When you take on the role of pet parent, you accept the heavy responsibility of taking care of another creature and ensuring its health and well-being. You acknowledge that you'll need to walk and feed them to make sure they stay happy and healthy. Picking up after your pooch is just one more of those tasks that you willingly take on in exchange for your dog's unconditional love and adoration.
When scooping poop, it's a good idea to monitor your dog's doo-doo, as you can gain some valuable insights into your dog's health and well-being. Pay attention to subtle changes that could indicate something may be afoot, like changes in color, consistency, and frequency.
Have you spotted white specks in your dog's poop? Let's explore what this means, what can cause it, and what you should do if you see it.
Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet
- What Causes White Specks in Dog Poop
- Dog Diarrhea with White Specks
- White Spots in Dog Poop That Are Moving vs Not Moving
- Does Rice Cause White Specks in Dog Poop
- What Should I Do If My Dog Poop Has White Specks
- Final Thoughts
What Causes White Specks in Dog Poop
It can be pretty alarming when you spot white specks in your dog's poop. But before you go into full-blown crisis mode, it's essential to know that some causes of white specks in poop are normal and not harmful at all. Others might be concerned and require immediate attention.
A common cause of white specks in dog poop is undigested food particles. If your dog's digestive system doesn't completely break down certain foods, this may lead to the food remaining visible in the poop. This is usually a once-off occurrence, so you may want to consider other potential causes if you notice it frequently.
Dogs who frequently gnaw on bones can sometimes have bits of undigested bone in their poop, which could be the reason for those white specks. Eating large amounts of bone can lead to constipation, so in such cases, you may notice your dog is pooping less or struggling to poop.
Parasites — the dreaded ‘P’ word no pet parent ever wants to hear. According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine research intestinal parasites such as tapeworms can shed segments resembling rice grains, causing white specks in dogs' poo. These white specks may even move. We'll discuss more about moving vs. non-moving specks later on, but we’ll take this opportunity to remind you to deworm your dog regularly to avoid this kind of situation.
Intestinal parasites tend to cause other symptoms like rapid weight loss, a swollen belly, butt dragging, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Are you seeing white specks in your dog's poop after deworming? That's a good sign that the treatment is working and the worms are being expelled (hoorah!).
Liver problems can also manifest as white specks in dog poop. If the liver isn't functioning correctly, it can lead to changes in bile production and digestion. This can cause pale or white poop that contains evidence of undigested fats.
In some cases, white specks in your dog’s poop may indicate your dog may have been snacking on items that aren’t necessarily food. Things like string or shoelaces, socks, paper — just about anything, really — that then pass through the digestive tract undigested. Pica can cause your dog to eat inappropriate things, and while this isn't just an odd behavior, it can cause some severe consequences like intestinal blockages or choking.
As a pet parent who may have concerns about your dog’s health, one handy pet gadget you shouldn’t live without is a Petcube Cam. This little powerhouse allows you to check in on your best pal when you’re not at home, complete with two-way sound and night vision, so you can see and hear your pet on your phone from anywhere in the world.
Dog Diarrhea with White Specks
Diarrhea in dogs is relatively common and can, from time to time, contain white specks as well. The diarrhea itself can be caused by various factors ranging from changes in diet, infections, underlying health conditions, or even just consumption of something that doesn’t agree with your dog’s digestive system.
White specks in dog diarrhea could indicate the presence of mucus. The intestines produce this mucus in response to irritation and inflammation. A small amount of mucus in diarrhea is not cause for concern, but excessive mucus could indicate a much more severe underlying condition.
If your dog is experiencing diarrhea with white specks, pay attention to their overall behavior, appetite, and hydration levels. Mild cases of diarrhea can typically be managed at home by withholding food for 12 – 24 hours and gradually introducing a bland diet. Diarrhea that persists or is accompanied by other symptoms (particularly blood in the stool) should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
White Spots in Dog Poop That Are Moving vs Not Moving
Whether the white specks in dog poop are moving or not is critical to consider. Moving specks indicate the presence of tapeworms or other intestinal parasites. Tapeworms are segmented worms that live inside your dog’s intestines and shed segments that contain their eggs. These segments resemble small grains of rice that wriggle and move and can be visible in your dog’s poop.
What should you do if you spot moving white specks in your dog’s poop? First, calm down. Don’t panic. Second, you must collect a fresh stool sample and take it to your vet for analysis. Identifying the specific type of parasite causing the white specks is essential in determining the appropriate course of treatment.
If, on the other hand, you spot white specks in your dog's poop that aren't moving, it may be indicative of undigested food particles or another internal issue. If your dog consistently has non-moving white specks in their spool, it’s a good idea to consult a vet to rule out any potential health issues.
Does Rice Cause White Specks in Dog Poop
Rice is a popular ingredient in many dogs’ diets and commercial dog foods. It’s common to give your dog rice to eat when they have a stomach upset or diarrhea, as the starchiness of the rice helps to bind the stool. However, it’s a misconception that rice can cause white specks in dog poop. While undigested rice may appear in stools, it’s typically not the primary cause of white specks.
If you notice persistent white specks in your dog’s stool, it’s more likely to be related to other factors such as parasites, liver issues, or dietary problems. Reach out to your vet, who will be able to assist with determining the underlying cause and providing a treatment plan.
What Should I Do If My Dog Poop Has White Specks
If you notice white specks in your dog’s poop, the first step is to take stock of your dog’s overall behavior and health. Take note of their energy levels, appetite, and general behavior. If your dog’s behavior is largely unchanged and the white specks are minimal, it might not be cause for immediate concern; it may simply be a case of undigested food.
However, if you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to head to the vet:
- Persistent presence: the white specks are appearing consistently in your dog’s poop over some time.
- Moving specks: If the white specks are moving or appear to be alive, this may indicate the presence of intestinal parasites.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea along with white specks in the stool or any other changes in stool consistency.
- Other symptoms: If your dog shows signs of lack of energy, vomiting, loss of appetite, or abdominal discomfort.
Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination, possibly request a stool sample for analysis, and recommend other appropriate tests to diagnose the underlying cause. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis. You must follow your vet's advice closely to ensure your dog remains healthy and happy.
When it comes to the health and well-being of your pet, being prepared for the unexpected is critical. In an emergency, medical bills can rack up fairly quickly. If you’re armed with a Petcube Emergency Fund, you'll have access to up to $3,000 annually to cover emergency costs. Just $29 per month can offer you the peace of mind of knowing that your pet is covered in any emergency.
While seeing white specks in your dog’s poop is alarming, staying calm until you know more is essential. Understanding potential causes, differentiating between moving and non-moving specks, and seeking veterinary guidance when necessary are crucial steps to ensuring your dog’s health. Remember that in such situations, your veterinarian is your best resource for addressing any concerns and providing appropriate care for your canine companion.
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