This upper respiratory disease may lead to a dog throwing up white foam in addition to nasal discharge, excessive coughing and eye drainage. Although it usually runs its course in 14 days, it is always best to seek medical attention.
When an abnormal buildup of air and intestinal fluids occurs, it can lead to your dog’s stomach bloating up. This can be fatal, since it constricts veins and blood flow. Usually other symptoms accompany the white foam, including inability to defecate, increased drooling, coughing or pale gums. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms in conjunction with white foam, seek medical attention immediately.
A serious cause of white foam can be kidney disease. Dogs that have been urinating more than usual or having accidents in the house may start to vomit and exhibit more serious symptoms as the kidney disease progresses. You should visit a veterinarian and discuss if dietary changes are needed. A diet with a low level of phosphorus and moderate level of protein, but of high quality, can help manage kidney disease. If treated early, dogs can lead a healthy life with minimal problems.
If your dog is up to date on vaccinations, white foam should not be a sign of rabies. If a dog does manage to get rabies, white foam is usually one of the last symptoms they exhibit (after extreme aggression and muscle spasms).
Regurgitation vs. Vomit
There is a difference between regurgitation and vomit. Regurgitation is when the dog throws up food that has not been digested yet, and the kibbles can be recognized easily. This is usually not serious and it might be due to the fact that the dog has eaten its food too fast. On the other side, vomit is when the food has already been digested, and it can have a greenish/yellowish color (bile salts). Vomit is a more serious issue as it can be a sign of disease.
A dog throwing up white foam is a sign of digestive tract issues, so watch for additional signs to determine how quickly you need to seek medical attention. While many dogs may just throw up white foam because they ate something they should not have, it is better to be safe than sorry. Consult a veterinarian if you are uncertain.
Why Do Dogs Throw Up ?
Vomiting serves a vital function in dogs, many of whom have a well-deserved reputation for eating just about anything. Throwing up can be the body’s way of correcting a mistake. Most owners have witnessed their dogs eating something unsavory, only to see it come back up a few minutes later. Other relatively benign causes of dog vomiting are motion sickness and bilious vomiting syndrome. Of course, vomiting is also a symptom of many potentially serious diseases, such as:
– Gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestinal tract)
– Intestinal obstruction caused by foreign material, tumors, organ displacement, etc.
– Inflammatory bowel disease
– Exposure to toxins
– Some types of cancer
– Liver disease
– Kidney disease
– Infections (bacterial, viral, or fungal)
– Diabetes mellitus
– Addison’s disease
– Pancreatic disease
– Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
– Gastrointestinal ulcers
– Head trauma
– Drug side effects
– Food allergies or intolerance
What to Do When Your Dog Throws Up
There are times when a vomiting dog requires immediate treatment. If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms, call a veterinarian.
– Frequent vomiting – dogs who vomit frequently can quickly become debilitated. This is especially true for elderly dogs or individuals who have health problems.
– Projectile vomiting – potentially a sign of an obstructed gastrointestinal tract
– Lethargy and depression – indications that the dog’s whole body is being adversely affected
– Severe diarrhea – the combination of severe vomiting and diarrhea can quickly result in dehydration
– Decreased urination – decreased urine production is seen with dehydration
– Abdominal pain and/or enlargement – these symptoms are generally seen with the more serious causes of vomiting in dogs
– Repeated attempts at vomiting but nothing is produced – this is a classic symptom of gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV or bloat), a potentially life-threatening condition.
– The presence of anything abnormal within the vomit, including foreign objects, blood, evidence of poisoning, etc.