Assessing Vomiting
The primary diagnostic significance of vomiting is that it suggests the need for investigation. The vomitus and incidences should be fully described and written down for clarity to discuss with a vet and as a guideline for any research you or anyone else might do. Write down as much detail as possible, including items that are "not determined" or "not observed" as may seem appropriate. Noting the time of each occurrence will help identify trends.

1. Physical description of the vomitus:

  • Color: colorless, yellow, brown, green?
  • Clarity: clear, frothy or accompanied by/containing froth or foam, muddy or otherwise containing solids?
  • Visible presence of red blood: overall pink tinge or separate streaks?
    If vomitus is pink try to determine whether the color might be from food rather than blood.
  • Clotted blood visible as solid black spots?
  • Solid matter: food as-eaten/undigested or partially/fully digested?
    This is easier to determine with kibble, could be a judgement call with canned food since it's harder to distinguish between digested and un-digested.
  • 2. Frequency or association with other symptoms:

  • Is there a regular interval of episodes such as weekly or do they occur at seemingly random times?
  • Do signs of nausea, inappetance or general malaise precede incidents?
  • Does stress appear to be a factor, such as vet visits or riding in a car?
  • 3. Timing:

    Relative to time of day:
  • Always and/or only first thing in the morning or at other times after awaking?
  • At regularly-repeated times during the day?
  • Is there a pattern of interval between episodes, i.e. every 4 hours, etc?
  • If apparently random, frequent or infrequent?
  • Note times of occurrence each day.
  • Relative to eating:
    How soon after eating? Record in minutes, hours. If immediately after eating, record in seconds, minutes;
    Does it occur after every feeding, most but not all, or only occasionally?
    Does there seem to be a relationship between the tendency to vomit and
  • Amount eaten?
  • Type of food, if different types are given at different times?
  • Consumed voluntarily or syringe-fed?
  • Relative to meds/treatments, bowel movements:
    Same as for eating, noting the particular med or describing the stool produced and/or strain involved in producing it.