This article was updated on May 5th, 2023
One common question that dog owners ask vets is: Why does my dog’s stools have a shiny, slimy, jelly-like material on it? Well, that material is actually mucus. Mucus exists in different parts of the body, and in the gastrointestinal tract, mucus has an extremely important role for gut health.
In this article, we will review several pictures of mucus in dog’s stools. Our hope is that it helps you understand what may be going on, if you have recently seen mucus in your dog’s stools. Naturally, you should always consult with your veterinarian to ensure correct testing, diagnosis and treatment.
Example picture 1: White mucus
This sort of mucus can be compared to slim or snot, and may coat the outside of the stool, giving it a glossy appearance. It is often accompanied with loose or unformed stool.
Potential causes for this color mucus include colitis (gut inflammation), food allergies, or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Unfortunately, mucus in the stool is not a very specific sign and simply tells us that the lower gut is inflamed; but not why!
It can help to offer your dog a bland diet of chicken and rice, to settle the gut. It is also a good idea to start them on a probiotic anti-diarrhea paste.
Example picture 2: red or bloody mucus
Red is often present with a large amount of mucus, as seen on the pictures below.
This often means that there is inflammation in the large intestine, due to reasons from stress to dietary indiscretion to parasitic or bacterial infections. A veterinary visit is recommended in this case. Fresh red blood originates in the lower gut (colon), while black or tarry blood is from the stomach or small intestine. The blood turns a black color due to the blood being digested.
The presence of blood is a concern and warrants an urgent vet visit. In young puppies, particularly those who have not yet been vaccinated and de-wormed, this could be a sign of Parvovirus or hookworm. Learn more about Blood & mucus in dog’s poop.
Example picture 3: yellow or white mucus
Yellow mucus in dog’s poop can result from changes in digestion due to liver problems. If ongoing and with other symptoms, discuss with your veterinarian. When the mucus is yellow and the stool is yellow or white, we need to be looking at the liver or gallbladder as potential causes.
If the dog does have liver disease, we may notice other signs such as nausea, weight loss and jaundice. This is something we should see the vet about right away, and they can get to the bottom of the issue by running some diagnostic tests such as a liver function blood test and an abdominal scan.
Remember that the appearance of your dog’s stools is only one factor that your veterinarian may take into consideration. While these pictures of mucus may help you understand what might be going on with your dog, it is important to discuss your particular situation with your veterinarian. Learn more about mucus in a dog’ stools.
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