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Most Bile (Yellow) vomits in dogs are usually due to bilious vomiting syndrome, although in a small percentage of cases this emetic reflex is triggered by more serious conditions, especially in the case of elderly dogs.

Bile is a fluid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. The bile enters the duodenum (located just past the stomach) to further assist with digestion.

Bile is essential for proper digestion in small amounts. But it sometimes builds up in the stomach or gastrointestinal tract. And then it can cause your dog to feel uncomfortable and vomit.

Dog owners are hardly aware of bile and digestive juices in dogs until they vomit it up and stain your carpets. Bile vomiting, at times accompanied by a white, frothy liquid, typically happens when the dog vomits on an empty stomach or after repeated vomiting once all the food has been brought up. Bile is irritating to the stomach when no food is present.

If your pooch occasionally leaves you a pile of yucky, yellow, foamy vomit, but he’s otherwise eating, appearing, and acting normal then it’s probably no big deal, especially if it’s in the morning or at a time when you know his stomach has been empty. But, if you notice that he’s vomiting more often, has a loss of appetite, appears to be in pain or just not himself then it’s time to get to the vet.

Reasons for Bile in Your Dogs Vomit

There are numerous reasons why your dog is vomiting yellow bile. In many cases, vomiting resolves on its own and is little cause for concern. However, vomiting of any kind can indicate a more serious illness, especially if the vomiting occurs frequently.

  • Indigestion (often due to dietary indiscretion)
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Toxin exposure
  • Pancreatitis or another GI inflammation
  • Infectious disease
  • Bilious vomiting syndrome
  • Liver disease and/or gallbladder problems

Symptoms of Vomiting with Bile in Dogs

Because there are varying reasons for your dog to have an episode of vomiting, consultation with an appropriately skilled veterinarian is advised. Ranging from toxic causes to blockages in the intestines, vomiting with bile can be a mild to serious affliction but nonetheless, discomfort and stress will be side effects experienced by your pet. To follow are behaviors your pet may exhibit before and after vomiting occurs:

  • Stomach heaves
  • Drooling
  • Excessive swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Retching
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Coughing


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.

As previously mentioned dogs that are hungry or have not been fed for long periods (i.e. in the morning and evening) can lead to bile accumulating (and then vomited). Therefore it may be recommended by the vet that the food is spread out throughout the day and fed in smaller portions.

Your vet may try medications that help move things along the gut or medications that protect the stomach lining.


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