Most dog owners know the situation: your dog has vomited and you find the legacy in your own four walls - not a pretty sight. But what is the reason for the sudden vomiting? Is it an isolated case or is there even a disease, allergy or poison behind the mucus or foam? Do you maybe even have to go to the vet and what do color and consistency reveal about the causes? Time for an, admittedly not quite as appetizing, overview so that you soon know what vomiting bile, white mucus or brown liquid means.
If the dog throws up... these are the causes of vomiting
Just like in humans, the reasons for vomiting in dogs are very diverse. They range from harmless to life-threatening, and it takes a trained eye to look at the vomit to rule out dangerous causes. Accompanying symptoms, such as lethargy, also play an important role in assessing the situation. In the harmless cases, the vomiting is caused by eating the last meal too quickly. Too much food is often vomited.
But there can also be more behind it. First of all, the food should be checked for its shelf life, because spoiled food also leads to rapid vomiting. Vomiting is also a common reaction to swallowing a foreign object. Similar to us humans, however, stress, nervousness and fear can also affect the stomach. In worse cases, the vomiting is caused by a disease, such as gastric mucosal inflammation, tumors, infectious diseases or perhaps diabetes. In these cases, vomiting usually occurs more frequently and should be examined by a doctor. Poisoning can also be behind the persistent, spontaneous vomiting, which you also have to treat as soon as possible.
Signs of vomiting in dogs
There are some signs that announce the mishap before it happens. Dogs who are nauseous often seem very restless and keep running around aimlessly. Frequent smacking, yawning or swallowing are also clear signs: Something is wrong here! If you observe these signs in your dog, take care of him. A bit of moderate exercise and a bland diet sometimes help to prevent the accident. If the (un)digested food simply has to go, you should remove it quickly afterwards so that your furry friend doesn't eat it up.
Exception: If you know for sure that your dog only vomits because a short time before it gulped down its food like a madman, it can eat the "pre-chewed" portion again.
White mucus, yellow foam, undigested matter: What the look and texture of vomit reveal
"Amy throws up yellow foam" - no dog owner likes to hear that. And: Yes, now it's getting a bit disgusting. But your furry nose is definitely worth it. In order to be able to assess whether vomit is harmless or even life-threatening, it is important to look at the consistency and color. Foam, mucus, liquid... with or without lumps, these are the important observation criteria. We will explain to you what you should pay attention to and what the possible causes could be.
Yellow foam or mucus
If your dog's vomit is a significant yellow color, is free of food particles and has a frothy to slimy consistency, then everything indicates that it is bile. Bile is an important digestive fluid. If this is vomited, this indicates a disturbance or irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. Often there is nothing bad behind it. However, if this type of vomiting occurs more frequently, a veterinarian should be consulted. This can not only be due to harmless causes, but also to poisoning or a parasite infestation.
White foam or mucus
If your dog vomits white, viscous mucus or foam, caution is advised. The sputum may indicate that your dog has swallowed a foreign object that is now in the gastrointestinal tract. This is what happens quickly when a dog swallows something that cannot be digested. Pay attention to whether the four-legged friend throws up more often and, if in doubt, it is better to consult a veterinarian.
Brown vomit is not uncommon. The color comes from mixing and digesting food in the stomach. So if the dog vomits brown, there is usually nothing dramatic behind it. Especially the greedy crawlers among the dogs often eat far too quickly - and the food often just comes up again. A remedy here is an anti-sling bowl. This keeps Bello from eating fast and thus ensures a calmer stomach. If vomiting still occurs, a professional examination is required.
Sometimes vomit also contains blood. Most dog owners then quickly panic. Stay calm! Blood in vomit doesn't always mean something bad. It depends on the color and the consistency. If the blood is lighter in color and appears as pink mucus, this indicates an injury to the upper digestive tract or mouth. Such an injury is often harmless. However, if the blood is dark, a visit to the veterinarian should be made quickly. Dark blood in the vomit can indicate an intestinal disease or even a tumor.
dog vomits water
In the case of a gastrointestinal infection, the stomach wants to keep emptying, even if it is already completely empty. When this happens, a dog will often vomit gushing water. It is important to treat the infection well, otherwise there is a risk that your dog will become dehydrated.
Undigested food is especially thrown up when there is an intolerance or allergy. Therefore, observe your dog closely and, if in doubt, have it tested for intolerances. If vomiting the food is an isolated case, it is also possible that your dog ate something that was difficult to digest, such as a plant.
dog vomits feces
Alarm! If your dog vomits feces, you need to go to the vet as soon as possible. Because: That speaks for an intestinal obstruction and it is life-threatening. An intestinal obstruction can have various causes, but it always needs to be treated medically.
What if the dog can't vomit?
Sometimes dogs keep gagging, but nothing really comes out. This behavior should also be observed very carefully (but not for too long) and treated if it is repeated. It may be that a twisted stomach is behind the unusual behavior. In this disease, the stomach rotates on its own axis and this is life-threatening.
Should I go to the vet?
Whether it's yellow foam, undigested food, blood or bile: if the dog vomits several times, a visit to the vet is always the right decision, as it can be caused by more serious illnesses and there is a risk of dehydration. So you can trust your gut feeling here and it is better to visit the vet once too much than once too little.