Dear Dr. John,

My wife just quickly drove off to the emergency veterinarian to examine our young spayed female Frenchie. In our nervousness, I chose to write, and, in all likelihood, all will be resolved by the time your response is in print. Yet, I thought it might be helpful for others to read about the situation. Starting yesterday afternoon, our dog started vomiting clear foam that was sometimes white. It continued a few times during the evening.

This morning we observed the same with increased or slightly labored breathing which prompted our action. We did notice that she ate some grass yesterday, but could that be the sole cause of the vomiting? We were scared that there might have been something on the grass, yet no grass appeared in her vomit. Should we have waited and seen how she progressed since she seemed normal in every other way?

— W.G.

Dear W.G.,

Every time a pet owner notices their animal doing anything unusual that may cause concern, it is always advisable to either call or see your veterinarian to ensure that things are OK. Waiting might not have seen a resolution to the problem and what if there was a problem? Vomiting by itself may not be too much reason for concern at times but when one observes labored breathing, especially with short-faced breeds like French Bulldogs, a thorough examination and assessment is worthwhile.

Brachycephalics or short-faced breeds are prone to various issues that other dogs do not. While eating grass may have been the culprit causing your dog to vomit, other possible causes include eating certain foods or toxins, heat, kennel cough, reflux and aspiration.

Was your lawn recently treated with any chemicals? Could there have been anything else on the grass? The heat has been pretty bad lately and is it possible she overheated yesterday? Was she around any other dogs in the last ten days and possibly exposed to a virus? These possible causes all need to be handled differently and by the time your wife returns home with the dog, hopefully a simple diagnosis and treatment will be in place. There are medications that can calm vomiting and treat everything I listed. Good luck!

Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic. He can be reached at 781-899-9994.

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