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Yellow, Green, or White Mucus in Dog Poop: What Mucus Colors Can Tell You

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header image showing various mucus colors

Occasionally in practice, I’d encounter a dog with colored mucus in the poop. In treating the various cases, I learned the value of evaluating the color of the mucus and stool color and consistency as part of my diagnostic approach. In this article, we’ll discuss why you might see mucus in your dog’s poop and the different types that exist. Then, we’ll explain when you should visit the vet and when you don’t need to be concerned.

Why is there mucus in my dog’s poop?

Cells in the large intestine normally secrete a layer of mucus to protect the bowel and help lubricate feces as they pass through the digestive tract. Sometimes, you may notice a thin layer of jelly-like slime over your dog’s stool, but it’s usually not detectable. Usually, mucus is translucent or whitish, but it may have other colors for reasons that we will describe later.

When your dog has noticeable amounts of mucus, it usually means something is irritating the cells in the colon and causing them to secrete excess mucus. Reasons include:

  • Prolonged exercise such as sled races
  • Sudden changes in diet
  • Stress
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Bacterial infection
  • Parasites

What do different colors of mucus in my dog’s poop mean?

The color of mucus in your dog’s poop can help you determine what’s causing it. 

Yellow mucus

bright yellow dog poop with mucus

When your dog’s stool has yellow mucus, it usually means there’s some digestive upset and inflammation in the large intestine that may be caused by:

  • Bacterial infection 
  • Liver problems/jaundice
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Food allergies/intolerance
  • Cancer

Unless there are other symptoms such as blood in the stool, vomiting, or abdominal pain, you probably don’t have to panic about yellow mucus. Many times, the symptoms will resolve in a few days. Monitor your pup and try feeding a bland diet to help the gut recover. 

If the symptoms don’t improve in about 48 hours, contact your vet. The doctor can examine your pooch and run diagnostic tests. Depending on his findings, treatment may include

  • Antibiotics to treat bacterial infections
  • Anthelmintic drugs to eliminate parasites
  • Antiinflammatory medications
  • Hypoallergenic diets
  • Immunosuppressive drugs

Green mucus

green dog poop

Green-colored mucus in dog poop may indicate 

  • Gastroenteritis 
  • Parasites 
  • Malabsorption
  • Toxins such as rat poison

When you see green feces or mucus, you can usually monitor your pup for a few days to see if it resolves. You may be able to supplement your pup’s food with probiotics to help the gut recover.

However, if your pup is vomiting, lethargic, or refusing food, you should head to the vet right away. Bring a stool sample if possible. After examining your pup and running diagnostic tests your vet will provide treatment based on his findings.

  • Supportive care including IV fluids and antiinflammatories if indicated
  • Anthelmintic medications
  • Antibiotics to treat infections that cause malabsorption
  • Vitamin K to treat anticoagulant toxins
  • IV fluids

Learn more about green dog poop.

White mucus

white mucus in dog's stools

White is the most common color for dog poop mucus. When your pup has a thick whitish slime on his feces, it usually points to inflammation in the bowel which may be caused by:

  • Stress
  • Food intolerance
  • Bacterial infection
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Medications or food that turn the mucus white

Copious white mucus usually points to gut irritation. Dogs will often recover spontaneously in a few days. Meanwhile, monitor your pooch and consider feeding a bland diet to help soothe the gut. If your household schedule is hectic, find ways to establish a routine for your furbaby’s sanity.

If prolonged diarrhea or vomiting accompanies the mucus, take your dog to the vet for care and bring a stool sample with you. The doctor will examine your dog and his feces then treat him accordingly. Measures may include IV fluids, antibiotics, anthelmintics, and dietary modifications. Learn more about white dog poop.

Grey or tan mucus

Dog stools with mucus on ground floor

If the stool and mucus have a tan or grayish color, it may point to a problem with the pancreas. such as 

  • Diabetes 
  • Pancreatic insufficiency 
  • Pancreatitis. 

When dogs have pancreas problems, they usually have soft, greasy stools. Because issues with the pancreas can seriously affect insulin and digestion, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian when you see greasy stools with gray or tan mucus. If your pooch is vomiting or has a swollen, painful abdomen, take him to the emergency clinic. 

Acute pancreatitis is a life-threatening emergency, but mild cases usually recover with early treatment. Depending on the underlying pancreatic issue, treatment may include:

  • IV fluids
  • Fasting followed by a low-fat diet
  • Enzyme supplementation for pancreatic insufficiency
  • Insulin injections for diabetes

Red or bloody mucus

bloddy diarrhea

Bright red or bloody mucus indicates there’s inflammation and bleeding in the large intestine(colitis). Normal causes of colitis include:

Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.

  • Dietary indiscretions
  • Bacterial infections
  • Intestinal parasites

If your pooch has red mucus in the stool with no other symptoms, you may be able to treat him at home by switching to a bland diet to rest the gut and supplementing with probiotics. If the symptoms persist beyond a few days or your dog is vomiting, set up an appointment with your veterinarian to identify the cause of the bleeding. 

Once your veterinarian examines your pooch, he will recommend treatments based on his findings. Therapy may include antibiotics, anthelmintics, or dietary management. Dogs usually recover with prompt care. Learn more about blood and mucus in dog’s stools or diarrhea.

It’s not just about the color

While the color of the mucus in your dog’s poop can help with diagnosis, it’s not the only factor to check. The consistency and frequency of mucus also provide valuable information. 

  • Slimy or jelly-like mucus points to irritation of the intestinal lining.
  • Chunks of mucus may mean the intestinal lining isn’t secreting enough mucus to provide a protective layer.
  • Sticky mucus may suggest dehydration. You should visit your vet if the poop has a sticky film.
  • Infrequent mucus or small amounts of slime can be normal. If there are no other signs, don’t be too concerned.

When is mucus a reason to see the vet?

You should schedule an appointment with your vet in the next week or so if your dog has frequent mucus in poop with or without softer stools as long as there aren’t other symptoms. However, if the following symptoms accompany the mucus, get to the vet in the next few days.

  • Frequent mucus in stools with bright red blood or completely liquid diarrhea
  • Occasional vomiting
  • Frequent defecation
  • Straining when defecating
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased energy

More severe symptoms as listed below indicate a possible emergency. Take your dog to the clinic immediately:

 Lethargy or depression

  • Black or dark red stools that may be tarry
  • Pale gums
  • Difficulty breathing, heaving, or panting
  • Severe and frequent vomiting, unable to keep food or water down
  • Pain or bloating in the abdomen
  • Fever

When is a little mucus in your dog’s poop ok?

A little mucus in your dog’s poop is ok when:

  • It’s infrequent
  • It’s clear or pale white
  • It resolves in a day or tow
  • Your dog is still eating, drinking, and acting normally

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  • Dr. Liz Guise, Veterinarian

    Dr. Liz (Elizabeth) Guise graduated from the University of Minnesota with a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM). She worked as a veterinarian for two years before working for the US Department of Agriculture for 13 years.

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