Last updated on May 23rd, 2021 at 10:19 am
Can you see white specks in dog poop and wondering what they are? There are a few possible answers. Some of them point to a specific problem and require immediate attention, while others can be ignored as they pose no problem to your pooch.
Dog poop can be an uncomfortable topic for some dog owners. But, if you have had dogs for a while, you know that dog poop is something you need to keep a watch on as it reflects their health. Not surprisingly, many of the abdominal problems manifest themselves in the excrement before they get too severe.
So, keeping an eye out will go a long way in helping your friend before things get worse.
What should you do if you find white specks in your dog’s poop?
The first thing to do is to observe it carefully. White specks or dots can translate to many different things ranging from harmless to those that are a cause for concern. Nobody loves going through dog poop or any poop for that matter, but consider it a necessary evil to help your furry friend.
The first thing to notice is if the white specks are moving or not. White specks that are not moving is usually a good sign as it points towards undigested food. On the other hand, moving white specks indicate a possible parasitic infection, and it’s time to deworm your dog or take your dog to the vet or both.
The other important thing to note is whether the white specks are present immediately after the dog poops or if they show up later. It would be best if you also scrutinized the dog’s environment for signs of these white specks. Observe the dogs anus, bedding, and elsewhere for any signs of these white specks.
White specks in puppy’s poop
Puppies are vulnerable to parasitic infections as their immune systems aren’t entirely developed. Hence, a puppy with white specks in their poop needs to be dewormed. Puppies need to be dewormed at 2,4,6,8 and 12 weeks of age, following which they should be dewormed every three months or so.
The first few months of a puppy’s life are littered with threats. You must take all measures to keep your puppy healthy.
White specks in dog poop that are moving
White specks in a dog poop that are moving tend indicates that it’s a parasitic infection. White worms in dog poop can be a worrying for the dog owner. The common culprits are
- Fly larvae
- Round Worm
If your dog poop is outside for a while, flies will lay their eggs in it, and there isn’t any problem with your dog. The fly larva will hatch and appear as white specks. This can often happen during rains as well as during other times. The fly larvae feed on the excreta and carry infections that can be spread. Hence, it is always a good idea to pick up your dog’s poop as soon as possible. In this case, there is no issue with your dog, and the flies are the culprit who were laying their eggs after the dog had done its deed. Regular careful observation of your dog’s stool is enough to come to this conclusion.
Tapeworm infestation is one of the most common infections that can occur in a dog. Tapeworms are parasites that are found in humans, dogs, and several other species of animals. The tapeworm’s modus operandi is to cling to the intestine of the host, where they will start absorbing the nutrients, which can lead to malnutrition of the host.
Tapeworms are composed of several segments, and new segments are added continuously towards its head area as it grows. The older segments are pushed away towards the rear end, where they can get expelled along with the stools. These segments look like white grains of rice and are moving when you observe them. Once the poop dries up, they stop moving. The tapeworm feeds on the dog’s blood and nutrients and can grow several feet long and severely impact the dog’s health.
How does a dog get infected with tapeworms
Dogs can get infected with the tapeworm when they eat an infected animal. So, if your dog is roaming around the neighborhood and hunting and eating other animals like birds and rodents, there is a risk of infection. Similarly, dogs who are fed raw meat are also at risk.
The segments of the tapeworm that are shed along with the stool contain eggs. These eggs stick to the fleas which come into contact with them. These infected fleas can then transmit the infection to a healthy dog.
So, the bottom line is that a dog which is outside a lot of the time and/or infected with fleas is at a high risk of getting infected with the tapeworm.
Symptoms of tapeworm infestation
The tapeworm gradually feeds off your dog and can result in varying symptoms. Some dogs do not show any apparent symptoms even though there is a full-blown infestation. The following symptoms can be present during a tapeworm infestation:
- Weight loss without any change in eating habits
- Increased appetite without any weight gain especially in puppies
- Dragging of butt across the floor to relief irritation/pain
- Constant licking of the anus
- Abdominal pain
- Lethargy and irritability
- Gastrointestinal obstruction in rare cases
If you often have problem with with your dog’s bowel movements, it’s a good idea to shift to a suitable dog food for sensitive stomachs.
Diagnosis of Tapeworm infestation
Like I have mentioned before, sometimes your dog will show symptoms while other times, you don’t see anything wrong with your dog. The telltale sign of an infestation is tapeworm traces in the stools or around your dog’s anus. The tapeworms are around a quarter to half an inch in length and white. They appear as grains of rice. They can be present in the stool, around the dog’s anus, in dog’s bedding, or anywhere the dog hangs out.
The 100% sure shot way to confirm this is by bringing a fresh stool sample to your vet. If there are eggs in the stool, they are easily detected as tapeworm eggs are easily identified. However, sometimes the test can be negative, yet your dog can be infected. This happens when the particular stool sample does not contain any eggs or segments of the tapeworm. So, in such cases, a repeat test can help you to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes, your vet can use an adhesive tape around the dog’s anus and analyze it microscopically.
However, experienced pet owners can often identify a tapeworm infestation as they are pretty common and typical and get the required help for their dog.
Treatment for tapeworms
An excellent deworming treatment gets rid of the tapeworm, eggs, and larvae. If they are not entirely eliminated, it results in repeated episodes of infection.
So, any over the counter deworming might not be good enough to do this. They often get rid of the segments and leave the head intact, which is the source of tapeworm segments, which results in it regrowing. It is better to opt for deworming treatments specifically targeted towards tapeworms.
Prevention of tapeworms
A tapeworm infestation can be an ordeal to go through for both your dog and you. Now that you are in the clear, you want to ensure that your pooch does not get the nasty worm again.
An excellent deworming treatment will also act as a preventative measure for some time
Get your dog free of lice, ticks, and fleas
Keep a watch on your dog and make sure that they are not hunting and eating wild animals
This is another parasite that can be the culprit for white specks in stool. However, the roundworms are much larger and range between 2 to 4 inches in length. They are white or tan in color. In severe cases, your dog can also vomit the roundworms. They can also infect humans. The lab can confirm the diagnosis through blood or stool sampling. A deworming treatment can help you get rid off them.
White specks in dog poop that do not move
White bits in dog poop that do not move are usually a good sign for the dog owner. Undigested food becomes the likely culprit in that scenario. Another reason is fat lipids caused by SIBO(Small intestinal bacterial overload)
The most common culprit is undigested food. Undigested food such as rice, horse feed, grains, bones can be the reason for the white specks.
One of the most common reasons is undigested bones. Although you don’t expect bones from good quality pet food, the reality is that some amount of bone does exist in all dog foods. So, that could show up in the stool. Notice what foods you are feeding your dog, which can give a clue on what might be causing this issue. One good tip is to switch to different dog food.If this solves the problem, the previous dog food can be assumed to be causing this issue.
The white specks can be fat lipids that are caused by SIBO(Small Intestinal Bacterial overload). This is another common issue that is found in dogs. In this, there is an increase in the bacterial number in the small intestine. It is often associated with diarrhea. SIBO responds well to antibiotics.
What does dog poop say about your dog’s health
An important takeaway from this article is that you should be routinely checking your dog’s poop. Many health problems, especially abdominal, tend to be caught quicker if you keep watching your dog’s stools. Dog stool comes in various shapes, sizes, consistency, and color. It is essential to know what is normal for your dog and its variations. It can change a lot depending on what you feed your dog.
Educate yourself on the nature of your dog’s stools, and when there are alarming signs, you can take them to a vet.
So, these are all the likely sources for white bits or specks in your dogs poop. Let us know in the comments section which was the one for your dog.