All About Poop
By Jo Butson
The best way to stay on top of the health of our dog or cat is to watch what comes out. As our canine and feline companions cannot tell us when they have an upset stomach, or generally not feeling well, it is up to us to watch out for any signs. A good way to start is by knowing what a normal poop looks like. This is important so that you'll be immediately aware of any changes in frequency, consistency, size, colour, or smell. It is important to inspect fresh poop, as raw fed poop can change colour/consistency quickly after it’s passed.
A healthy raw fed dog or cat, tends to produce significantly less poop that is also smaller than kibble fed, it’s firm, and significantly less stinky. Dogs and cats eating a high mineral raw food diet will produce poo that turns a much lighter colour within 24 hours and disintegrates very quickly.
White meats produce lighter poo.
Red meats and organs produce darker poo.
Dogs eating raw foods that could be too high in calcium or bone pass white, chalky faeces, and may suffer from constipation. Alterations to the cat or dog’s diet is required. Also, dogs and cats eating a high mineral raw food diet will produce poo that turns a much lighter colour within 24 hours and disintegrates very quickly. This can be a normal appearance of a poop after
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. If you are concerned with any changes in your cat or dog’s poop, then feel free to ask in the group as there are different solutions to different cases, and most of us have come across most of them. If then the problem doesn’t clear up in a day or so, then it’s recommended to seek veterinary advice.
A greasy-looking grey stool can be a sign of too much fat in your dog's diet, which can trigger pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can range from very mild to life threatening. Alterations to the dog’s diet is required. If not cleared in a day or so then seek veterinary advice.
The most obvious symptom of a health problem in cats and dogs is diarrhoea, which has several characteristics that vary depending on the cause. There are several potential causes of diarrhoea in cats dogs, ranging from a change in diet to cancer. • Watery diarrhoea can be a sign of stress or a viral (e.g., parvovirus) or parasitic infection and can lead very quickly to dehydration, especially in kittens and puppies. If not cleared in 24hrs seek veterinary advice.
A black, tarry stool typically indicates the presence of old blood somewhere in the cat or dog's digestive system. It can be a sign of injury to the GI tract from indiscriminate eating, and it can also be a sign of a very serious disease such as cancer. Seek veterinary advice. However, keep in mind that an overload of organs can cause a similar result. Poop from too much organ is very dark in color, very loose and very stinky.
Small traces of blood in poop after straining is not unusual. Ask in group for methods to soften poop. This should clear in a day or two. Firm, soft, or runny poop containing blood or blood clots is almost always a sign of a serious health problems requiring immediate attention. Fresh blood indicates current bleeding, typically from the large intestine or the anus or anal glands. There could be a perforation of the intestinal wall from something the dog or cat ingested, or from the eruption of a tumour or ulcer. Seek veterinary advice.
A soft stool containing or coated with mucous may indicate the presence of parvovirus or parasites. This can also simply be a sign of detoxification where the body is protecting the digestive tract as a result of a new raw diet.
Also, a soft or watery stool with visible worms, eggs, or other uninvited guests is a clear indication of a parasite infestation.
Any indication of parasites, or virus should be assessed by a veterinarian.
When to Call the Vet
Most healthy cats and dogs experience an occasional episode of loose stool or diarrhoea that resolves within 12 to 24 hours. The underlying issue in most of these cases is indiscriminate eating or stress. However, any cat or dog has the potential to become very ill from chronic bouts of diarrhoea.
If your cat or dog seems fine after a bout of diarrhoea -- meaning she's acting normal, with normal energy – it's safe to simply keep an eye on her to insure her stool returns to normal within a day or so.
But if you notice she's also sluggish, running a fever or feels warm to the touch, or there's a change in her behaviour, you should contact your veterinarian.
If you see blood in your pet's stool or she's weak or shows other signs of debilitation along with the diarrhoea, you should make an appointment with the vet.
If your cat or dog seems fine but is experiencing recurrent bouts of diarrhoea, it's time for a check-up.
It's important to bring a sample of your cat or dog's stool to your appointment, even if it's watery. Use a plastic baggie and shovel a bit in there to take with you. This will help your vet identify potential underlying causes for the diarrhoea.
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