Your pet's feces may not be the most glamorous thing to talk about, they deserve a lot more credit than you might think.
Besides being a vehicle for eliminating waste from the body, pet poop holds a lot of information that can help you as well as our doctors at Highway Veterinary Hospital.
What Pet Poop Can Reveal
Some people are a little taken aback by our insistence on bringing a fecal sample to your pet's examinations and all the questions that we may ask about your pet's bowel movements. Of course, though, it is for good reason!
A lot of information is to be gained by understanding and examining feces. Insight into these things can help us to diagnose things like:
- Changes in the gut microbiome
- Disturbances in gastrointestinal motility
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Food allergies
- Intestinal parasites
- Liver and gallbladder disease
- Ulcers and other causes of bleeding
- Viral infections
While oftentimes additional diagnostic testing is required to fully diagnose these types of problems, changes in the stools are often one of our first signs of trouble. Alterations from normal should tip you off that something is wrong and prompt you to make an appointment to come and see us.
Attention to Detail
It's important to know what is normal for your pet. While there may be some day-to-day iterations within the realm of reasonable, pet poop should be:
Brown color of uniform makeup
Free of foreign objects or coatings
Of formed but moldable consistency
Most pets should have between one and three bowel movements daily with no straining or urgency
While an off stool here or there is usually no cause for alarm, persistent changes in the frequency, volume, urgency, or physical characteristics of pet poop should prompt a visit to see us.
When your pet is having problems, we may recommend a microscopic fecal examination to rule out things like intestinal parasites. It is recommended to screen for these during your pet's wellness visits as well.
Feces are an excellent (and free!) indicator of your pet's overall health and digestive function. Notable deviations from normal are always cause for concern. Paying attention to this vital information can give you a head start in diagnosing problems early in their course and helping your pet more effectively.
Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have regarding your pet's health or to schedule an appointment.