Emesis is the medical term for vomiting. One of the more common reasons I see a patient. Dogs that vomit are unusual. Often they are sick. Because they ate something or their food disagrees with them or something internally has caught up with them. For many dogs even missing a meal is a cause for alarm.

Cats on the other hand are self cleansing. They are born to vomit, as the last lecturer opened his talk with that I went to about gastrointestinal disease in cats. The question with them is when is the vomiting too much? Are they sick, is it a problem?

The other reason emesis comes up in a veterinary setting is making a pet vomit. Because of exposure to a poison or ingestion of an expensive object, for example. We veterinarians have chemical means to make an animal lose their lunch, so to speak. I always found it somewhat paradoxical that we make pets vomit to keep them from vomiting (from the eaten bad thing).

When asked my most memorable emesis story it comes easily and immediately to mind. I was presented by an Animal Control Officer (ACO) a friendly appearing Pit Bull on the end of a rabies pole. A request was made to retrieve the dogs owners nose. It was not made apparent how said appendage ended up in said Pit Bull. Seemingly, the ACO was expecting me to cut open the dog right there and then, anesthetics optional.

I elected to make the dog vomit which was effective. Mixed in with kibble and stomach juices was the end of a nose. I wouldn’t have known it was a nose without being told, but I could tell you its owners nationality. The nose was cleaned up, packed away in ice and flown to LA for a successful re-unification I later found out.


Biting off ones nose does spite ones face


Leave a Reply