Why You Should't Ignore Your Dog's Poop

What comes out of your dog is almost as important as what goes into him, which is why it’s so important to regularly monitor his “output” for signs of trouble
The first thing you should do is establish what “normal” is for your dog in terms of poop, whic

Since diarrhea is a symptom of multiple health problems, it also has multiple causes, from benign to very serious. These include:

Change in diet

Bacterial infection

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

Food intolerance, sensitivity, or allergy

Viral infection

Gastrointestinal tumors

*Indiscriminate eating

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)


Ingestion of toxins

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Ulcerative colitis

Intestinal parasites (e.g., giardia)

Intestinal obstruction

Idiopathic hemorrhagic gastroenteritis

Rectal polyps

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Histoplasma enteritis or colitis

*Hands down, the most common cause of diarrhea in otherwise healthy dogs is indiscriminate eating (e.g. getting into the garbage).

Diarrhea can have different characteristics depending on its cause. In the following situations, unless the problem clears up on its own within a day or so, I recommend making an appointment with your veterinarian.

A soft stool with no visible blood or mucous might indicate either a dietary change or indiscriminate eating. However, it can also signal the presence of an intestinal parasite such as giardia.
A greasy-looking gray stool can be a sign of too much fat in your dog’s diet, which can trigger pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas that can range from very mild to life threatening.

A black, tarry stool typically indicates the presence of old (vs. fresh) blood somewhere in the digestive system. It can be a sign of injury to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from indiscriminate eating, a foreign body or it can also be a sign of a very serious disease such as cancer.

Watery diarrhea can be a sign of stress or a viral (e.g., parvovirus) or parasitic infection and can lead very quickly to dehydration, especially in puppies.


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