Dog making white stools – Causes
Observing our dog’s feces is possibly one of the simplest and cheapest ways to control your health and anticipate any possible changes. When we go to the vet, the first question in a control review is probably ” how are your feces ?” And the variation of color in relation to the usual pattern of our dog usually causes us much apprehension.
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YourCatCareguide’s article on the most common causes of white stools in dogs aims to shed some light on this more or less atypical staining in the stool, and encourage him to check daily the consistency and appearance of his dog’s excrement.
White stools in dogs due to feeding
The shift to a diet based on raw meat and bones can lead to white and hard stools that break chalk on his hands when we try to catch it. The reason for this color and hardness is the presence of calcium that is found in bones that our dog ingest. Sometimes the amount of bone is excessive and we may find our dog having difficulty defecating, although he tries repeatedly. These constant urge to defecate is called ‘urgency’, and if we opt for these diets you should consult a specialist who advises us on your follow up to facilitate intestinal transit and not cause anal fissures or obstructions.
Does this mean I should stop this diet?
In principle, if we allow ourselves to be guided by specialists and the dog respond appropriately to the new diet, we should only manage this specific inconvenience. To avoid the worrying presence of these white and hard stools in the dog, we can choose:
- Include more fiber in the diet with products like pumpkin or asparagus.
- Reduce the amount of bone, vary the type or choose to wear them on certain days of the week.
- Try to use pro / prebiotics to promote intestinal fermentation and adaptation to the new diet, based on live bacteria such as Faecium Enterococcum or Lactobacillus and other substrates for existing beneficial bacteria to bloom, such as inulin, a disaccharide.
- Use during the first few days to adapt a similar intestinal lubricant that humans in situations of occasional constipation may help, such as liquid paraffin (with a slightly unpleasant taste), or even provide a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to every 12 hours until everything is normalized, correcting the dose according to the results. In this regard, we recommend that you consult our article on the benefits of olive oil for dogs in order to expand their information and discover all its uses.
Using other drugs that we usually have on hand for these situations is not appropriate although it may seem that it will be good for our dog because before stimulating intestinal motility we have to ensure that these too hard stools were not compacted to form a fecalito or fecaloma (literally, stool like stones) and resulted in an intestinal obstruction.
The color of the stool is not a reflection of what the dog eats, nor is it always a decision of the owner. Thus, in field dogs, with free access to farms and other territories, we can find these feces white and hard without waiting for it. Although we feed it regularly, many dogs with free time and enough territory steal their eggs or eat carrion , including bones and feathers, so the feces sometimes to our discontent tell us their customs while we do not watch them. This extra calcium, coming from the eggshell and skeletons of your prey, can result in hard, white stools in the dog.
In dogs that tend to defecate in places we do not see, or are never sure of what they are doing or eating, it is vital to check the appearance of stool and observe any abnormality. If it is necessary to force you to stay at home or in the garage for three days to check, this information can prevent bowel obstruction before it is too late, for example.
And will they cease to be white and hard over time?
The color of dog feces that feed on home diets depends on the amount of food they eat, and on what day they do, and small variations in color and consistency may be noticed during the week. Usually the white color will be maintained, with variations, and the hardness will be corrected depending on what is most appropriate for the dog with all the advice that the experts give us, but it will almost always be expected less feces, more compact and lighter than in animals fed with feed.
Stercobilin is the brown pigment formed by bilirubin and gives color to feces. If for any reason the formation and transport of bilirubin is altered, it is inevitable that the feces appear in a whitish gray color, which are called acolytic feces.
And what can cause the lack of stercobilin?
There may be a liver disorder , in which case the liver is unable to perform its functions. Among them is the formation of bilirubin from erythrocyte degradation products. As a result, this pigment will not accumulate in the gallbladder and will not be evacuated to the duodenum with the rest of the bile substances after each meal, so stercobilin can not form from it, and the stool has its usual color. Some causes of liver failure that can be found in dogs are:
- Hepatic neoplasm : Primary or secondary tumors (eg, breast or bone tumor metastasis).
- Congenital (birth) change in the level of hepatic vascularization.
- Acute hepatitis : inflammation of the liver, for example, due to the ingestion of toxic substances, or of viral origin (canine hepatitis virus), or bacterial (leptospirosis).
- Cirrhosis : liver degeneration as a result of a prolonged illness, for example, subacute hepatitis maintained over time. It is the end result of many liver diseases that may have gone unnoticed by the owner and the veterinarian due to the large compensation capacity of this organ.
- Pancreatitis : inflammation of the pancreas.
Likewise, any change in bilirubin transport may cause bilirubin deficiency in the gallbladder (rare in dogs), obstruction of the bile duct by some abdominal mass that compresses and prevents bile from being evacuated … in these cases of failure or absence of Bile to duodenum, feces often present steatorrhea (presence of fat in the stool, which causes a doughy appearance) since bile acids are needed to absorb fats and once acids are missing, fat is eliminated totally in the stool. The white and loose stools in dogs, such as fat, are often a sign of a liver or pancreatic disease.
And how to detect these problems?
Usually, the liver takes a long time to warn about the condition, unless it is a hyperacute disease. Thanks to its above-mentioned reserve capacity, it can guarantee functions even when a large percentage of its extent is affected. But if our dog has any or all of the following symptoms, it may be time to go to the consultation:
- Perform frequent bowel movements with acolic and / or pasty stools.
- It has biliary vomiting.
- Itching of unknown origin.
- Anorexia or hyporexia (eat, but much less).
- Increase in water intake.
- Distension of the abdomen (ascites) or pain when touched, exercise intolerance …
A series of laboratory tests, including hemogram, biochemistry and total protein in principle, and possibly panel coagulation, as well as a detailed clinical history that the specialist performs with our help, is the key to detecting the exact origin of the white stool on our dog. However, as liver enzymes are not always altered as you would expect from the symptoms, imaging (plaques, ultrasound …) is almost always needed.
Dog with white stool with mucus
Sometimes the stools have a normal color but appear to be wrapped in a gelatinous white fabric , which leads us to think that this is their color. But if we try to undo them, we can see that, in reality, it is a kind of purse that covers them completely or only in one area.
To avoid this specific intestinal irritation, we should make changes in diet gradually, help with probiotics if necessary and deworming regularly or with the appropriate products, according to our veterinarian’s advice.
White dog defecating by parasites
Sometimes dogs are so parasitized at the intestinal level that at the beginning of their veterinarian’s deworming plan we are alarmed to see their feces almost white. Usually this is due to the appearance of countless already dead and sometimes fragmented nematodes (worms) attached to the fecal surface, and even we can find some alive and mobile. It all depends on how the product we use for deworming acts, since some force the parasite out of the intestinal wall, others kill it directly when it is absorbed through the blood or through its integument, etc.
Se o nosso cão tem várias tênias, geralmente do tipo Dipylidium caninum, a eliminação maciça de proglótides gravídicas para o exterior pode nos fazer observar fezes cheias de uma espécie de grãos de arroz branco. Eles podem se tornar tão numerosos em uma matéria fecal relativamente pequena, que confundimos essa presença com fezes realmente brancas se não nos aproximamos o suficiente e os coletamos para ver a cor a que esta cor se deve. Para mais informações sobre este tipo de parasitas, não perca o nosso artigo “Parasitas intestinais em cães – sintomas e tipos“.
Do not you find it important to look at the appearance of feces and collect them almost without looking at them? The saying that “we are what we eat” is quite true, and feces can tell us about our dog’s health. In addition, appearances sometimes deceive, reason for more to check if everything is in order when they when the dog relieves on their daily walks.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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