Seeing something as unusual as tiny white specks in your dog’s poop is not only enough to turn your stomach, but also concerning. Anything that is unexpectedly seen in your dog’s poop needs to be checked. I’ve gone through this recently, after we saw tiny white speck in our dog’s poop that weren’t moving.
I didn’t think it was worms. My dog hadn’t eaten rice or anything similar. So, I was completely baffled by it, until I spoke to a vet. I asked her what the white specks in my dog’s poop were and here’s what she told me.
Why are there white specks in my dog’s poop? Tiny white specks in dog poop that are not moving and not worms, could be bone traces or rice from food. Alternatively, it could be from medication, or fly eggs that have been laid if the poop is left exposed.
If the white specks in your dog’s poop are moving, then that should be cause for concern, as it’s possible a parasitic or worm problem.
Here’s more detail that explains what you should be checking for, and how to figure out what the tiny white specks in your dog poop could be – sometimes they are described as white dots or white seeds.
Checking your dog’s poop for tiny white specks or dots
You should always make sure to keep an eye on your dog’s poop. Although it isn’t the nicest topic to talk about, your dog’s feces will say a lot about its current state of health.
For example, different types of stools can indicate whether your dog is unwell or lacking certain nutrients in its diet.
Alongside this, it is not uncommon to find tiny white specks or white spots in a dog’s poop from time to time. This can be quite alarming for owners who have never noticed this before, but is it something you should be concerned about?
Handy Hint: This isn’t the only gruesome looking thing you might find in your dog’s poop. Seeing what looks like tiny slugs is also enough to make you retch.
What to do if you see white specks in a dog’s poop (not worms)
The first action you should take if you find white spots in your dog’s poop is to try and identify what they are. Although this may be unpleasant, you should get as close as you can to the poop and observe it for 30 seconds or more.
As gross as this sounds, it may help to use a disposable tool to push the poop around, looking for any signs of movement from the white specks or spots.
It is worth noting that you should do this several times with multiple poops, to get a clear picture of what is happening in their stools.
If the white specks in your dog’s poop don’t move, then this will typically mean it is nothing to be worried about. Non-moving tiny white specks in dog poop are usually treatable and not something that will cause your dog harm, as we will explain later.
However, if you do notice movement then you should take your dog to a vet as soon as you can. Moving white specks in your dog’s poop could be a sign of a more serious ailment or infection – and it could actually be worms!
Handy Hint: If you see black specks or small black bugs in your dog’s poop then that’s something completely different!
What are the white specks in my dog poop that are not moving?
There are a number of possibilities for what the tiny white dots are. These include some of the following:
1. Traces of bone from dog food
Dog food can often contain small white traces of bones that your dog has not been able to properly digest. This is often the main reason for the non-moving white flecks or spots in a dog’s poop and is pretty common.
Furthermore, many owners will be horrified to hear that even the best quality dog foods will contain small pieces of bone, no matter how expensive the brand is. Fortunately, this is not something to worry about too much, as it poses no risk to your dog’s health.
Expanding on this, it is almost impossible to find a brand of dog food that does not contain traces of bone or tissue. Instead, if you find that this bothers you, choosing dog foods that are non-meat-based may be a solution.
For example, vegan-based dog foods are beginning to become more popular and can be found in many dog or pet stores around the country.
However, it is worth testing if a vegan diet such as this suits your dog, as there is an ongoing debate whether a solely vegan or plant-based diet is healthy for canines.
Handy Hint: Be careful when handling dog poop as humans can catch worms from dogs.
2. Food remnants such as after eating rice or grain
Non-moving white specks in dog poop can also be caused by different types of food that your dog might have trouble digesting. Grains and rice are usually the main culprits, as are foods that are intended for humans.
Anything your dog picks up whilst rummaging around in the yard or other areas can potentially show up as white specks or spots. Because of this, it pays dividends to keep an eye on what they are eating whilst they are outside.
3. Medication capsules that haven’t digested
Additionally, if your dog is taking medication in the form of pills, the casings may not always completely break down in their digestive system. This can also cause tiny white dots that can look like rice.
It is very common, especially in older dogs. If your dog previously showed no signs of white specks in waste before it started taking its medication, it is likely this is what is happening.
However, it never hurts to confirm your suspicions with a vet if you are unsure, as this can rule out the chance that the white specks are being caused by something more sinister.
4. Fly eggs that have been laid on the feces after pooping
If you have only just noticed tiny white specks when your dog’s poop has been left outside for a while, flies might have laid eggs in it.
Thankfully, this has nothing to do with your dog’s health, but it is problematic for other reasons. For example, even after your dog’s stool has decomposed, fly larvae and eggs could still be present and contaminating your yard or garden.
Additionally, with this contamination comes the risk of infections, which can be spread to both dogs and humans.
If you want to reduce the risk of this happening, you should always pick up your dog’s poop as soon as you can. Not only does dog poop carry infections, but it can also harm the environment and damage grass and plants – it can take a long time to decompose after all.
Also, wild animals can be at risk of picking up diseases, and such these can easily be spread throughout the local wildlife population.
Additionally, any pets who live in the neighborhood could be at risk as well.
Handy Hint: Dogs eat the strangest of things. Here’s what to do if you find human hair in your dog’s poop.
How do I tell if my dog has tapeworms?
Tapeworms are the worst potential cause for tiny white specks in your dog’s poop. These nasty parasites will attach themselves to the wall of your dog’s intestines and can cause them to become ill if left untreated for too long.
Thankfully, most cases are not severe but should be treated as soon as possible.
In terms of appearance, tapeworms closely resemble shoelaces, ribbon, or pieces of string. Their length can vary significantly, with some as small as 2 inches and others as large as 98 meters (the biggest are found in whales and other large animals).
Tapeworms feed by absorbing nutrients from their host’s intestines, their unique bodies granting them protection from immune reactions and digestive acids.
To make matters worse, after some time has passed, tapeworms will begin to mature into adults and will start laying eggs within your dog. These eggs will be expelled when your dog poops and will closely resemble grains of rice or white seeds when present in their stools.
However, unlike undigested food, these eggs will sometimes move, being visible to the naked eye. Despite this, you should not immediately relax if they show no movement – sometimes it will take multiple observations before you see anything.
If you notice potential signs of tapeworms in your dog’s poop or around its anus, you should take a fresh sample of their stool to your veterinarian for analysis. Thankfully, tapeworms are easily identified as their eggs are much larger than other parasites.
Did You Know? Almost all puppies are born with worms? The worms can even be passed to them via their mother’s milk after being born.
However, it may take several tests before your dog is positively diagnosed with tapeworms. This often happens if the tapeworm eggs stay attached to the body of the worm, instead of detaching themselves into your dog’s poop. Thus, resulting in a negative test.
In terms of getting rid of the parasites, deworming treatments can often work well. However, there is the risk that they will not destroy the parasite completely, leaving the head intact.
Tapeworm heads can cling to the lining of your dog’s intestines and potentially regenerate, effectively beginning the tapeworm infection again.
Because to this, you should always ask your vet what the best deworming treatment for your dog is. Tapeworms can come in different varieties and types and will often need the correct treatment to eliminate them.
Handy Hint: If you’ve ever wondered what makes dogs like to kick grass up after they do a poop, then wonder no more. I’ve done the hard work for you and figured it all out.
How are tapeworms spread?
You will be happy to know that your dog cannot become infected by eating fertilized tapeworms’ eggs that could be present in poop. Instead, they must pass through a living host before they can infect dogs.
When tapeworm eggs are released into the environment (usually through pooping), they must first be consumed by flea larvae, an immature form of the flea. As the larval flea continues to develop into an adult flea, the tapeworm eggs will develop alongside them.
If your dog has fleas, they can be at risk of accidentally eating them, potentially causing a tapeworm infection.
This happens more often than owners think and can be in response to grooming or a flea actively biting them. Your dog can also become infected by eating other animal hosts, such as birds, rodents, and rats.
Therefore, if you own a dog who has a lot of freedom to explore, you should get them treated for flea prevention as soon as you can.
A lot of the time there will be a perfectly sensible explanation for white dots in your dog’s poop… and not all of them will be reason to panic.
But, as with anything like this, it pays to get a professional opinion from your vet, so always call them if you’re unsure.
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