Like with ourselves, sometimes our dogs are going to fall ill. Knowing the various symptoms and what they mean will allow you to know if something is just a cold, or if there is a bigger concern. If you find your dog throwing up white foam, it can be quite distressing to see. Sometimes vet visits may be required and other times your dog may just need a drink and to rest. But how do you know when it is serious?
In this article we will be going through the causes for white vomit in dogs, and when you need to visit a vet. Not only can a vet visit be stressful and possibly unnecessarily, but it can add costs too. On the other hand, if your dog is ill and you ignore something concerning, then your dog could be suffering. We will guide you through our recommendations to help you in this scenario. So let’s take a look!
What are the Causes
There are many reasons your dog may be throwing up white foam. We are going to go through the six most common causes to help you try to identify why your dog may be vomiting white foam.
This is a broad term for an upset stomach. The vomiting usually occurs as an attempt by your dog to try to rid whatever is causing nausea. Your dog may vomit with little in its stomach and the saliva and stomach juices combine to create a white froth. Your dog may throw up repeatedly, the first of which is usually whatever is upsetting your dog’s stomach. However, your dog may then continue attempting to vomit to rid anything harmful from their stomach. This is usually when the white foamy sick comes out. However, it can come out very minutely without any other kind of vomit. It depends on the severity of indigestion. Although it is normal for your dog to have indigestion sometimes, it is not normal for them to have it frequently.
Acid reflux, a common cause of indigestion, can lead to your dog vomiting white foam. It occurs when stomach acid works its way up your dog’s throat, leading to heartburn and an unpleasant taste. The acidity in the stomach often combines with an empty stomach, leads to acidic, frothy vomit coming from your dog. This is another condition that can occur every once in a while, however, it needs a vet consultation if it happens regularly as it can cause damage after some time. The stomach’s acidity will erode the esophagus and damage the teeth of your dog, which can lead to poor breath, pain, and trouble eating.
Kennel cough‘s most notorious symptom is a strong, hacking cough. However, it can often lead to white vomiting. This is because your dog is dry heaving and coughing so much it is leading to irritation and straining. Your dog exerts so many chest and stomach muscles coughing that they may actually vomit. As it is not the body’s main goal though, the vomiting can be in small amounts before food has even been consumed. Hence why it is a little bit of white foam that your dog vomits up. This is very contagious so when you contact your vet, mention your suspicions of kennel cough before bringing them in. As it could be passed to another dog.
Deep-chested dogs have been known to suffer from bloat. It is a very serious condition that results from consuming air which has led to a twisted stomach. The twist in the stomach is life-threatening so if you have suspicions that your dog has bloat you should take them to an emergency vet immediately. One of the body’s reactions to trying to fix the problem is to gag and vomit. Due to the deep twist in the stomach though, dogs are unable to move much more than saliva and some stomach fluids. Other symptoms may include coughing, drooling, pale gums, and extreme fatigue.
One of the symptoms of a fungal infection in dogs is vomiting, depending on the type of fungus of course. Each fungus affects a dog’s body differently, some attacking organs, specific systems of the body, and even the brain. If it affects the stomach, muscles around it, or even the diaphragm your dog may vomit. White frothy vomit often indicates an empty stomach, something which occurs after frequent vomiting. Therefore, with a fungal infection, the consistent vomiting will inevitably lead to white frothy vomiting. Other symptoms that may occur include shaking, disorientation, weight loss, and coughing to name a few. But each fungal infection has different affecting symptoms.
When your dog does not have enough water in its system they suffer greatly in many ways. Fatigue, panting, drooling, disorientation, and of course, vomiting. The vomiting can occur from drinking too quickly or in cases of severe dehydration that requires veterinary assistance. The vomiting can occur due to nausea brought on by a lack of water. Also note that vomiting is a symptom of heat stroke, a condition that requires immediate vet attention and fluids. Test the elasticity of your dog’s skin to see if they are dehydrated. If, when you very gently pinch the skin, it returns to its normal placing, then your dog is unlikely to be dehydrated. If it slowly returns to its place, this shows a lack of water in your dog’s system.
Treatments And Cures
The treatment of white, frothy vomiting is all dependent on the cause. We always recommend taking your dog to the vet if you are unsure about this. However, if you are confident of the cause and you can help at home, then a vet visit is not always needed.
If your dog has vomited white, frothy foam just once, and no other symptoms are present, it is worth just monitoring your dog. Sometimes your dog may have eaten too quickly or has a furball, therefore the vomit may be a one-off and not indicate an illness. However, if there are worrisome, accompanying symptoms, you need to pursue the help of a professional. For example, if your dog is vomiting multiple times, they are stumbling, and they are whining, this is a sign you need an urgent vet visit. However, if you have found your dog eating grass and then they have vomited up a small amount of frothy foam with grass, you are okay to just monitor them.
Generally, though, you need to provide your dog with a gentle diet, lots of water, and ensure they get enough rest. We advise giving them a mix of cooked chicken breast and rice. Make sure the rice has no added seasoning that could be harmful to your dog. Cooking these and then offering your dog a small portion once they have cooled down can help your dog to feel better. Always make sure your dog has access to water as well as they can become severely dehydrated after vomiting.
Dog Throwing Up White Foam – FAQs
You may have some further questions about white foam vomit in dogs. Have a look at some further answers to frequently searched questions, below.
This depends on why your dog vomits. Some dogs can start to feel a bit better after a few hours, however, VCA animal hospital says dogs feel back to normal from two to four hours. This is an average measurement though. If the vomiting was mild and your dog had no accompanying symptoms, then it will likely take a lot less time for your dog to feel normal. However, if your dog has been significantly ill and vomited repeatedly, it may take longer than a day or two for your dog to start feeling better.
Some of the things you can do to help your dog after vomiting include:
– Offering your dog water
– Providing small, and simple meals like rice or chicken
– Keeping things quiet in their location
– Offering gentle affection if they search for it
Be sure to follow the advice of your vet if the vomiting is a sign of something bigger, for example a stomach bug. Tailored advice is always better than generalized if you are able to receive it.
It is important to offer a bland and easily digestible diet. Rice and chicken are the go-to diet for a dog that has been vomiting. It helps to soothe your dog’s stomach and hopefully reduce the chance of your dog vomiting again. Furthermore, making sure that your dog can get some food down them can help them to feel better as well as prevent them from losing weight.
You need to inspect and monitor your dog for any other symptoms. However, if it is just one occasion and your dog is otherwise healthy, it may just be a case of checking if any symptoms do arise and heading to the vet if that occurs. Just be extra gentle and sweet with your dog after they have vomited. It can be quite unpleasant and stressful, so a little bit of extra love is always appreciated.
Always make sure that your dog has access to water after throwing up. It can dehydrate your dog as well as leave an unpleasant taste in their mouth. Water will rehydrate them as well as wash the bad taste out of their mouth, something which could make them vomit again. Dehydration is also an issue that can both make your dog vomit, and also make them severely unwell in other areas. If your dog is unwell, to make sure they recover properly they need to be encouraged to drink water. Just be sure they are not doing so too fast and swallowing water, something which could lead to them throwing up again.
If your dog is throwing up white foam then it is important to evaluate other affecting factors and symptoms your dog is displaying. It can help you understand if the vomiting has originated from something minor or major. Understanding the cause will help you and the vet to find proper treatment and support your dog appropriately. We hope that we have helped you understand why your dog is throwing up white foam and you can make the best decision for your dog.