I mean, what kind of a question is that? If it comes up out of the mouth and should’ve stayed down, then it must be vomit, right? But wait! There are a couple of different mechanisms that bring food or liquid back up out of the mouth and we have to distinguish between the two: vomit or regurgitation.

Because these are very different things – vomit vs regurgitation.

Everyone knows vomit: that’s the sound the cat makes before it leaves a hairball on your shoe. It’s active, there’s a lot of heaving, it is the sort of thing that when we did it in college that created that feeling of never wanting to do it again. It’s the body‘s way of saying “batten down the hatches, everything‘s coming back up.” In that active process, all holes are shut down so that the vomit doesn’t go in the air hole or anywhere else it shouldn’t go. Often, there’s a lot of noise. And there’s a very violent contraction of the muscles. Vomit. We got that.

Regurgitation is something completely different. Regurgitation is kind of sneaky. Regurgitation is when we leave the room and we come back and there’s a giant splat all over the floor. Very often, in regurgitation, what came up looks exactly like it did when it went down. Where as in vomit, It often looks digested, or partially digested.

So what’s the deal with regurgitation? Why doesn’t it cause such a violent response from the body?

The difference is where the food is. Huh?

In vomit, the foodstuff was in the stomach. Below the diaphragm.

In regurgitation, the food is still above the diaphragm. Like, it’s at the bottom of the esophagus or top of the stomach but the door into the abdominal cavity didn’t open to let the food into the stomach – the stomach is located in the abdominal cavity.

Can you see that in your mind?

The food (or water) gets swallowed, travels down the esophagus but doesn’t make it all the way into the stomach. The dog or cat moves around a little then splat, it’s back out with very little effort at all.

This second scenario is often due to “hiatal hernia.” People with this condition are the ones who have to sleep sitting up because they don’t like the reflux from their stomach into their mouth when they sleep.

If you go to a conventional veterinarian with the issue of “vomiting” but no one makes the distinction between vomit and regurgitation you may spend a lot of money on diagnostics that tell you nothing. Then, medication that doesn’t help things.

So this hiatal hernia thing is a bubble of stomach above the diaphragm when the entire stomach is supposed to be below the diaphragm in the abdominal cavity. If you are a human with this issue, a good chiropractor can help you correct the issue. Your pet needs the same thing- someone who knows how to pull the stomach back into the abdominal cavity.

Its that easy.

Can you imagine?

A physical body correction (a few other things help keep it from coming back – diet, pH, herbs) can correct “the pukies.”

So, next time you encounter “vomit,” first step is to figure out if it’s vomit or regurgitation. Vomit, especially if it continues, may be a medical emergency. Regurgitation is a body work/ chiropractic issue – see your holistic veterinarian or animal massage therapist for help.

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