Others might say that a picture paints a thousand words, but paw-rents know the best real-life example of this idiom: Your doggy's stools. The size, colour, shape and consistency are good indicators of what is going on inside your furkid.
Typically, a dog’s poop should be chocolate brown in colour and it should also not be too hard or too watery. While it varies accordingly to your dog’s diet, it is vital to visit a vet for a check once you notice that your furkid has oddly coloured stools and out-of-the-ordinary behaviour or symptoms.
For a start, here are seven stool colours and the health conditions associated with it.
Underlying problems in the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract such as an ulcer or blood clotting disorder could cause stools to appear black and tarry. The colour of the stool is an indication of a large quantity of blood being lost from the body and digested.
If you see a red tinge and some mucus in your furkid’s poop, the blood is fresh and could mean an inflammation of the lower intestine, typically the colon or rectum.
Grey, greasy or fatty stools could indicate a pancreatic problem in your furkid. Known as maldigestion, Fido is unable to digest his food due to a lack of digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas.
If your furkid’s poop is green in colour, it might be because he ate grass, or something in his diet caused it to turn green. However, it could also mean that there are internal issues such as intestinal disorders or parasite infections.
It is important to monitor your furkid for other symptoms that could possibly arise besides the colour of his poop.
Have you ever wondered why poop is brown in colour? That’s because of bile, a dark-green or yellowish-brown fluid secreted by the liver to digest fats. When food moves through the gastrointestinal tract and comes into contact with bile, it turns brown.
When poop is orange, it could indicate an inflamed gall bladder or bile duct. Alternatively, it could be due to a rapid transition of the food from the small intestine to the colon, and as such, the food was unable to come into contact with the bile.
The diseases associated with orange poop come with other symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, fever and slight jaundice. Thus, it is important to monitor Fido if you notice an unusual orange tinge in his poop.
An irritation or an infection in Fido’s digestive system can be the reason why he is releasing yellow-coloured poop. The tinge of yellow is the mucus that acts as a lubricant to help move the stool through the intestinal tract and out of the body.
The stool of a healthy dog will be able to transit through and out of the digestive system without the help of the mucus. Besides that, it can also indicate a food allergy.
The white specks on your furkid’s poop could indicate different types of worms such as roundworms and hookworms. These worms could be passed on from an infected mother pup, or when your pooch ate an infected animal’s poop. The cycle continues if deworming medication is not given to treat the condition.
* This article was updated on 7 July 2020. It first appeared in Pets Magazine, 14 Aug 2017.