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Let’s Talk About Poop

Posted 01.23.19 by Pamela Chandler, DVM

Pet owners frequently have questions regarding if their pets feces might be abnormal and or when to be concerned.

What is considered normal / abnormal feces?

If the consistency is where you are unable to pick it up in your hand then it is considered to be loose. Most pet’s feces are either light or dark brown in color. Black or red feces can signify blood being present. White to clear mucus can signify inflammation in the colon or end part of the intestines. Fresh feces should be moist. Abnormally dry feces can be a sign of not drinking enough water or constipation.

Dog pooping

Sometimes owners report  their pet is constipated, based on an observation of straining or taking a long time to pass feces. Should you note your pet straining, please observe if the feces is loose or dry as diarrhea can also cause straining to defecate.

Abnormal feces is one of the most common symptoms that veterinarians diagnose and treat. Common causes include gastrointestinal parasites, change of food, stress and eating things on the ground that can cause inflammation in the GI tract.

When to become concerned

A good rule of thumb is if your pets feces is mildly loose, contains mucus or is excessively dry for more than 24 hours then come in for a vet visit, sooner if acting lethargic, vomiting or reduced appetite. We recommend you come in for an exam same day should you note very loose feces, constipation, or any blood in the feces (red or black).

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