Why is My Dog Vomiting White Foam

Vomiting by your dog can be alarming. The Vomit may appear yellow, brown, clear, or white and foamy. Dog vomiting white foam can be a bit scary for the pet parent. You might wonder if your dog is okay.

A single episode of vomiting may not require any action. However, a dog vomiting white foam multiple times may indicate a severe underlying problem. It is one of the common reasons to see a vet clinic.

In this blog post, you will learn about causes, home remedies, time to visit the vet, prevention, and other important aspects of dog vomiting white foam.

What Does a Dog Vomiting White Foam Mean? 

Vomiting white foam occurs in dogs when on an empty stomach, the excess gases, stomach acids, and saliva get mixed up. A bubbly foam-like liquid is created in the stomach. Vomiting refers to the forceful ejection of totally or partially digested particles from the stomach and upper intestines. The vomit can be granular, semi-solid, or watery in texture.

Distinguishing Coughing from Vomiting White Foam

We must differentiate vomiting from coughing. The white foam also forms in the respiratory tract when liquid in the airways gets mixed with air. It leads to vigorous coughing which might be mistaken for a dog vomiting white foam. This usually occurs when a dog is suffering from a kennel cough. Contrary to vomiting white foam when a dog coughs up white foam its abdomen rarely contracts.

Causes of Dogs Vomiting White Foam

There can be multiple reasons for your dog vomiting white foam.

Some of them are described below

  • Indigestion: It is a common cause of vomiting particularly white foam vomiting. It may occur due to eating grass, something from the trash, or eating too fast.
  • Ingesting any Toxic substance: Eating any toxin like a poisonous plant, a household cleaner or human medication may cause vomiting. If the substance is highly toxic, it may lead to the dog vomiting white foam and die.
  • Acid Reflux: Or Bilious vomiting syndrome occurs when Dogs vomit white foam due to excess bile and stomach acids flowing back to the esophagus. The episode of vomiting is likely to occur in the morning before breakfast.
  • Bloat: It is a condition of medical emergency. The dog’s belly gets filled with gases, food, or fluid making the dog unable to pass stool. It leads to Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), a very painful condition for the dog.
  • Gastrointestinal Obstruction: Swallowing a piece of bone, a toy or any foreign substance may lead to GIT obstruction. It can cause vomiting white foam and the movement of intestinal secretions to the stomach as the body tries to get rid of it. Sometimes the object must be removed through surgery.

Home Remedies for Dog Vomiting White Foam

If you observe your dog vomiting white foam, the first step is to withhold its next meal for 12-24 hours. Ensure that plenty of water is available for your dog to avoid dehydration. Provide a bland diet such as boiled chicken or boiled rice. After withholding meal, if your dog eats the food as usual then there is no need to worry about it. If it seems uninterested in a meal or vomits again then see your pet.

When to Consult Your Vet

You should consult your vet in case your dog vomits white foam when you observe more than one episode of vomiting in 24 hours and this vomiting continues for more than a day. Consultation from your vet is also necessary if you observe vomiting along with other symptoms listed below:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in their vomit
  • Distended abdomen
  • Fast breathing

Diagnosis for Vomiting White Foam

Provide all the details of vomiting and medical history to your pet. If you suspect your dog has ingested something, share it with your pet. The vet will thoroughly examine the dog. Some diagnostic procedures like X-rays, ultrasound, blood and urine tests may also be advised. Specialized tests such as CT scans and MRIs are done if a serious disease or cancer is suspected.

Treatment for Dog Vomiting White Foam

Bulldog puppy getting a check-up at the vet.

Treatment is usually according to the cause of vomiting white foam. Some options are described

  • Treatment usually starts with anti-nausea medicines administered intravenously.
  • Hospitalization for Intravenous fluids, surgery, or endoscopy may be required if the underlying cause of vomiting is pancreatitis, bloat, dehydration, toxic ingestion, and in case of obstruction.
  • Change of diet in case of acid reflux, allergies, or kidney disease.
  • Cough suppressants for kennel cough.
  • Several antibiotics and anti-parasitic or anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed.

Prevention of your Dog from Vomiting White Foam

Unfortunately, vomiting cannot be fully eradicated, but some tips are given below to minimize the risk dogs of vomiting white foam

  • Keep all the potential substances away from the reach of your dog which can cause vomiting away
  • Monitor the diet of your dog and ensure to provide a balanced diet as per recommendations from experts. If you change the diet, make it a slow transition.
  • Ensure regular checkups from your vet and routine blood testing of your pet
  • Ensure vaccination to prevent viruses like parvovirus
  • Train your pet to avoid licking and chewing, plants, grass, and sticks.

Conclusion

Dog vomiting white foam is a serious concern for the pet parents. But this problem can be managed by understanding the potential causes and through taking prompt action. A single episode is not a major problem but dogs vomiting white foam multiple times is alarming. The major causes include indigestion, ingestion of a toxic substance, acid reflux, bloating, gastrointestinal obstruction, kennel cough, pancreatitis, and other infections.

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