Green Vomit in Dogs: What Made My Dog’s Puke Green?

How scary would it be to discover your dog vomiting green stuff? Quite scary even though it typically doesn’t involve demons or extraterrestrial lifeforms.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Green Vomit

Now, bile/stomach juices can have a greenish tint to it. In theory anyway; I’ve never seen bile vomit of that color. I’ve seen various shades of yellow and white, but not green.

After eating enough grass, vomit can look green but that is not the color I’m trying to depict above either. What we’re talking about here is a very green color. Really, really green.

Bright green vomit is an emergency.

Edible things don’t come in technicolor. I still remember the case of my friend’s dog who managed to eat about 130 paintballs. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. This feast ended up with severe sorbitol toxicity. With aggressive treatment, the dog made it through the ordeal. If want to see what the technicolor vomit looked like, you can see it here.

Paintballs do not qualify as a healthy snack. Paintball toxicity generally ranges from moderate to severe. It’s not very common but neither is green vomit. The paintballs my friend was using were supposed to be non-toxic. Supposed to be being the keyword.

Rat poison.

Some types of rodenticides (poisons used to kill mice and rats) are dyed a bright green/turquoise color. It would look something like this or this. Pretty colors, huh?

That dye is a favor to dog parents, since then you at least clearly see there is a problem. Unfortunately, not all rodenticides come with this feature, and some of the newer types don’t even come with an antidote. That is a material for its own post, though.

Antifreeze poisoning.

Vomit that has the fluorescent green color of antifreeze can indeed mean antifreeze poisoning. While dogs find antifreeze appealing for its sweet taste, it is extremely toxic.

If your dog’s vomit is a technicolor green, seek emergency help immediately.

Categories: Green vomitSymptomsVomiting

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Jana Rade edited by Dr. Joanna Paul BSc BVSc

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience. Dr. Joanna Paul BSc BVSc is our wonderful sponsor and has been kind to edit and fact-check my important articles.

One Comment
  1. My 14 year old dog Nenca recently passed away from chronic renal failure/cancer, and we opted for palliative care for her last week on earth until the day she was so out of it, and could not drink water anymore. I was carrying her from upstairs to outside, letting her sleep/rest around us in the living room so we could all give her love, and she was happy for that, we could tell. But on the day I decided ( she decided, really ) that she needed to be humanely euthanized, was the morning she threw up blue-green material. She had thrown up blue-green liquid 6 days prior, the reason we took her to the ER, to begin with. Before that, she threw up her last meal and it was deep brown-almost black, looking like an oil-slick. But the second mess after that was blue-green watery liquid.

    This gave me a flash back to my childhood cat, Isis, that died of “kitty AIDS.” She was throwing up/deficating yellow play-doh like material, and the last 2 messes she had made were yellow fading into a blue-green color as well.

    Before anyone flips a table over these cases, know that my cat had gone through all of that mess in the dead of night while we all slept, and we woke up to it. She wouldn’t let me pick her up because she was obviously in shut down/pain, so I took her to the vet at that moment to do the kind thing. There was no alternative. And that vet did inform me that renal failure was always in the cards for her because I kept a cat with “kitty AIDS” and didn’t put her down when I found out she had it, at 1 yr old. PS: She was a happy, fun, sweet, active cat for 8 yrs, and I never once did she show signs of sickness except for the occasional UTI, but we gave her medicated food, and she was fine. I was never told she’d die so young, and so fast! Her decline was a sharp turn, and it happened in the course of just *one week,* no warning.

    Same for my Nenca. I adopted her from a border collie rescue thinking she was 3-4 yrs younger than she actually was, ( the woman didn’t correct me but she sent the medical papers to my new vet ) and that vet never told me her true age, nor did she correct me when I referred her to only being 10-11 yrs old, most recently. Had I known she was actually 14, not 10 or 11, I’d have been a bit more prepared. I had also been in 4 times this year for various needs for Nenca, and in that time she had 2 urine tests, 4 blood tests, and all for symptoms that any hack vet could see she wasn’t suffering from “anxiety” or UTIs. But I digress. Now I know her end was imminent, because all summer she wasn’t eating like she used to….but she was always a picky eater, so we never paid it mind, and adjusted her diet. She *was* more tired on hikes, but she STILL WANTED THEM. She still loved to be outside and do things, playing with the other pets, and being social and getting lots of love. But….she wasn’t responsive to her name as much as she used to be, so we all assumed she was going deaf in one ear, and were in the process of checking that out too. There *were* little signs, but nothing that stood out she was gravely sick. She even got diagnosed for a UTI! they had her levels IN THEIR HANDS and the prescribed antibiotics only and acted like I was a terrible person for wondering what else was wrong. Anyway. At least we switched vets for her final moments, and this place is run by angels, I swear. She got to go out on a plush ottoman and my dad and I got to be with her in her final moments.

    But that blue-green color in her vomit the night before was NOT normal, and no one has told me what it meant. But in both situations with my cat and most recently, my dog, I am assuming it means the organs are dead, and not processing as they should. Because the second I told both vets the color was blue-green, they were urgent and had me come in to do the kind thing.

    PS: neither animal was exposed to antifreeze or any poison. Isis was a house cat that was another picky eater, and we had to trick her to take cat treats. Nenca wouldn’t even wade in streams that looked slightly murky, and only drank the cleanest of water. And, I watched them constantly and we kept stuff locked up.

    So blue green can’t be JUST about poison. It’s got to be also systematic of CHRONIC renal failure.

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