Causes of Mucus in Dog's Stool
Get Into the Habit of Inspecting Your Dog's Stool for Abnormalities
Did You Find Mucus in Your Dog's Stool?
When inspecting your dog's stool, were you surprised to see mucus? If so, welcome to the poop inspecting club! It's always a good idea to inspect a dog's stool to see if there is anything unusual or alarming in it. Your dog's stool indeed can tell you many things such as what he ate, if he has parasites, if he's stressed out, or if he's suffering from some form of digestive disorder.
I learned just how important the appearance of a dog's stool is while working for a veterinarian's office and alongside vets in shelters. Dog owners used to drop off many stool samples and specimens of parasites they found. I quickly learned about signs of trouble. Now that I board and train dogs, I always check what their stools look like so that I can report any unusual appearances to their owners and take the dog to the vet if needed.
I recommend dog owners do the same, but not rely on visual inspections alone. Dog owners sometimes tell me, "Oh, I know my dog is free of parasites as I look at his stools daily." Healthy-looking stools may be misleading as there are many things the eyes can't see. For good reason, vets use microscopes to thoroughly inspect what's really in there. Yearly fecal exams are always recommended to keep things in check.
Blood in the dog's stool, parasites at certain stages of growth, odd-looking consistencies, and the presence of mucus are a few things that are visible to the naked eye that can tell you a whole lot about your dog's health. If you found mucus in your dog's stool, you may be wondering where it's coming from and what causes it. In the next paragraphs, we will learn more about it.
What Causes It?
First and foremost, it's importance to note that it's normal to see a little bit of slimy, jelly-like mucus in a dog's stool. Glands in the intestinal tract naturally produce mucus to help keep the colon stay lubricated and moist to help the stools pass along.
It's when the mucus is more abundant than usual that you should be concerned. If you make it a habit to routinely inspect your dog's stools, you'll quickly note when something looks unusual. What does the mucus look like? It's often a jelly-like substance mixed within the stool and sometimes may envelope the stool like a sausage casing. In some cases, the mucus appears white.
So what causes this increase in mucus? Most likely, the colon is to blame. When it is irritated and possibly inflamed, the intestinal tract decides to create an extra layer of protective mucous lining. Following are some potential causes of mucus in a dog's stool:
- Dietary indiscretion
- Food intolerances
- Recent diet changes
- Presence of parasites/protozoans
- Overgrowth of bacteria
- Foreign objects
- Imbalance of colon bacteria (the good kind)
- Polyps and tumors of the intestinal lining
If the mucus in your dog's stools is caused by an imbalance of bacteria, Fortiflora is a probiotic that can help restore that balance.
Dog Mucus In Stool Treatment
Because some causes of mucus in stool can be serious, it's best to see a vet, especially if the dog has other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stools, abdominal pain, fever, or lethargy. Seeing the vet is also useful because through diagnostic tests, he/she can most likely pinpoint the problem and provide you with a solution to prevent the problem from recurring.
For instance, in the case of parasites, the appropriate dewormer should kill all parasites and take care of all the associated gastrointestinal problems. Surgery may be needed if there is intestinal blockage or a polyp. Dogs with food intolerance may benefit from a hypoallergenic diet and so forth.
In some cases, the episode of mucus in stool will be short lived and the dog's stool will return to normal after a few days. If it's caused by a dietary indiscretion or a recent diet change, fasting and feeding a bland diet for a few days may help. Probiotics or yogurts containing live culture are also helpful for replenishing helpful flora to the gut. In mild cases, Imodium for dog upset stomach can be used under the guidance of your vet. However, if your dog has other accompanying symptoms and you suspect he might have gotten into something toxic, you should play it safe and see your vet promptly.
Disclaimer: This article is not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your dog is sick, please see your vet for diagnosis and treatment. When reading this article, you accept this disclaimer.
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For Further Reading
- Symptoms of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs
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- Dog Health: Understanding Pancreatitis in Dogs
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- Causes of Blood in a Dog's Stool
Learn several possible causes for blood in stools. If your dog is pooping blood, please see your veterinarian.