Vomiting Mucus in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Why is my dog vomiting mucus?

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Why is my dog vomiting mucus?

What are Vomiting Mucus?

The vomiting of mucus, which is often white and phlegm-like, can be caused by a variety of medical conditions. The very occasional bringing up of mucus is not a cause for concern; however, if your dog is throwing up mucus often, a veterinary visit is warranted. Stomach inflammation, accompanied by signs like pain and fever can mean a serious condition may be developing. Treatment for vomiting of mucus may be as simple as a diet alteration or can be more invasive, such as surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Vomiting mucus may be caused by:

  • Diet
  • Toxins
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Blockage
  • Parasites in the stomach

Regurgitating with mucus may be caused by:

  • Esophagitis
  • Addison’s disease

Coughing up mucus may be caused by:

  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Asthma

Dogs that are vomiting, regurgitating or coughing up mucus should be seen by a veterinarian.  The veterinarian can help determine the underlying reason for the mucus.

Why Vomiting Mucus Occurs in Dogs

Diet

The wrong diet or a new diet can upset a dog’s stomach.  Table scraps and/or very fatty foods can cause the inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).  Fatty food such as bacon, sausage, steak fat or chicken skin should never be fed to a dog.

Toxins

Substances such as certain plants, chocolate, grapes, chemicals, insecticides, artificial sweeteners and human medications can be toxic to dogs.  Other symptoms of poisoning may include loss of coordination, diarrhea, seizures and weakness.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs is a chronic gastrointestinal disease. Many dogs with inflammatory bowel disease have a history of recurring vomiting or diarrhea. This condition may occur more often in Wheaten Terriers, Basenjis, Boxers and in the Norwegian Lundehunds breed.

Intestinal Blockage 

An intestinal blockage refers to complete or partial blockage which may occur when a dog eats inedible objects.  Rocks, toys, rawhides, hair ties, sticks and socks can cause a blockage.  Blockage of the intestines may also be caused by parasites, a hernia, abdominal tumor or gastroenteritis.

Parasites 

Parasites such as Giardia, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and coccidia can cause vomiting. Additional symptoms may include weight loss, diarrhea, lack of appetite and bloody stool.

Regurgitating with mucus may be caused by:

Esophagitis

Esophagitis is the inflammation of the esophagus. The inflammation of the esophagus may be caused by frequent vomiting, cancer of the esophagus, reflux of gastric acids or the ingestion of a chemical or other irritant.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease is also known as hypoadrenocorticism or adrenal insufficiency. The disease is caused by the decrease of hormone production from the adrenal gland. Adrenals are small glands found in front of the kidneys. Certain breeds may be predisposed to Addison’s disease such as Bearded Collies, Portuguese Water Dogs, Standard Poodles and Labrador Retrievers.

Coughing up mucus may be caused by:

Upper Respiratory Infection

Senior dogs with immune deficiency diseases as well as puppies are more likely to develop an upper respiratory infection. Additionally, unvaccinated dogs placed in shelters, day care, or boarding kennels may become infected. Upper respiratory infections are caused by bacteria or viruses. Other symptoms of respiratory infections may include sneezing, runny nose and eyes, green mucus and nose bleeds.

Asthma

Asthma in dogs is also referred to as allergic bronchitis. Asthma in dogs is often caused by an allergic reaction to an environmental allergen such as pesticides, cigarette smoke, perfumes, fertilizers, paint and cleaning products.

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What to do if your Dog is Vomiting Mucus

If your dog is vomiting mucus he should be seen by a veterinarian. The veterinarian will want to go over your dog’s medical history so be certain to let him know about recent illnesses or whether your pet could have been exposed to harmful substances.  

The veterinarian will need to know any additional signs you may have observed besides the bringing up of mucus; if there are signs of lethargy or depression for example, do not leave this important information out of the discussion.  Let your veterinary provider know if you think the dog vomited, regurgitated or coughed.  

The veterinarian will perform a physical examination which may include noting the weight, temperature, and heart rate, listening to your dog’s lungs, and checking the color of his gums.  He may recommend a complete blood count, a urinalysis, fecal exam, x-rays and an ultrasound.  The dog’s medical history, physical examination and the diagnostic tests will help the veterinarian determine the best treatment for the condition.

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Prevention of Vomiting Mucus

Dogs should not be fed table scraps, which are fatty. Substances that are toxic to dogs should be kept out of reach.  Dogs should be vaccinated and dewormed regularly. Pets should not be exposed to secondhand smoke. 

Additionally, it is best to keep your dog away from fresh paint, lawn pesticides, or any other strong smelling chemicals.  It is a good idea to ask the veterinarian what wellness program he would suggest for your dog. Puppies and senior dogs should have frequent check-ups.

Vomiting of mucus can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog is vomiting or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Cost of Vomiting Mucus

The cost of treating intestinal parasites may be $50-300.  The average expense for treating Addison’s disease may be $350.  An intestinal blockage may cost up to $3000 for surgery and follow up treatment.

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Worried about the cost of Why Is My Dog Vomiting Mucus treatment?

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Vomiting Mucus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Labrador Retriever

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Six Months

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31 found helpful

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31 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Throwing Up

My dog had thrown up 3 times and it’s slimey. She hadn’t eaten all day

Feb. 15, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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31 Recommendations

Hello, THis could be due to parvo, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, or obstruction. It would be best to feed a bland diet of chicken and rice and see if this helps. If not, it would be best for your dog to see your vet.

Feb. 15, 2021

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lab mix

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Six Years

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32 found helpful

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32 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Our dog started throwing up this morning, we gave her plenty of water and cleaned up we think we’ll take her to the vet but we aren’t sure if it is super concerning or if we are over reacting. Attached is a picture of what the vomit looked like.

Jan. 15, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Maureen M. DVM

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32 Recommendations

Hi, Vomiting is a common symptom of various infections. It can range from food intolerance, bacterial/viral infections, worms, or tick-related diseases. I would advise you not to feed her at the moment until you get to the vet as she may vomit again. Frequent vomiting leads to loss of water and electrolytes which could leave her weak and dehydrated. Please take her to the vet to get a proper diagnosis of the cause of the vomiting and the best treatment options. Good luck

Jan. 15, 2021

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