What is Pooping Green?
An old adage says, “What goes in, must come out.” As surely as your dog eats, he will need to poop. While pet parents may take joy in walking their dogs (it does serve as a bonding experience), most people don’t actively study their dog’s stool. However, solid waste can tell you as the owner if there is something off with your dog’s gastrointestinal system. Several conditions can cause your dog to have a green-colored stool:
- Parasite infestation
- Something he ate
- Rat-bait poisoning
- Intestinal disorders
It should also be said here that puppies will have color variations in their stool as a general rule. If your puppy experiences this and he is up-to-date on vaccinations and deworming, then you likely don’t have anything to worry about if his stool is oddly colored.
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Why Pooping Green Occurs in Dogs
If parasites are present in your dog’s intestinal tract, he may have green-colored poop. It will have a slimy consistency as well. You should look for signs of constipation or straining; be prepared to document this so you can share with your vet. Giardia is a parasite that will cause your dog’s stool to be soft; in giardia, no mucus or blood will be present. Giardia can be passed between humans and dogs, so extra caution will need to be taken if you suspect giardia.
Something He Ate
While this sounds obvious, if your dog is eating a large amount of grass, his waste could come out looking green. Most of the time eating grass is harmless, but sometimes your dog is eating grass as a sign that something else is wrong. One cause for concern is pica – eating things that aren’t normally food, such as grass. Often this is not a problem; however, some dogs are eating grass because there is something nutritionally that is missing. Switching to a high-fiber dog food can help to alleviate pica. Special care should be taken that your dog does not eat grass that has been treated with herbicides or pesticides.
If you believe your pet has ingested rat poisoning, take him to the vet immediately. While a dog that has eaten rat bait may seem fine at first, the rat bait will take a toll on your dog’s health over time. Often, commercial rat poisons work to stop the rat’s blood from clotting, and this will soon take place in your dog’s body as well. Owners report not seeing any problems in their dogs for days or weeks after the initial ingestion. Once your dog’s reserve of clotting factor is gone, he will start to bruise easily and possibly bleeding internally. If this begins, without clotting factor, your dog may die. If you believe your dog has ingested rat poison, take the box of rat poison so that your vet can tailor just the right treatment for your dog. The antidote might be as simple as Vitamin K.
A number of intestinal disorders can cause your pup’s stool to become green: change in diet, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, idiopathic hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, colitis, indiscriminate eating, tumors, intestinal obstruction, viral infections, irritable bowel syndrome, or polyps. Each of these should be treated by your vet.
What to do if your Dog is Pooping Green
If you notice a green stool in combination with eating a lot of grass, try switching your dog to a high-fiber food. One study found that a dog ate grass consistently for a number of years; once her owner switched her diet, she no longer desired grass. If you notice your dog straining or suffering from constipation and you know it has been some time since your dog has been dewormed, a trip to the vet for a fecal stool exam is in order. Green stool with no other obvious cause should still be evaluated by your vet to rule out any serious gastrointestinal issues.
Prevention of Pooping Green
Always be cautious when putting rat bait anywhere on your property. Often curious dogs will eat a block of poison just because the block is there. Intestinal parasites can be prevented by making sure that your dog does not eat other dog’s poop. Dogs that practice pica may be bored; if so, take some time to give your dog a little more exercise.
Cost of Pooping Green
Treating intestinal parasites in your dog can range from less than $200 to $300; the national average to treat intestinal parasites is $300. Rodenticide poisoning is very serious and the expense to eliminate the toxin and restore your pet to health may rise as high as $7500.