White foam vomiting is a very common symptom and a sign of many different illnesses. While it can seem a bit alarming at first, you’ll usually be able to determine what’s causing it and get your dog help before things become serious.
The most common cause of white foam vomit is distress in the GI tract. It can be a result of eating grass or something that’s difficult for your dog to digest, or it could be due to an illness.
1. Grass Eating
Grass eating is a common behavior in some animals. Some grazers, such as zebra and wildebeest, will only eat grass and little else, while other types of animals, like elephants, dik-diks, giraffes, and impala, will also eat leaves and shrubs.
Unlike herbivores, carnivores can’t efficiently digest grass. This means that a lot of grass won’t get properly reabsorbed into the dog’s digestive system and will show up in their vomit or stool.
In the case of a dog vomiting grass, it might be a sign that they are feeling sick or have an upset stomach. In these cases, if the dog is vomiting regularly or repeatedly then it’s best to see your vet.
Alternatively, it may be an instinctive action for your dog. They might be trying to rid themselves of something they’ve eaten, such as a sick bird or mouse. This could lead them to eat grass and then vomit it. Fortunately, most of the time this doesn’t have to be a problem but it can be a good idea to check with your vet if it happens on a regular basis. Click here for more details information.
2. Acid Reflux
If your dog is throwing up white foam, it’s likely they’re experiencing stomach distress. Inflammation of the gastric mucosa (gastritis) is a common cause.
If this is a problem, your vet will need to see them so that they can determine the root cause of the condition and provide the best treatment plan possible for your dog.
As with any health issue, the only way to determine what’s causing your dog’s vomiting is to get them in for a checkup by a veterinarian.
This will give them the opportunity to run a variety of diagnostic tests. These can include a blood count, urinalysis, x-rays and ultrasounds if necessary.
Often, the most common reason that dogs vomit white foam is simply due to some type of digestive issue. If your pup chowed down on some grass earlier in the day, and now they’re throwing up white foam, this is probably just their body reacting to an upset stomach, which can usually be resolved quickly.
If the cause is more serious, though, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a vet right away. This can help rule out the possibility of more severe problems, such as rabies, or get an accurate prognosis for what’s going on.
If your dog is vomiting white foam and also has other symptoms like diarrhea, hunched back, weakness, loss of appetite or collapse, they may be experiencing pancreatitis. It’s important to take your dog in for a check up as soon as possible, and be aware that it can be very painful.
4. Kennel Cough
Dogs who get kennel cough are contagious, so it’s important to keep them away from other dogs. It spreads through saliva, air particles, or other items that are contaminated with droplets of kennel cough bacteria and the canine parainfluenza virus.
Kennel cough typically resolves on its own after 7 to 10 days, but it can sometimes develop into a more serious pneumonia if your dog is infected with the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria or if they are a young puppy or have a compromised immune system. It is a good idea to have your pup vaccinated against kennel cough every year.
A dry, hacking cough that sounds like a goose honk is the most common symptom of kennel cough in dogs, but other signs can include runny nose, lethargy or loss of appetite. White foam vomiting is also a symptom of kennel cough in some cases. A x-ray may be required to confirm the diagnosis. Laboratory testing can also be used to test for other conditions causing the cough, such as a collapsing trachea or bacterial pneumonia.