Causes of Yellow Diarrhea in Dogs

Yellow diarrhea in dogs is something that owners have cause to worry about. Many possible reasons may result in yellow stools in dogs. In some cases, the situation may be temporary as a result of something the dog may have ingested;

in other cases, it may become persistent and need veterinary assistance. Seeing the vet is important, considering that there are numerous conditions that require medicines for treatment.

Yellow Stools in Dogs

In a healthy dog, the normal stool color is always brown. This brown color is a result of two substances synthesized by the liver, namely, bile and bilirubin. Bilirubin consists of dead red blood cells that have gotten old and tends to have an orange-brown color. As the cells die, the body utilizes them to produce bilirubin. Bile, on the other hand, is a yellowish-brown fluid that helps the body break down fats. It is synthesized in the liver, but it is caught up in the gallbladder. When the dog takes in fats, the gallbladder secretes some bile into the intestine to aid in the digestion of fat. Within the intestinal tract, bile and bilirubin combine to produce a brown mixture that is responsible for the distinctive brown coloration of the dog's waste.

So how do stools end up being yellow?

Stools that are not a normal color may be a result of assimilation and absorption problems. It might also be a result of interferences in the digestive process, which could be caused by hormonal imbalances. Several conditions, such as digestive issues or gallbladder, pancreas, or liver disorders, could cause yellow stools in dogs.

Causes of Yellow Diarrhea in Dogs 

The best way to know what the causes of yellow diarrhea in dogs are is to get a veterinarian to run some tests. You probably have to submit a stool sample for a dog fecal test. A blood test is also essential to determine the blood chemistry profile of the dog, indicating if there are problems with any internal organs.

Dogs sometimes swallow things that can influence the odd coloration of their stools. For example, dyes in dog food or treats can induce a temporary discoloration. Below are more details on some potential factors of yellow stools in dogs.

Intestinal Parasites

Sometimes, yellow diarrhea in dogs indicates the presence of intestinal parasites. This is why a stool sample test is a good idea if your dog has yellow stools. These parasites may include microscopic single-celled organisms like protozoans or worms.

Whipworms are well-known for causing yellowish stools in dogs. They can be detected in a stool sample test through their eggs, although whipworms may not lay eggs all the time. They may be treated by administering deworming drugs to the affected dog.

Common protozoans known to affect the digestive tracts and causing yellow diarrhea are Coccidia, which is characterized by their soft, yellowish stools, and Giardia, which may cause yellowish-green stools.

Liver issues 

Bilirubin is synthesized in the liver. However, there might be instances of liver malfunctions leading to conditions like hyperbilirubinemia (excessive production of bilirubin). If the liver is not performing at an optimum level, the bilirubin is not converted to an excretable form leading to higher levels.

Other conditions, like tumors of the bile ducts or liver, can also lead to high levels of bilirubin and, therefore, yellow diarrhea in dogs. Affected dogs with liver issues can also exhibit vomiting and loss of weight.

Digestive Disorder 

Yellow diarrhea in dogs could point to an existing digestive disorder. Any disorder that affects the way a dog breaks down his food may cause changes to the stool. Yellow diarrhea could be caused by intestinal hyperactivity; this is caused by under digestion, decreasing the absorption of brown color causing substances in the intestines. Waste appears yellowish or mustard color.

Another digestive disorder that may lead to yellow diarrhea is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. The stool appears voluminous, soft, and greasy.

It has a pale gray or yellow color with a bad smell. It is characterized by frequent bowel movements ranging from six to ten times per day.

Yellowish diarrhea in dogs can also be induced by irritable bowel syndrome.

Gallbladder Disorder 

Your dog’s gallbladder is a hollow organ beneath the liver to the right of the abdomen. Its primary responsibility is to store and concentrate bile synthesized by the liver.  Gallstones in the gallbladder can reduce the quantity of bile that enters the dog’s intestines.

This eventually leads to yellow stools. Removal of gallstones may require surgery.

As observed, there are many causes of yellow diarrhea in dogs. If your dog has this condition, please see your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.



Hello, I'm Shelly! I write about all things dogs. I'm a proud mother of 3. So I guess my official title is fulltime mother, part-time dog blogger. Look around and if you have any questions reach out to me