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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.

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 will 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 and 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 such as butorphanol. 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 such as Tagamet or Pepcid 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 will 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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Vomiting of Yellow Mucus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Pitbull

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Unknown maybe 4 5

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Lathergic Not Eating Was Not Drinking Water But Is Now Throwing Up Small Amounts Of Bile Now Has Heavy Panting And His Bile Smells Like Death And Poop

Yesterday I force feed him broth and water he threw up an enormous amount of bile unlike what he normally does.....after he was eating and acting normal than today he is back the way he was but is now panting hard and his burbs and throw up smell horrible please help I have no money at all like none none I have 4 dollars to my name what can I do to help him

Aug. 10, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, there could be many causes for the vomiting that you're describing, and he may need medical attention. You can try fasting him for 24 hours, offering small amounts of water every hour to keep him hydrated, then a bland diet of boiled white chicken and boiled white rice if his vomiting is improving. If he has a simple GI upset, that may help. I hope that he is okay.

Aug. 11, 2020

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Pit Bull mix

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Vomiting

Threw up yellow slimy liquid twice and eaten little since

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question Doxycycline can cause GI upset, and depending on how long she has been on that medication, it may be upsetting her stomach. If that is not a new medication for her, there may be more going on. If she has seen her veterinarian recently, it would be a good idea to call them and ask if the stomach upset is expected with her medication, or if they would like to see her. In the meantime, you can try offering her a bland diet of boiled white chicken and boiled white rice to see if that helps her appetite. I hope that she feels better soon.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Dachshund

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Vomiting

Few days now... She’s been vomiting large amounts of clear and yellow slimy bile. Salivating. Lethargic, won’t eat, No interest in anything. Not pooping much. She tries often but just has little amts black tarry stool. She went blind a year ago for no reason. Cushings tests negative. Liver enzymes were 600 last year and 550 last month. Distended firm abdomen (pot belly) for over a year. I can’t afford ultrasound..which was next step in diagnosing the liver and big belly problem

July 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of options that I can offer over an email. It may be best to talk to your veterinarian, let them know that an ultrasound is not an option for you, and see if there are any medications that might help her feel better. I hope that she is okay.

July 29, 2020

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French Bulldog

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1.5 years

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Has Symptoms

Yellow Vomiting

Off and on for the last 3 weeks my dog will wake me up around 4:30/5am retching. I have enough time to move her off the bed before she vomits yellow and white slimy liquid. She only does this one time then back to sleep and acts normal all day. She is still eating normal, pooping normal with softer stool but no diarrhea, drinking water, and active. The last 3 days I’ve given her a snack around 11pm (bedtime) of just plain white rice but she’s still vomiting. She eats dehydrated grain-free Beef food from Honest Kitchen in the AM and Nulo LTD Grain-free Salmon kibble at night.

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. The one thing that I was going to suggest was to give her a small snack before bed, as some dogs do get an upset stomach if it is empty first thing in the morning. Since you have already done that, it would probably be best to have her seen by a veterinarian. They may want to take an x-ray and see if she has something in her stomach what is chronically bothering her, or they may want to check for parasites. Once they have a better idea of what's going on, they can give me suggestions as to treatment. I hope that they are able to resolve this problem for you.!

July 28, 2020

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Bichon Frise

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Five Years

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Vomiting

Vomit looked like egg yoke.

July 18, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If your dog is continuously vomiting, it would be a good idea to have him/her seen by a veterinarian. If it was a one time episode of vomiting, you may be fine to continue to watch her and see if she stops once her stomach settles. If you are not sure, having a veterinary examination is never a bad idea when dogs are vomiting for whatever reason. I hope that all goes well for your dog.

July 18, 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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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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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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Mild severity

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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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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.