Dog Chokes White Mucus | 9 Causes & Solution [2023]

Dog Chokes White Mucus  9 Causes & Solution [2023]

When dogs choke on white mucus, it’s usually due to an upset stomach. Under certain circumstances, food poisoning, inflammation, kennel cough, respiratory diseases, heartburn, or even kidney diseases can also be behind it.

If the vomit also contains some white foam, this indicates too much gas in the stomach. In most cases, it is harmless and not serious.

Usually, there is only cause for concern if your dog:

  • Constantly vomiting phlegm
  • Is very young or very old
  • has blood in the vomit
  • Expresses other pathological symptoms

In this case, I advise you to contact the vet immediately. In the following, you will also learn about the 9 most common causes and their typical symptoms.

Are you worried or unsure? Then click here to start the live chat with a veterinarian.

1. Stomach upset

An upset stomach is a broad term for a general feeling of being unwell, such as abdominal pain, a sinking feeling in the stomach or even bloating.

It is usually triggered by the fact that what has been eaten irritates the stomach. This is more common in dogs than humans because their digestive systems are far more primitive.

Typical triggers of an upset stomach are:

  • Eaten grass
  • Drank too fast
  • Heavily spiced food
  • Eaten garbage
  • Food leftovers from people
  • Ate too fast
  • Physical activity after eating
  • Food intolerances

In addition to choking on white mucus, there are usually other symptoms here. This includes:

  • Licking the lips
  • Unusual stomach sounds
  • The dog suddenly sleeps a lot
  • Listlessness
  • Dog refuses food
  • Sudden diarrhea

If you vomit just once, fasting for 12 hours may be enough for recovery. Afterward, easily digestible food helps.

Many medical professionals recommend rice with boiled chicken here. In the case of permanent problems, I advise you to carry out such a free feed check.

There you will receive individual food recommendations for your dog. You will also receive a complete box with free food samples to test the recommendations.

An upset stomach can cause dogs to suddenly choke on white mucus and constantly lick their lips. Among other things, it can also be recognized by the fact that the dog refuses food, sleeps a lot or even suddenly gets diarrhea.

2. Kennel cough

Paradoxically, kennel cough has nothing to do with a kennel. Rather, it is an infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is also known as “dog flu”.

It is usually triggered by inhaled bacteria or viruses that accumulate and spread in the respiratory tract. The most common symptoms here include:

  • Severe cough
  • Runny nose
  • Lack of energy
  • Dog chokes mucus
  • Loss of appetite
  • Light fever
  • Frequent sneezing

Kennel cough is harmless to humans. So you don’t need to be afraid of infecting yourself. However, it can also be transmitted to other animals.

This infection usually heals itself within 3 weeks. Antibiotics can also help with severe infections. Only the vet can tell if this is necessary.

Kennel cough can cause dogs to cough constantly and violently. Among other things, it can also happen that the dog vomits white mucus, gets a slight fever, and generally appears very lethargic and lacking in energy.

3. Heartburn

Normally, a sphincter muscle at the transition from the esophagus to the stomach ensures that the stomach acid only stays in the stomach.

However, various reasons can lead to the sphincter not working properly and stomach acid getting into the esophagus – also called “heartburn”.

The most common signs of heartburn in dogs are licking their lips, not having an appetite, or even licking for air. Other signs are here:

  • Dog regurgitates undigested food
  • Wheezing or wheezing when swallowing
  • The dog spits out white mucus
  • Frequent belching after eating
  • Unusual restless behavior
  • Dog refuses even treats
  • Slow Weight Loss

Very young and very old dogs are most commonly affected. Obesity and pregnancy can also lead to heartburn. Other causes are:

  • Feed portions too large
  • Allergies and intolerances
  • Anesthesia during surgery
  • Chronic stress
  • Certain medications
  • Sudden food change

In most cases, a one-day fast is recommended here. The dog should then be given small meals several times a day. Self-cooked feed is ideal here.

In severe cases, medication or even an operation may be necessary. However, this is very rare. Because heartburn usually resolves itself.

Heartburn in dogs can cause them to experience pain when swallowing, belch food, refuse to eat, or even choke on white mucus. In most cases, this is due to meals that are too large or unsuitable food.

4. Food Poisoning

Meat contaminated with bacteria is the most common cause of foodborne illness in humans. In dogs, on the other hand, natural foods predominate.

The reason? For reasons that are not yet clear, many of the common home remedies we use every day are toxic to dogs. Classic examples of this are:

  • Garlic and onions
  • Hops and alcohol
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Sugar alcohols such as xylitol
  • Macadamia nuts and walnuts
  • Grapes and Raisins

Vomiting white mucus can therefore also indicate possible poisoning. The most common symptoms here include:

  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Unusual loss of appetite
  • Constant licking of the mouth
  • The dog is walking around restlessly
  • Rapid or heavy breathing
  • bloating and swelling
  • Sudden tremors

Of course, poisoning can be caused by other things besides food. Swallowing medication, for example, is common here.

If poisoning is suspected, I recommend contacting the veterinary emergency service immediately. Depending on the type and quantity, poisoning can be fatal. 

Even ordinary foods can cause poisoning in dogs. Here the choking of the mucus is merely an attempt to expel the toxins. In addition, poisoned dogs usually behave unusually restless or even have breathing problems.

5. Stomach and intestinal parasites

Doctors distinguish between endo- and ectoparasites in dogs. The endoparasites live inside the body, while ectoparasites are only external.

Endoparasites are particularly common in strays, which mainly feed on garbage. According to studies, 22% are said to be affected.

In adult dogs, these worms are less tragic. In puppies, however, they can be dangerous. The following types of worms are usually responsible for this:

  • Hookworms and roundworms
  • Whipworms and Tapeworms

But domestic dogs are also more frequently affected by these parasites. Especially if they eat strange feces, garbage, or old leftovers from time to time. Typical symptoms are:

  • Liquid stool
  • Dog vomits mucus
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constant bloating
  • Diarrhea with mucus
  • Occasional cough
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Worms or blood in the stool

A deworming treatment is usually carried out for treatment. Medication is sufficient for this. The intestinal flora can then be rebuilt with probiotics and fiber.

Various worms in the dog’s stomach and intestines can cause dogs to choke on white mucus, have consistent diarrhea, and lose weight. Often there are also worms in the stool, which help with the diagnosis.

6. Inflammation in the abdomen

If bacteria, viruses, or even irritants accumulate in the dog’s stomach, this can also trigger nausea. Typical examples are here:

  • Pancreatitis

When the pancreas becomes inflamed, doctors also speak of pancreatitis. Fever and diarrhea also usually occur here.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dogs with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have to struggle with chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, being underweight, and constantly throwing up.

  • Esophagitis

Inflammation of the esophagus can cause dogs to have trouble swallowing, coughing constantly, or even spitting up white mucus.

  • Gastritis

If the dog’s gastric mucosa becomes inflamed, this can usually be recognized by a general lack of drive, severe thirst, and blood in the vomit.

If you suspect stomach or intestinal diseases, I advise you to contact the vet immediately. Because dogs often tend to suffer in silence.

Inflammation in the abdomen can lead to chronic diarrhea and vomiting, among other things. Gagging white mucus is also more common here. As a rule, however, there are usually other pathological symptoms.

7. Kidney Disease

The kidneys are primarily responsible for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance in dogs. They are also essential for detoxification.

So if the kidneys no longer function fully, this affects the entire organism of the dog. Typical symptoms here are:

  • Dog drinks an unusual amount
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Vomiting with phlegm
  • Listlessness
  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Blood in the urine
  • Unexplained weight loss

Typical causes here are poisoning, severe dehydration, bacterial infections, snake bites, and individual genetics.

Incidentally, visible symptoms only occur when around ⅔ of the kidneys have already lost their ability to function. From then on it gets serious.

For diagnosis, the doctor usually examines the urine and blood. Treatment then depends on the cause. Early action is the be-all and end-all here.

Various kidney diseases can cause dogs to suddenly urinate very frequently, drink heavily and develop chronic diarrhea. Among other things, affected dogs sometimes choke on white mucus and inexplicably lose a lot of weight.

8. Parvovirus

Along with distemper and rabies, parvovirus is one of the most dangerous viruses a dog can get. Fortunately, there is already a vaccine for this.

This also explains why young puppies in particular are affected, which have not yet been sufficiently vaccinated. Typical symptoms here are:

  • Lack of drive and energy
  • Dog refuses food
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Unusually fast pulse
  • Choking on white mucus
  • Bloody diarrhea

Parvovirus is also highly contagious to other dogs and cats. However, it cannot be transmitted to humans.

With early diagnosis and treatment, the survival rate is said to be around 90%. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to have dogs vaccinated in good time.

The first vaccination should take place 8 weeks after birth, and the second vaccination around 4 weeks later. After that, the vaccination should be boosted every 3 years.

Parvovirus can cause chronic diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting of mucus in unvaccinated dogs. In addition, affected dogs make a very listless impression, usually have an increased heart rate, and often get a fever.

9. Bronchitis

The lower respiratory tract is also called the bronchi by medical professionals. However, if viruses, bacteria, or allergens accumulate in it, it can become inflamed.

In this case, we are talking about “bronchitis”. But certain irritants such as aggressive cleaning products can also be the cause.

Common symptoms here include a constant cough, labored breathing, and choking on white mucus. Other typical symptoms are:

  • Lack of energy
  • Whistling when breathing
  • Constant vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever 
  • Runny nose
  • Elevated heart rate

The treatment here depends largely on the cause. In the case of viruses and bacteria, taking medication is usually sufficient.

In the case of allergies, the first step is to identify the allergens using an allergy test. Then it is important to remove them from everyday life as much as possible.

When dogs’ lower airways become inflamed, this can manifest itself in loud breathing and coughing, among other things. Sometimes affected dogs also choke up white mucus or even get fever and shortness of breath.

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