Dog diarrhea looks like mucus

Written by j. lang wood
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Dog diarrhea looks like mucus
Mucus in stool can be a sign of serious illness. (german shepherd dog image by Lisa Batty from Fotolia.com)

Dogs can get diarrhoea quite easily from a number of different causes, from internal pests to simply picking through the garbage. The severity of the diarrhoea often indicates whether you should consult a veterinarian. A minor, passing case of diarrhoea may mean just a routine stomach upset, but ongoing diarrhoea or mucus-filled, bloody, black or green stools can mean a serious problem that needs immediate treatment.

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Mucus in Diarrhea

Mucus in your dog's stool usually means a severe upset of some kind in which the mucus lining of the intestines are being shed and should be treated by your veterinarian as soon as possible. Bringing in a sample of the dog's stool in a plastic bag or small jar will help the vet determine exactly what is causing the problem.

Causes of Mucus in Stool

When mucus appears in a dog's loose stools, it usually means that the problem is located in the lower intestine which becomes inflamed and uncomfortable. This can be because of internal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms or protozoa such as coccidian or giardia. Eating food that is contaminated with E. coli, salmonella or campylobacter can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea with mucous. Serious viral infections such as parvovirus can attacks the lining of the intestines causing severe diarrhoea with mucous that can be deadly in young dogs. They should be vaccinated at the youngest age your veterinarian recommends it.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Stress can also cause bouts of severe, mucous-filled diarrhoea. This condition is known as irritable bowel disease, and it can be treated with medication and changes in diet.

Treating Diarrhea

Minor cases of diarrhoea can be treated by withholding food for 24 hours to allow the intestines to rest and recover. Bismuth subsalicylate in the amount of 1/2 to 1 ml per pound can be given to make the stool firmer. Loperamide at 1 ml per 1.81kg. of weight can also be given. This, of course, will not cure underlying infections or other health problems, so if symptoms continue, consult your veterinarian. The vet will prescribe metronidazole, sulfonamides or any treatments needed to kill parasites.

Preventing Diarrhea

You can help keep bouts of severe diarrhoea with mucous or blood in it to a minimum by taking a few simple actions. Do not change your dog's food quickly. If a change of food is necessary, do it over a period of time, adding more of the new food and reducing the old food to allow your pet's digestive tract to adjust. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations. Keep secure lids on all garbage cans, particularly those that contain food waste. Keep your dog from taste-testing things it finds while on walks. Make sure canned foods that have been opened are thrown out after a few days in your refrigerator. If your dog is on medications, ask whether there are any side effects, such as upset stomach.

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