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What could cause a dog to throw up thick white mucus?

Customer Question
My dog threw up thick...

My dog threw up thick white mucus - a big pile of it - and now has thrown up twice more in the last couple of hours. The last two times are dark yellow mucus. Should I take her to the emergency vet? The only time I've seen this before was 30 years ago and the dog died.
She is a 10-year-old female, a mixed breed of Labrador and Retriever.

Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
9/16/2008
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. K, Dog Veterinarian replied 9 years ago
Dr. K
Dr. K, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,544
Experience: 13 years experience as Veterinarian
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When did the first vomiting occur?
If you lift her lip and look at her gums above her teeth, are they the same color as yours, or do they look different?
If you touch her gums in this area, are they wet, dry, or sticky?
Is she on any chronic medications?
Has she had any diarrhea?
Can she get up and walk?

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago

First vomit was about 2-3 hours ago. The last was just before I posted. Her gums are black and sticky. She isn't on any medications at this time. I changed their flea medication to a new one a couple of months ago. I don't know about the diarrhea right now, but I know she's had it in the recent past. Yes, she can get up and walk - she jumped up on the bed while I was online. I forgot to mention that she’s had a cough for the last week or two. It didn’t seem to be anything serious, but she hasn’t coughed at all tonight.

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. K, Dog Veterinarian replied 9 years ago

There are many reasons why a dog would vomit this much. The most common include gastrointestinal obstruction with a foreign body (such as a sock, or a piece of a toy), intussusception (obstruction of the intestines when they telescope in on themselves), gastric dilatation and volvulus (twisted stomach), toxic ingestion, gastrointestinal infectious disease (viral, bacterial, etc..), kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, or a simple dietary indiscretion. Differentiating these illnesses requires a physical examination by a veterinarian and blood and urine laboratory testing, plus abdominal X-rays.
Since your dog has now vomited three times, and she is showing signs of dehydration (the sticky gums), then I think it would be wisest to take her in to the emergency clinic now for an examination.

I am attaching a client information handout that I use in my practice that discusses the causes of acute vomiting in dogs in more detail. I hope that you find it useful.
Click Here

Dr. K
Dr. K, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,544
Experience: 13 years experience as Veterinarian
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