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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 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

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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 may not 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 can include 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 infections.  If left untreated, any of these 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 pet.

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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 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, or if your dogs' condition is deteriorating, 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 veterinarian will examine your pet and perform any needed testing to determine the cause of 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 veterinarian 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 ensure that 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 regular checkups, vaccinations, and parasite control will help to reduce the opportunity for parasitic infection to take root in your pet’s intestinal tract.

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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Written by Darlene Stott

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Published: 07/19/2017, edited: 02/26/2021

Passing Yellow Stools Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Pug

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Two Years

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Yellow Stools

My dog is passing yellow stools y? Treatment?

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. . Parasites and intestinal infection might cause this to happen, and if it is sill occurring, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 17, 2020

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Diarrhea

My dog has had diarrhea for a couple days now. We just moved into a new apartment, so I thought it was maybe the stress but its continuing and now it's bring yellow. Almost totally liquid but has some little chunks afterwards. She seems totally normal, not lethargic or anything and I've been feeding her rice and boiled chicken, plus I gave her some plain greek yogurt.

Sept. 24, 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, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

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One Year

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Diarrhea

My dog has had diarrhea for about 3 days now he seems to be acting normal seems a little less energetic but today his diarrhea was a bright yellow

Sept. 24, 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, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

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Shih Tzu

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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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2 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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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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1 Recommendations

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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Shadow pup

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Red heeler

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1 Day

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Panting
Yellow Diarrhea

My Red Heeler had a litter yesterday and today one of the newborn pups has yellow diarrhea while all of the rest seem to have normal dark 'pellet' pooh. Momma is also still panting even though she delivered that last puppy about 6pm yesterday and it is now 16 hrs later. I am wondering if the yellow diahrrea from the one newborn is a serious problem that I need to get looked into and if there is a concern with momma still panting (she has also whimpered a couple of times while looking over the puppies and wonders around looking like something is lost or wrong and she has NEVER been a dog to whimper). I am concerned because I don't know if she senses something about the one pup or if maybe she is feeling off. Other this this, she is doing a great job caring for the pups (except there is quite a bit of the pups pooh around even though most people say the momma cleans all that).

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Guapo

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Chihuahua

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Diarrhea
Soft Stool
Frequent Bowel Movements
Watery Stool
Yellow Stool

Guapo is a healthy 6 year old chihuahua. Not on any medications and eats a grain free chicken and rice formula dog kibble. He just began having loose stools which range from brown ‘soft serve’ to watery to yellow and mucus-y looking much like mustard or newborn baby poop. He threw up some half digested kibble in the morning on the first day, and then a foamy liquid at night on the first day but had not thrown up since. The frequency of his BMs vary from every hour to every 3-4 hours. He doesn’t typically eat or drink a lot, but he is not refusing food or water either. I’ve been making a ‘soup’ of boiled chicken, white rice, and water for him and feeding him small amounts throughout the day and he eats it right up. He’s a pretty lazy dog in general but hasn’t acted lethargic, in pain, or depressed. His eyes, skin, and gums appear to be normal. We have an appointment for this afternoon and have a stool sample. I am just SO worried there is some kind of liver, gallbladder, pancreas issue based on what I’ve been reading. This was very sudden without a change in diet, no table scraps, and he does not eat random things he finds in the home or outside. He hasn’t been around any other dog recently aside from his sister who is also healthy and he hasn’t suffered any injuries or stressors. We have not been out far from where we live in a couple of weeks and I try to keep my dogs away from any unclean areas or other dogs poops that weren’t picked up by their owners. I’m just dumbfounded and jumping to the worst possible scenarios because Guapo is typically a happy healthy lazy spoiled dog.

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Cap

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German Shepherd

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11 Weeks

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Diarrhea

My puppy is an 11 week old German shepherd. Thursday morning he got into some ant killer. I don’t believe he ingested anything but I’m not sure. If he did it wasn’t much. We also switched his diet for the third time. The first food he was on was Iams puppy but when we ran out we couldn’t find it anywhere. Then we tried Call of The Wild. When that ran out we switched to Nutro because it was recommended to us. Our puppy started to have runny yellow stool on a Sunday. This was the Sunday following the Thursday that our pup might have eaten ant poison. We’re not sure what’s going on or how to help him. This has been happening for about 24 hours. Still very happy and energetic and has a full appetite. Please help! Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/symptom/why-is-my-dog-passing-yellow-stools

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Max

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Labrador Retriever and basenji

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7 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Diarrhea
Yellow Stool
Aggressive Behavior

My 6 month old puppy has had diaherra ever since we brought him home from a shelter. He gets into everything and he chews everything. I first started out giving him pumkin which worked for a while. But after we got him his canine vaccine it started back up again every time we got his vaccines done. But through out that process we still had him on pumkin. He just got his last vaccine March 30th. But he still has bad diaherra when he poops its bulky and at least and foot long in length.we took him to the vet last month and they did a fecal examine and said everything is fine. They gave him some diaherra pills that worked for a while and then stopped working and the diaherra has been on going since.im now giving him chicken and rice the past few days and his poop is still a foots length and it looked like it was yellow and then went into a healthy brown. Majority of it was yellow We have palm trees that develope these orange balls and I see that he’s been pooping them out but since he eats them I don’t know if the yellow coming up in his diaherra is now a blockage or what. He won’t allow me to be around him with out biting and he stops biting when I’m petting his chest and running my fingers around his stomach. Can there be a blockage? Can he have irritatable bowel syndrome

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callie

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King Charles Spaniel

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2 Months

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Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Mucus Yellow Runny Stools

hi my little callie had been under the wether for a week was hospitalised 2 days after we had her as she was very lethargic and not eating , her blood sugar was 0.67 so nearly lost her , however since then she seems to be ok one minute the off her food the nxt with constant mucus poo not sure what to do nxt

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