Yellow vomit from dogs

“Generally speaking, dogs vomit a yellow liquid when they have an empty stomach. The bile and stomach acids accumulate in the empty stomach and this upsets the stomach’s lining, resulting in inflammation and discomfort.”

A variation of this form of chronic vomiting occurs when the dog’s body produces an excess of bile and stomach acid. This can result in symptoms such as stomach upset and vomiting, even after the dog has eaten.

Pet owners can also see vomiting in their dog immediately after a meal. This occurs because the bile and gastric fluids irritated the stomach beforehand, and adding food to the equation is simply too much for the already-upset stomach to handle.

In some cases, canine stomach ulcers can form due to the chronic stomach irritation, resulting in even more discomfort and frequent emesis.  Medications like Pepcid AC, Zantac and Tagemet (active ingredient famotidine, cimetidine) are often prescribed in these cases.

There are several solutions and treatments that can help a dog who experiences chronic vomiting and stomachache.

  1. Feed more frequently. Instead of feeding one or two large meals per day, divide the dog’s daily food portion into three or four smaller meals. This will help keep the stomach fuller, longer, preventing the accumulation of bile and gastric fluids.
  2. Give Pepcid AC. Pepcid or other similar medications like Zantac and Tagamet contain a drug (cimetedine, famotidine or ranitidine) that helps to control the production of bile and stomach acids, thereby reducing the volume of the fluids that are the source of the dog’s stomach problems. Your veterinarian can prescribe a dosage based on the dog’s weight. The typical dosage for Pepcid is .25 mgs per each pound of body weight, given every eight to 12 hours. Always consult a veterinarian before giving medications, particularly if the dog is already on another drug, as drug interactions can be deadly.
  3. Give wet food or hydrated kibble. Providing wet dog food or hydrated kibble will help reduce the chances of stomach upset and vomiting in dogs. When dry, dehydrated kibble is fed, the food absorbs fluids and expands once it reaches the stomach. If the dog eats until full, the further expansion of the food in an already-upset stomach can lead to vomiting. Adding hot water to the kibble and allowing it to sit for about ten minutes will allow the bits of kibble to absorb the water and expand beforehand.
  4. Keep your dog's meals stress-free. Feed your pet in a quiet, stress-free location. Dogs are instinctively protective of their food and stress and anxiety that can result from the presence of other pets or even humans during mealtime. This stress can worsen existing stomach problems, so feed your pet in a quiet, isolated area.
  5. Limit activity following meals. Activity like running, playing or even taking a walk around the neighborhood can lead to stomach discomfort and upset.  In a dog whose stomach was irritated by excess bile and stomach acids, this activity is even more likely to lead to vomiting. So limit activity for the two hours following a meal to limit the potential for vomiting.

In the event that the aforementioned remedies do not lead to an improvement in the dog’s symptoms, a visit to the veterinarian is in order. A vast array of canine health problems can lead to vomiting in dogs, including (but not limited to) tumors and masses and other growths, gastritis, food allergies, pancreatitis and intestinal obstructions.

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