I have an 8-year-old Teddy Bear (bichon/shih tzu mix). He has always been somewhat of a pukey thing. In an effort to reduce the frequency of incidents, I have tried progressively more expensive dog food. He is on Nutro now. It has reduced the frequency, but not eliminated it. My vet just shrugged her shoulders when I asked about it. What could be the cause? It appears to be largely bile with the occasional darkish color.
Sorry if this is gross, but I am at my wit’s end. I previously had a pure-bred shih tzu and she had a sensitive stomach as well. Is it the breed?
The short answer is yes, some dogs just have sensitive stomachs and hork from time to time. Our female Dane has always had a delicate GI tract and it’s not unusual for her to refuse a meal, or lay on the floor sounding like a Looney Tunes orchestra, or fart - she’s been examined and tested and the only conclusion is that her digestive system just doesn’t work quite as well as it should. Most of the time she’s just fine.
Dogs also learn to vomit as a behavioral thing. Our boy Dane is a termite, always on the lookout for tissues, paper towels and white cotton socks, which he alternately passes or barfs up but is otherwise GI-healthy. (Mental health? He’s a DANE.) He has a trick when he really wants something, such as to get up on the bed when I keep kicking him off - a whole progression of behaviors that go from trying elaborate ways to sneak up next to me, to stalking around the dark bedroom making little barks and growls, to - his pinnacle attention trick - working up an elaborate sequence of horking, usually resulting in another gooey Dane hairball made up of tissues and bile.
So consider that your Bear is acting up to get the attention, at least sometimes.
I had a Boxer that was very sensitive to food temperature. If the food was more than lukewarm, she hurled. If we bought ther a hot dog somewhere, it had to be either cold off the bat or allowed to cool.
Current set of Boxers aren’t as bad, but we still are very careful about their food temperatures anyway.
Canned pumpkin might help. It’s really good for digestion. Just make sure it’s plain canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling with all the spices and stuff. You can also give them plain yogurt, again, make sure it’s not sweetened or fruity or whatever. Doesn’t have to be Activia, just plain yogurt with live cultures.
Vomiting bile is different than vomiting up food from a sensitive stomach. It suggests that your dog has a problem with gastric acid. It might be leaking into his stomach from his intestines or he might just have an overactive gallbladder problem - or it might just be an individual quirk. Your vet should have thought of those things and looked into it further.
I recommend getting a second opinion, as soon as possible. Maybe ask at the dog park or among your friends for vet recommendations. In the meantime, try feeding your pup smaller, more frequent meals. You might even move to free-feeding for the short term.
My beast eats Nutro and does really well on it. It’s a good brand, although maybe not strictly top shelf. I would let your beast go a couple months on it, at least, before switching. Dogs do better after getting used to a food. It becomes easier on their digestive systems.
I have a collie who vomits bile if it’s been too long between feedings. The best thing I can do is feed him more frequent smaller meals. I give him Famotadine with every meal along with some pumpkin and it helps some, but he still has incidents.