Ever wake up in the morning to that unmistakable sound of your dog retching and throwing up? And when you go to clean it up, you notice the vomit is yellow. Well, that can’t be good. As a dog owner, discovering your pup is vomiting bile, that yellowish liquid, is worrying. Especially if you have seen a dog die after vomiting yellow liquid somewhere before. You start wondering why they’re throwing up yellow foamy liquid and if you should rush them to the vet. Before you panic, take a deep breath. There are a few possible reasons your dog threw up yellow liquid and died and some are more serious than others. I’ll walk you through the main causes and what you should do for each situation. 

The good news is, many times, it will pass on its own or with simple home treatments. But I’ll also let you know when it’s time to have the vet examine your dog to determine the cause of the yellow vomit and recommend treatment. There’s no need to worry just yet – let’s figure this out together.

Understanding Dog Vomiting: What Does Yellow Liquid Indicate?

Understanding Dog Vomiting

When you see your dog vomits yellow liquid, in most cases, it is bile. It is a digestive fluid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps break down fats, but when a dog’s stomach is empty, the bile can irritate it and cause vomiting. So if your dog is throwing up yellow bile in the morning, it’s usually because their stomach has been empty overnight.

Main Causes Why Your Dog Threw Up Yellow Liquid And Died

Main Causes Why Your Dog Threw Up Yellow Liquid And Died

There are several causes that may have made your dog threw up yellow liquid and died. These causes have been explained below – 

Stomach Acid Buildup

The most common cause is empty stomach acid buildup. If your dog hasn’t eaten in a while, stomach acid can irritate their stomach lining and make them vomit yellow bile. To prevent this, make sure your dog eats regular meals and has access to food during the day.

Digestive Upset

Another possible cause is an upset tummy or gastrointestinal issue. Eating spoiled food or trash may also cause your dog to throw up yellow bile. In these cases, they withhold food for 12-24 hours to give their stomach a rest. Then, gradually reintroduce bland foods like rice, eggs, or chicken.

Liver or Gallbladder Disease

In some cases, throwing up yellow bile can indicate a liver or gallbladder problem. The liver produces bile, and the gallbladder stores it, so issues with either organ may lead to excess bile in the stomach. If vomiting persists for more than a day, or your dog shows other symptoms like loss of appetite, lethargy, or jaundice, see your vet right away for blood tests and diagnosis.

Other Causes of Why Your Dog Threw Up Yellow Liquid and Died

Other Causes of Why Your Dog Threw Up Yellow Liquid and Died

Here are a few other causes why your Dog Threw Up Yellow Liquid and Died – 

Gastrointestinal infection:

If your dog is also lethargic or has diarrhea, it could indicate a GI infection that requires treatment. See your vet right away.


Throwing up yellow bile along with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain can be due to pancreatitis. It is a condition when the pancreas gets inflamed. Pancreatitis needs immediate treatment, so contact your vet if you suspect this.

Liver or gallbladder disease:

Since bile comes from the liver and gallbladder, issues with these organs may lead to vomiting yellow bile. See your vet for blood tests to check liver and gallbladder function.

Stomach ulcer:

Ulcers can irritate the stomach lining and trigger vomiting, especially when the stomach is empty. Your vet may recommend diet changes, antacids, or other treatments to help heal the ulcer.

Food intolerance:

If your dog ate something that didn’t agree with them, like a new treat or table scrap, it may have caused an upset stomach. Withhold food for 12-24 hours to allow their stomach to settle.

The bottom line is if your dog is vomiting frequently, seems lethargic or in pain, or the vomiting is severe or lasts more than a day, it’s best to have your vet examine them to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. Your dog’s health and comfort should be the top priority.

The good news is, in most cases, dogs throwing up yellow bile is not usually a cause for major alarm. It will pass on its own or with basic home care. However, take them to the vet if the vomiting is frequent or severe, or your dog shows additional symptoms.

When to See the Vet: How to Handle Severe Vomiting and Prevent Dog Death

When to See the Vet

When your dog is throwing up yellow color bile, especially frequently or in large amounts, it’s time to call the vet. Severe vomiting that persists can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in dogs, which requires immediate medical attention.

You’ll want to call your vet right away if:

  • If your dog has thrown up yellowish bile more than 2-3 times in 24 hours.
  • There are other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, or diarrhea.
  • Your dog seems dehydrated – the gums are tacky or dry, and the skin loses elasticity.
  • You see blood in the vomit or if the vomit has a coffee-ground appearance.
  • Your dog’s abdomen seems tender or distended.

To prevent severe dehydration or other complications until you can get your dog to the vet, withhold food but offer small amounts of water frequently. You can also offer ice chips or Pedialyte to help replace electrolytes. Limit activity to avoid further stomach upset.

The vet will likely want to run some tests like blood work, urinalysis, or x-rays to determine the underlying cause, such as:

  • Dietary indiscretion or food intolerance
  • Gastroenteritis (stomach virus)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver or gallbladder disease
  • Intestinal blockage or obstruction

They may give your dog anti-nausea medication and IV fluids to correct any dehydration before further diagnosing and treating the condition. With prompt veterinary care and treatment, yellow bile vomiting can typically be managed, and your dog’s health restored. However, in some cases, it can be a sign of a life-threatening emergency, so call your vet right away if vomiting is severe or persistent.


The most important thing is not to panic, even though seeing your dog vomit can be scary and worrisome. Usually, it’s a sign that their stomach is empty and the bile is irritating it, or they ate something that didn’t agree with them. However, if your dog is vomiting frequently, seems lethargic or in pain, or the bile has an unusual color or consistency, get them checked out by the vet right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furry friend’s health. 

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