Did You Know?
Similar to humans, if a dog's stomach stays empty for too long, it could cause digestive acids and bile to accumulate within the stomach chamber. In the absence of any food to digest, these liquids irritate the stomach walls, causing a reflux which leads to the dog throwing up a yellowish liquid. This is one of the reasons why such vomiting usually happens early in the morning.
Throwing up is common in dogs and has an array of reasons for its occurrence. Inflammation of the stomach and upper intestinal tract and accumulation of toxins in the blood are considered to be the most common causes behind a dog vomiting yellow bile. Therefore, it becomes important for all dog owners to know the causes as well as the treatment for this condition which can signal a serious problem such as dehydration, pancreatitis or an intestinal obstruction in dogs.
In short, here is a list of the chief causes that may trigger a condition where the dog throws up a yellow or light-brownish liquid, whether clear or slightly frothy.
- Eating unsuitable food
- Ingestion of non-food items
- Eating too fast
- Bile overproduction due to some other digestive disorder
- Indigestion problems owing to anxiety or stress
- Excessive bile accumulation due to the stomach remaining empty for too long
Unlike the human digestive system that prepares digestive acid once food is in the stomach, the digestive system of a dog makes yellow bile or stomach acid in anticipation of a meal. If there is no food, dogs have to vomit or throw up yellow bile to keep it from burning their stomachs. Hence, long intervals between two meals can cause excess acid accumulation in the stomach, which can lead to stomach irritation or inflammation and vomiting in dogs.
Some pet owners also observe their dog puking bile immediately after meal. This happens because the bile and gastric fluids irritate the stomach beforehand, and adding food to an already upset stomach can worsen the condition. Ingestion of unfamiliar food items can cause gastritis in dogs which is inflammation of the stomach lining, leading to vomiting or throwing up. Another cause can be inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes a decrease in gastric mobility due to infectious agents and abnormalities in the immune system.
Histamine H2-receptor antagonist drugs like cimetidine, famotidine or ranitidine can help the situation by controlling the production of bile and stomach acids, thereby, reducing the concentration of the fluids that are the source of the dog's stomach problems. Medicine brands like Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid, respectively, come under this category. Consult your veterinarian, who will prescribe the appropriate dosage, based upon your dog's weight.
Management and Prevention
Below are some suggestions that, if followed, would help you manage your dog's condition and, over time, avoid or decrease the frequency of such instances.
Instead of feeding one or two large meals per day, divide your pet's daily food into three or four smaller meals. A snack, later in the evening and/or early in the morning will most likely solve the problem as this will keep the stomach full and avoid accumulation of bile and gastric fluids.
Avoid feeding your pet dry dog food as dehydrated kibble absorbs fluids and expands once it reaches the stomach. If the dog keeps eating to its full capacity, such food will keep absorbing water from the digestive tract and continue to expand even after the dog has finished eating. This can lead to bloating as well as excessive production of gastric juices, besides irritating the already affected stomach walls. Instead, go for hydrated kibble as wet food will not show any change in its quantity after being eaten and whatever quantity reaches your pet's stomach is whatever quantity you fed it in the first place.
If your pet is allergic to any food item, avoid giving him/her that food as it may cause some allergic reactions in the stomach, which may eventually lead to throwing up or vomiting in dogs.
Discourage excessive activity after a meal so that the dog's body gets rest and focuses on just one thing - digestion and nutrition absorption. Activities like running, playing or jumping after having meal increases the possibility of vomiting and indigestion.
Make meal times a calm and peaceful affair. When feeding the dog, place the food in a quiet, relaxing place where the dog can enjoy its meal undisturbed.You can stay near your dog while it is eating and speak to it in a soothing voice, or engage in gentle petting occasionally.
Many dogs are prone to vomiting yellow bile on a regular basis. Fortunately, this problem often resolves very easily, with some basic changes in feeding frequency, medication and care. However, in case the aforementioned remedies do not lead to any improvement in the dog's symptoms in a couple of days, visit your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.