Dog poop is an indicator of a dog’s health. Many owners do not pay attention to this because it is an unpleasant subject and only look at it when they see something unusual in the poop.
What are white specks in dog poop?
White specks or dots in your dog’s poop don’t always mean something is wrong, however, it also doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. If you find white specks in your dog’s poop, there could be a few different explanations, for example, your dog may have an infection. Therefore you may need to act.
Should you be Worried by White Specks?
You will need to examine your dog’s poop very closely. The most important thing to look for is whether or not these white specks are moving. You will need to observe them for several seconds and wait any moment.
If there is no movement, it is a good sign. However, if there is movement it means there is an infection in your dog’s digestive system. Looking closely is advised because they sometimes move with a sudden twitch.
What Causes White Specks in your Dog’s Stool?
There are several causes behind white specks in dog feces, and each cause differs in severity.
1. Partially digested food
The most common cause of white specks in dog feces is undigested food. Sometimes you will find traces of meat bones in your dog’s poop. These bones can move through the digestive tract without being fully digested. Most pet owners blame poor-quality dog food for this problem.
Basically, all dog food that uses meat as the main product contains tissue and bones. It is thus impossible for dog food to come without bone traces. However, some premium food companies do add more meat and fewer bones.
These small bone pieces are very difficult to notice, and you can only find them if you look closely at the poop sample.
If food is not properly absorbed and digested, white specks will appear. In severe malabsorption cases, your dog’s poop will become paler and bulkier, which occurs due to the high-fat content in them.
Other causes behind food malabsorption are:
- Liver disease
- Intestinal inflammation
- Pancreatic insufficiency
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
White specks may appear due to the use of medication. When administered, some medications are not digested properly, and remains appear in the feces. If you find white bits in your dog’s poop, consult your veterinarian, they will decide whether or not a change of medication is necessary.
4. Fly Larvae
If your dog’s poop is outside for a while, white specks can appear which has nothing to do with your dog. They may appear due to some fly that has laid eggs in your dog’s poop.
The maggots or fly larvae lay eggs in fresh dog poop. They can contaminate your backyard and start causing infections in humans. This is why it is important to clean up your dog’s poop straight away.
5. Fungal infections
At some point, you will see clumps of white matter in your dog’s poop; this may be due to a fungal infection such as candida. This problem is more common if your dog is suffering from a yeast infection or any ongoing treatment that may weaken his immune system.
6. Worm infection
Sometimes, white dots can be due to ongoing worm infections. The most common worm that affects dogs is tapeworm. These parasites stick to the wall of the intestine of dogs. Tapeworms appear as shoelaces or strings; this is because they have a small head and a long shape.
Tapeworms are several feet long. They get their nutrients from feeding on the dog’s blood. Tapeworms grow very fast, and as soon as they become adults, they will begin to lay eggs. Sometimes you can see these egg traces in the dog’s poop.
How do Dogs get Infected by Tapeworms?
Dogs become infected with tapeworms in a number of ways. If a dog eats a flea or maggot it could become infected. Similarly, dogs are also affected if they eat any infected animals like rats, rodents, and rabbits.
Dogs that spent a lot of time wandering outside in parks and streets and never received treatment for worms, ticks, and fleas are at higher risk for tapeworm infestation.
Signs of a Tapeworm Infestation
In infected animals, tapeworms will be found in their feces. You will see what looks like rice showing in your dog poop or sticking to the hair around the anus. Sometimes you will see their poops turn yellow and hard; this may be because the worms die inside the dog’s body and dry up before passing out.
If the tapeworm gets stuck in your dog’s stomach, the dog will vomit, and you will see it in his vomit.
One of the most common signs of tapeworm infestation is irritation around the anal area. You will often see dogs obsessively licking their butt or sliding across the ground. Other common symptoms found are:
- Weight loss
- Distended abdomen
- Visual evidence of tapeworm
- Dull coat
How to Tell if your Dog has a Tapeworm Infection?
It is very easy to diagnose a tapeworm infestation in dogs. Simply provide a fresh sample to your veterinarian, and they will examine it under a microscope. Tapeworm eggs will show up under a microscope because their eggs are larger than other parasites.
Your vet can also perform an adhesive tape test to diagnose tapeworm infestation. In this test, a piece of tape will be placed around your dog’s anus and will be removed after a while and examined under the microscope.
Tapeworm treatment is highly effective if administered according to a vet’s instructions.
Dogs are dewormed from time to time to remove these parasites. For puppies under three months of age, it is very important that they receive a deworming treatment every few weeks until they reach six months of age. After six months of age, deworming is required once a month.
Puppies are at higher risk of infestation compared to adults. Sometimes they become suddenly infected after they are born. If you find white specks in your puppy’s poop, you should contact your vet immediately.
To protect your dog from tapeworms, you should take some preventive measures such as
- Use a flea collar
- Don’t let your dog roam or eat anything from outside
- Clean your dog after every walk from the park
- Take your dog to the vet for regular checkups
What to do if White Specks are Appearing because of Undigested Food?
If white specks appear in your dog’s poop due to undigested food, the best thing to do is to change your dog’s diet. The size and shape of dog poop vary depending on what they eat, whether it’s raw or kibble.
When shopping for commercial food for your dog, look for foods that contain more meat than bones. AAFCO approved foods typically do not contain whole bones but rather bone meal. This bone meal will not hurt your dog as it does not contain anything bad.
Check your Dog’s Stool Regularly
It is important to regularly monitor your dog’s poop as it informs you about their health. Although it is unpleasant, you should at least do it once a month. Do this even if your dog is healthy and showing no symptoms.
A dark poop or even diarrhea is a sign of trouble, and don’t overlook it. Similarly, if your dog is suffering from constipation, you should contact your vet.
If you find white specks in your dog’s poop, be sure to contact your vet with all the history of supplements, and medications your dog has taken. This way your vet can decide on the best treatment method and reduce the risk of a possible infection.