Vomiting in dogs is often confused with two other health conditions—the regurgitation of food (which is often covered in mucus), and expectoration, or coughing up mucus.
When you tell your vet that your dog has been vomiting mucus, she or he will likely want to rule out regurgitation and coughing as the culprits before determining what’s causing your dog to vomit mucus.
Vomiting in Dogs
Vomiting does often begin with a form of clear liquid leaving the mouth—drooling. When plagued with nausea, dogs often drool and swallow more than normal. You’ll notice, that unlike in regurgitation, yacking is an active condition—your dog’s stomach will move in effort to bring up whatever’s going to come out of her or his mouth. Bile—usually a yellow or orange liquid—will often be present since this vomit has traveled from the stomach or intestines.
The cause: Some of the causes of vomiting in dogs include digestive issues, diabetes, and kidney failure. If your dog solely vomits foam or a yellow or clear liquid, it could indicate acute gastritis, pancreatitis, intestinal blockage, or other issues.
Regurgitating in Dogs
When regurgitating, your dog’s fluids and foods will escape easily—typically in a tube form (shaped like the esophagus it’s just traveled from), covered in a slick layer of mucus—without having to work at it. Your dog may even be as surprised as you are by this occurrence. There may be symptoms of coughing and gagging. Bile is not likely to be present. After regurgitation, your pet may want to eat the food that’s just resurfaced, so speedy cleanup is advised.
The cause: Usually regurgitation is the result of a glitch in the throat, esophagus, or the valve between the esophagus and the stomach.
Coughing in Dogs
If you’ve witnessed your dog hacking up mucus or foamy liquids, your pet may be coughing, not vomiting. The parts of the body that move visibly while a dog is coughing are the chest and ribs.
The cause: This symptom could signal a problem with your dog’s esophagus, respiratory system, sinuses, or heart. To learn more, read about gastritis in dogs and coughing in dogs.
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.