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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19294
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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What can cause a dog to throw up a clear liquid and not eat?

Customer Question

What can cause a dog to throw up clear slimy saliva-like fluid? He can drink but will not eat and his breathing is slow. What can be done for treatment?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.

Hello. Vomiting in dogs can be due to many things including:

1. Gastroenteritis
2. Dietary indiscretion
3. Foreign body obstruction
4. Pancreatitis
5. Organ/ endocrine abnormality
6. Parvo virus- if not vaccinated

This is what I would do for now:

1. Withhold food and water until he goes 6-8 hours without vomiting
2. Give over the counter Pepcid at 0.25 mg/lb every 12-24 hours
3. After the fasting period you can try either a bland diet of broiled chicken/ hamburger and rice. If not available, you can just give small frequent meals (3-4 meals/day rather than 1-2 meals/day).
4. This will usually resolve the signs in 2-3 days. If that does not help, then blood work and x-rays may be indicated to rule out other causes.

Since the dog is not eating, the only thing in his stomach is going to be foam/saliva. If it is more of a coughing/gagging motion, then I would suggest kennel cough at his age. It still sounds like he is nauseated. The lethargy may be because of a fever. You can check this by a rectal temp using a digital thermometer. Normal range is 100-102. A fever would be consist of anything above 103. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What is kennel cough?

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.

Kennel Cough is a mixed bacterial/ viral infection that causes inflammation of the trachea (windpipe). You can usually elicit a cough by rubbing the neck. The coughing leads to gagging which leads to vomiting saliva/ foam. You can often get some relief using Robitussin DM- 1 teaspoon 2-3 times daily. If it's not coughing but instead vomiting/retching, then I would go with the Pepcid and food/ water withdrawal period.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Donner just vomited yellow mucous what could this be?

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.
That's bile- fluid from the stomach/ small intestine.
If the vomiting continues despite the Pepcid, then get him seen and get some x-rays to make sure he's not obstructed. If he's obstructed, then Pepcid won't touch his signs and he'll continue to vomit until he has surgery to remove an obstruction.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. This was helpful! I have Pepto Bismol, will that work?

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.
That's more of a coating medication so it doesn't do much about the excessive acid in the stomach. If that's all you have though, then it's better than nothing. You can give 1 teaspoon of Pepto.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Okay. Thank you very much. Have a good evening.

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 5 years ago.
You're very welcome.