Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Green?

Nobody wants to stumble upon a pile of green dog vomit in their home. A vomiting dog is concerning enough, but green vomit can have you questioning what could possibly be wrong with your beloved pup.

There are many different colors and textures of dog vomit, but something about green vomit has even the most experienced of pet owners worried.

Green vomit in dogs can occur due to anything from gastrointestinal irritation to eating something toxic, so let’s break down all the details of this strange vomit color below.

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Green Vomit Color

Is Green Vomit Normal In Dogs?

Before we discuss the details of green vomit in dogs, we should first answer the question of whether or not this is a normal occurrence in our furry friends. While it may not always be a result of a serious decline in health, green vomit in dogs should always warrant concern.

It can be linked to simple things such as eating grass or the presence of bile in their vomit, but it’s not ever normal.

Dogs vomit occasionally, but it doesn’t mean we should ignore it as a pet parent. If your dog ever vomits, no matter the color, we always suggest keeping a close eye on them in the hours and days that follow.

7 Main Reasons Why Your Dog’s Vomit Is Green

Now that you are aware of the fact that you should always be on alert if your dog is having green vomit, let’s discuss the list of potential factors behind this strange dog vomit color. Ranging from a pup just eating grass to more serious health threats.

1.) Your Dog Just Ate Grass

While it may seem like a strange habit to us, many dogs eat grass. Though many pet parents have been led to believe that eating grass is a sign of a sudden decline in their dog’s health, this actually isn’t true. While some pups may eat grass when they have an upset stomach, some simple enjoy eating it.

Many dogs eat grass due to the dietary fiber it contains, due to boredom, when they smell interesting scents on the grass, and even because they just like the taste.

Most dogs who eat grass will not vomit afterwards. Dr. Amy Flowers of WebMD states “This is a common misconception and less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit regularly after grazing (1).”

However, if your dog does happen to vomit after eating grass, it is not uncommon for their vomit to be green in color. You may also see strands of undigested grass in their vomit, especially if they vomited soon after eating it.

If your dog vomits once and is acting fine otherwise, they may have simply ate too much plant material and needed a quick exit strategy. We suggest keeping a close eye on your dog in the hours and days that follow, and if they display other symptoms of GI upset, you can give your local animal clinic a call for veterinary advice.

2.) They Ate Other Plant Material

Eating grass is typically harmless in dogs, but eating other plant material can be a bit more risky. While grass is usually not toxic to our canine friends, many different types of household and outdoor plants can be.

These plants can range from causing minor GI upset to life-threatening complications in dogs, which is why it is so important to make sure your home is free of any dangerous plants for dogs.

Some of the most common poisonous household plants for dogs include Aloe vera plants, Golden pathos, Sago palms, Tulips, Elephant’s ear, Citrus plants, and Snake plants.

We suggest either keeping these plants out of your home completely, or making sure they are in a safe space that your pup cannot reach. If your dog ever vomits up unknown plant material, or a potentially toxic plant, we always suggest giving your vet a call immediately.

3.) They Are Vomiting Bile

If your dog just vomited a green or yellow liquid, it is very possible that they are vomiting up bile. Bile is a substance that is present in the dogs stomach, and helps to digest the food they eat each day.

If your dog’s stomach is empty, this bile can build up, causing irritation in the stomach and subsequent nausea. When this happens, your dog may vomit up green or yellow bile.

It is most common to see bile in your dog’s vomit when they have an empty stomach, as there are no other stomach contents to mask the color. Dogs vomit bile as a result of going a long period in between meals, having acid reflux, experiencing nausea that is preventing them from eating, having some form of gastrointestinal disease, or even having some form of intestinal blockage.

Vomiting bile is not always a major cause of concern, but it can point to the fact that a dog has not eaten recently. This can be a result of nausea or other forms of GI upset, so we always encourage you to keep a close eye on your pup in the hours and days that follow.

4.) They Ate Something Toxic or Poisonous

Unfortunately, there are many toxic items in the world around our dogs. Our dogs are curious critters, leading them to consume many things that could cause them harm.

These toxic items can cause symptoms ranging from vomiting to seizures, with some of these complications even being life threatening.

One very important toxin to be aware of that can turn your dog’s vomit green is rat poison. Many dogs consume rat poison due to the sweet smell that entices rats, causing them to eat a large amount of this harmful substance.

A rat bait ingestion in dogs destroys their ability to clot blood properly, causing them to bleed out internally. Many dogs will feel terribly ill during this process, so they will often throw up green vomit.

Other toxic substances that dogs tend to consume include poisonous plants, toxic food, cleaning supplies, human medications, and items that are discarded in the trash. If your dog ever consumes something potentially toxic, we suggest seeking veterinary attention immediately.

You can also reach out to the Pet Poison Helpline for guidance in these situations as well.

5.) They Have A Gastrointestinal Obstruction

As we mentioned above, our canine friends are prone to eating things they shouldn’t. If the item they consume cannot be broken down by the dog’s digestive process, it can lead to a life-threatening blockage in their digestive system.

This makes it impossible for stomach contents and intestinal material to move throughout the GI tract, often causing the dog to vomit.

Oftentimes when a dog has a gastrointestinal obstruction, they will vomit green bile. This is due to the fact that they are too nauseous to eat due to the dangerous situation in their GI tract, and their stomach acid buildup will be present in their vomit.

If your dog is known to eat strange things, or you know they have consumed something that cannot be digested, we always suggest seeking immediate veterinary attention.

Gastrointestinal obstructions are a life-threatening situation that require immediate veterinary care, and it is incredibly dangerous to take a wait and see approach.

6.) They Have Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

If your dog is always vomiting green vomit or green bile in the morning, then it may be time to discuss the possibility of bilious vomiting syndrome with your vet. This condition is thought to occur as a result of fluid from the duodenum building up and flowing into the stomach overnight in adult dogs, causing irritation of the stomach lining in the morning.

These dogs will often experience nausea and vomiting when they wake up because of it, and it is very similar to acid reflux in humans.

This condition is often easily treated by increasing meal frequency throughout the day, as well as offering your pup an approved antacid when they appear to be struggling. As long as you seek veterinary attention once their symptoms develop, most dogs have a great prognosis.

Keep in mind that even though many dogs with bilious vomiting syndrome will not appear severely ill, it does still need to be treated seriously. The acid buildup can cause serious damage over time to the stomach lining and esophageal lining, leading to a stomach ulcer and significant pain for the affected pup.

7.) Other Underlying Medical Conditions

There are many underlying conditions and gastrointestinal diseases that can cause green vomit in our beloved dogs. Each of these health complications can lead to an array of gastrointestinal symptoms in the dog affected, causing them to experience excessive vomiting or frequent GI upset.

Some of the many underlying conditions include pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, liver disease, intestinal parasites, diabetes, and Cushing’s disease. If your dog is experiencing frequent GI upset that does not resolve with at home care, we always suggest having them seen by a vet.

My Dog Is Vomiting Green Vomit With White Foam

If your dog’s vomiting up green liquid with white foam, this typically is just a result of vomiting on an empty stomach.

The color of the bile is much more obvious when other stomach contents are not present, and the act of retching results in air flow in and out of the mouth. The result is often a green, frothy vomit that is found on your floor. The presence of white foam in your dog’s vomit does not make the situation any more severe.

When Should I Seek Veterinary Treatment?

If your dog is vomiting green bile, you may be wondering when it is time to see your local vet. Though not every pile of vomit warrants immediate veterinary attention, there are a few signs that it is time to seek help.

Some of the most common signs of a dog that needs veterinary care include:

  • Excessive vomiting, especially over a 24 hour period
  • Anorexia or refusing to eat their food for more than 12-24 hours
  • History of eating a poisonous substance
  • The dog ate something that cannot be digested easily
  • A history of eating fatty food or table scraps
  • A dog that is vomiting blood or having bloody diarrhea
  • Other signs of GI upset like diarrhea, gas, anorexia, or lethargy
  • Any changes in behavior that cause you to be concerned

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your dog, we suggest having them assessed by your veterinarian. Many different illnesses can cause vomiting in dogs, so your vet will need to get to the bottom of their symptoms before they get worse.

What Should I Expect At The Vet?

When you take your dog to the vet for green vomit, there are a few things you can expect. Vomiting is a common symptom of many underlying complications in dogs, so your vet will want to perform a few different diagnostics that can offer them additional insight.

Your vet will typically suggest performing a full panel of blood tests to rule out infection and organ dysfunction, abdominal x-rays to search for foreign material in the GI tract, a fecal test to search for intestinal parasites, and even a urine test to search for a urinary tract infection.

Based on the results of these diagnostics, your vet can determine the best plan of action for your dog moving forward.

What Is The Treatment For Green Vomit In Dogs

If your dog is throwing up green liquid, there are many different ways your vet can attempt to treat the issue. The results of their diagnostics will offer your vet guidance in determining the best treatment plan, which can range from at home nursing to aggressive hospitalization.

Your dog’s treatment plan will vary based on how severe their illness is, how dehydrated they are, if other symptoms are present, and how well your dog is responding to veterinary care.

Since there are so many potential factors behind your dog’s vomiting, we suggest speaking with your vet about your dog’s treatment plan. They are the only ones that understand the details of their situation, and they can offer the best guidance and prognosis because of it.

Final Thoughts On Green Vomit In Dogs

A dog with green vomit could be experiencing an array of underlying conditions that are causing them to be nauseous.

A dog vomiting green liquid should always be watched closely in the hours that follow, and may require veterinary care if their symptoms continue.

Sources:

1.) Why Do Dogs Eat Grass – https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/why-do-dogs-eat-grass

2.) Bilious Vomiting Syndrome in Dogs: Retrospective Study of 20 Cases (2002-2012) – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27008323/

3.) Vomiting In Dogs – https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/vomiting-in-dogs

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