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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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My dog is throwing up white foam, and I know hes eaten because

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My dog is throwing up white foam, and I know he's eaten because we feed him in the morning and evening, so what else might be the cause? He's also up to date on all his shots, we feed him science diet, and he's been drinking a normal amount of water. He's been breathing a little heavier lately, and snores sometimes.



What breed of dog is this? How old?


Is it only today that this is happening?


Does he eat any non food items such as rawhides, bones, toys, pig ears, greenies , grass etc.?


Does he ever eat human food and if so what?


Did he hold his food down from this morning?


What color are his gums?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

We adopted him from a shelter about a yr ago, and best guess is that he is a Westie?Russell mix, and best guess on age is approx 2 or 3.


Today is not the only time it has happened, but it's been very seldom. I think in total it's been about 4 times over the course of a week or less. At first we thought it was just because he ran around to much after just eating/drinking, but today it was for no reason.


The only non-food items he plays with are his kong toy and I just bought him a little squirrel toy that has a tennis ball in it (which he ate the fabric eyeball off of and we took away from him). He does occasionally eat carpet fuzz and paper bits or fabric occasionally and we stop him and monitor this, but it happens from time to time. I'd say it's not frequent enough or in large enough amounts to cause a bowel obstruction. Plus, he was just at the vet a month or maybe two months ago and he had gastroenteritis, but was fine after antibiotics.


He never eats human food, only science diet small bites dry food.


He has held down his food from this morning.


His gums are pink around the teeth.

Thank you for that information. He may have a bit of acid reflux which can cause some vomiting such as you describe. This can happen when the stomach is empty . I would monitor him and continue giving water for hydration. You may want to feed smaller meals a little more often so the stomach is not empty.


IF he is eating carpet fuzz then that can cause him to get a gag reflex if it gets caught in the throat, which can cause a little foamy vomit.


For now I would keep an eye on him and keep a tab on vital signs, such as temperature, heart rate, gum color etc. and if all that is fine he is probably okay. IF vomiting becomes severe or he refuses food then it's time to have him seen.


I am going to direct you to a site that will take you through what is normal in dogs so you can keep an eye on him. Keep him hydrated and add some children's pedialyte to the water dish.


You may want to ask your vet about giving the dog pepcid ac if this is not due to an obstruction or other health issue.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
His stomach isn't empty, and I have a hard time thinking it's reflux when this is the first time it's been a problem. I'm a little aggravated that you didn't read the info I gave you closely or you would've seen that we feed him twice a day. I think any more food than that would be excessive!

How long after you feed him does this happen?

When he was in for the gastro issue did they do any blood work?

Has he been checked recently for intestinal parasites?

Does he get any treats from you or other family members and if so what?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I don't know the exact time frame, but it is quite a while after he eats, at least several hrs.


They did every blood test even remotely relavent to his visit (even some that weren't) and it all came back fine. No pancreas problems, etc. In general, he is a very healthy dog, normal weight for his size, etc.


He has not been checked since that last vet visit, but we know what to look for because he has had tapeworms in the past, and as of right now we've seen no evidence to say that a parasite might be to blame.


He does not get any treats from anyone, we are very careful about that, and as I mentioned before, the only thing he gets to eat is his science diet small bites dry food for sensitive stomachs.


Even with the grains in the Science Diet foods the stomach may be empty if this is happening closer to the next meal time than the previous one.

The white foamy vomit is likely foamy saliva which a dog will produce when he or she is feeling nauseous.

It is possible your dog is emptying the stomach out prior to the next meal and there is something causing some nausea leading to the foamy vomit/spitting up.

What that 'something' might be ranges from intestinal parasites (normally only microscopic eggs are seen in the stool when a vet does testing), a swallowed non food item that won't pass out of the stomach through the pyloric valve (metal objects for example may stick to the stomach walls), or there may be an issue with a small ulcer perhaps from a helicobacter infection, or the liver or pancreas or gallbladder may be causing some nausea.

Some parasites pass through the lungs on the way to the stomach triggering gagging and spitting up in some cases.

Another possibility with the snoring and the heavier breathing is he may have an irritation of the tonsils or the soft palate which could make him gag and spit up foam.

As Sally suggested maybe he needs to get 'lunch' to help with this or maybe Pepcid AC will help. You can read about pepcid use here

(close any pop ups and scroll down the page to read about this medication and dosing etc)

Even though he is on a sensitive stomach type diet many of those contain foods that dogs find irritating. You might want to sew how he does with a food that has no ingredients in common with anything you have fed him. Fish and potato, venison, rabbit, kangaroo are some of the types of diets available. You have to read the fine print ingredients to make sure they are not 'hiding' something that might be a problem.

Easiest thing to check is to start with just bringing the vet a fresh stool sample to check for parasite eggs. You don't even need to do an appointment just ask them to run a sample and its usually pretty inexpensive.

If you get nothing from that then you may want to do a check up again. Compare current blood work to last time perhaps or consider an x-ray of the abdomen to look for pancreas, liver, gall bladder issues or maybe even a rock or coin in the stomach.

(I sure was surprised when pennies showed up in the x-ray of the stomach of one of my dogs - I still have no idea where she got them!)

Then too you might want the throat checked. Throat irritation can cause gagging, and vomiting up of foamy saliva that is created in response to the irritation.

If all is fine still then maybe a different diet will work to resolve this.Dogs can develop sensitivities to foods they always eat so that might be the problem.

Hope this helps you!

NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience: 30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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