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Frequent vomiting of bile?

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I'm relatively new to Cairns, and could use some help from the masses in diagnosing what I think could be a problem. I have a cairn (about 18 months old or so), who has random episodes of vomiting. Often, it appears to be foam or bile, and seldom is related to food (he eats the same Pedigree kibbles at about the same time each day).

I haven't read anything that indicates that vomiting is inherent to the breed, and honestly it's become something of an annoyance, because he smells TERRIBLE afterwards. My concern is that it's something of a more serious medical nature.

I searched these forums for some ideas, but didn't come up with too much on the topic.

If anyone has any insight, I'd be greatly appreciative!

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Couple of ealier threads you may find helpful:

http://www.cairnterrier.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=1453 (vomiting)

http://www.cairnterrier.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=1302 (cairn throwing up)

Vomiting is very common in dogs generally, not least because they'll eat anything that isn't nailed down. And then they'll chew it loose! Anyway, if they eat the vomit back up I tend not to worry as it's often just food eaten too greedily. Foul smells and frequent vomiting I'd be more concerned about. If you look up vomiting in your home veterinary care book the possibilities run the gamut from a case of the hungries easily fixed with a big biscuit or feeding twice a day instead of once, on to scary things like liver shunt etc. Frankly if its happening often enough to be an annoyance, that would be my signal to ask my vet to have a look.

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I do agree w/ Brad that vomiting can be common, especially in these cairns that will eat just about anything. I do have an 11 mth old cairn that was eating her vomit back up right after she ate. I realized that she was gulping her food down so the other cairns (I have 3) wouldn't get hers. By separating them during meals, she no longer eats so fast that she throws it back up. Now, the foul smell can cause some concern. My 18 mth old cairn just recently was vomitting bile which did have an odor. At first I just figured it was something in the yard but started to worry about an obstruction. Well, this morning she had thrown up one of the cat's toys! :sick: This toy was a cloth mouse, approx. 4" X 2" filled w/ catnip. I don't know when she swallowed it but this thing really stunk bad and looked like she had had it in her at least a couple of days! I felt terrible for not watching her better. Had she not thrown this up, she would have needed surgery to remove it. If in doubt, it's best to have your dog looked at by the vet.

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How I can relate to this post!

Every once in awhile one of my crew will vomit in the early A.M. and it has a very distinctive odor. I may not see the vomit but I can smell it as soon as I walk into their den (not my den or my computer room...it's now THEIR den :confused: ) I look more carefully at their bedding...never food, just a yellowish bile fluid which I assume comes from an empty stomach.

Don't feel bad, toomanypaws. I'm in the same boat as you and it's impossible to watch all 3 at the same time...we'd need eyes in the back of our heads and those eyes would need glasses! Thank heavens that my older Winnie is past that chewing stage.

Elliott is a scavenger and a sneaky little thief. If we've lost something small in the house, there's a good chance we'll find it in the yard after he has done his business. :sick:

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Toto times 2

If your cairn is vomiting bile or foam more that a couple of times maybe you should get him checked out. My dogs will eat too fast, throw up and eat it up again and I don't worry about that but certainly a recurring problem needs to be checked out.

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Many thanks, all. I'll be taking him to the vet this week for a checkup. He definitely will NOT eat the vomit back up, and it stinks to high heaven, so I think it's clearly something worth checking out.

Excellent forum here. I hope to get a lot more information as time moves on!

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Guest cairnmother

Teddy used to do that alot. He would vomit and immediately gobble it back up, get sick again and so on and so on. I found the best way to handle it was to stay on top of him and when he would get sick I would scare him away from it and cover the vomit with a small trash can before he could gobble it back up and vomit it back up again. He was eating pieces of his nylabone and that was what was making him sick. I had to take his "chewy" away and he hasn't been sick since.

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laddys lass

I'm new to the forum and have no idea how to "work" a reply. I've always had Cairns but my latest one does the throwing up bile thing in the morning. I've been beside myself worrying about some anatomical problem. I've been to four vets, none of whom can give me an answer. There's the usual "feed late at night" that simply hasn't been the answer for Laddy. He's otherwise healthy and playful and no problem. I wrote to the forum about a month ago and although there was support and kindness there were no answers. The only thing that has worked 100% is 1/2 c.c. Pepto Bismal first thing in the morning. That's a very, very small amount and Pepto is a pretty innocuous medicine. I've heard about something like Tums but there is the danger of stones with all that calcium. In any case I've spent a fortune on vets with no help at all. So, the answer, for me, is absolutely nothing but wet kibble (I've settled on Wellness...changing doesn't seem to help) and nothing else...no table food. I use an insulin syringe to measure such a small amount. In a few weeks I'll try weaning him off. It's amazing that so many Cairns have this problem and yet there are no answers. I'll be watching the forum to see how you get on. The forum has the wrong email address for me and I don't know how to change. New address mkk01@comcast.net

Best wishes.

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laddys lass said:
  The forum has the wrong email address for me and I don't know how to change. 

Off topic - I fixed that for you. The situation is explained here. In your case I deleted the second account you had (my laddy) as you had never posted from it. I mention this because, as the link above suggests, others have the same situation.

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  • 15 years later...

Hi my Cairn has frequently brought up bile all his life, he has just turned 3. He was bile acid tested as a pup, & he passed. We have had many tests since & Vet diets, unfortunately nothing has stopped the bile issue, but we have reduced it. I first took him off rich foods, which didn’t help. Then took him off fatty foods, still no change. His grandfather is allergic to red meats, so tried a no red meat diet with him. Nothing worked, so that’s when I did more thorough testing with his vet. He came back with high cortisol levels, so he then got tested for Addison’s Disease. Which he doesn’t have, my Vet also mentioned Bilious vomiting syndrome could be a possibility. So he has always been fed 3 small meals a day. We tried the crocodile elimination diet, with very little change. So he then went onto only eating Royal Canin - Anallergenic for 6 months. It did reduce the frequency of bile, but it still is present. So we have now introduced turkey mince, and sweet potato, for a bit of variety. He is happy & looks healthy, holds his weight, but unfortunately the bile issue seems to be an ongoing thing. He also has ear, eye & skin allergies. Poor fella, can’t catch a break. Even though the bile is still an issue, it has reduced considerably. Hope this helps someone else... feel free to send a response, or if you have any suggestions for me that would be appreciated.

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