Q. My 7-year-old Australian Cattle Dog started vomiting blood this morning. Can you give me any information on what might be wrong?
A. By the time you get this response, it will be way too late to help your dog, but this information may be useful for others or for the future.
When dogs throw up blood, the first thing to look at is the color: Is it bright red or more of a dark brown color?
If it is bright red, its possibly due to an ongoing irritation of the lining of the stomach wall. This could be caused by something irritating it, such as a piece of swallowed plastic, or from repeated vomiting that causes the stomach wall to become inflamed. More rarely, it could be a tumor or other mass in the wall of the stomach or esophagus that is bleeding.
If the blood is a dark-brown color with the consistency of coffee grounds, its more likely to be a long-term problem, such as an ulcer.
Any vomiting of blood that continues for more than several hours should be considered a medical emergency and checked out as soon as possible.
Jon Geller, DVM