Dog vomiting can be caused by a number of things and it’s not always a sign of a serious medical condition. The sound of your dog gagging and retching is worrying, but there’s no need to press the panic button just yet. You must first understand what dog vomiting is and the different reasons why it happens so that you’ll know the appropriate treatment.
What is vomiting in dogs?
Dog vomiting is not an illness but a symptom that can indicate an underlying issue. It starts with nausea followed by dry heaves and retching before finally throwing up.
The common signs that your dog is in the nausea stage are drooling and excessive swallowing. Retching enables your dog to forcefully eject gastric and intestinal content with food, fluid, and debris out of the mouth. Vomiting may result in electrolyte depletion, acid-base imbalance, and possibly pneumonia.
Don’t mistake vomiting with regurgitation. Regurgitation refers to the elimination of materials from the oesophagus. You can tell that it is regurgitation when the material expelled from the mouth are identifiable as undigested food covered in mucus.
Dogs regurgitate without nausea or retching. It occurs when they eat too much food or they have consumed too much water.
- Diet change/intolerance
- Reaction on medication
- Gastric dilatation and bloating
- Infections (Bacterial, parasitic, and viral)
- Foreign material ingestion
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis
- Acute kidney failure
- Acute liver failure
Check for vomit colour and consistency
Not being able to describe the signs accurately to the vet can lead to misdiagnosis. So it’s important to get as much information as you can get about the quantity and type of content, the consistency of the expelled materials, and the colour of the vomit.
Before you clean up your dog’s vomit, it would be wise to examine the vomit and identify the content, take a picture of it, in case you need to show your vet later. Here are some of the things to look out for.
1. Clear slime
The clear slime material is often mistaken for a dog throwing up water. However, this is not always the case especially if it happens more frequently. When your furry friend is suffering from stomach issues, it results in drooling which forms clear mucus. A dog vomiting clear liquid usually indicates the beginning of the vomiting process.
Moreover, this type of vomit occurs when:
- He has eaten foreign material.
- He has eaten grass.
- He has motion sickness.
- He was too energetic right after a meal.
If the vomit persists with chunks of food and visible stomach bile, then you will be able to identify the cause. If it violently persists, take your dog to the vet.
2. Yellow foam
The yellow foam may come from the bile, a digestive fluid from the liver. It usually signifies that the dog’s stomach is empty. If your dog is still eating and defecating normally, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
However, you must make some meal adjustments by feeding smaller amounts of food but more frequently. So instead of giving one full meal in one go, it should be divided into two or three meals.
If his condition doesn’t improve, it is best to take him to the vet especially if your dog exhibits other signs such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Yellow marks on his skin, eyes, or gums
3. White foam
A dog throwing up white foam often indicates digestive tract issues that can be simply treated. It can be caused by an upset stomach or overconsumption of food or water. In rare cases, it may be a sign of more serious underlying problems such as:
- Kennel cough
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Gastric hypomotility
- Kidney disease
If more symptoms occur such as sudden lethargy, loss of appetite, or irregular bowel movements, it merits a visit to the vet.
4. Pink foam
If your dog is vomiting pink foam, it may actually come from the lungs. Materials from the lungs can be any of the following colours: white, pink (when tinted with fresh blood or when tinted with old blood), and brown. This is usually caused by health complications that include heart failure and lung cancer or infection.
5. Dog vomiting and diarrhoea
Vomiting and diarrhoea are signs of gastrointestinal issues. Treatments vary depending on the cause and severity. Vomiting and diarrhoea may be caused by a viral infection, parasitic infection, cancer, internal organs problem, or as simple as indigestion.
The act of vomiting is the result of irritation in the stomach, whilst diarrhoea is the irritation that can be anywhere along the intestinal tract. Any of the following diagnostic tests may be performed to identify the primary cause:
- Blood tests
- Faecal testing
- Abdominal X-rays
- Abdominal ultrasound
More specific tests can be done once the disease is detected and identified.
Dog vomiting home remedies
- Limiting the food intake of dogs allows his gastrointestinal tract to recover. However, do not starve him and do not feed him a large quantity of food.
- Ice chips can counter dehydration caused by vomiting.
- Ginger has carminative properties that will give relief to his stomach. Most dogs do not enjoy the taste of ginger. As such, you may mask it by mixing ginger with warm coconut milk or putting ginger powder on the bread with honey.
- Feed him with a bland diet. Plain white rice, plain chicken, or plain meat will suffice.
- Include chicken broth on your dog’s diet. This will help him with dehydration. It is best to make it at home rather than buy a commercial one that may contain harmful additives. Only use newly cooked rice as the leftover rice has much less starch.
Did these tips help the condition of your dog? Find out more pet care tips in our pet health blogs! Don’t forget to share it with your friends!