Earlier this week, Star wanted to go outside three times (!) in the middle of the night. She's a dog that usually sleeps right through the night, so after the third time, my sleepy grumpy self finally thought that maybe something isn't right. I kept an eye on her during the day and went out that evening.
When I returned, I noticed a small puddle of what looked like red Kool-Aid. My husband and I looked at it, thought that perhaps she'd gotten into the strawberry patch, but I just worried about her for the next twenty minutes -- at which time she vomited a bucket-full of this stuff and we figured immediately: It's BLOOD! (DUH!) I took a photograph of the vomit, put Star in my car (where she continued to vomit) and raced her to the emergency vet a few blocks over.
The emergency vet took an x-ray of her tummy and couldn't see anything unusual but gave her an injection of Cerenia (for nausea) and sent her home with Sucralfate (medicine used to treat ulcers).
The next day, Star went to see her usual vet at Platz Animal Hospital. Dr. Platz (whom I've known since 1985!) decided to keep her overnight for testing and observation. When I returned the next day, Dr. Platz told me that they did a radiograph and other blood tests and urinalysis, and could find neither an ulcer nor a tumor (whew!), but that she does have about a pint of blood in her tummy, and that he suspects she has some kind of infection (which is still dangerous). [Star eats anything -- dirt, poop, you name it, but after checking our home and garage, it didn't appear that'd she'd gotten into anything toxic. However, she had been on Rimadyl and Tramadol for the two weeks before, due to pulled ligaments in both her hind legs -- which is another story unto itself.]
So Star is home from the vet, on a prescription antibiotic and Sucralfate, and is eating Hill's Prescription Diet i/d for gastrointestinal health. She goes back to the vet next week, at which point we'll assess if the next step is an MRI or scope. She seems to have perked up a bit, which is good news.
So, what does bloody dog vomit look like? I'll refrain from posting the photo, but I will tell you that she had the "not-as-horrid-as-it-could-be" kind: that is, it is "undigested" blood, clear red looking like a Kool-Aid or thin syrup. The "horrid" vomit is dark red and looks like it has coffee grounds in it. However, if your dog is vomiting either type, it's still an emergency and you need to get your dog to the vet NOW.
I'll keep you all updated. (And I'll do a sepate post on dog vomiting blood - with pictures, just for "educational" purposes.)