photo 2009 Judi Cox | more info (via: Wylio)
I have a 1 1/2yr. old Mini Aussie, female. She is very attached to my husband and myself. I’ve noticed for the past few months if I go out of the house for a few minutes, and she can’t see me, or sometimes when my husband leaves for work in the morning, she throws up.
She has about a tablespoon of plain, nonfat greek yogurt, a few kibbles, water in the a.m.. When she realizes, my husband is leaving, she starts running through the house, and sometimes throws up.
She is about 5-10lbs. over weight. She eats organic, good food. I think it’s she’s just stressed, and my husband thinks she needs to go to the vet and have blood tests. I sure would like to know what you think. Thank you for reading this.
I think you and your husband are both right. Your dog probably is vomiting due to stress (caused by separation anxiety — more on that in a minute). However, any chronically vomiting animal should be assessed by a vet (and get blood tests and X-rays) to make sure a medical condition isn’t at play.
Your description (a dog who’s very bonded with her owners, and who becomes visibly stressed when she senses that the owners are about to leave the house) definitely fits the picture of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a common and frustrating condition in dogs. Some dogs bark and whine constantly when their owners are away. Others become destructive and chew apart carpets or furniture. Rarely, dogs with separation anxiety will cause themselves great harm as they throw themselves against walls or through windows in their distress.
Vomiting isn’t a terribly common symptom of separation anxiety. However, anxiety can cause nausea in many species, including cats and dogs and people. If you’ve ever been worried sick, you know how your dog probably feels.
Treatment for separation anxiety starts with behavior modification. I have an article on my website dedicated to the subject, and I recommend that you read it.
However, I also recommend that you schedule a vet checkup. I’m not 100% certain that separation anxiety is your dog’s only problem. Even if it is, your vet should be able to offer additional practical tips for dealing with separation anxiety, or to prescribe medications that may help with the problem.
Photo: no reported vomiting or separation anxiety.