If your dog occasionally vomits, it's probably not an indication that they have a serious illness. It is common for dogs to vomit occasionally, and it's the natural way your pet's body discards upsetting foods or foreign objects. If it is an occasional bout of upset stomach causing your dog's sickness, it's safe to treat the condition at home as long as you ensure that your pet is not dehydrated.
How to ensure your dog is not dehydrated
If your dog's gums are dry or sticky, they are likely dehydrated. However, in dogs that are nauseous and drooling, the gums can be wet (like in a well-hydrated dog). Because of the drooling, even a dehydrated dog's gums may feel wet in this case, which is misleading.
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If you are worried about dehydration in your dog, you can also gently pull the loose skin over your dog's shoulder area in an upward direction. In a properly hydrated dog, the skin will snap back down quickly. If your dog's skin stays pinched, tented, or goes back to its original position slowly, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Symptoms of a dog with mucus in vomit
Dogs vomit, regurgitate, gag, hack, and drop food and water from their mouth. It's important to be able to distinguish which it is that your dog is doing in order to be able to provide them with proper treatment.
When a dog vomits, their stomach muscles heave. They will likely drool, retch, and gulp as well. If there is little effort involved, your dog is likely regurgitating food and not vomiting. If it is simply regurgitation, you will not see the dog's belly heave; however, you may notice gagging or coughing when the food comes back into the esophagus and mouth. Gagging and coughing are more likely the sign of a cough rather than stomach upset. In these instances, your pet will likely produce mucus, fluids, and foamy materials. This will be a liquid with lots of air bubbles.
Causes of vomit with mucus in dogs
Many times, dogs vomit simply because they overate, ate too fast, or ate something that upset their stomach, such as grass or other plants. Cat litter is also a common cause for a dog throwing up mucus. However, both vomiting and regurgitation can be signs of more serious illnesses involving the esophagus, stomach, and other parts of the body. If your dog has an occasional bout of vomiting and you have no indications that their condition is something more serious, you can treat them at home.
If your dog has one or more medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or other major medical issues, contact your veterinarian if your pet vomits even once.
Fasting recommendations for dogs throwing up
If your dog isn't dehydrated and is generally healthy, you may wish to treat them at home by fasting. Begin home treatment for mucus in throw up with a fast of 12 to 24 hours, during which time you should withhold food.
You can give your dog small, frequent amounts of water during the first 24 hours of vomiting mucus or vomiting in general, but if your pet can't keep any water down, contact your veterinarian immediately. During this time, do not administer your pet's heartworm preventative pill. The fast gives the dog's stomach and pancreas a rest.
Feeding recommendations for dogs vomiting mucus
If your dog keeps the liquids down and does not begin vomiting again, the next day, provide them with small, frequent amounts of bland food. (This is usually half of the normal daily amount divided between four to six feedings.)
Your veterinarian can provide a special food for this purpose, or you can make a homemade treat for your sick companion. A cooked (but not fried) egg along with boiled chicken breast (white meat only for lower fat content, as fat can encourage more vomiting) and white rice is a good place to start. Alternatively, you can provide baby food containing meat.
Over the next two to three days, gradually add some of your dog's regular food back into the bland diet, adding a little more regular food at each feeding so that by the third or fourth day, they are eating their regular food only. If vomiting in general or mucus vomiting recurs at any time during home treatment, stop your treatment and take your pet to a veterinarian.
When is your dog vomiting mucus an emergency?
If your dog has certain accompanying symptoms, you should not try to treat the condition at home but should take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. These symptoms include bloody vomit, vomiting that includes a substance that looks similar to coffee grounds, severe abdominal pain, bloated belly or sides, pain, or a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
You should also seek immediate veterinary care for vomiting if your dog has ingested ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin (none of which is advised for regular use in dogs), or even canine-specific arthritis medication in the last week. You should do the same if your dog is diabetic, has cancer or kidney disease, or is taking medications for a heart condition.