Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2013; 41(01): 16-22
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1623680
Original Article
Schattauer GmbH

Causes of vomiting in dogs and usefulness of clinical investigations

Ursachen von Erbrechen beim Hund und Nutzen verschiedener Diagnostika
A. Rosé
1   Small Animal Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen, Germany
R. Neiger
1   Small Animal Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 22 December 2011

Accepted after revision: 15 June 2012

Publication Date:
10 January 2018 (online)



To find the most common diagnoses of dogs where vomiting was the main reason for referral and to determine the usefulness of various diagnostic investigations.

Material and methods

213 dogs referred for vomiting as main or one of the main causes were analysed retrospectively. Diagnosis was reassessed and categorized into six groups, namely gastrointestinal, systemic, non-gastrointestinal abdominal, neurological, miscellaneous or no diagnosis. All diagnostic investigations were reviewed to assess their usefulness to reach a diagnosis. The usefulness of a diagnostic investigation was scored into the following four groups: enabled a diagnosis; assisted a diagnosis; no assistance, diagnosis reached by another procedure; no assistance, no final diagnosis made.


In 203 dogs (95.3%) a diagnosis was reached and was categorised as gastrointestinal (43.7%), systemic (27.7%), non-gastrointestinal abdominal (16.4%), neurological (1.4%) and miscellaneous (6.1%). Laboratory tests enabling or assisting a diagnosis as blood tests in 12.2%; 26.8%, as faecal analysis in 6.6%; 1.4%, as ultrasound in 5.2%; 17%, as cytology in 3.3%; 4.2%, as urinalysis in 2.3%; 9.9% and as radiographs in 1.9%; 8.5% of all cases.


Overall, there was a high incidence of dogs referred for vomiting with non-gastrointestinal diseases. Amongst them, renal problems were most commonly seen, which emphasises the need to perform a urinalysis in most dogs with vomiting as major complaint. However, vomiting can be due to a large variety of underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and no single problem seems to be much more common compared to other problems in a referral institution.

Clinical relevance

Based on this investigation it is not possible to clearly state a most useful single diagnostic test in dogs with emesis, however, it could clearly been shown that more than one test is often needed to reach a final diagnosis. This is important for owners to understand but also for referring veterinarians.


Gegenstand und Ziel

Auswertung der häufigsten Ursachen von Erbrechen bei Hunden mit dem Leitsymptom Erbrechen und Erfassung der Nützlichkeit verschiedener Untersuchungsverfahren zur Diagnosefindung.

Material und Methoden

Retrospektive Auswertung von 213 Hunden mit Erbrechen als Hauptsymptom oder eines der Hauptsymptome. Die überprüften Diagnosen wurden in sechs Gruppen eingeteilt: gastrointestinal, systemisch, extragastrointestinal abdominal, neurologisch, andere oder keine Diagnose. Für alle Untersuchungsverfahren erfolgte eine Bewertung bezüglich ihrer Nützlichkeit zur Diagnosefindung, die einer der folgenden vier Gruppen zugeordnet wurde: Diagnose möglich; hilft bei der Diagnose; hilft nicht bei der Diagnose, die Diagnose wurde mithilfe einer anderen Untersuchung gestellt; hilft nicht bei der Diagnose, eine Diagnose wurde nicht gestellt.


Bei 203 Hunden (95,3%) ließ sich eine Diagnose stellen mit folgender Verteilung: gastrointestinal (43,7%), systemisch (27,7%), extragastrointestinal abdominal (16,4%), neurologisch (1,4%), andere (6,1%). Die Untersuchungen ermöglichten bzw. unterstützten die Stellung einer Diagnose gemäß folgender prozentualer Verteilung: Labordiagnostik (z.B. Hämatologie): 12,2% und 26,8%; Kotuntersuchung: 8,5% und 1,4%; Ultraschall: 6,6% und 17%; Zytologie: 5,2% und 4,2%; Harnstatus: 2,3% und 9,9%; Röntgen: 1,9% und 8,5%.


Es ergab sich eine hohe Inzidenz an extragastrointestinalen Erkrankungen, wobei Nierenerkrankungen dominierten. Dies unterstreicht die Bedeutung einer Urinanalyse bei den meisten Hunden mit Vomitus. Erbrechen ist ein Symptom mit vielfältigen Ursachen und entsprechend unterschiedlicher Pathogenese. In dieser Studienpopulation aus überwiesenen Patienten war keine spezifische Erkrankung überrepräsentiert.

Klinische Relevanz

Anhand der Resultate ist es nicht möglich, die beste Einzeluntersuchung für einen Hund mit Erbrechen zu bestimmen, doch ließ sich zeigen, dass zur Diagnosestellung mehrere Untersuchungen notwendig sind. Dies zu erkennen ist für Besitzer und Tierarzt wichtig.

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