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Dogs throwing up white foam? What to do?

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Janet Johns
Dogs throwing up white foam? What to do?

When something like a dog throwing up white foam occurs, it can be a very worrying rune for any pet owner, because it doesn’t seem like it would be part of a natural progression of events. There must be a reason for it, and because it isn’t very common and is quite unknown, panic can ensue, but there are lots of things you need to know about what it means and how to combat it. Unfortunately, if you’re a pet parent, specifically dogs, then periodic puke spouts aren’t anything new, but there are differences between the white foam and regular vomit. There are a number of different causes of your dog throwing up white foam. Knowing and recognising the symptoms is important to dealing with the problem.

  1. Indigestion

If you ring the vet and immediately tell them “my dog is throwing up white foam”, their response will most likely reference indigestion. Dogs get indigestion just like humans but their response can be much more violent. While we may get a tight chest and struggle to breathe a little, before passing gas, dogs will vomit white foam. Humans will only throw up in extreme circumstances of indigestion, but it is one of the most common causes of it. Perhaps they have eaten too much grass or something similar, but most likely have just eaten their dinner too quickly.

  1. Acid Reflux

Another reason for your dog throwing up white foam is acid reflux. This can be the reason depending on the time of day it occurs. For example, does your dog throw up foam before eating in the morning? Well, the reality is it is probably because of acid reflux. This is a condition which occurs as a result of your dog’s gastrointestinal tract gets irritated by stomach acid. As a result, your dog could vomit white or yellow foam. In order to stop this occurring, the best thing to do is reduce the portion sizes you are giving your dog at meal times.

  1. Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough is a common disease, and can lead to your dog throwing up white foam. It is almost like the dog equivalent of a common cold; if your dog is coughing up foam or slime after spending time in close proximity with other dogs, chances are they have contracted Kennel Cough. Usually it’ll go away by itself after a few days, but you may want to go to the vets and get a prescription for antibiotics. As well as your dog throwing up white foam, other symptoms of Kennel Cough include runny nose and general lethargy, depending on how serious a case it is.

  1. Bloat

There are fewer more serious reasons for your dog throwing up white foam than Bloat. It is a very severe condition which usually affects deep-chested and adult/senior dogs. Bloat makes these dogs’ stomachs expand with gas, fluid or food, and one of the earliest signs of it is your dog throwing up white foam. Pale gums, an inability to defecate and excessive drooling, which come after an enlarged abdomen and vomiting white foam. Take your dog to the vet straight away if you suspect Bloat, because the enlarged abdomen and an inability to breathe can end up killing dogs, or at least reducing and impacting life expectancy

  1. Pancreatitis 

Another potential reason for your dog throwing up white foam is Pancreatitis. This is a condition that, as its name suggests, causes and inflammation of the Pancreas, an organ that is absolutely vital for healthy digestion in mammals. Digestion is complicated; if all the cogs in the machine aren’t working together smoothly, it won’t work and can often result in problems, such as dogs throwing up white foam.

  1. Kidney Disease

If your dog is throwing up white foam, it could be because of kidney disease. Other symptoms include issues with urination, lethargy and disorientation, and you must act quickly if you see them because if left untreated, kidney disease could turn into complete kidney failure. If your dog does suffer from this, it is best you look at getting some form of dog health insurance.

  1. Parvovirus

Finally, Parvovirus is another issue that could lead to dogs throwing up white foam. This is a highly infectious and potentially deadly; it starts with your dog throwing up white foam, but also includes other symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea, fever or lethargy.