Everybody Poops.... and what does it mean?

We know its not the most pleasant subject to talk about, but paying attention to your dog's "mess" can tell you a lot about his health!

Dr Karen Becker gives us a great explanation of potential issues we should be on the look out for! 

What is a normal poop?

  • Generally speaking, a healthy canine stool is moist and firm, and has a mild odor.

What does diarrhea mean?

  • A soft stool wit no visible blood or mucous might indicate either a dietary change or indiscriminate eating. However, it can also signal the presence of an intestinal parasite such as giardia.
  • A greasy looking gray stool can be a sign of too much fat in your dog's diet, which can trigger pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas that can range from very mild to life threatening.
  • A black, tarry stool typically indicated the presence of old blood somewhere in the dog;s digestive system. It can be a sign of injury to the GI tract from indiscriminate eating, and it can also be a sign of a very serious disease such as cancer.
  • Watery diarrhea can be a sign of stress or a viral (e.g., parvovirus) or parasitic infection and can lead very quickly to dehydration, especially in puppies.
  • A soft stool containing or coated with mucous may indicate the presence of parvovirus or parasites.
  • A soft or watery stool with visible worms, eggs, or other uninvited guests is a clear indication of a parasite infestation.
  • Firm, soft, or runny poop containing blood or blood clots is almost always a sign of a serious health problem requiring immediate attention. Fresh blood indicates current bleeding, typically from the large intestine or the anus or anal glands. There could be a perforation of the intestinal wall from something the dog ingested, or from the eruption of a tumor or ulcer.

For more information on causes of diarrhea, what are other symptoms, and when to call the vet go to: