Vets are used to dealing with all kinds of poo, but white poop is one of the rarest! It’s quite unusual for poo to be very pale or white, but there are a few different things that can cause your puppy’s poo to be white.
Top Causes of White Poops with Puppies
Dogs (and puppies!) fed a diet too high in calcium – usually from bones – can produce white, chalky looking poo. This is mainly seen in dogs fed a raw diet containing a lot of bones. While bones can certainly provide great nutrients, feeding them poses risks including damage to the gut or even perforation due to splintered bones, or obstruction if the bones are too large when swallowed.
If your pup is young, feeding a diet supplemented with too many bones may also fail to provide the right balance of nutrients – the ratio of different minerals like calcium and phosphorus is critical to your puppy’s bone development and health. While more calcium might seem good, that’s not always the case.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s diet we recommend speaking to your vet – but if in doubt, a puppy food that’s been formulated for growing dogs is the safest option.
If you’re noticing little bits of white material, like grains of rice, in your puppy’s poo, you might be looking at tapeworm segments. These parasites live in the gut and shed into your dog’s feces to infect other dogs – and humans! In severe cases, you may notice weight loss and other systemic signs as the tapeworms prevent your puppy absorbing nutrients. It’s important to practice good hygiene and keep your puppy up to date on their worming treatments – a wormer every 3-6 months. Learn more about tapeworms in puppy’s poop.
Read more about worms in puppy’s poop or tapeworms in puppy’s poop.
3. Liver or pancreatic issues
Though we don’t usually think of young dogs being affected by these conditions, there are several types of liver and pancreatic disease that can cause white poo in young dogs.
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One of these is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI). Affected dogs fail to produce enough pancreatic digestive enzymes, leading to poor nutrient absorption with weight loss, diarrhea and other symptoms, including pale, clay colored poo.
Another condition that can cause white poo is a lack of bile. Bile is a dark yellow pigment produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. It’s essential for digestion. Dogs may lack bile pigments in their poo if they are suffering from severe liver disease or a blockage of their bile ducts. These are serious medical issues and your dog would be likely to have a range of other symptoms too. If you’re worried, it’s always best to speak to your vet.
4. Barium swallow
If your puppy has had gastrointestinal issues, your vet may have recommended a barium swallow. Barium is a thick white liquid that can be fed to your puppy just before taking x-rays to provide better images of the gut. It’s non-toxic and passes straight through – so for the next couple of days, you may notice white poo. This is nothing to worry about if your dog has just had this procedure.
When is white poop in a puppy not a reason for concern?
If your puppy’s poo is not fully white and instead simply has a white mucus layer covering it, this is a common symptom of colitis. If your dog is otherwise well and has only had 1-2 days of mild diarrhea, this isn’t usually something to worry about, unless your puppy is very young. If the diarrhea is more severe or there are any other symptoms, ring your vet for advice.
What to do if your puppy just pooped white!
If you think the white poo might be due to parasites, try using a puppy-safe wormer. Speak to your vet if you’re not sure which one to use.
If you think it might be diet related, try phasing out bones and transitioning to a balanced diet formulated for puppies or young dogs.
If your puppy is showing other symptoms or signs of illness, or if you’re worried for any reason, speak to your vet or read more about white poo in dogs.
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