It may be gross even to think about it, but you should always check your dog’s poop. The reason why you should often do this “unpleasant task” is to check your dog’s health. It may sound strange, but a dog’s poop can tell you a lot about his health. In this article, we will talk about how you can “analyze” the poop and what it can tell you about the current state of your dog. Also, we will focus on one particular sign and its meaning – the white specks in dog poop.
What Should Normal Dog Poop Look Like?
Before we move on, you need to first understand what should healthy dog poop look like. Healthy dog poop should be a shade of brown, chocolate-brown to be more exact. It should also be solid, but squishy.
What Does Unhealthy Dog Poop Look Like?
When the color or consistency of the poop is different from the above-mentioned standard, it means that your dog has some kind of issue. This can be due to a different number of factors such as nutritional imbalance, digesting non-edible items, parasitic infestation, internal illness, etc.
These are the nine types of dog poop that signal something is wrong with your dog:
White Chalky Poop
White chalky poop is usually a sign of nutritional imbalance. The white color of the poop suggests that the dog’s diet is too high in calcium. This is a common occurrence, especially in dogs that are fed a raw diet. A raw diet is high in calcium and bones. As a result, your dog’s poop will be hard and white. As soon as you notice white chalky poop, you need to reconsider your dog’s diet plan. Too much calcium can cause constipation and other digestive issues. The best option is to talk to a veterinary nutritionist to reformulate your dog’s diet and create a new diet plan.
Orange poop often signals your dog has an upset stomach. It can also be a result of food passing too quickly through your dog’s digestive system. On the other hand, orange poop can signal the presence of more serious health issues such as problems with bile ducts, liver, or gall bladder.
There are several known causes of green poop in dogs. It could be simply that your dog ate too much grass or leaves. On the other hand, the cause could be much more serious such as eating rat poison, parasitic infestation, etc. You should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice this type of poop. The vet will determine the underlying cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Brown Poop With Red Streaks
Red or crimson streaks in your dog’s poop are a sign that there is bleeding in the large intestine or from the anal glands. The stool can be either solid, diarrhea, loose. You should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice this type of poop.
Yellow poop is often a sign of food intolerance and it often occurs after you changed your dog’s diet. On the other hand, yellow poop can also signal liver or biliary issues. In any case, it would be good to take your dog to the vet and determine the exact cause of the issue.
Black Maroon Poop
When your dog’s poop has black or maroon coloration, it’s a sign of bleeding in the upper part of the digestive system. Usually, this bleeding is in the stomach or the small intestines. Take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice this type of poop.
Brown Poop With White Specks
White specks in dog poop often signal your dog suffers from parasitic infestation. If these white specks are moving, it’s a clear sign your dog has tapeworm infestation. On the other hand, if the white specks are not moving, they could be undigested parts of bones or some non-edible objects. There are several other causes of white specks in dog poop, but we will dive deeper into this subject, later in this article.
Purple or Pink Poop
If the dog poop is pink or purple and has a consistency similar to jam, you need to take your dog to the vet immediately. This type of poop may be a symptom of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is a sudden disorder that occurs without warning in healthy dogs. This disorder is characterized by bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a fatal condition if not treated.
Greasy, Gray Poop
Gray, greasy poop is often a sign of maldigestion. Maldigestion or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a disorder in which the pancreas is not secreting enough digestive enzymes. These enzymes are essential for the proper absorption of nutrients. Therefore, a lack of digestive enzymes causes malabsorption. This is a very serious condition since 50% of dogs that suffer from malabsorption will die within 12 months if not treated. Therefore, it’s crucial that you take your dog to the vet when you notice this type of poop.
White Specks In Dog Poop: What Are They?
White dog poop is never a good signal. This type of poop indicates there is something wrong with your dog. However, you don’t need to panic, because the causes of the white poop are easily treatable.
These are the most common causes of white specks in dog poop:
Tapeworms are a type of parasitic intestinal worms that can affect cats and dogs. There are several types of tapeworms, but the most common one in dogs is Dipylidium caninum.
These parasites have an interesting lifecycle. You may think that your dog can get infected by tapeworms by eating the infected poop. However, this is not the case. In order for the tapeworm to infect a dog, it first needs to have a so-called intermediate host where it will develop. In this case, the intermediate host is a flea. When a larvae flea ingests a tapeworm, it grows and develops together with the flea. When a flea matures and becomes an adult flea, the tapeworm egg inside it is also developed and ready to infest a dog.
A flea then bites a dog and the dog inadvertently ingests it as a reaction to the bite. The flea is then digested in the dog’s intestines. However, the tapeworm egg will become free and soon it will hatch and anchor itself to the intestinal lining. The tapeworm then feeds off the food that its host is digesting using the nutrients to grow further.
Adult tapeworms can reach up to 11 inches (30 cm) in length. These worms are made of tiny segments that are about the size of a grain of rice. An adult tapeworm will then release individual segments that contain eggs. These eggs are what people see as white specks in dog poop. One segment can contain up to 20 tapeworm eggs. Flea larvae will then ingest these tapeworm eggs and the cycle starts again.
How to recognize tapeworms in dog’s poop?
When your dog defecates, take some time to observe and analyze his poop. If you notice white specks in dog poop, observe them for a minute. Look for motion and movement. If the white specks are moving, your dog has tapeworm infestation.
You may also notice these moving eggs that look like a grain of rice around your dog’s anus.
Other symptoms of tapeworm infestation include:
- Dull coat
- Enlarged abdomen
- Weight loss
Are tapeworms dangerous for dogs?
Tapeworms aren’t dangerous for adult dogs. Yes, they can cause some nasty symptoms, but, generally, they don’t cause serious health issues. However, tapeworm infestation is a serious condition in puppies. These parasites will affect infested puppies in several ways. They will hamper his growth and development, cause anemia, and can even cause intestinal blockages.
What to do if your dog has tapeworms?
You need to take your dog to the vet to do the necessary testing and confirm the presence of tapeworms. It would be good if you could also bring the dog’s poop with the white speck samples so that the vet can analyze them. After the vet confirms your dog has a tapeworm infestation, he will prescribe treatment. The treatment is easy and simple with many effective deworming medications on the market today.
Side Effect Of Medications
You may notice white specks in your dog’s stool if you give your dog medications. Sometimes, the dog digestive system can’t completely digest every part of the pill, which then ends up in the stool. However, unlike tapeworm eggs, these white specks won’t move. You don’t need to take your dog to the vet as this is a normal occurrence, a sort of medication side effect.
Dog Ate A White Object
Dogs eat everything. It’s simply in their nature, they want to explore, try and taste almost everything they come across. However, sometimes these are non-edible objects that can cause internal injuries and intestinal blockage. In case your dog ate some white object such as a white sock or some white rubber toy or a rock, you will probably notice its remnants in the dog’s poop.
These objects can be dangerous and can cause substantial damage to the dog’s digestive system and internal bleeding. Therefore, it’s essential that you take your dog to the vet in these cases.
People Also Ask
Are tapeworms in dog poop an emergency?
While tapeworms will not cause serious health issues, they are still a parasitic species that lives at the expense of your dog. Generally, you don’t need to rush to your vet in panic as soon as you find tapeworm eggs in your dog’s poop. However, the sooner you address this issue, the better. Treatment is easy with the use of effective medications that are widely available.
Can dogs get rid of the tapeworms on their own?
No, it’s not possible for a dog to get rid of the tapeworm on its own. You need to step in and provide medication that will effectively eliminate these parasites from your dog’s digestive system.
How to prevent tapeworm infestation?
Since tapeworms need adult fleas to infect the complete life cycle and infect dogs, you should focus on flea prevention. You can talk to your vet about the best flea prevention plan using powder, oral medications, spray, etc. Also, work with the vet on the development of a de-worming plan for your dog. Keep your yard clean and remove the dog’s poop regularly, also keep an eye on your dog during the walk or play in the park.