Every once in a while we play fetch in the apartment with Crousti. We don’t have much space so it’s not too difficult for the dog to retrieve the thrown toy or make the distance back to us. He loves it and gets himself rather worked up. I’m not a big fan of fetch because I’ve read that it can encourage a dog to bite, but I don’t think an occasional toss is a bad thing.
So we were throwing “piggy” – his disgustingly-dirty squeaky plastic pig toy – to and fro, when all of a sudden Crousti started to heave and then puked, producing a steamy puddle of foamy yellow bile on the tile floor. Of course, I freaked out that my baby was sick (let me just preface my panic by saying that I don’t have a gall bladder and so bile in vomit to me raises red flags) and asked should we call the vet? My husband said, “No, he’s a dog and dogs throw up.”
It was just before Crousti’s dinner time, and so I put out his kibble but he didn’t go near it; he just slept (he had the flu, if you asked me). Of course I trust my husband as he’s the one with all the dog experience but … I decided to Google “bile dog puke” to see what I could find.
Apparently it’s rather common, especially if you play with a dog before mealtime when he has an empty stomach. Who knew (other than my husband)? In a nut shell this is what I read:
“A dog may vomit yellow foam simply because his stomach is empty and the bile can be irritating. If your dog is otherwise healthy — and he’s eating and defecating normally — it may help to reduce the time in between meals. But this doesn’t mean that your dog should be fed more. Instead, one meal can be divided into two or three smaller but more frequent feedings.” (Source: www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-dog-vomit-yellow-foam)
After a good night's sleep, a playful Crousti woke up, ate his breakfast and enjoyed his morning run. Fortunately, he was back on track and this has not occurred since, although we are careful not to get him too worked up before and after meal times. I have, of course, memorised for future use other reasons, more serious than acid build-up, that cause dogs to vomit:
Possible causes that may trigger a condition where the dog throws up a yellow or light-brownish liquid, whether clear or slightly frothy: • Gastritis • Eating unsuitable food • Ingestion of non-food items • Eating too fast • Bile overproduction due to some other digestive disorder • Indigestion problems owing to anxiety or stress • Excessive bile accumulation due to the stomach remaining empty for too long (Source: www.buzzle.com/articles/dogs-throwing-up-yellow-bile.html)
You should always check in with your vet to determine whether an examination is necessary. This is also where pet insurance comes in handy. See “Is medical insurance necessary?”