Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Now when an otherwise healthy dog starts to vomit intermittently in the early hours prior to breakfast and no other time, this can be a sign of bilious vomiting syndrome. This can result in the dog bringing up froth (which is usually saliva that has pooled in the empty stomach) or bile without any other signs of ill health. This is a condition that we can see at any age (or sex) and essentially arises when the dog's gall bladder jumps the gun, secretes bile before the dog has eaten and this abnormally enters the stomach from the intestine. This causes stomach upset and the dog will vomit contents of their empty stomach. In a way, its her gastrointestinal tract getting carried away in its anticipation to eat.
Other concerns that could also cause these signs could include a low grade non-specific gastritis or food allergy (both of which the steroid could soothe) and can also be seen with IBD, hairballs (even in dogs), and Helicobacter gastritis. Furthermore, we can see vomiting in general linked to grumbling bacterial infections, parasitic infestations, pancreatitis, metabolic conditions, or organ troubles (the last two less likely here). That all said, we'd usually expect a more sporadic pattern of vomiting with these other differentials and not just the occasional vomit of saliva in the wee hours.
Now to tackle this condition, we tend to just need to feed them a bit earlier in the morning (ideally prior to the vomiting time). Or if Polly vomits in the proper wee hours of the morning, then do try giving her small meal just before bed time (it doesn't have to be extra but you can restructure her meal sizes to maintain the same ration volume) to see if this halts this vomiting.
As well, you can also consider using an antacid before bedtime to settle her stomach. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are Pepcid (More Info/Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). These are usually given 20 minutes before food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if Polly has any pre-existing conditions or is on any medications besides the steroid.
If you try this and the vomiting doesn't settle (with this support or the vet's steroids), then we'd have to consider that she may have something more serious lurking despite her lack of other clinical signs. And in that case, that would be our cue to consider a reassessment by her vet. And as long as they are not finding any sinister lumps, bumps or things that don't belong in her stomach, then it may be worth considering having them check a blood sample +/- scoping her stomach (using a scope with a small camera) so that they can see what exactly is going on within her stomach.
Overall, occasional early morning vomiting is often a benign process in the young dog. Therefore, we want to try those aforementioned steps with Polly. But if this does not settle her vomiting nor the steroids; then the next step would be to make sure there isn't something more sinister starting to show early signs of its presence that needs to be nipped in the bud.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )