What Does Mucus In Dog Poop Mean?

If you check your dog’s poop regularly, you may be shocked to see a sudden presence of mucus in their stool. Seeing an unexpected jelly film on your dog’s poop can raise concern, causing you to wonder if this is a sign of something more. So what does mucus in dog poop mean?

In this article we will discuss the details of mucousy dog poop, and help you understand when it’s time to visit your veterinarian.

Is Mucus In Dog Stool Normal?

Mucus in dog stool is a fairly normal finding that does not always warrant concern. Mucus is a form of natural lubrication that is present in the intestinal tract, allowing stool to easily slide through the colon.

Don’t want to read this entire article? Watch our short video on what to do if you find mucus in your dog’s poop.

A light film of mucus on your dog’s poop is not only normal, but points to healthy digestion. As long as the mucus on your dog’s poop occurs regularly and is not excessive, it is completely normal.

What Causes Mucus In Dog Poop?

My Dog Has Mucus In Their Poop

As we mentioned above, mucus in dog poop can be normal for some pups. The colon is lined with a thin layer of mucus to help feces slide through, often causing some mucus to stick to the stool as it passes. However, if you are seeing more mucus than usual in your dog’s poop, this can be cause of concern.

If the colon is inflamed for any reason, it may begin to produce larger amounts of mucus. This can cause a thick film of mucus to adhere to your dog’s stool, almost making it appear as a jelly-like casing. Inflammation of the colon itself is referred to as colitis, and can have multiple causes.

Bacterial Infections

Our canine friends are exposed to different types of bacteria on a daily basis. Ranging from bacteria in the soil to bacteria that builds up in their water bowl, our dogs’ immune systems are constantly fighting off foreign invaders. While dogs are equipped to handle most bacteria they come in contact with, some can invade their GI tract and wreak havoc. This can easily lead to colitis, resulting in a large amount of mucus in their stool.

Dietary Indiscretion

Dogs are known to get their paws on things they should not. Whether it’s a fatty piece of bacon or an item in your trash can, dietary indiscretion can lead to a slew of GI symptoms to follow. Once your pup begins to have an upset stomach due to dietary indiscretion, inflammation of the colon generally follows. When this happens, you may notice an influx of mucus in their stool.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites can hide in the soil of our yards, waiting to pounce on any passing pups. Whether your dog comes in contact with parasites in the soil or from eating contaminated stool, this can give the worms a one way ticket to your dog’s intestines. Intestinal parasites can cause severe irritation to a dog’s GI tract, leading to inflammation of the colon. Once this happens, you may notice a large amount of mucus in their poop.

Medications

Just like in humans, some medication can irritate a dog’s stomach. If certain medications are not offered with enough food, this can lead to serious GI upset in some furry friends. You may first notice an increase in mucus in their stool when starting the medication, along with other signs of an upset stomach as the days go on.

GI Conditions

Dogs can experience chronic GI conditions and inflammatory diseases that impact the health of their colon. For example, a dog with Irritable Bowel Syndrome can struggle with constant inflammation of the intestines, leading to frequent mucus in their stool. If your dog has been diagnosed with any type of chronic condition, it’s best to ask your vet how this will impact their digestive health. This way, you can be prepared for any mucousy poop to come.

How Much Mucus Is Too Much?

So how do you know when you should be concerned about mucus in your dog’s stool? Some mucus in your dog’s poop is normal, but an amount that catches your eye may not be. If your dog has a small amount of mucus in their stool, it may just look like a thin jelly film that covers some of their poop.

If the mucus appears thick, or pools around their poop, this is considered a larger amount. Anything more than a thin layer of mucus should warrant concern, and lead you to contact your vet for further advice.

You should also examine your pup for any other signs of GI upset. If your dog is having mucus in their stool along with a change in stool consistency, blood in the stool, or change in appetite, it’s best to reach out to your vet for further care.

My Dog Has Loose Stool With Mucus

Loose stool with mucus can be a sign that your dog is struggling with some form of GI upset. It can be a reaction to irritation in the intestinal tract, causing it to be accompanied by thick mucus as well. Loose stool with mucus is not normal for a healthy pup, and should always warrant a trip to the vet. This is especially true if their loose stool has progressed to diarrhea, or if there is any blood present.

How To Diagnose Mucus In Dog Stool

Your vet will first gather and ask you a few questions about your dog’s habits in the days leading up to the mucus being present in their stool. This will help them better understand your dog’s medical history, and will help to paint a picture of what could have caused their GI inflammation.

Once your vet gathers a full history, they can then perform a few diagnostics to get to the bottom of the mucus in your dog’s stool. The most common diagnostics will involve a fecal exam that looks at their stool under a microscope, blood work to test for any metabolic issues, as well as tests for any infectious disease that causes diarrhea. Once your vet performs a series of tests, this can help them better determine the best treatment plan going forward.

What Treatment Options Are There For Mucousy Stool

Your dog’s treatment options will vary based on the cause of the mucus in their stool. To help you better understand which treatment your dog may require, let’s break it down based on the most common factors.

  • Antibiotics: If your vet fears a bacterial infection in your pup, they may prescribe an antibiotic that targets bacteria in the gut. One of the most common antibiotics prescribed for GI upset is Metronidazole, but every situation will vary.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics is a wonderful way to help restore beneficial bacteria in the gut, and support ideal digestive health going forward. This can be used as a main form of treatment or after giving antibiotics.
  • Anti-parasitics: Anti-parasitics, or dewormers, will be prescribed if your vet finds any evidence of parasites on their fecal exam. Once your vet determines the type of egg that is present in their stool, they can prescribe the proper dewormer for their specific parasitic infection.
  • Special Diets: If your pup is experiencing any inflammation of the intestines, your vet may prescribe a bland diet to give them until the issue is resolved. This can be a prescription diet that you purchase at the vet’s office, or guidance from them on what to make at home.
  • Long term care: If your dog is experiencing GI upset from any chronic medical conditions, your dog may require long term care. This will vary based on their specific diagnoses, and how severe their GI symptoms are.

What To Do To Prevent Mucus In Your Dog’s Poop

The best way to prevent mucus in your dog’s stool is by promoting GI health going forward. There are multiple ways to keep your dog’s gut in check, as well as prevent any serious complications in the future.

Some of the most effective ways of promoting GI health in your dog include:

  • Offering them monthly heartworm prevention, as these medications prevent intestinal parasites as well.
  • Stay up to date on their yearly vaccines to prevent infectious disease. This is especially important in puppies, as they are more at risk.
  • Do not offer them any table scraps or fatty foods.
  • Give them a daily probiotic that is approved by your veterinarian.
  • Schedule yearly veterinary exams to check for any changes in their overall health.
  • Make sure to offer your dog a quality diet that is approved by your veterinarian.

While mucus in your dog’s stool is not always a concern, there are some things to keep an eye out for. If you feel like your pup has too much mucus in their poop, give your veterinarian a call. They will help guide you or have you bring in a stool sample so that it can be tested.

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