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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19671
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog keeps dry heaving. and at times, after all the dry

Customer Question

my dog keeps dry heaving. and at times, after all the dry heaving he vomits some clear liquid with a little but of white foam.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: not that i know of. i noticed it last night. i dont think he had much to eat yesterday because my dad didnt feed him and i was gone all day. he wouldnt eat his food this morning until i put some egg whites on his food.
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: duke is his name. hes 10 dog years, we got him in 2016
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Duke?
Customer: i know he has prostate cancer and has arthritis
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Do you think he is coughing or retching before he brings up the liquid/foam?

Is he drinking and can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly,does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has he had any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yeah he is wrenching before he throws up foam. Sometimes nothing comes out. But u can tell his body is trying to get it out.His gums are his gums look pink and they are moist.It is plausible that he might have eaten something he shouldn't have. Mate. He found something in the backyard.Nothing seemed wrong when I pressed on his belly.His poo looks normal. And he hasn't been able to keep anything down
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He hasn't eaten since the morning so I don't think there is much in his stomach to vomited out
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to see that Duke's belly and gums are normal. This does rule out a number of urgent concerns for him. Otherwise, considering his nausea signs, we do need to tread with care. This is because his signs do raise concerns of a possible bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, IBD, nausea secondary to systemic issues (ie metabolic disease, organ troubles, cancer), general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (hopefully less likely at his age).

Now if he is off food, that is a side effect of the nausea. That said, we would hope he can keep down a wee bit, otherwise we will find ourselves in a situation where we need to his vet to at least start him off by bypassing his mouth with an injectable anti-vomiting injection. But if he can keep down even a bit, we can try some oral home support at this point. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest his stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be:

*Pepcid (More Info/Dose @
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @

* Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @
Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Though again, if he cannot keep it down due to nausea we'd need to have him started on injectable treatment.

Though if he can and settles with the antacid, we can then try him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning him slowly back to his normal diet.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE ( If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing. Therefore, in his case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If Duke cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. As well, considering his age, they can also test a blood sample to rule out systemic causes. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back feeling like himself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think my dog has a collapsing trachea
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

It would be a concern if he is a small breed, but it usually causes coughing and signs with excitement instead of retching/vomiting. So, it does depend on whether he is actually coughing or retching before bringing up material. But if you think he is coughing, then you can video this, upload it to YouTube and send me the link or we'd need to think about having him seen so that his vet can assess this and potentially use anti-inflammatories to reduce that for him if confirmed.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The most recent case he was just coughing when I came home, he was excited that I came back. But last night he was retching and vomiting.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

In that case, excitement induced coughing is likely a tracheal irritation or collapse issue. Though again it usually doesn't lead to vomiting unless we have severe inflammation of the upper airway (ie bacterial or viral tracheitis). So, with his signs being sudden in onset, we would expect there to be more to this then just a collapsing trachea (otherwise we'd always see these signs with him) and we may need to consider anti-nausea treatment, anti-inflammatories for the throat, +/- antibiotics from his vet.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok most vets are closed today. Would it be ok to take him tomorrow? By the way thank you for ur help!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

As long as he is breathing comfortably and those gums are nice and pink; then we can wait for his regular vet to see him. As well, if you think this sounds more cough/throat related, I would note that you can try him with a few millilitres of plain honey & glycerin cough syrup or plain honey. These can be given as often as needed to soothe the throat. Alternatively, you could use Robitussin DM at a dose of 1 milligram per pound of body weight every 8 hours. Of course, do make sure to only use this and avoid any with pet toxic cold medications (ie acetaminophen, paracetamol,ibuprofen caffeine, alcohol, or pseudoephedrine) here. But those can at least soothe the throat until he is seen if that is our culprit.

All the best to you both,

Dr. B.