma once again. But for whatever reason, the poop smell isn’t registering as a cause. Instead, my crazy brain goes right back to Dozer swimming too close to dinnertime the night before.
“OMG, does he have that terrible, stomach flipping thing?” I worry.
Reaching for my tablet, I researched dog vomit causes and found a website stating, “Prompt attention from a veterinarian should be sought if your dog vomits multiple times in one day or for more than one day in a row.”
Looking over their list of possible diagnosis, I reached for my phone and texted my daughter-in-law who not only helped us become Dozer & Tank’s owners, but is also a veterinarian.
I tell her what is going on and that I am considering taking Dozer to an emergency vet to rule out anything deadly.
Going through a list of specific questions like:
1. Are there any toys missing?
2. Have you been feeding him anything different?
3. Did he get into something somewhere?
I answer no to her questions and it’s decided I feed him some homemade chicken and rice for the next couple of days and see if his symptoms subside.
With my frantic worry subdued, I get some chicken out to thaw for Dozer’s dinner and go about my day.
All morning, Dozer is fine. In fact, he is better than fine. He’s raring to go! So we go outside to romp around the yard and enjoy another beautiful, summer morning in Northern Michigan.
THEN I CATCH HIM IN THE ACT!
Like an anteater, Dozer is hoover-lipping at the thick blanket of clover that seems to be taking over my yard.
“What are you eating?” I yell, marching over to get a closer look.
I peer down into the thick clover not seeing a thing. Raking my toe through the greenery, I spy something that looks suspiciously like cocoa puffs.
Then I recall Peter Rabbit lives across the road.
We have watched him since he was born in early June lounging in a bed of clover, and munching on flowers. The little guy isn’t afraid like his brothers and sisters, and is so darling that I couldn’t help but name him Peter for his daring.
As the evidence is brought to light, it appears Peter has been visiting the thick beds of clover flowers in our yard, too, and depositing his cocoa puffs all over the place.
Dozer has been chowing down Bunny Poop for dessert!
As nightmares of the midnight cat poop vomit incident came roaring back to mind, I chased Dozer out of the bunny poop laden clover thinking, “He’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs!”
It’s a dog’s life.
At least the mystery of the poop vomit was now solved, and Dozer isn’t suffering from a deadly disease, stomach torsion, or an intestinal blockage from eating his favorite toys!
Now if only Peter Rabbit will quit pooping in my yard, all will be good.
Until next time…
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BluePearl, April 6, 2018, Dog Vomiting: When Should You Be Concerned? https://bluepearlvet.com/pet-blog/dog-vomiting-when-should-you-be-concerned/