Other health problems

Why Does my Dog Vomit Bile?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 26, 2016
Why Does my Dog Vomit Bile?

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There are many differences between the physiology of a dog the physiology of a human; this is why we categorically condemn medicating your pet by yourself with human medicine, as it endangers its health and its life.

However, there are many similarities between your organism and your pet's that can help you better understand certain conditions. While these conditions and diseases may be common, they can also become serious.

This AnimalWised article will answer the question why does my dog vomit bile?

You may also be interested in: Why Does My Dog Vomit After Eating?
  1. What is bile?
  2. Common causes of vomiting bile
  3. Severe causes of vomiting bile
  4. Vomiting bile due to parasitic infestation
  5. What to do if your dog vomits bile

What is bile?

Bile is a digestive fluid which is also present in the human body. This fluid is produced in the liver and subsequently accumulates in the gallbladder to be released later on. From the gallbladder, this fluid is expelled into the small intestine and becomes essential for the digestion of fat, emulsifying it.

While there are multiple causes of vomiting in dogs, if you observe vomiting of bile - which looks like a yellow fluid - the possible causes are reduced. They may be mild problems, but it might also be due to severe diseases that affect the entire body.

Why Does my Dog Vomit Bile? - What is bile?

Common causes of vomiting bile

When a dog vomits bile it is usually after a period of prolonged fasting. If your pet has gone a few hours on an empty stomach, bile and other digestive fluids accumulate in the stomach in the absence of food to digest.

These fluids are prepared in order to facilitate the digestion of food, but without the presence of any food in the stomach they become very aggressive towards the gastric mucosa. Bile irritates and inflames the gastric mucosa. Vomiting occurs then as a defense mechanism of the digestive tract. In this case, the dog's vomit is observed as a greenish-yellow liquid.

Severe causes of vomiting bile

Sometimes vomiting bile can indicate various diseases with different degrees of severity. Let's look at the main conditions that can cause your dog to vomit bile:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Vomiting bile occurs frequently and is accompanied by diarrhea that can sometimes be bloody.
  • Liver disease: When the liver is affected there may be an overproduction of bile, which induces vomiting. In this case you may also observe a typical yellowing of eyes and mucous membranes.
  • Pancreatitis: A dog affected by pancreatitis shows various symptoms, including a loss of appetite and vomiting where, as we have seen, vomiting on an empty stomach causes the expulsion of bile. Abdominal bloating and diarrhea can also be observed.
  • Ingestion of indigestible objects: If your dog has swallowed an object, this will cause stomach irritation, an increased production of bile and finally vomiting of a yellow fluid. Vomiting bile can also be observed in the event of your dog being poisoned. Here you can learn more about dog poisoning, its symptoms and first aid.
Why Does my Dog Vomit Bile? - Severe causes of vomiting bile

Vomiting bile due to parasitic infestation

A parasite infestation in dogs can also cause them to vomit bile. This is worrying because, when these symptoms appear, they undoubtedly indicate a major invasion by a pathogen. Parasitic infestations in dogs can be complex to treat and may have dire consequences for your pet.

Different types of intestinal parasites can cause dogs to vomit bile. Other accompanying symptoms can include:

  • Signs of abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

If vomiting bile is accompanied by these symptoms, it is essential to take a stool sample in a sterile bottle so that it can be analysed later at the vet's in order to decide on the most appropriate treatment.

What to do if your dog vomits bile

If your dog vomits bile early in the morning or shortly before eating, this vomit may simply be due to the accumulation of bile during a period of fasting. In this case, it is not necessary to increase food intake, but spread it throughout the day so that your pet can eat frequently.

However, vomit with a yellowish appearance can be hiding multiple health problems, as we have seen. Therefore, going to the vet is essential.

The texture of vomit and the presence of other elements and symptoms can be useful to establish a diagnosis as soon as possible and implement appropriate treatment. You should take a sample of the vomit whenever possible.

Why Does my Dog Vomit Bile? - What to do if your dog vomits bile

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does my Dog Vomit Bile?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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Why Does my Dog Vomit Bile?