Dogs throw up far more casually than humans, often for no serious reason. If your dog vomits, check what he brings up to make sure nothing is amiss. The color of vomit can indicate why he vomited. Inspection of greenish vomit may reveal a mix of digestive fluids and plants.
Commonly, dogs will eat fresh grass, and sometimes they will bring it right back up. It's normal, although a little embarrassing if you happen to be entertaining guests on the patio. If your dog has consumed part of a houseplant, that's a different story. Check your plants, and also check to see what kinds of leaves are in the vomitus. Many houseplants are toxic to pets. If your dog has munched on a houseplant, call your vet immediately. Make sure you know every type of plant in your house. If any are toxic to pets, the best precaution is to get rid of them.
Green bile, which aids digestion, is discharged from storage in the gall bladder into the duodenum, the section of the small intestine that connects to the stomach. A dog who throws up green bile may have gastritis, meaning a stomach inflammation. Call your vet as soon as possible if your dog is either elderly or a puppy, or if he suffers from a medical condition. Otherwise, keep an eye on the dog, and feed a bland diet such as chicken and rice. If the dog isn't better within 24 hours, call the vet.
If the green vomit is full of mucous, your dog may have a stomach infection. If you take him to the vet, take a vomit sample along. The vet will perform a physical exam, and may take X-rays. She may prescribe antibiotics if she determines that your dog has an infection. Follow the vet's feeding instructions. She may advise a bland diet until your dog is back to normal.
Contact the Vet
All dogs vomit occasionally, but it is important to call the vet if your dog vomits repeatedly, appears distressed or lethargic, experiences stomach bloating, projectile vomits or also has diarrhea. Make sure your dog has plenty of water, as vomiting causes dehydration. Vomit colors other than green indicate different issues. Clear vomit, consisting primarily of saliva, generally indicates a stomach irritation. Yellow bile indicates the dog's stomach is empty. Brown vomit that appears or smells like fecal material may indicate a blockage. That is a serious situation that requires immediate veterinary attention.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.