Causes of Vomiting Bile in Dogs

There are several conditions and illnesses that can lead to a dog vomiting bile. In order to properly determine what may be the issue, it's important to check for additional symptoms. Occasionally, a dog will outgrow vomiting of bile or the situation will improve over time. Other times a simple solution may fix the problem. If more severe symptoms are present, the dog may require a full examination to ensure appropriate treatment options.

Hunger or Excess Acid

Vomiting bile usually produces a greenish-yellow liquid that may have a foul odor. Bile can be accompanied by a white, frothy liquid and this typically indicates that the stomach is empty. Occasionally, excess acid will accumulate in the stomach overnight, and this can lead to vomiting in the early hours of the morning. The best solution to this problem may be to provide the dog with a small amount of food or late-night snack just before bedtime. This will give the stomach something to process and may prevent the excess acid from causing the dog to vomit.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease can cause a chronic irritation throughout the intestinal tract that may lead to vomiting bile, even in very mild cases. The first thing you'll want to try, as an attempt to clear up this issue, is making a change to the dog's diet. Especially in cases where stomach trouble is involved, you may want to gradually switch from old food to new. You may also need to experiment with different types of food to find a brand that you dog prefers. Look closely at the ingredients contained in different brands and types of food. Avoid all foods that are made with grains, meat by-products and other fillers. The best solution is to check out recipes for homemade food using raw vegetables.

Medications and Other Treatments

If changing diet or feeding a late-night snack does not clear up problems with vomiting bile, different medications or other treatments may be recommended. Some forms of medication that are similar to Tagamet or Pepcid may be prescribed to control symptoms of gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Stomach calming medications and histamine blockers may be very effective at clearing up problems, but most professionals are reluctant to begin trying these without first attempting the more simple methods involved with dietary changes.

Serious Conditions

When other symptoms begin to accompany vomiting bile, it's possible that a more serious condition could be present. In these cases, blood work and other tests could help to determine functionality of the liver, bladder, intestines, kidneys and other organs. If your dog is vomiting bile and experiencing any one or more of the following symptoms, more involved testing is recommended to help determine the cause:

  • Excessive diarrhea
  • Problems with urination (ie: excessive, leaking or blockage)
  • Yellowed skin or eyes
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy or loss of energy
  • Lack of appetite or weight loss
  • Abdominal pain, bloating, excess gas
  • Evidence of worms
  • Problems with breathing