A dog throwing up white foam can either be due to some mild reasons or more serious causes. Hopefully, it's only a digestive problem, such as your dog ate too fast, but sometimes, this may be something to be more worried about. Here's what you should keep in mind.
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A dog gets indigestion just like a human does, but may throw up much more frequently. When your dog is throwing up white foam, it means their body is trying to rid itself of substances upsetting the stomach.
Perhaps your pooch ate too much grass; maybe they wolfed down food and drank rapidly after they'd been running around playing or exercising. If the dog vomits consistently, you have cause to worry, but otherwise, it could be indigestion which goes away within a day.
2. Acid Reflux
What if your dog vomits white foam before they eat? That could signify reflux gastritis or acid reflux, which is fairly common in pets. This happens when the dog's gastrointestinal tract is irritated by stomach acid.
Most commonly, this occurs when a dog's stomach is empty and the foam could be white or yellow. A good tip is to reduce the portions of your dog’s meals to prevent stomach bile and acid from building up and which often are the cause of digestive problems.
3. Kennel Cough
Your dog might have been in contact with other dogs in animal shelter, dog park or a boarding facility and caught kennel cough. It’s an upper respiratory infection in dogs and is highly contagious.
Kennel cough is mild and usually goes away on its own after 7 to 10 days. You will hear a hacking, honking type cough coming from your dog, which can also produce the white foam. Runny nose, lethargy, sneezing, and loss of appetite are other symptoms.
4. Dog Bloat
Bloat is a severe condition in dogs. It occurs more often in the deep-chested adult or senior dogs. Bloating causes a dog’s stomach to fill up with food or gases, making their stomach expand; an early symptom is a dog spitting up white foam.
Other symptoms are excessive drooling, coughing, and pale gums. Your dog needs a vet immediately because without treatment they can die. Such bloating restricts blood flow to the dog's heart, putting pressure on their lungs and making breathing difficult.
Pancreatitis is inflammation in the dog's pancreas. Your pet needs a healthy pancreas for healthy digestion, and when that's compromised, the whole organism starts to malfunction. This will sometimes cause a dog throw up white foam.
If your dog has pancreatitis, they will also throw up most of their food and you may or may not see said white foam in their vomit. A dog's back will hunch up, they will have abdominal pain, diarrhea, weakness, dehydration and lose their appetite. It's crucial to take the dog to the vet immediately.
Stress is more common than pet owners realize. Dogs undergoing stressful situations will whine, yap, bark, and pant heavily. When the stress affects them more deeply, this may cause their mouths to produce white foam which will drool and drip as the dog endures any type of stressful situations.
7. Kidney Disease
If the dog is throwing up white foam and they are having trouble urinating, seem disorientated and lethargic, they could be suffering from kidney problems or kidney disease. If not treated promptly, such kidney problems will eventually lead to kidney failure. Let your vet test the dog immediately.
Parvovirus is a very contagious disease, causing an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) sickness in young dogs and puppies. If they don’t get treated by a vet immediately, it can be potentially deadly.
The first symptoms of parvo are when a puppy or young dog throwing up white foam. Apart from that, other symptoms are diarrhea with blood in it, fever, lethargy, no appetite, malaise and rapid weight loss.
Even though it's very unlikely (if your dog is vaccinated), a dog who’s throwing up white foam might be infected with rabies. Bear in mind that if your pet does have rabies, the symptoms of coughing up white foam would be the final stages and probably would already have been diagnosed with other symptoms by this point.
10. Addison’s Disease
Addison’s disease in dogs also is called hypoadrenocorticism. It happens in dogs when there is an abnormal reduction in hormones and their adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones for normal function.
This can result in a variety of symptoms such as dehydration, weakness, depression, low blood pressure, vomiting, heart toxicity, bloody feces, as well as a loss of weight.
Some dogs that spit up white foam might even have cardiomyopathy; others might have an idiopathic neurologic episode. They urgently need a vet’s diagnosis.
11. Inappropriate Foods
Many common human foods that we consume are dangerous for dogs and cats. Things like chocolate, nuts, grapes and many others are toxic to dogs, and can cause the dog's body to eject them after they've consumed the item. Usually, this will result in vomit, some of which might appear as white foam.
Other Causes of Dog Throwing Up White Foam
Other less common health issues which are linked to a dog throwing up white foam:
- Certain cancers
- Liver disease
- Digestive tract infection (Gastroenteritis)
- Side effects from medicine
- Fungal, viral, or bacterial infections
What to Do When Your Dog Is Throwing Up White Foam
In most cases, white foam is an indication of digestive problems. If you’re asking this question, your pet has most likely eaten something they shouldn’t have and now are trying to eliminate it from their body. However, if you know that's not the case and your dog keeps on throwing up, you need to see a veterinarian.
Inform your vet of the symptoms and behavior changes which you noticed before the vomiting, and make a list of foods the dog has eaten, places you've been to or anything else that could help.
A veterinarian will perform a physical examination and run some tests: a blood count test, a urinalysis, x-rays and maybe even ultrasound. If the vet sees that the problem is serious, they will start an appropriate treatment plan.