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What are Passing Yellow Stools?

When your dog is passing yellow stool, it means that his feces are yellow in color instead of the normal chocolate brown color.  Any changes in the normal color of your dog’s stools which are noted should be watched carefully.  There are several reasons why this could be happening:

  • Consumption of non-food items 
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Liver problems
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Pancreas problems
  • Intestinal infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Food allergies

Why Passing Yellow Stools Occurs in Dogs

There are a number of reasons why yellow stool occurs in your canine companion and some of them are more serious than others:

Consumption of Non-food Items

This can include pieces of trees, grasses or even household items. Foreign body consumption can include virtually anything which isn’t food and isn’t supposed to be eaten. These items cannot be digested by your pet’s system.

Gastroenteritis

This is inflammation of the intestinal system, generally this includes the stomach and intestines.  The causes of gastroenteritis are infections from bacteria, viruses, parasites or reactions to new foods or medications.

Liver Problems

Liver problems cause jaundice (icterus) which will discolor the eyes, skin, urine and feces of your pet. Damages to the liver can occur from many diseases, toxins, drugs, cancer and inflammation of the liver caused by bacterial and fungal infections.

Pancreatitis

This is inflammation of the pancreas which occurs as a result of digestive enzymes leaking into the pancreatic tissue.  Abdominal pain, depression, lack of appetite along with vomiting and diarrhea can occur in some dogs.  Chronic pancreatitis can sometimes lead to diabetes in your pet.

Gallbladder Problems

This condition occurs when there is a stoppage of bile flowing from the gallbladder to the intestines.  This can occur due to trauma to the gallbladder, or from an obstruction like a gallstone, congealed bile or tumor of the gallbladder and can turn the eyes, skin, urine and feces a yellow color.

Intestinal Infections

These can include bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic.  If left untreated, any of them can progress to more serious conditions in your pet. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This can cause a yellow mucus to be present in your dog’s stool.  This condition needs to be treated as early as possible to prevent progression into a more serious health condition for your canine.

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What to do if your Dog is Passing Yellow Stools

Bouts of periodic diarrhea and stool changes can cycle in and out of your dog’s life, lasting only for one or two bowel movements.  This can be normal for some situations with your dog, unless his condition begins to deteriorate.  However, if the yellow stools continue to be passed beyond a day or two, you should call your veterinary professional for medical evaluation.  The condition which may be at the root of the yellow stool may be relatively minor or it can be a major health condition which will need to be treated urgently.  

Your veterinary professional will examine your pet and perform the needed testing to ascertain the diagnosis for the yellow stool.  In many cases, this diagnosis proves to be a “ruling out” situation as he eliminates the many possibilities for the yellow stool in your pet.  Your vet will treat the underlying cause with medications, surgical procedures, dietary supplements or dietary regimen changes as needed based upon his findings and diagnosis.

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Prevention of Passing Yellow Stools

For many of the possible reasons for the passing of yellow stool by your pet, close monitoring of his lifestyle is the best measure of prevention. For conditions like pancreatitis, liver and gallbladder problems, dietary regimens will need to be evaluated to assure your pet is getting a balanced diet without excess fats and carbohydrates which may not be easily digested.  

Careful monitoring of your pets home environment and those areas where he exercises and plays is also a good idea, eliminating as many of the potential non-food items which might interest him enough to ingest them.  

Keeping up with the regular checkups, vaccinations, and parasite immunization will help to reduce the opportunity for parasitic infection to take root in your pet’s intestinal system.

Examinations done at home on a regular basis can also help to identify painful areas on your pet which could relate to internal problems which need attention.  This can be incorporated into the normal time you spend with your pet in play and attention giving.

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Cost of Passing Yellow Stools

There are costs involved in keeping your pet safe and healthy.  Here are some of the costs involved with treatment of some of the causes of yellow stools in your pet:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome treatment costs can range from $500 to $3,000
  • For the treatment of chronic liver inflammation, the costs can range from $1,000 to $10,000
  • If your pet is suffering from pancreatitis, those treatment costs could range from  $800 to $6,000
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Passing Yellow Stools Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Shih Tzu

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Yellow Stool, Diarhea, Vomitting

My dog has been having diarhea and or fatty stool for almost a week now. This is what he pooped out this morning. He also has vomitted a few times over the past week. He is not feeling well, but I don't know what to do. He gets these kinds of things often so I thought it would subside after a few days.

Aug. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello I'm sorry to see that your pet is not feeling well. If he is having diarrhea and vomiting, I recommend that you take him to a veterinarian for an exam. They may want to run tests like a parasite exam, lab work and x-rays. He may have an infection or something else. Good luck.

Aug. 27, 2020

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Shitzu

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2 1/2 months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Tarry Stool

My puppy is passing yellow stool and a lil weak. He is always sleeping

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Puppies are very commonly affected by parasites that can be quite serious. It would be best to have your puppy examined by a veterinarian, and have them look at a stool sample, and see what might be affecting your puppy and what medications might help. I hope that all goes well for your puppy.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Dachshund

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Nine Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Yellow Formed Stool

Stool yellow, formed, difficult to pass. Strains and yelps while going.

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. There can be many causes for this problem, but one thing that you can try in the short-term is to feed a bland diet boiled white chicken and boiled white rice for a few days. If that gets things settled down and your dog is having normal bowel movement after that, great. If they continue to have problems at that point, it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian. I hope that all goes well for your dog.

Aug. 3, 2020

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Havanese Poodle mix

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Yellow Diarrhea

About 4 days ago my dog started having diarrhea. He is still eating drinking acting fine. But now its turning a yellowish color and has not improved.

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello I'm sorry that your pet is having diarrhea. That is definitely concerning. It could be secondary to gastrointestinal irritation, intestinal parasites or an infection. I recommend that you take him to a veterinarian for an exam. In the meantime you may try offering a bland diet of boiled chicken and boiled white rice in small amounts until he can be seen. Good luck.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Four Years

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Yellow, Dry, And Crumbly Poop

Yesterday my dog ate more of an elk antler than I noticed. She had healthy BMs yesterday but this morning she had a hard, dry, yellow and crumbly BM. She’s had 3 of those today. However, she’s not straining, not in pain. She’s active and acting normal and drinking and eating normally. Should I wait to see if today is just an off day and if things go back to normal? Should I be concerned about an obstruction?

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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Hello, If she is having a BM then she is not obstructed. Most dogs that are obstructed are also vomiting. She may be just having an off day. If she is not back to 100% tomorrow, it would be best for her to see your vet.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Oliver

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Maltese

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Soft Stool

My male Maltese 2yo started with diarrhea and was put ontyljosin which helped. The vet switched him to several digestive appropriate foods but he won’t eat them. He has gone four days without eating. I have tried the vet recommended treat and he literally turns his head up. All his fecal tests are normal. The dr thinks he could be allergic to chicken so we switched to 93% fat free beef mixed in the dog food. He picks out the beef and leaves the dog food. Also he was perfectly trained on wee wee pads and now only goes to urinate. I think the soft stool doesn’t let him know in time although after he looks guilty

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Thor

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Rottweiler

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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Weight Loss
Yellow Stool

My 3 year old rottweiler's poop is yellow. He doesn't have diarrhea but he's lost a lot of weight in the last few months. I haven't changed his food. I feed him breed specific dry dog food.

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Chloe

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Spaniel mix

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Solid But Bright Yellow Stool

My 10 year old spaniel mix with liver & disc disease & occasional seizures managed to find & eat a couple peanuts on Friday. She vomited twice & had the runs. Took a stool sample to the vets, which came back ok. Vet said to stop probiotic & supplements for 24 hrs. After such time I gave again & she had a normal, solid poop yesterday morning. Then extremely loose & watery stools twice in the afternoon. Did not feed her dinner (to let her tummy rest) vet again said no probiotic or supplements now for 48 hrs. She ate with gusto this morning & just now had a solid but bright yellow stool. I am extremely worried. Her vet office is closed today but I emailed a picture of her stool. Any advice or suggestions on what is happening in the meantime?

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Buddy

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Maltese

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

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Diarrhea, Yellow Stool

My one year old Maltese suddenly started having loose stools that are the color of mustard now. We went on a camping trip and when we got back he threw up and it looked foamy, hasn't threw up since but began having diarrhea. Yesterday I made some rive and boiled chicken for him and that made the poop color normal but the consistency was still soft. He doesn't have bowel movements as often as he used to since eating the rice and chicken. He still drinks water, peeing well, gums are pink, skin retracts to normal nicely, he was playing today. He is in perfect health, never had problems so i am wondering if he ate something i didn't see when we were at camp or if he was just super stressed and that's what is causing it. If someone has any information i would really appreciate it

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Bob

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Black Lab Mix

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Runny, Yellow Stools
Runny, Yellow Stools, Overweight

Bob my 3 year old black lab mix has been having mostly runny, yellow stool for almost 2 months now. his eating, drinking, and exercise habits seem to be the same. he is extremely overweight, but I now walk him 3-4 times a day. he eats mostly dry dog food, but also has human food. what could be the cause of his stools.