No, you are not alone. We all scrutinize our poop. Well… at least our dog’s poop. When it comes to our pets, it really does matter what poop looks like. Beyond the obvious cylindrical clump, poop can be liquidy, whipped, tarry, raspberry jamish or streaked with blood or gobs of mucus. Stool quality can be a harbinger of nastiness deep within. IMPORTANT: You will not catch health issues in time if you do not pick it up as they go.
These are dramatic (and disgusting) examples. But even the mundane, daily variations may be revealing of your dog’s inner “style,” indications of chronic deficiencies, food intolerances, bacterial imbalances and other problems best not ignored. Along those lines, here are some important things to know:
Proper diet can fix pet poop troubles. Most of the time, it is not about disease – rather, it’s about slight variations in how dogs process the diets they are fed. If your dog is regularly irregular, a dietary trial and error may be in order.
Color. The color of the stool can be indicative of lots of things, not the least of which includes artificial dyes in food (not good). Any change in stool (without a known change in diet) should be considered possibly problematic. If your dog’s poop suddenly changes color or looks odd relative to the normal brown evident in other dogs’ stools, consider asking your vet about it.
Size. The size of the stool often relates to the kind of diet that is fed. With some “low-residue” and high protein diets, the stool will be smaller. Switch to a bulkier brand, and stools will be impressively bigger. Any sudden change in poop size? Investigate what they are not absorbing.
Form. If your dog’s poop isn’t always well formed (a nice stool is Tootsie roll shaped, with perhaps an acceptable soft plop at the end), consider a stool check and a simple blood test (along with a physical exam, of course). Too-round stools? It is a red flag for constipation.
Straining. Pets strain (stand there and try to poop with nothing coming out) when their colons are irritated or when they are constipated. Pets who do this all the time need medical attention. Those who do it on rare occasions with mild diarrhea are generally okay, but they need a look-see.
Stink. Sudden or chronic stinkiness is a tip-off for lots of extra (or “bad”) bacteria in the intestinal tract. Look to diet ingredients to fix pet poop troubles. Most of the time, it is not about disease – rather, it is about slight variations in how dogs process the diets they are fed. If your dog is regularly irregular, a dietary trial and error may be in order.
For additional information and a short video presentation, go to https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/07/15/assessing-dog-poop.aspx.
Excerpts from Dr. Patty Khuly and Dr. Becker.
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