Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs healthy. One of the easiest ways to monitor your dog’s health is by looking at the poop they pass. What does dog poop say about their health? A lot more than you might think. Any change in the usual appearance of the poop warrants further investigation because illness can easily cause irregularities in digestion and elimination. Here are examples of what your dog’s poop might be trying to tell you about their health condition:
White Specks or Threads In The Poop
If you notice white specks or threads in your dog’s poop it can mean that they have a parasitic infection. This phenomenon occurs when the eggs of the parasites come out with the stool. If you notice that these white specks in dog poop are moving, then it means that they might be tapeworms. The most common source for tapeworms is fleas or ingestion of infected rodents. Some types of infestation can cause anemia and weakness, so if you notice that your dog has any of these symptoms then it might be a good idea to take them to the vet and check for tapeworm infestation.
Hard Lumps or Clumps
If hard lumps or clumps are what you observe, your dog’s poop might be an indication that they are constipated. Constipation can occur when the colon absorbs too much water from waste material, leaving dry stool. Dogs who suffer from straining to defecate (acute constipation) will produce small, round fecal balls with dry and pale centers; or larger, cylindrical stools resembling pebbles. On the other hand, chronic constipation causes runny and/or mushy stools consisting of large amounts of mucus. The best way to remedy constipation is by having your dog eat a healthy, fiber-rich diet.
Foul or Sweet Smelling Stool
When the stool has a foul odor and/or smells sweet it means that there is something wrong with your dog’s metabolism. Undigested glucose in the stool produces a sweet smell whereas overproduction of fatty acids causes the stool to have a foul smell. The most common cause for this problem is the high activity of the hormone glucagon which leads to uncontrolled production of glucose from protein. This situation can be easily remedied by modifying your dog’s diet according to their needs. Consult with your vet about the best way to go about it.
Blood or Red Coloring In The Poop
The presence of blood in the stool is one of the most serious health problems your dog can develop. Visible blood in the stool can be an indication of ulcers, lining damage, tumors, or parasites. If there is red coloring in the poop you will notice that it has a jelly-like consistency and smells putrid. The color depends on what part of the intestines is affected. If it’s liver-related, then it will have a brownish appearance. Dogs suffering from haemobartonellosis (a type of anemia) excrete dark purple diarrhea with fresh blood mixed in. If blood isn’t visible but there is mucus present, then your dog might have colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or irritable bowel syndrome.
Runny Stool with Undigested Parts
When your dog’s stool is runny and contains undigested parts, it means that they are not digesting food properly. Most cases of diarrhea in dogs are caused by parasites, viruses, bacteria, or dietary factors. The presence of mucus may indicate intestinal irritation or inflammation. Illnesses that can cause diarrhea include infections (e.g. parvovirus), inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. In cases of chronic diarrhea in dogs, a change in the diet may be necessary. If your dog’s stool keeps changing due to dietary issues, you might be better off with high-quality dog food which has been formulated for sensitive digestion., of which you should consult with your vet promptly.
Black poop is not normal and can have several different causes depending on what color is present. If it has red spots then it could indicate that your dog is having internal bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). In this case, they will probably vomit as well. If black stool contains some brown parts then it means that there is blood present in the poop due to ulcers or stomach/intestinal cancer. On the other hand, if there isn’t any blood but you see food particles in it then your dog might have taken something that they are not supposed to, like chocolate. In this case, your dog is in danger of developing a problem known as chocolate toxicity, so it’s best to take them to a vet as soon as possible.
The importance of poop as a diagnostic tool for identifying internal health problems should never be overlooked. Recognizing the symptoms and signs that indicate a need for immediate veterinary attention can greatly increase your dog’s chance of a swift and complete recovery. Therefore, it is recommended that owners diligently monitor their pet’s bowel movements and notify a vet immediately if anything out of the ordinary is noticed.
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