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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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What are the possible causes to a dog having orange vomit .

Customer Question

What are the possible causes to a dog having orange vomit . It is mostly slimy with a little foam.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Hi there!

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your dog with this question, but need just a bit more information, please.

How long had it been since he had eaten when he vomited like this?

Any diarrhea?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He has not had any diarrhea , he is drinking a peeing normal as well . I had just gotten home from work when he did it on Friday 6-20-08 , so he did not have much to eat just yet. He ate fine that night and all weekend. He's as playful as always . Then this morning Tue(6-24-08) he threw up orange again , but yesterday Mon(6-23-08) he did not really eat. He has only vomited twice in 5 days , but the orange color really worries me?
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Ahhh... ok, that's helpful!

How often does your little one usually eat?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He usually eats his big meal , which is usually a combination of crunchy food and moist meatballs, at about 5-6 pm , but he always has a little bit of crunchy food in his plate during the day . He's not much of a snacker though , he tends to eat when my husband and I eat dinner. On the weekend he eats breakfast(crnchy food) as he sees us eating also. I also have to admit , that he sometimes get people food taste tests . Never a whole plate of people food , just a taste here and there.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Oh , by the way the dinnertime moist meatballs are dog food . It is a refridgerated natural food.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Ok, thanks for that information - very helpful!

I will go work on your answer and be back shortly! But, in the meantime, RELAX it is good news! ;-)

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.
Oh, excuse me a moment - potty emergency with my son! Be back soon!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Sorry about that!

So, orange vomit is not that unusual. The stomach makes acid and mucus, and the gall bladder makes bile, which flows down the bile ducts and into the small intestines, just below the stomach. Bile is orange, yellow, or even greenish!

Thus, a dog vomiting orange means that he is vomiting bile. This can happen when the stomach is very empty, and there is nothing to absorb the bile. In your dog, I suspect he may have bilious vomiting syndrome.

Basically, in small dogs their stomachs are tiny and their metabolisms are fast. They use up the food in their stomach very quickly, and then their stomach is empty. The stomach contains gastric acid, which is very irritating to the stomach lining, especially when there is no food to soak it up. When the stomach is empty, the acid irritates the stomach so much that the dog starts to feel nauseated. Then, he won't eat. So, the stomach remains empty and irritated. The dog then vomits - and it is stomach acid and bile that comes up!.

So, it becomes a cycle - empty stomach --> nauseated --> vomit --> nauseated and so on.

The way to break the cycle is to get your dog eating many many small meals. Sometimes we have to give dogs with this problem an antacid to help them - common options are cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid) or ranitidine (Zantac).

Here is more about Tagamet:

More about Pepcid:

And more about Zantac:


Keeping your dog's stomach from getting empty will also help to break this cycle. This is particularly true of a bed-time meal. He needs to have something just before going to sleep in order to prevent his stomach from getting so empty overnight.

Also, it is *really* important that he eats very soon after waking in the morning. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, so that we can get that stomach acid soaked up in some food and prevent the stomach from getting irritated. So, even if you have to resort to a bit of bread or low-fat crackers, then do that to get him to eat.

So, in summary, it sounds to me that your dog vomited bile and stomach acid because his stomach got irritated from being empty for long periods. This is best treated by giving frequent small meals and antacids if needed.

Here's a link:

If getting your dog to eat breakfast is a challenge, you could try canned easy-to-digest foods from your vet (I/D or Gastro are a couple of brands) or pick up some jars of human baby food. Just make very sure the baby food has no onions, onion powder, garlic or garlic powder in it. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it. Here's a link:

If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it. YOu could put this as a little gravy on his crunchies.

Sometimes offering the food on your finger for him to lick it off will get him started on eating. Sometimes you have to put a bit in his mouth to get a dog started.

I hope that this has been helpful. If it has, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!



Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is it ok to give him tums as an antacid. I've given it to him in the past when he seemed to have tummy probs and he likes the minty taste. I gave him about 1/2 of a tablet.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Hi againCustomer

Tums would be ok to give once or twice, but definitely not for long term use as they can lead to calcium oxalate stones in the bladder! I usually suggest Pepcid or Ranitidine for patients that I see...


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Chato is about 12-14 lbs , depending on how many treats he eats , how much should I give him of the other meds and is liquid or solid meds recommended?
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Ah.. this gets tricky! I am specifically prohibited by my veterinary licencing body from prescribing medication for a dog that I have not seen. So... what I can do is tell you what I might do for a dog that I have examined! I cannot recommend that you do this for your dog!

I would choose Pepcid (famotidine) in a 10mg tablet strength. I would give a 12-14lb dog 1/2 tablet once daily at bedtime. If this did not solve the problem, I would suggest an additional 1/2 tablet in the morning time as well.

As I said, I cannot prescribed medications for dogs that I have not seen, and thus cannot tell you that this would be appropriate for this particular dog. However, if I had examined and diagnosed a 12lb dog with bilious vomiting syndrome, that is what I would do.

Hope that helps! :-) Fiona

PS You do not need to "accept" this answer even though the system will prompt you to do so! If you do, you will be charged an additional $15!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you SOOOOOOOOO much , you have been so very helpful . I appreciate all of your help . If I ever have another question I will look for you !
Thanks !
Chato (chaw-toe) Thanks you very much also!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Maggie, you are so welcome, and so is Chato (cool name!). You can always ask for me, by putting my name in the question "Question for Dr.Fiona... " and it will find its way to me!

Best wishes, Fiona

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