Presense of mucus in dog poop is normal because it is responsible for the smooth removal of undigested food from the body. Mucus is produced by cells in the digestive tract, and it serves as a protective layer, lubricant, and a facilitator to eliminate waste.
If you notice too much mucus in dog poop or too frequently, this is concerning. Being a responsible dog owner, you should know what mucus is, why it is produced, why it is present in dog poop, and the solution for excessive mucus in dog poop. In this article, we are going to talk about everything you should know about mucus in dog stool, from its causes to treatment.
The secretion of mucus
Mucus is one of those necessary elements of the digestive tract; without it, the digestive system can’t work. Motility is vital for the smooth functioning of the digestive tract. If the motility of the digestive tract is somehow compromised, the whole system would collapse.
That is why you should consider this function primary. The motility of the digestive tract depends on mucus. The mucus serves as a lubricant for smooth movement of digestive contents.
The mucus is produced and secreted from goblet cells of the digestive tract. Goblet cells are present in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The main constituent of mucus is mucin. The main task of mucin is the assembly of large molecules of mucin.
Goblet cells produce two layers of mucus, inner and outer layers. The inner layer of mucus is attached and thick. It serves as a protective layer against microorganisms. However, the outer layer is comparatively less thick and not attached. The outer layer contains microorganisms as commensals.
What is the role of mucus in the digestive tract?
You may be wondering why microorganisms live in the outer layer of mucus. Mucus provides a good living environment for commensals. Microorganisms living in the outer layer of mucus are beneficial for the body. They, in one way or another, are aiding the normal physiological functions of the digestive tract.
To your surprise, these microorganisms help in the digestion and absorption of food in the digestive tract. In other words, the digestion and absorption of the digestive tract are impossible if these microorganisms don’t live there anymore. The mucus layer provides them with a good environment to live in and helps with digestion and absorption of food.
When food comes in the digestive tract, it gets covered with mucus. The enzymes and other secretions that are important for the digestion of food are also mixed in it. Therefore, the first step of digestion includes covering food with a layer of mucus and enzymes essential for digestion.
Mucus-covered food is easy to pass along the digestive tract. The important thing for you to understand is that from the stomach to the anus, food moves covered with and with the help of mucus. That is why it is common for you to observe mucus in your dog poop.
What amount of mucus is normal for the dog?
The question is not about the presence of mucus in your dog poop. The right question is whether the amount of mucus you see in your dog poop is normal or excessive. A little bit of mucus in your dog poop is not a problem.
You may find it difficult to understand what is a little bit. You are right; it is a subjective term, and everybody can understand it differently. However, I believe that you can do it right. You are the pet parent. You have known your pet’s history for a long.
Based on your dog’s regular routine, you can easily classify how much mucus is regular and normal for your dog. You can ring the bell if your dog has crossed the normal limits and is excreting excessive mucus in poop.
You may have observed it routinely that your dog does not excrete mucus with poop all the time. At one time, you may observe poop with mucus; at another, you may not. It explains that dog does not excrete mucus with poop every time.
It can also be an alarming point for you if you observe mucus in your dog poop all the time. I think I have made it very simple for you to understand that sometimes a little mucus in your dog poop is fine.
However, exceeding the normal amount of mucus may ring a bell for you and your furry friend. The exceeding of the normal amount may also be expressed in frequency.
When should you be concerned about mucus in dog poop?
Now the next question that may be knocking at your mind is when mucus in dog poop can be a problem. If I were to simplify it for you, I say that anything not normal can be a problem. As a pet parent, you should be very well aware of your dog’s poop routine.
Being conscious of your dog’s poop routine means you should be aware of: how much amount of poop your dog excretes, at what time of day your dog prefers to poop, what amount of mucus is present, and at what frequency you observe mucus in your dog poop.
When you observe your dog’s behavior with keen interest, you can easily observe when your dog is being deviant. Now you can understand it better. It can be a problem if your dog is expelling excessive mucus or it is expelling mucus all the time; it can be a problem.
The problem can be severe if mucus comes along with blood or it comes without stool. Excessive mucus is associated with diarrhea, and bloody mucus is associated with severe medical problems. Blood accompanying mucus can have a lot of causes. The most common cause of blood in poop is ulcers. Ulcer develops when the mucus layer is compromised.
The contents of the stomach and intestine are damaging to their lining. When the protective layer, mucus, is compromised, gastrointestinal contents damage the internal lining and cause ulcers. Blood comes out of ulcer wounds and becomes a part of dog poop. Ulcers and other conditions can cause excessive mucus production and blood.
Before we move on to the next point, you should understand what stimulates mucus production. A number of factors can stimulate mucus production. Some factors are internal, and some are external. Internal factors are the physiological factors that govern independently and are not the topic of interest.
External factors include irritation as a factor of interest in the current scenario. Whenever the internal lining of the gastrointestinal tract is irritated, it stimulates mucus production. The irritation of the internal lining can be due to several reasons. The most easy-to-understand irritation factor is the inflammation of the internal lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
Can colitis be a cause of bloody mucus?
The inflammation of the internal lining of the colon is called colitis. Colitis is one of the factors for excessive mucus production and expelling mucus with poop. The inflammation of the colon can be due to several reasons. Inflammation of the colon results in the pooling of different types of healing cells in the internal lignin of the colon.
Furthermore, you can also see blood pooling in the internal lining of the colon. All these factors increase the irritation and result in excessive secretion of mucus. That is why dogs with colitis have mucus in their poop. Colitis is the most common cause of mucus in dog poop. Colitis does not stop at mucus in poop; it can also cause blood in poop when it becomes severe.
Colitis can be severe if the internal wall of the colon is eroded and wounds occur. An irritation that results in damage to the internal lining causes intestinal wounds. These wounds stimulate inflammation in the intestine. The inflammation of the colon because of wounds results in excess mucus and blood in poop.
The colon is the terminal part of the intestine. Normally blood in poop does not appear red because it has been treated with intestinal contents and gets dark brown. However, when the wound releasing blood is near or inside the anus, blood coming out of the body appears red. It is, therefore, important to note that blood in poop does not always appear red.
What are the causes of mucus in dog poop?
As mentioned earlier, anything irritating inside the internal lining of the gastrointestinal tract can result in excess mucus production. Inflammation is also a result of irritation caused by many factors.
The factors that cause inflammation in the colon are very simple to understand. They can be summarized in the following categories.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Infections in the gastrointestinal tract can be of the following types.
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Parasitic infection
The factors that cause colitis are very easy to control. Your veterinarian can change your dog’s diet and advise temporary fasting or medication. A change in diet is a very effective remedy, along with temporary fasting.
Some diets are irritating for the internal lining of the gastrointestinal tract, while others are not irritating. Temporary fasting can help heal the wounds that are causing the release of blood. Both strategies applied simultaneously can speed up the recovery.
In addition, medication can help avoid the cause of inflammation. Mostly, the medications prescribed for colitis are antibiotics to treat the infection. Colitis does not concern a lot because it is very treatable.
When Does Mucus in Your Dog’s Stool Require a Vet Visit?
You are a pet parent, and the most important of all your tasks is to understand when you need to visit a veterinarian. As a pet parent, you are fully aware of your dog’s behavior, routine, and health status. Your keen observation and knowledge of the above factors can help you decide when to visit your veterinarian.
Let me add some more information regarding your dog’s health status. Your dog’s health status is very apparent. Even looking at your dog can tell whether your dog is healthy or sick. The most important of all the factors is the brightness/shining of the eyes. The shine in the eyes decreases whenever your dog suffers from a disease.
Furthermore, the hairy coat of your dog is also a determining factor for health status. If your dog’s coat is smooth and shiny, your dog is all right. If your dog’s coat is rough and dull or has patches of hair loss, he is not alright. Both these factors, including some others, can help you figure out whether something is bothering your dog. Other factors that you can observe to make your decision are the following.
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
These four conditions are closely associated with mucus in dog poop. Mucus in dog poop means something is wrong in the digestive tract. When the digestive tract is compromised, all the normal functions also get compromised. The first expression of a compromised digestive tract is poor appetite. Your dog may lose interest in food and doesn’t eat much.
Furthermore, vomiting can occur as another expression of a compromised digestive system. Whatever your dog eats is eliminated and does not get the opportunity to be digested and absorbed. Diarrhea is almost the same as vomiting. Digested food, along with water and electrolytes, is eliminated.
All these factors result in weight loss because the body’s nutritional requirements are fulfilled. Weight loss is the reason to take your dog to the vet.
How do diagnostics work?
Finding the underlying conditions of mucus in poop can help in treatment. If you don’t know the cause of mucus in the dog, you can do nothing to ease your dog. This is the reason why diagnosis is the most important. Your veterinarian can apply different ways to diagnose the exact cause of mucus in dog poop.
These methods, most importantly, include different diagnostic tests. The diagnostic tests are complemented with a complete history and physical examination of your dog. History relates to the physical signs and symptoms, and tests confirm the cause of these symptoms.
These three factors are interlinked, and they must be followed. Your veterinarian knows the importance of diagnosis, which is why he will perform all these steps to come to a diagnosis. The individual diagnostic tests or combinations of tests involved in this condition are as follows.
- Fecal examinations
- Urine analysis
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Abdominal x-ray
- Biopsy of the intestinal tract
These tests are more than enough to determine the cause of any irregularity in the digestive tract. The underlying condition that causes mucus in dog poop can be any of the following.
- Intestinal infection
- Dietary indiscretion
- Change in diet or adverse food reaction
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory disorders
- Acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome
What causes mucus in dog poop, and how can you counter them?
The evaluation result from history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests can lead your veterinarian to the actual cause of the problem. Let’s try to understand these causes in detail. Once understood, these conditions will be easy to counter.
Intestinal infection is the most common condition that almost every dog faces occasionally. Microorganisms that cause infection are present all around us. They are present on floors, surfaces, furniture, utensils, etc.
Furthermore, they are present on your dog’s body and inside the body. The point is that no one can escape from these microorganisms. The only thing that can be done is to strengthen our defense to counter infections. You can do several things to avoid the attack of microorganisms.
Your furry friend is always in close contact with microorganisms. He goes in and out of the house, plays with other pets, and explores new things. What you can do is to keep everything clean and disinfected as much as possible.
Furthermore, you can keep the inside of your dog’s body full of good microorganisms. Healthy food and probiotics can maintain the growth of good microorganisms inside the body. Besides this, the body’s immune system is the most important defense against microorganisms.
It would be best to do everything to keep your dog’s immune system optimum. It includes providing him with a comfortable environment, good quality food, and a healthy relationship with your dog.
If your dog gets infected with bacteria, virus, or a fungus despite all the care, you do not need to worry. Your dog can be returned to his original health status with the help of supportive care and medication. Supportive care includes all the things that I mentioned.
Parasites are the second most common cause of digestive problems. Parasites are the organisms that live on/in your dog, get food and shelter, and in return, harm your dog. Different types of parasites live in dogs. Most common of all are whipworms, tapeworms, and giardia.
Other than that, some less common parasites can also cause mucus in dog poop. You don’t need to know about them because the treatment for those parasites is the same. The favorite place of stay for parasites is the digestive tract.
Living inside the digestive tract, parasites can accomplish both functions very easily. They can get shelter and an abundance of food inside the digestive tract.
Parasites live on the nutrition that is meant for your dog. That is why weight loss is the most common sign of a parasitic infection. Parasites enter and leave the body through the digestive tract. They enter via mouth along with food or because of licking objects.
They spend a part of their life inside the body, getting nutrition from the body and leaving the body along with feces. That is why parasites can be detected in stool. Parasites are not a big deal to counter.
Deworming plans are available that can keep your dog out of the access of parasites. One thing you mustn’t miss is the regular visits to your veterinarian for deworming.
The human body and the animal body are habitual of everything. Even the digestive system gets adjusted to or habitual of the food that comes regularly. Every organ can be adjusted according to the surrounding factors.
When your dog eats the same type of food regularly, the digestive system and secretions get accustomed to that food. Even the functions of the digestive system get accustomed to the time of day.
The same type of food causes the release of the same secretions. That is why feeding your dog the same type of food is always recommended. And if you want to change your dog’s diet, it is not advised to change it immediately.
It happens to dogs that when they eat something unusual, it disrupts the functionality of the digestive tract. Your dog is not adjusted to the new type of food. New food or something unusual irritates the digestive tract.
The irritation can lead to excessive production and secretion of mucus. If it is due to a change in the diet, it may resolve after some time. However, if it is a severe condition, it may require veterinary care and treatment.
Your dog may experience vomiting or diarrhea due to the irritation. The medication to cure this condition includes drugs to control vomiting, diarrhea, infection, and supportive care.
Change in Diet/Adverse Food Reaction
As a pet parent, you may have been in a situation where you had to change your furry friend’s diet. Sometimes, a certain brand becomes no longer available in your locality. At other times, you travel to where you can’t find the food brand your dog is used to eating.
Your veterinarian may change the food brand due to medical reasons. All these factors can compel you to change your dog’s food. Changing your dog’s food is not a problem. There is no harm in changing your dog’s food but in the way of changing.
An abrupt change in your dog’s food can be problematic. If you abruptly change your dog’s food, the body doesn’t respond comfortably. New food irritates the digestive tract and results in excessive production of mucus.
If your dog is experiencing the problem of abrupt change in the diet, you can make some amends to comfort your dog. First, you need to return to the original food and then slowly make your dog habitual of the new food.
The better way to make your dog adjusted is to mix new food with the previous slowly. Then, increase the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old food. Your dog’s digestive tract will adjust to the new food, and the problem will be solved.
However, in some cases, the cause of excessive mucus production due to a new food can be a food allergy or intolerance to the new food. In that case, you need to stop giving the new food altogether. Additionally, your veterinarian may shift your dog to a therapeutic diet. Veterinarians usually prescribe hypoallergic dog food in this situation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a combination of different conditions of the digestive system. The exact cause of these conditions is not known; however, stress is considered to be a major associated factor. The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is known, so the treatment plan involves relief from symptoms.
The line of treatment involves relief from stress, which is its major contributing factor. Furthermore, dietary changes and medications are also prescribed to lower the symptoms. As the symptoms become less severe, the body’s natural healing mechanism gets in place and starts the cure.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that prevails for long. Dogs suffer a lot from this disease. Inflammatory bowel disease can also cause mucus in the blood. However, being a chronic disease, it devastates your dog.
Weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea are its major symptoms. Its treatment includes dietary changes and immunosuppressive medications. The major target of treatment is to reduce the impact of symptoms. Inflammatory bowel disease requires prolonged treatment.
Cancer is the uncontrolled cell division. The development of cancer in the digestive tract causes excessive secretion of mucus. You may find excessive mucus production as nothing compared to the impacts of cancer. Cancer treatment includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or palliative treatment.
Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS)
When the dog’s digestive tract develops hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, and the reason behind this is known, it is called AHDS. Excessive mucus production can also be found in this condition. The treatment of AHDS is supportive and includes fluid therapy, antibiotics, and anti-nausea drugs.
How To Treat Excessive Mucus In Dog Poop?
Excessive mucus in dog poop can be treated by treating the underlying cause. The treatment plan mainly includes the therapy of underlying causes and supportive care. Sometimes, the veterinarian may suggest changing the diet, starting probiotics, or prescribe worming medication or antibiotics.
Although the treatment cost may not be very high, make sure you get the best insurance for your pet that covers all treatment costs.
There are some scenarios in which you don’t need to visit a veterinarian in case of mucus in dog poop. Suppose your dog has expelled some excess mucus against his routine but is otherwise fine. Your dog eats well, has no diarrhea, and is happy and active. Your dog will do better next time.
Following are some possible remedies that you can try if you notice excessive mucus in dog stool.
It is very likely you will notice some variation when changing your dog’s diet. Other than just mucus, your dog will also express other distress symptoms. In this case, you can treat your dog at home by limiting the new food and slowly increasing its quantity.
Read More how you can improve your dog’s diet.
A probiotic supplement is sometimes enough for excessive mucus in dog poop. Remember that your dog must be fine otherwise, except there is mucus in poop. There are specially designed probiotics available for your dog. You can ask your veterinarian about that.
How to Prevent Mucus in a Dog’s Stool?
Mostly, the common mucus causes in dog poop are microbial infection or parasitic infestation. These factors can be prevented by providing good hygiene and regular worming medication. Annual fecal examinations are also essential.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When should I worry about mucus in my dog’s stool?
You need to be cautious in two situations. One is when your dog expels excessive mucus that is abnormal compared to his daily routine. The second one is when your dog expels mucus more frequently. In an alarming situation, your dog looks ill.
What does mucus diarrhea mean?
Mucus diarrhea means expelling excessive mucus, not accompanying stool, when your dog has diarrhea. In this case, you only observe one obvious thing, i.e., mucus but not poop.
Why is my dog’s poop like yellow jelly?
When the internal lining of the intestinal wall is irritated, it causes more mucus production. The extensive covering of mucus on poop makes it like a yellow jelly. The yellow color develops from the bile excreted from the liver.
What does mucus in stool look like?
The mucus covering the dog poop looks like yellow-colored jelly. The mucus expelled from the body may look like white, yellow-brown, or tinged blood.
Mucus in dog poop, once in a while, is nothing to worry about. However, if you observe excessive mucus coming regularly from the body, it is a sign of concern. In this case, you need to see the veterinarian immediately. However, in mild cases, you can offer home remedies to your furry friend.