An Australian Shepherd throwing up white foam is concerning and alarming. Its never easy seeing your Aussie being sick.
White foam at the mouth is usually associated with rabies which is a serious health condition of dogs so this can also bring about the same concern when you see it on your dog.
Rabies is rare today however, it should not entirely be ruled out. So why do Australian Shepherds throw up white foam? Should you panic? What can you do about it? and how do you prevent this from happening again?
In this article, we will answer all of these questions to help you understand the reasons behind an Australian Shepherd throwing up white foam.
Here’s What Leads To an Australian Shepherd Throwing Up White Foam
An Australian Shepherd throwing up white foam is due to several reasons including ingestion of a toxin, indigestion, illness, gastrointestinal inflammation, acid reflux, bloat, gastrointestinal obstruction, pancreatitis, and in rare cases rabies.
In most cases, throwing up white foam is due to ingestion of something that upsets their stomach.
Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Throw Up White Foam
Indigestion is the most common cause of an Aussie throwing up white foam. It is the persistent stomach upset and discomfort.
Indigestion is caused by overdrinking, overeating, eating or drinking immediately after exercise, or eating something they should not such as plants, items in the trash, or some types of human food.
This causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach whose muscles contract leading to vomiting of white foam along with other stomach contents.
The causes for indigestion are also risk factors for the development of bloat which the Australian Shepherd is highly susceptible to, which is a life-threatening condition.
In addition to throwing up, other symptoms of indigestion in an Aussie include lip-smacking, flatulence, bad breath, and eating grass as a self-remedy to induce vomiting, weakness, and diarrhea.
Injection of a toxin
An Australian Shepherd may accidentally ingest toxins around the home which causes them to vomit white foam.
Toxins in the stomach cause irritation and the stirring up gastric acids which come up as white form when Australian Shepherd throws up.
Toxins around the home include household cleaning products, gardening chemicals, and pesticides.
Some illnesses also lead to vomiting of white foam. These illnesses include upper respiratory conditions and kennel cough.
Upper respiratory conditions can result in the production of mucus and fluid in the respiratory tract which an Australian Shepherd ends up swallowing and vomiting as white form.
Kennel cough is an example of an upper respiratory infection whose symptoms include a running nose, weakness, loss of appetite, sneezing, and a signature honking cough.
The illness also results in the production of fluid and mucus from the respiratory tract which is vomited in white form.
Gastrointestinal inflammation is a reaction to an infection or something else that upsets the stomach and the digestive system.
The inflammation can be triggered by an infection, allergens in food/food intolerance, reaction to a medication, inflammatory syndrome that is inflammatory bowel disease, or genetic predisposition of an Australian Shepherd making them more susceptible to gastric inflammation.
The symptoms of this include frequent throwing up of white foam, undigested food, digested food that resembles coffee grounds, blood and bile, diarrhea with blood and mucus, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
Acid reflux occurs when gastric acids move from the stomach and into the throat or esophagus of an Australian Shepherd. This happens when the muscle connecting the stomach and esophagus relaxes and the gastric acids flow from the stomach into the esophagus.
This can cause irritation and damage to the esophagus therefore it is important to seek medical attention. and when the stomach is empty without food for digestion the digestive acids may be brought up the digestive tract and vomited.
An Australian Shepherd throwing up white foam especially in the morning before eating anything is usually due to acid reflux.
Throwing up of yellow form or white form is characteristic of acid reflux in Australian Shepherds. An Australian Shepherd throwing up bile or yellow foam is referred to as bilious vomiting syndrome.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition, especially in large breed dogs like the Australian Shepherd.
The condition occurs when the stomach becomes filled up with excess air causing it to twist and limit blood flow to the rest of the body. This progresses quickly to shock and death if immediate medical attention is not provided.
One of the symptoms of bloat is throwing up white foam in addition to the presence of a distended stomach, restlessness, drooling, pacing, and also periods of heavy heaving with nothing coming out of the mouth.
Ingestion of an object can cause gastrointestinal obstruction whereby the object ends up not moving along the digestive tract to be eliminated. This can either be a toy, sock, or any other indigestible object that your Australian Shepherd may ingest.
The obstruction can occur in the stomach or along the intestines which leads to the accumulation of consumed fluids and solids in the stomach which leads to vomiting.
An Aussie will throw up stomach contents and acids which come out as white form in vomit.
This leads to dehydration and weight loss.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas which is an organ in a dog’s body whose function is the production of digestive enzymes as well as the balancing of blood sugar levels.
Pancreatitis causes an Australian Shepherd to throw up frequently which includes white foam. Other symptoms of the disease include a hunched-over Australian Shepherd, Diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and dehydration.
Rabies is a viral infection leading to the inflammation of a dog’s brain. It is a very serious condition when it occurs and ultimately leads to death.
The symptoms usually occur 1 to 3 months from the time of infection and in other cases within 1 week or a year.
Symptoms of rabies include fever, excessive salivation, paralysis, and vomiting. Throwing up white foam is characteristic of rabies.
Today rabies is rare because of continuous animal control and vaccination programs which have decreased the occurrence and risk in many regions in the world.
However, this possible underlying factor cannot be ruled out when an Australian Shepherd is throwing up white foam. A veterinarian has to investigate this through tests.
Kidney disease can also cause an Australian Shepherd to throw up white foam. The disease affects the functioning of the kidney affecting its ability to remove waste from the body.
Other symptoms include weakness, confusion, and urination problems.
Parvovirus is an infection that usually affects puppies that are not vaccinated. The symptoms of the infection include throwing up white foam. weakness, high fever, and bloody diarrhea.
Should I be worried if my Australian Shepherd is throwing up white foam?
An Australian Shepherd throwing up white foam should never be taken lightly because it can be an indication of a serious underlying health condition or cause which needs immediate medical attention.
What should I do if my Australian Shepherd is throwing up white foam?
When your Australian Shepherd is throwing up white foam, monitor them on how frequently it occurs, the appearance of other symptoms, and how quickly the condition worsens.
These factors will help guide you on how severe the condition is. The severity of the condition will be shown by the fast progression of declining health.
An Australian Shepherd may have ingested too much of a toxin or the underlying condition could be severe and delayed medical intervention could result in a fatal outcome, even death.
Other symptoms such as your dog throwing up white foam and diarrhea, weakness, loss of appetite, shaking, or throwing up the white foam with blood, indicates a serious situation.
Immediately contact your veterinarian when you observe these symptoms
Also, contact your veterinarian when the frequency of vomiting increases and the condition worsens.
Bloat in Australian Shepherds is a life-threatening condition and rapidly becomes fatal within 1 to 2 hours after the appearance of symptoms. It progresses to cardiac shock and then death if immediate medical attention is not provided.
If your Australian Shepherd is throwing up white foam and their condition is worsening by the minute, quickly rush them to the nearest veterinary emergency center.
An Australian Shepherd also produces vomit with different consistencies and colors. These vomit types can give you an idea of what could be the cause of the vomiting, however, this does not give a complete diagnosis.
To learn more about the different Australian Shepherd vomit types and the possible causes the below guides provide a comprehensive explanation of each:
- Australian Shepherd throwing up clear liquid: what it means and how to help
- Australian Shepherd throwing up mucus: Read before you panic
- Australian Shepherd diarrhea and vomiting: What you need to do
When your Australian Shepherd is throwing up white foam, assess the situation to investigate if they have ingested anything they should not have. Look for evidence of either spilled liquids or human food.
Also, note other symptoms if present that your Australian Shepherd might have in addition to vomiting. This information will be helpful to assess the initial cause of the throwing up and also for your veterinarian to have more information on what could have caused it.
Reach out to your veterinarian for an evaluation and diagnosis.
The veterinarian will discuss the symptoms with your dog’s medical history and also other factors that may have occurred before vomiting such as evidence of ingestion of toxins.
Provide your veterinarian with all the information you have including the appearance of vomit and everything around your dog’s vomiting.
A complete physical examination will be conducted to determine the underlying cause. This includes the performance of several tests such as x-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, urine, and fecal analysis, and endoscopy to investigate gastrointestinal obstruction.
The initial treatment involves giving your Australian Shepherd an anti-nausea medication to stop the vomiting or antacids and stomach lining protectants.
Intravenous fluids may also be provided to control dehydration caused by throwing up and/or diarrhea which causes severe dehydration.
The treatment provided depends on the underlying cause. Depending on the severity of an Aussie’s condition, they may be hospitalized for treatment and monitoring.
Medication can be prescribed for the treatment of disease, surgery for intestinal obstruction, or stomach tacking surgery for bloat treatment. If intestinal parasites are present, dewormers are provided.
Home care may also be recommended. Home care involves the provision of a bland diet which includes boiled white rice with chicken or a prescription diet for a dog with food allergies or intolerance.
How To Prevent Your Australian Shepherd From Throwing Up White Form
There are several measures you can put in place to prevent your Australian Shepherd from throwing up white foam. This includes:
Safekeeping of potential households toxins
Prevent your Australian Shepherd from having access to potential household products that could be toxins to them when ingested.
Lock them up or keep them where your dog cannot reach them.
Stomach tacking for your Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds should undergo surgery commonly referred to as stomach tacking to prevent the fatal outcome of bloat.
This reduces the likelihood of occurrence which includes the throwing up of white form which is a common symptom of the condition.
Regular medical health check-ups
Regular checkups for your Australian Shepherd will help to keep your dog in great shape because the veterinarian will be able to conduct complete medical examinations to ensure they are well.
If any diseases are caught early, they can be treated and managed which prevents severe outcomes of the diseases.
Prevent gastric obstruction
Keep away small items that can be swallowed by your Australian Shepherd and cause gastric obstruction. This includes broken pieces of toys.
Prevention of indigestion
Prevent your Australian Shepherd from eating human foods that they should not eat, from the trash, plants, and grass. This prevents indigestion and throwing up.
Switch to a healthy diet or prescription diet
Gastric inflammation can be controlled and minimized by feeding your Australian Shepherd a healthy diet suitable for large-breed dogs.
A dog that is allergic or intolerant to some food elements in their current diet can be switched to specially formulated dog food for a sensitive stomach or one lacking certain ingredients. A veterinarian may also recommend a prescription diet.
Australian Shepherds can end up throwing up white foam, blood, bile, after eating, clear fluid, mucus, or yellow form.
Throwing up is common in all dog breeds but when it’s frequent it is a cause of concern.
If vomiting stops on its own and there is no presentation of other symptoms of illness your Australian Shepherd should be ok and there is no cause for alarm.
Remember to always inform and consult your veterinarian of any form of dog vomit so that they can confidently rule out any underlying causes that need to be addressed and incur your Australian Shepherd well.