Dog Vomiting Bile - A Symptom of Possible Liver Disease

A is cause for concern. Although there are many potential reasons why this could happen, one reason is due to liver disease in dogs. This page describes what happened with my dog, and how we were able to control his vomiting.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a vet and I have no veterinary or medical background whatsoever. This information on liver disease in dogs is not meant as a substitute or replacement for veterinary advice. It's meant for educational and informational purposes only, as a starting point for discussing the diagnosis and treatment of canine liver disease with a qualified vet.

When a dog vomits bile, you'll typically see a clear, yellow or brown liquid. Sometimes it's a little frothy too, and it certainly doesn't smell too nice.

My dog experienced a great deal of nausea during the early stages of his liver disease diagnosis. He vomited bile several times a day - it was hard to watch, since it was so obviously uncomfortable and miserable for him. While we were never able to 100% stop his nausea (until he started getting better), we were able to stop his vomiting. Here is what worked for us:

  • My dog got an antacid tablet (for him, we used Pepcid) twice a day: first thing in the morning and before offering him any food, and again just before bed. It always seemed like he was most nauseous in the morning so we were trying to buffer his tummy against nausea when he woke up (with the nightly pill), and again when he got up (with the morning pill). This only seemed to help a little, to be honest, but even a little bit of extra comfort was a good thing.

  • One of his antibiotics was changed to a different one. He was taking quite a number of supportive pills and supplements at one point... I gave them to him one by one in the beginning, to see which ones he seemed okay with, and which ones seemed to disagree with him. It always seemed that this one particular antibiotic would make his nausea so much worse. I told this to his vet, who immediately switched him to a different antibiotic that does the same thing. This made a huge difference.

  • He was encouraged to eat regularly throughout the day, even if it was only a teaspoon or so of food. It seemed like he was more likely to feel nauseous if his stomach was empty. So I offered him small amounts of many types of food every hour or two (during waking hours - I didn't feed him at night, letting him sleep instead). This also made a significant difference in how well he felt.

  • We kept mealtimes calm and limited activity after meals. I'm not sure why this helped, but I think it did. Despite his nausea, my dog remained happy and active and always wanted to run and play. I made sure he stayed quiet for at least an hour after eating (not including when he ate only a mere teaspoon or two).

  • For some reason, moist food seemed to help quell his vomiting too. Honestly, though, I would let him eat anything he wanted since getting him to eat at all was difficult at best.

Other Useful Websites/Resources:

Of course, a dog vomiting bile isn't all that uncommon an occurrence. And just because a dog is vomiting bile doesn't mean he has liver disease or some other serious issue - but if you notice your dog keeps having these episodes or is doing it repeatedly throughout the day, it's a good idea to visit your vet. He or she can try to diagnose the source of the problem and give you pointers on how to make your dog feel better.

OTHER ARTICLES ABOUT LIVER DISEASE IN DOGS:

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