Why Is My Old Dog Throwing Up?

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Old Sick DogThis question for our Pet Doc comes from the concerned owner of a 14.5 year old Bichon named Harley, an old dog throwing up

My Old Dog Harley Has Been Throwing Up

Harley has been throwing up every day, sometimes twice. He has a wheezing problem that stops temporarily when he throws up. Harley has slowed down a bit but seems spritley for a dog his age. He has been on an all vegetable dog food prescribed from our bath due to allergies. He has been on this for 5 years with out any skin problems recurring.

The throwing up started about 2 weeks ago and has been recurring more frequently.

Old Dog Throwing Up: Our Pet Doc Says

Thanks for the question. My recommendation would be to take Harley in to see your veterinarian very soon. Two weeks of vomiting for any aged dog is cause for concern and especially raises a brow when speaking of an older pet. Would you know Harley was sick if you didn’t see him vomiting? How is his attitude and appetite? How soon after eating does the vomiting occur or is it inconsistent? Can you describe what the vomit looks like? These are a few of the questions that you should be prepared to answer when speaking with your vet. If I were to examine Harley and not find an obvious reason to explain the problem, then I would start with diagnostic testing. Testing may include blood chemistry analysis, urinalysis, fecal analysis and possibly a radiograph. The decision as to what tests will be run will be made by your veterinarian based on his or her physical exam findings. Be sure to mention Harley’s wheezing episodes. These two problems sound as though they may be unrelated but be sure to mention all of your concerns. I hope this helps. If there is anything I didn’t answer or you have more questions, then please contact your vet.

The pet doc is a veterinarian who has consulted with our site for many years. While he is still practicing and licensed, he volunteers his time to help us educate you, our readers, and has asked to donate this time and contribution anonymously. HIs 10+ years of experience in the field is invaluable as he helps to answer our reader’s pet-related questions. And hopefully, you will find his insights and helpful tips as much as we do.

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16 Comments on "Why Is My Old Dog Throwing Up?"

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Okay, the vet’s actions ‘might’ determine ‘WHY’ your dog is vomiting, but if one isn’t going to submit their elderly dog to invasive procedures to possibly correct the intermittent vomiting, why bother performing the testing?
I bought a pup she is fine had the all clear from vet but one of my older dogs is sick every time the puppy goes near her. Why is this? Could it be because my older dog is scared of the puppy?
Kimberly Alt
Your dog could be experiencing some anxiety. You can learn more about it in this article but be sure to talk to your vet about it before giving your dog any type of medicine.
Hi, My dog is approximately 10 years old and started to poo urine (a stool but urine or pass wind and urine from same place). She’s now started to vomit after eating. She’s a rescue dog extremely intelligent but subdued. Does anyone have any advice?That would be fantastic ( we don’t have a vet near us open on weekends).
How does a 10 yr old dog all of a sudden start to poo fees and URINE out of the rectum? Urine comes from the bladder…then through the urethra.
Sophia Larson
My toy poodle is 13 years old. For the last 2 nights she vomits about 4-5 hours after her evening meal. She’s on a low fat GI dog food – grain free. The vomitus is mostly liquid with very small amount of undigested food. She’s not lethargic, she’s playful, drinking water, peeing and pooping. She only vomits once a day. What’s going on?
Sadie Cornelius
Sophia, sorry to hear your poodle is not feeling well. Have you taken her to see a vet? We always recommend getting a professional’s opinion and hope that she gets to feeling better soon!
I’ve got a pit and boxer mix. I started throwing up this morning. I wonder what caused that. He’s about a year old.
You should go see a doctor if you are throwing up.
Brandon Martin

My 15 year old dog just started throwing up and acting sick. I put him on a bland diet and he seems to be doing better, but is still not having a bowel movement. I don't want to take him to vet, it will stress him too much. I want to do hospice care and keep him pain free and happy as long as possible, any info would be appreciated.

Sara Logan Wilson

Hi Brandon, we understand you not wanting to stress him by taking him to the vet, however, we do suggest you contact your vet via phone. They will likely have recommendations for you to make him as comfortable as you can.


Whatever I feed my Yorkie rescue dog he has either diarrhea or vomiting with occasional drooling. I have had blood tests, urine tests, fecal tests, ultrasound and x-rays on his tummy. We can't find anything wrong with those tests. When I feed rice and cottage cheese mix he has diarrhea. If I feed him boiled chicken and rice he throws up.



Michelle Schenker

We would suggest that you try another veterinarian for a second opinion. You can also ask one of the Vets Online and get an response quickly. Hope your pup is feeling better soon.


My Australian cattle dog, Bubby is in his 15th year now. He sleeps a lot and has arthritis in his hips. But other than that, he has always been a good eater and bowels have worked fine (except I've had to help "push" the poo out because of his sore hips). Last night Bubby threw up. He threw up again this morning. And again this afternoon. I'm hoping it's just an upset tummy as I gave him a little Kielbasa sausage that I cooked for my husband, which Bubby normally doesn't eat.

Bubby's meals consist of any of the following: range fed cooked ground beef, chicken, broccoli, peas, mashed potatoes, brown rice, and raw vegetable "smoothie" (carrots, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, red bell pepper). He's never thrown up eating any of these items. My question is: do older dogs that are close to dying start losing their ability to digest foods? And also the ability to control their bowels or urine? I also noticed this afternoon that not only was there throw-up in his bed, but also a small urine puddle near his pee'er.

He does not have the strength to get up and walk. I carried him outside and layed him on the grass then put him on his feet. He layed back down again. I had to carry him back into the house and put him back in his bed. Bubby and I have been best of pals since 1998 (rescued him from an abusive owner). The thought of losing him is too much to bear.

Heeler Mom in Hawaii


I noticed the date is September 2011 and I'm just curious how things went for your boy. I was going to suggest an urgent veterinary review as he may have had a bowel obstruction. I hope things are ok. Tash 🙂


My dog is almost 17 now and pure bichon as well! His name is Minkey, and he’s been throwing up sometimes as well. It’s usually only when he eats something out of his regular diet, such as a new dog treat or scraps that may fall while preparing dinner. But other than the vomiting he’s completely normal and even lively and energetic at times for a 17 year old dog. I don’t know why or what could be wrong. If the owner of the dog Harley reads this: please respond with some feedback over the last 15 months. How is he doing? Did it get worse? Or go away…

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