If you notice your dog vomiting a yellow liquid, it is not necessarily a cause for concern. The yellow liquid is stomach bile, and vomiting it occasionally is normal for a dog. Vomiting stomach bile occasionally may not require a visit to the veterinarian, but if the vomiting becomes frequent or any other symptoms are present, the dog should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The main cause of a dog's vomiting stomach bile is an empty stomach. Some dogs vomit in the mornings after waking when their stomachs have no food in them, according to the Dog Owner’s Guide. Others may vomit during the day, between meals. An empty stomach causes inflammation of the stomach lining, causing the vomiting. Another, more serious cause of vomiting stomach bile is bloat. Bloat is when gas and/or food stretch the stomach beyond its normal size, often causing the stomach to twist. This is extremely painful for the dog, and death follows within hours if left untreated.
A dog that vomits yellow liquid upon waking or shortly before a scheduled mealtime probably has a mild case of gastritis, according to VetInfo.com. Gastritis is the inflammation and irritation of the dog’s stomach lining. Bloat, which occurs after mealtime, causes pain and tenderness in the dog’s stomach, so the dog might seem depressed and may whimper. Abdominal swelling also suggests bloat.
Bloat is more common in large dog breeds, especially those that are deep-chested. A dog is said to be deep-chested if the length of its chest from backbone to sternum is long and the width from right to left is narrow, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center in Los Angeles. Deep-chested dog breeds include the Great Dane, the greyhound, the St. Bernard, the Weimaraner and the setter breeds.
Feeding your dog two meals each day rather than one helps prevent vomiting yellow liquid because of gastritis by ensuring that the dog’s stomach does not remain empty for too long. Similarly, two or more meals per day help prevent vomiting because of bloat. Other factors that help prevent bloat include adding canned dog food and table scraps to the diet and not allowing the dog to exercise immediately after a meal, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center.
Treatment for vomiting because of an empty stomach may be as easy as feeding the dog more often, but treatment for vomiting because of bloat is often expensive and unpleasant. The first stage of treatment is decompressing the stomach using a stomach tube and stomach pump. Intravenous catheters give the dog fluids to replace the blood trapped behind the bloated stomach. Pain medication helps the dog’s heart rate slow. Once the dog is stable, surgery is required to untwist the stomach and tack it into normal position, preventing a recurrence of bloat.