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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7173
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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My dog is hacking and throwing up mucus

Customer Question

my dog is hacking and throwing up mucus
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your boy Ace. I am typing up a reply to you now and will have something with you in the next 10 minutes or so.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your patience. As you can imagine, there are a number of things that could be going on here with Ace and it is hard to say if this is an intestinal issue and he is vomiting, or whether he could in fact be retching up a white foam from his lungs. If this was an acute gastrointestinal issue, then this could be due to anything from intestinal worms, an infectious issue or even an internal organ problem. If this was a respiratory issue, then we would have to consider everything from lung or heart worm, to canine infectious cough. Hopefully Ace is up to date with his vaccinations and deworming treatments! If you notice him retch up the white foam, then this is much more likely a cough rather than a vomit, and given his age and history, canine infectious cough (aka kennel cough) or even the canine influenza virus would be much more likely in this instance. If this is the case then he will recover relatively quickly with some antibiotics from your local vet.

Keep a close eye on his behavior and try and assess whether he is vomiting up or coughing up this foam. As above, also make sure he is up to date with deworming treatments and be sure to use a reliable treatment like Drontal or Milbemax. Hopefully he is ok tonight, but I would definitely recommend that you follow up on this tomorrow morning with your regular vet. For tonight, please keep a close eye on his mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows:

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don’t worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if he is continuously panting throughout the night, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Good on you for trying the Pepcid with your boy. This should help if this issue is indeed gastrointestinal in nature, but won’t help much if it is a respiratory problem. Best of luck with your boy and do get him seen in the morning if the above parameters are all ok tonight. For now, also make sure he has plenty of water available and do encourage him to drink. If he won’t drink, or is in fact vomiting and vomiting the water up - then you are definitely best to get him seen tonight. I hope all of the above makes sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

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