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What are Vomiting of Yellow Mucus?

Vomiting is not an illness or condition; it is a clinical sign of an underlying disorder.  If your pet is vomiting yellow mucus, he should be seen by a veterinarian to determine the cause. The physical effects are not only causing discomfort to your dog each time he produces bile; the stomach, esophagus and throat may become irritated as well.

The vomiting of yellow mucus may be an indication that there is bile in the dog’s vomit. Bile is an alkaline fluid, which helps with digestion. It breaks down lipids (fats) into smaller particles, which the body is then able to digest. Without bile, lipids would not be digested and would simply be excreted in the feces.  This would prevent the absorption of nutrients through the small intestine. Bile is produced in the liver and then stored in the gallbladder.  The gallbladder then releases bile into the duodenum. The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine.

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Symptoms of Vomiting of Yellow Mucus in Dogs

Symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting frothy yellow mucous
  • Nausea
  • Excessive swallowing
  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Stomach upset and noises
  • Retching 
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Causes of Vomiting of Yellow Mucus in Dogs

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be an acute or chronic condition. The inflammation can cause the organ and the surrounding blood vessels to bleed and get infected. If left untreated pancreatitis can also damage the ability of the pancreas to function normally.

With an intestinal blockage, your dog may vomit yellow mucus because there is something obstructing his intestines. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will cause a chronic irritation of the dog’s intestinal tract.

In the case of bilious vomiting syndrome, the empty stomach causes bile to irritate your dog’s digestive tract; the dog then vomits bile.  It can become an ongoing cycle; empty stomach, bile, and vomit. Vomit, empty stomach and bile.

Gastritis is the inflammation and irritation of the stomach. 

Giardia is a parasite that can invade the gastrointestinal tract and can cause the dog to vomit bile.

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Diagnosis of Vomiting of Yellow Mucus in Dogs

To begin, the veterinarian will want to know if your dog is up to date on vaccinations and deworming.  Your dog’s current diet may be discussed and evaluated in order to determine if sensitivities may have developed. 

The veterinarian will then perform a physical exam on the patient. The examination may include taking the temperature, weight, pulse and blood pressure of your canine.  The doctor may palpate the patient’s stomach and listen to his heart and lungs.

Several diagnostic tests may need to be performed in order to help determine the reason for the vomiting of yellow mucus.  The veterinarian may suggest abdominal x-rays, ultrasound, fecal exam or a urinalysis as additional tools.  A complete blood count and a serum chemistry panel may be taken. The doctor may also recommend an endoscopy, whereby a flexible tubular instrument with a small camera is inserted through the mouth or rectum.  This allows the doctor to see images of the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.  If any abnormalities are noted, a biopsy may be taken. This procedure will require that the patient be fasting (12 hours) before the test is performed. General anesthesia will be necessary.

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Treatment of Vomiting of Yellow Mucus in Dogs

The treatment of vomiting yellow mucus in dogs will depend on what the veterinarian team diagnosed.

Pancreatitis 

Patients may be treated with a low-fat diet, which is fed in smaller but frequent meals.  If the patient is dehydrated he will need to have an IV of fluids, to help replenish his electrolytes. The patient may be prescribed a pain medication. He may be given an injection of an antiemetic medication to help stop the vomiting.

Intestinal Blockage

If the x-rays determined that there is an intestinal blockage, the patient may require surgery to remove the object. The patient will require general anesthesia for the procedure.  He may need to remain hospitalized for 3- 5 days; this will ensure that he has 24/7 care.  The patient will be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

The veterinarian may recommend an elimination diet.  Only one protein and a carbohydrate are fed to the dog for a few weeks; such as chicken and sweet potato.  At the end of the few weeks, a new protein and carbohydrate are introduced; such as lamb and potato. If your dog has a reaction to one of the foods, it should be eliminated from his diet. Homemade diets are sometimes recommended.  A veterinary nutritionist/dietitian can help ensure that your pet is on a balanced and nutritional diet which is right for him. Additionally, IBD patients may be prescribed immunosuppressive drugs, antibiotics and probiotic treatment.

Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

Patients with bilious vomiting syndrome may need to be fed frequent and smaller meals.  At bedtime, a healthy snack may help his stomach not to be empty all night.  An antacid may be prescribed.

Gastritis

Patients with gastritis may have food withheld for 24 to 48 hours. Small amounts of water can be offered;  after the 24 to 48 hours your dog should be fed a smaller amounts than he usually eats, and in frequent intervals.  Food will be increased slowly each day. The patient may be prescribed sucralfate, which will help coat his stomach. An anti-vomiting medication may be given also.

Giardia

Giardia is usually treated with fenbendazole and/or metronidazole. Your dog should be bathed to eliminate any parasite eggs from his fur. The pet’s bowls, bedding, and toys should be washed in hot water.  It is important to also clean and disinfect the flooring, carpets and upholstery. Pets should be re-tested after two weeks.

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Recovery of Vomiting of Yellow Mucus in Dogs

It is important to follow the treatment plan the veterinarian team prepared for your pet.  Follow-up visits will be required to monitor the patient’s progress.  Patients that underwent surgery will be given postoperative instructions from the surgeon.  An E-collar will have to be worn until the sutures are removed. Patients diagnosed with IBD and pancreatic disease may require lifelong medication treatment.

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Written by a lover Michele K.

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Published: 04/13/2017, edited: 02/24/2021

Vomiting of Yellow Mucus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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American Pit Bull Terrier

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Eight Months

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Unknown severity

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6 found helpful

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Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I’ve taken my dog to the vet , she’s throwing up yellow mucus like .. has been for 2 days now

Jan. 9, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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6 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear she is vomiting. There can be many causes for this in a young dog including pancreatitis, a gut obstruction, an infection etc. If she isn't improving with medicine or the vet has concerns, the nest step would usually be some tests such as a blood test and abdominal imaging.

Jan. 9, 2021

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Chihuahua and something else

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dont know was giving to me

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Unknown severity

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6 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic, Stomach Kind Of Caves In When He Throws Up

Don't want to play nor eat now

Dec. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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6 Recommendations

Lethargy and vomiting can have a wide range of causes including toxin ingestion, an infection, gut obstruction, liver disease, pancreatitis etc. A vet check is best. They may run some tests such as a blood test. Treatment will then depend on what is found. Hopefully your little one feels a lot better soon.

Dec. 27, 2020

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Yorkipoo

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Four Months

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Yellowpoop Scratchin Bitting Feet

My four month olds yorkiepoo is pooping yellow runny scratching and bitting his back feet is there anything that I can do he still eat and run like crazy

Dec. 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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3 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this. Diarrhoea can have many causes including an infection, parasites, dietary sensor etc. Ensure he is on a good quality puppy food and good off on any treats or chews for now. Also, make sure he is up to date with a good quality wormer. The main thing is that his gums remain pink and wet and that he is active and eager to eat. It sounds like his feet are itchy and this could be due to mites, allergies, an infection etc. Again, ensure his parasite prevention is up to date. He should see a vet who can assess his skin and may need to prescribe some medicine such as a medicated wash and antibiotics.

Dec. 22, 2020

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Chihuahua dachshund

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One Year

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4 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, Shaking, Dehydration

She has been laying down and doesnt want to move to do anything, chugs the water down when I give it to her, throwing up clear and yellow vomit many times, her gums are looking pretty white but her jaw is opening, and she was shaking for a while

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Your dog sounds quite sick, and there are many reasons that this may be happening to her. She needs to see a veterinarian right away, as they will be able to examine her, see what might be going on with her, and let you of any treatment options at this point. I hope that she is okay.

Oct. 6, 2020

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Alaskan Malamute

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Eight Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Yellow Vomit

This morning right after my puppy woke up she threw up yellow bile that smelled like urine

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in response, there is a delay in receiving these emails sometimes. If your puppy is still vomiting or not feeling good, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine him, see what might be going on, and get treatment for him. I hope that he is okay!

Oct. 7, 2020

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Rex

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German Shepherd

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14 Weeks

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting Yellow
Yellow Diarrhea

My puppy has had soft yellow poop for about four days and this morning he puked yellow foam. He did the same thing a couple weeks ago without yellow diarrhea. We went to the vet two days ago and tested for Parvo, and a couple other things and came back negative. Also he’s been on a bland diet for about two days. He has been playing and eating fine, what could this be?

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Buddha

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Maltipoo

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4 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Yellow Foam

My dog just vomited yellow foam; it was a very small amount and she had last eaten around 7 hours previous. We were approaching her dinner hour when this happened so we waited an hour and she seemed normal so we fed her small portions over the course of 2 hours. She seems to be fine but when is it cause for concern???

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Scout

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Dogue de Bordeaux

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14 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My dog Scout has vomited what we believe to be bile about 4 or 5 times in the past 3 weeks. (That we've seen) She only seems to do it when she is outside and hasn't had an urgent episode in the house. Besides the vomiting she is acting normal. She plays, eats, sleeps, drinks, and poops like she normally does. She only acts tired after she vomits. I just added dentastix into her diet so I removed those to see if it helps. She doesn't seem interested in eating in-between her morning and night feedings. Do I need to take her to the vet? I don't have a lot of money for x-rays and tests but have seen a lot of scary possibilities when trying to search what it could be.

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Larry

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American Eskimo

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12 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Yellow Bile Vomit

I recently took in my mother's dog after she passed. He's been a savior by lifting my spirits as I undergo chemotherapy. About an hour ago, I woke up in the middle of the night only to hear him vomiting a yellow foamy fluid. He's all up yo date on vaccines and has been eating & having solid/frequent bowel movements. What should I do? 😟

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Jacquie

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Chihuahua

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14 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting Foamy Bile And Mucus ,

Vomiting foamy bile and mucus , lethargic, wobbly walk. She was fine all day but in evening suddenly threw up 5 times in 4 hours, a lot of vomit but only bile (yellow and clear, very foamy). Refusing food and water, wobbly walk, a little lethargic. It’s only been about 5 hours but I’m worried she may be dehydrated or serious condition since she’s only 7lbs dog.

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