I know there are many more exciting things concerning dogs that we can talk about; why does it have to be white specks in dog poop?
It’s hardly a pleasant topic, but what’s going on at that end of a dog can give you an indication of the general health of your dog. It’s quite surprising how many pet parents are oblivious to any problem with their pet until they notice something different with the dog’s poop.
We all have to clean up after our dogs, at least we should be, so it’s not difficult to see when his poop doesn’t look right. It’s not something unheard of to find white specks in dog poop, so the reason for them being there needs investigating.
White Specks In Poop Have Different Causes
- Worms: Having a worm infection is something that happens to dogs and puppies all the time, but even so, it’s not a situation to take lightly. The infestation needs taking care of quickly and thoroughly.
- Fly Larvae: Not clearing up poop in your yard will encourage flies to lay their eggs in the poop. White specks in that poop will more than likely be maggot eggs.
- Undigested Food: Depending on the food you feed your dog, there could be remnants of bone that he cannot digest properly. Having some undigested bone in his poop is not necessarily a bad thing. We’ll explain why, later in the article.
If the white specks are moving, then they may be tapeworm segments. A tapeworm inside your dog is serious and needs dealing with, so contact your vet straight away for an appointment.
If the white specks don’t move, then at least they’re not alive, so it might be something he ate that hasn’t appropriately digested.
Either way, an investigation is necessary.
If You Find White Specks In Your Dog’s Poop, What Should You Do?
You need to examine your dog’s poop closely if you see any white specks in there. While it will be an unpleasant task, and you’ll get some weird looks from passers-by, there’s no getting around the first part of the investigation.
Parasites in a dog are severe and can be life-threatening. What may also take pet owners by surprise is that humans can catch certain types.
So this whole business of white specks in dog poop is a serious business (no pun intended). We’re not just talking about tapeworms or roundworms here. Other worms can cause severe illness and may pass on a life-threatening disease. Worms such as hookworms and whipworms.
1. How Do I Know If My Dog Has Worms?
Not all dogs will have easy to spot signs they have worms. Because their bowel movements are regular, you cannot discount he might have an infection. But suppose outward signs are leading you to believe he might have a parasite infection.
In that case, they could include symptoms such as these, blood or mucus in his poop, frequent diarrhea, low or ravenous appetite, his coat looks in bad condition, even hair loss, frequent butt scooting, swollen gut, noticeable weight loss, and constant licking or nipping at the anal area.
2. Can I See Worms In My Dog’s Poop?
Yes, if your dog has a worm infestation, you will sometimes see worms in his poop. If he poops out adult roundworms or hookworms, the parasite resembles a whitish color piece of spaghetti. Without taking proper care and attention, a human infection can also be possible.
Tapeworms look a little different. They are often between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch long and more white. Tapeworm segments can be found in the poop or clinging to the anal area. They may still be moving, and if so, you will see them expand and contract.
Another type of worm we should discuss because it’s hazardous to dogs is heartworms. This worm can cause severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage to the dog’s other organs.
In the US, most states have heartworm cases in dogs, but the most prevalent issues run from the Gulf and Atlantic coasts to the Gulf of Mexico up to New Jersey. There have also been many cases running along the Mississipi river.
3. How Do Dogs Get Worms?
Dogs get tapeworm infestations by eating infected fleas, or even small rodents can carry tapeworms or their eggs. It’s a vicious cycle of reinfestation if you cannot eradicate the intermediate hosts.
Roundworms will cause infection if a dog ingests worm eggs from contaminated poop or soil. Dogs inadvertently eat hookworm larvae, or alternatively, the larval being so small can enter the dog’s body through the dog’s skin.
A dog can become infected by heartworms through the bite of a mosquito that is carrying live heartworms. The worms live only a short time in the mosquito, but long enough to infect the dog with heartworm disease.
A dog is the final home of the heartworm. They live, mature, mate, and reproduce in the dog. They are known as heartworms because the adults live in the heart and lungs of dogs.
4. What’s The Best Way To Treat Worms In Dogs?
Regularly treating your dog for worms is the best way to ensure the dog’s health. Puppies can have high levels of worms, initially given to them by their mothers. If you have children, then it’s doubly important to make sure the puppy is wormed correctly.
It’s essential to talk to your vet about the treatment. Over the counter treatments from pet shops or supermarkets are not the way to go when trying to get rid of your dog’s worms. There is not just one kind of treatment for worms. Most worms are of the intestinal type, and that will require one sort of medication. The other kind lodges in the heart and lungs, and that infection will require a different prescription.
These days the vet can administer injections, tablets, or spot treatments to kill all varieties of worms. The other issue with store-bought medications is the dosage concerning the dog’s weight and the problem we’ve just mentioned, and that’s the type of worm the drug kills.
One worming treatment is not sufficient to rid the dog of worms. For example, the hookworm and roundworm’s fresh larvae can still get into the intestines even after treatment. It will require follow-up treatment. In point of fact, it’s not often you’ll see dead worms in your dog’s poop because your dog will digest them.
Sometimes a dog may throw up after eating a worming tablet. If this occurs, then speak to your vet to ask if you need to give him another pill. It’s not a good idea to overdose, and it may not be necessary even though your dog threw up.
Going back to the heartworms situation, treatments for intestinal worms will not work on these worms. You must get a different type of tablet from your vet unless your vet gives specific treatments that work for all worms.
5. How Often Should I Worm My Dog?
It can be difficult with puppies because they will have caught the worms from their mother. This situation creates a constant cycle of worming every month until he’s about six months old. You need your vet to prescribe the correct type of worming tablet suitable for puppies.
When your dog becomes an adult, then usually about four times every year. But if you have young children around the dog, then it’s prudent to worm more frequently. Female dogs require worming when they fall pregnant or if they are feeding a litter. You must ask your vet’s advice about the frequency, type, and amount of drug your female dog needs.
Remember to clean up any dog poop in your yard and get rid of it safely. Eggs in the poop will be around until they find a host, so better to dispose of the poop every chance you get.
Undigested Bone In The Dog Poop
It’s more than feasible you’ll never notice any in your dog’s poop unless it rains and you re-visit some of his poop. If you go back later to clean up his poop and see what looks like grains of sand in his leftover poop, they will be tiny pieces of undigested bone.
Contrary to what some people believe, this doesn’t mean the food you feed him is low quality. There’s nothing low quality having some bone in the food, and it’s good for the dog; bone is a typical source of essential minerals. Sometimes when you get chicken in dog food, it might be the whole carcass with meat; this is ground up into tiny pieces.
However, if you switch his food and constipation starts becoming an issue, or his poop starts to look much whiter and more of a crumbly constituency, then the new food has a lot more bone content. If you start seeing this, then you should reconsider the food choice. It doesn’t do a dog any favors if you feed him bone on that scale because of the high levels of calcium and phosphorus; excessive amounts are bad for the dog’s health.
Not every little thing that happens to dogs is harmful and white specks in dog poop don’t signify he has a health problem.
But in this article, we’ve given you some reason for the white specks, and they might give you some warning that you need to investigate more thoroughly.
The information in this article is our opinion, and we are not professional dog health experts. If anything concerns your pet’s health, please discuss it with your vet first and take his advice on what treatments are available for your pet.