Your dog happily munches down on his ice cube, then a moment later you notice him looking really uncomfortable and he starts tossing his head back and forth, pawing at his mouth and trying to get rid of whatever’s in there.
The problem, however, isn’t the ice – it’s the fact that your pup may have an ulcer or another medical condition that makes eating ice cause him to throw up. Below are several possible reasons why your dog throws up after eating ice cubes, so you can talk to your vet about what steps to take next time he does this.
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What Could Be Causing Your Dog To Throw Up After Eating Ice?
One of your dog’s most favorite things in life is eating ice. But what you might not know is that even though it looks and sounds harmless, ice could actually be doing some damage to your canine companion’s digestive system.
In fact, a few instances of dogs throwing up after eating ice have been linked to underlying conditions such as bloat and stomach ulcers. Here are three reasons why your dog may be throwing up after eating ice:
1) Bloat: While bloat isn’t necessarily caused by an excessive amount of water intake, overhydration can contribute to an already existing condition or disease. If you think your dog has bloated, get him or her to a vet immediately for treatment. Another condition that results from overeating is gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), commonly known as stomach torsion.
This occurs when rapid ingestion causes gastric distention (stomach filling with air), which leads to violent twisting of the stomach—this can prove fatal if not treated ASAP. The good news is, there are steps you can take to prevent bloat and GDV in your dog.
2) Ulcers: Not only does ice water cause a drop in your dog’s body temperature, but it also lowers his or her blood pressure—two things that have been linked to ulcer formation. Although eating ice won’t necessarily give your pup an ulcer, it could make existing ones worse. To help protect against ulcers, avoid feeding your dog table scraps containing salt and/or fat.
3) Diarrhea: Dogs may throw up after eating ice because they experience diarrhea shortly after ingesting large amounts of liquid at once. If you notice that your pooch has loose stool following their frozen treat session, he or she may be suffering from a gastrointestinal infection caused by bacteria such as E coli. In addition to throwing up, dogs experiencing diarrhea will often exhibit signs of dehydration like sunken eyes and dry gums.
So how much ice should your dog eat? While some dogs can tolerate more than others, it’s generally recommended that owners limit their pets’ intake to no more than two tablespoons per day. And remember, even though ice cubes seem harmless enough, they can pose serious health risks for your dog if consumed in excess.
Consult with your vet before giving your canine companion any type of food or drink other than what’s on his or her regular diet plan.
How Can You Avoid This Problem In the Future?
To avoid getting into a situation where your dog is throwing up after eating ice, try to avoid feeding your dog ice in general. Instead, offer water that has been thoroughly warmed by filling a water bottle with warm water and placing it in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Make sure you check with your vet to be sure that it’s safe for your pet to have warm or hot water. This should help prevent potential damage to their stomach if they happen to eat ice without you knowing about it.
If you can’t do away with giving them ice completely, make sure that you monitor them closely when they are around any frozen treats. Be aware of how much time passes between them consuming something cold and when they start to show signs of illness like vomiting or diarrhea.
If your dog is showing signs of illness within an hour of consuming anything cold, take him to see a veterinarian immediately as there could be some serious internal damage occurring. Do not attempt to give your dog anything else to eat or drink while he is vomiting; let his body get rid of what he just ate so that he doesn’t end up making himself sicker.
If your dog shows no sign of illness after an hour but continues to throw up over and over again, contact a veterinarian right away as well. The most common cause of dogs throwing up after eating ice is because they ate too much too fast. Dogs don’t chew their food very well, which means that even small pieces of ice can cause major damage to their digestive system if eaten quickly. The best way to avoid having your dog throw up from eating too much at once is to limit access to freezers where ice cubes might be kept.
Also, consider feeding smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of one large meal at night before bedtime. You may also want to invest in an anti-vomiting medication called Zantac (ranitidine) that veterinarians often prescribe for dogs experiencing nausea.
It’s important to note that these medications only work on certain types of nausea, however, so consult with your vet before administering any type of medication to your dog.
What You Should Do If Your Dog Throws Up Because He Ate Ice Cubes
The first thing you should do if your dog throws up because he ate ice cubes is to check his paws. Are they cold? Is there any ice that has been frozen to them? If so, you need to get him inside as soon as possible and thaw his paws out before he begins shivering uncontrollably or worse, goes into shock.
Sometimes a dog will eat ice and then accidentally step on it with their paw, which can cause blockages in their digestive tract and vomiting. This is why checking for signs of frostbite on their paws is important.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your dog after eating ice, especially if he’s younger than two years old. Puppies have smaller stomachs than adult dogs and are more likely to become sick from ingesting too much water at once.
If you suspect that your puppy may be experiencing problems after eating ice, contact your veterinarian immediately for further instructions.