Anti-Vomiting Medications for Dogs

By Serena Thomas

There are many causes of vomiting in dogs, some mild, like motion sickness, and others more severe. Before administering any medication, have your vet evaluate your dog to find the cause of the vomiting. Medications for vomiting can be used alone, but are commonly used in a multi-layered approach to address the different aspects contributing to the dog's upset stomach. If vomiting persists while the dog is on medications, or the dog is vomiting so much it can't keep the pills down, see your vet for a reevaluation of its condition.


Before prescribing any medication for vomiting, the dog should be seen by a vet to determine the cause of the vomiting. Vomiting is a common symptom for many different ailments such as poisoning, bowel obstruction, ulcers and megaesophagus. The same anti-vomiting medications may be prescribed in each case, but will be used in conjunction with other therapies like surgery, intravenous fluids and charcoal administration.


Cerenia is a newer medication that can be given in injectable form under the skin or orally in a tablet. The medication is designed to be given once a day for four to five days, and will typically substantially reduce nausea and vomiting. Dogs who continue to vomit despite the administration of this drug may have a more serious condition and should return to the vet for a recheck. If the dog is vomiting to the point where it won't hold down a pill, the injectable form may be required until the vomiting stops.


If the vomiting is secondary to a stasis of the bowel, metoclopramide can be indicated. For dogs that have had severe colitis, GI surgery or bloat, the bowel may have slowed or stopped, causing digestive fluid or food to back up in the stomach. Metoclopramide acts to stimulate the bowel muscle back into action; once the normal motility is restored the fluid in the stomach will pass down stream and vomiting should stop.


Dogs with ulcers, as either a primary problem or secondary to another issue, will often vomit due to their stomach lining being eroded and feeling nauseous constantly. Carafate is a chalky substance that is given as a pill or in an oral suspension that acts to coat the stomach and buffer the tissue from the stomach acids. This allows the tissue to heal and decrease the nausea that causes vomiting. It can be given up to four times a day.


Omperazole is designed to slow acid production in the stomach. Dogs with ulcers from any cause can often feel sick and vomit due to their raw stomach wall. Omperazole will cut production of the acids eroding the wall, facilitating healing. This medication is often used in conjunction with other medications, as it works over time and offers limited immediate relief.