Vomiting bile in dogs: causes, symptoms, treatment


Vomiting in dogs is not at all a sign of a deadly disease, as many think about it. In these animals (as in cats), the gag reflex is well developed. This is largely due to the nature of the feeding of dogs. By their nature they are predators who do not disdain carrion. If the animal ate something very “fragrant”, the protective mechanisms, expressed in vomiting, are included. In a word, this is a normal physiological reflex.

But it does not always happen. When the dog tears the bile, this is always a good reason for visiting a veterinary clinic.

What is bile?

This is the most important endogenous secret, intended to improve the digestion of fats. It is synthesized in the liver, for its accumulation is intended the gallbladder. After eating, she goes into the thin section of the digestive tract (through the bile ducts), promoting emulsification of lipids and their subsequent digestion by the body.

Thus, vomiting of bile in dogs arises when this secret enters the stomach from the intestine, causing irritation and provoking the appearance of a vomiting reflex. How to determine its presence in the contents of the stomach? It becomes greenish-yellowish. By the way, vomiting in this case is a very good option. Sometimes there is a situation where the dog does not develop a vomitive reflex, as a result of which bile remains in the body cavity. All this can easily lead not only to the ulcer, but even to the perforation of the stomach. Bile is an aggressive secret.

Vomiting is characteristic of early morning or late evening. The latter is especially characteristic for those dogs who receive their ration only once a day. In addition, this can happen in any case, when the intervals between meals are too long, or for diseases of the stomach that cause atony of the latter.

The latter is especially common in older dogs, but such cases are not rare even in puppies. Dogs of all breeds are ill, gender predisposition is not revealed.

Symptoms and types

In general, it is not necessary to understand the symptoms for a long time: if the dog rips the bile in the mornings and evenings, the clinical signs are already evident.

But to make it easier for the veterinarian to establish what exactly caused this pathology, the owners need to pay attention to the following:

  • Chronic unstable vomiting, containing bile.
  • As we said, it happens in the morning or late at night / at night. At the same time the dog refuses to eat.
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort, which manifests itself in the dog’s inadequate behavior: it whimpers, growls, can even howl with pain.
  • Nausea: the dog tenses from time to time, looks “somewhere into the distance,” while the animal croaks, because of specific movements, it seems that he is about to vomit.
  • Very often there is diarrhea due to a serious digestion disorder.
  • Since in severe cases the dog does not eat anything, it quickly appears symptoms of exhaustion: weight loss, eyelid eyes, pallor of all visible mucous membranes. The coat becomes thin and brittle.

What are the causes of this pathology? They are quite diverse:

  • A strong degree of helminthic invasion. Parasites release so many toxins that it is not necessary to be surprised at vomiting – this is a natural reaction of the body to poisoning. If your dog tears bile every day, her stomach is constantly swollen with general signs of exhaustion (protruding ribs, thinning), then you need to urgently show it to the vet.
  • Diseases that cause gastritis or inflammation of the intestines, which disrupt the motility of the digestive tract. For example, if a dog is vomiting bile with blood, this may well be a sign of oncological pathology in the small intestine.
  • In some dogs, vomiting occurs if they are on an empty stomach to give food or water. As a rule, such a phenomenon does not pose a health hazard, but the animal should be switched to such a feeding regime, when the food is given often, but in small portions.
  • Do not forget about “banal” cases of poisoning. By the way, if a dog is tearing bile with white foam, this can just talk about the pet’s use of something toxic, down to household chemicals.
  • Finally, dogs also suffer from gastritis and stomach ulcers. A person who has an acute gastritis can also tear out a glass of water drunk on an empty stomach.

If you notice a pet “passion” for eating grass (and then the animal is guaranteed to vomit), then you know that in this way it gets rid of the “garbage” that has accumulated in the stomach. It will not hurt to take him to the vet.


The owner must tell the veterinarian of all the symptoms observed by him. It is necessary to remember if your pet was sick at least with some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and also whether it had eaten something “wrong” in recent times (chicken bones, for example). It is very important to remember when exactly vomiting appeared, and after what exactly it happened.

The veterinarian will perform a full inspection of your pet. A complete blood and urine test is required, as the data obtained in this case helps to identify severe diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

As a rule, vomiting often accompanies many infectious diseases, which are fairly accurately determined in the course of the above analyzes. If anything can not be reliably determined, the veterinarian resorts to x-ray and ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity of the sick animal. It is important to note that before the radiographic examination, it is necessary to feed the dog with barium gruel: it is so easy to detect cases of gastrointestinal obstruction, gut flushes, atony of the gastrointestinal tract, etc. In addition, gastro-endoscopy is indicated.


In the case where the root cause has not been determined, the specialist will conduct symptomatic treatment. If it is a hyperacid gastritis, drugs are prescribed to lower the acidity level. Also prescribed are drugs that relieve spasms of smooth muscles. At first, the dog can be shown preparations like ordinary activated carbon or Smecta, which minimize damage to the mucous membrane of the organ coming from the small intestine with bile.

In most cases, dogs respond well to treatment. It is important only to remember that your pet will need a long enough therapy, it is not necessary to interrupt. The decision on the duration of the course of treatment should only be taken by a veterinarian. Note that in many cases, vomiting in dogs is due to the fact that they are given a very large amount of food on an empty stomach. It is because of this that many experienced breeders strongly recommend not to feed working dogs once a day.

Especially it is harmful in the case of intensively exploited dogs: if the animal after a hard day, during which it did not receive food, feed nourishing or fatty foods, the ejection of bile can lead to serious damage to the digestive organs or even death (cholemia).

The same is true for extremely exhausted dogs. If you picked up a dog in the street, which left “skin and bone”, in any case, do not feed it immediately “to slaughter.” Broth – that’s the best food for her.

In addition, the physiology of dogs in principle is such that with the prolonged absence in the stomach of food pieces, the atony of the gastrointestinal tract may develop. Let me remind you that in cases when your pet rips in the morning, after drinking or taking a small amount of food, it is better to transfer the dog to multiple feeding. At the same time, the food should contain as much fiber as possible, the fat content should be reduced to the physiologically necessary level.

Do not feed your pet with bones, as their residues tend to accumulate in the stomach. They irritate the mucous organ, promote the release of bile (receptors send a signal to the brain that food has arrived). At the same time, “technically” there is food in the cavity of the organ, but in fact bile will corrode the undisguised mucous and cause vomiting. One or two years, and a pet is provided with an ulcer.

Finally, at present there are a lot of special canned food for sale, intended for feeding dogs that are prone to regurgitation. We recommend that you consult your veterinarian before using them. That’s what to do in cases of vomiting.


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