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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21464
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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He vomited up his food and white foam 1 1/2 hours ago and has

Customer Question

He vomited up his food and white foam 1 1/2 hours ago and has been agressively eating grass (threw that up) and now he is licking,smacking and shaking his head a lot .
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: Not that we can think of.
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: just threw up a ton of grass again. We are not letting him go out anymore
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: he's a 13 month old golden/lab mix,
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Riley
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then 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.

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)?

Anything caught in the roof of his mouth?

Has he had any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He had water around 3 hours ago but now just wants outside and to eat grass. His last 2 vomits about 20 mins. apart were all grass. Gums are a dark pink (i think that's his normal)and moist. Belly seems fine as he let me press all over it. The only odd thing would be pieces of some sort of a treat given to him at a gas station about 12 hours ago. Looked like a beef stick of some sort, but it was given to him in 1 inch or so pieces, not all at once. No diarrhea so far..
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He may be regurgitating not vomiting- it all seems to come from throat movement not stomach lurching?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

I have received your replies and will post mine in full momentarily.

Speak to you again in a moment,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, if this all started after an unknown treat, we need to tread with care. We'd hope its not related but it does present a risk. Otherwise and much more commonly we can see nausea signs (vomiting, lip licking/smacking, grass eating, etc) like those Riley is showing related to bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items). As well, if there seems to be no effort in the vomiting (where there is no retch/gag), then regurgitation would be a concern and means we'd also have to consider throat based irritation, acid reflux, and even possible partial throat obstructions (less likely). And I'd note that all of these (throat based signs and when vomiting) could cause head shaking but the latter may be more likely to do so since he is likely trying to shake away discomfort.

Now with this all in mind, as long as he can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. 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 @, or Milk of Magnesia (0.5 tsp every 8 hours). I would note that the last one is a liquid antacid and may be ideal for Riley since it will coat his throat as well as reduce nausea. So, it can allow us to cover more problem areas here. Though 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. And I would note that if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once that has had time to absorb and he is steadier on his stomach, you can consider starting 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. Though if he cannot keep it down, we'd need to keep those throat differentials in mind.

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 he cannot keep anything down at any stage, 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, check for throat based issues and inflammation , make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. 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.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?