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What Should I Do if My Dog Isn’t Eating and Vomits Yellow Liquid?


Dear VetBabble,

My dog is not eating and has thrown up a watery yellow substance twice. What should I do? He’s also not moving as much as he usually does. Are there common reasons for vomiting and inappetance in dogs?


It’s important to address any sudden changes in your dog’s behavior or eating habits, as these could be symptoms of a more serious issue. In your dog’s case, not eating and throwing up a watery yellow substance could indicate several potential problems. In this answer, we’ll discuss the possible causes, what to do in this situation, and when you should be concerned about your dog’s health. We’ve carefully organized our response into three sections for easy navigation.

Section 1: Possible Causes of Vomiting and Inappetance in Dogs

There are a myriad of reasons why a dog may not be eating and might be vomiting. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Intestinal obstruction: This can occur when a dog ingests a foreign object that becomes lodged in their digestive tract. It can be life-threatening if left untreated, leading to severe pain, vomiting, and inappetance.
  • Dietary indiscretion: Dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t, which can result in gastrointestinal upset and subsequent vomiting and inappetance. This can include garbage, spoiled food, or toxic substances.
  • Systemic diseases: Issues such as kidney failure, liver disease, or infections can also lead to vomiting and inappetance in dogs.

For a more in-depth look at the causes of vomiting in dogs, you can refer to this helpful article: Vomiting in Dogs: Causes, Treatment & When to Worry

Section 2: What to Do When Your Dog Is Vomiting and Not Eating

If your dog is displaying these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian to determine the cause and discuss appropriate treatment options. They’ll likely perform a thorough physical exam, ask about any recent changes in your dog’s environment or diet, and may recommend additional tests like blood work or X-rays.

In the meantime, you can try offering your dog a bland diet of boiled chicken and white rice to help settle their stomach. Remember to withhold food for a short period (12-24 hours) after vomiting to allow their system to recover. Always ensure your dog has access to fresh water to prevent dehydration. For more tips on how to deal with a dog that won’t eat, check out this article: Why Won’t My Dog Eat?

Section 3: When to Be Concerned About Your Dog’s Vomiting and Inappetance

While an occasional bout of vomiting or diarrhea may not be cause for alarm, certain red flags should prompt immediate action:

  • Blood in the vomit or feces
  • Severe or prolonged vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain or bloating
  • Signs of shock (pale gums, rapid heartbeat)

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or if the vomiting and inappetance persist for more than 24 hours, it’s vital to seek veterinary care right away.

If you suspect your dog may be experiencing diarrhea, these two articles can help you assess whether it’s time to worry: Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea? and Diarrhea in Dogs: When to Worry.

In conclusion, be sure to pay close attention to your dog’s behavior, appetite, and overall well-being. When in doubt, always consult your veterinarian to ensure your pet receives the care they need. We hope your dog is feeling better soon!

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