While picking up your pooch’s poop isn’t your favorite part of being a pet parent, what comes out of your bulldog’s business end can tell you more about her health than she can tell you herself. That’s why it’s just as important to pay attention to what comes out of your dog as it is to pay attention to what goes in.
My Dog’s Poop Looks Like It Has Birdseed In It.
Whether you’re doing your weekly doggy detail, or you’re strolling casually through the park, when you bend down to pick up after your dog, you have an idea of what you’ll find. However, what if your dog’s poop looks soft and seedy? What if your dog’s poop looks like it has sesame seeds in it? What if your dog’s poop looks like birdseed? If you’ve encountered seedy-looking stools, you have good cause for concern.
Seedy stools can be caused by a number of conditions, including eating actual birdseed, maldigestion of certain foods, parasites, and liver disease. Because some causes of seedy dog poop can require urgent veterinary care, it is essential not to ignore it. Pay attention to the texture, color, quantity, and if there are any changes in your dog’s diet or behavior.
Causes For Dog Poop That Looks Like Birdseed.
As stated above, there are a number of reasons your dog’s poop looks like birdseed. Let’s take a closer look at this problem and its most common causes.
Unguarded bird feeders and free-cast birdseed.
While it sounds strange that a dog might find interest in your birdfeeder or free-cast birdseed, it makes sense when you understand that it’s not necessarily the seed your dog is interested in. Dogs may not be big into seeds, but they are huge into poop, and bird poop is probably the real attraction to bird feeders and free-cast seeds. Also, if you add suet to your bird feed, there will be the added draw of raw fat. Fencing off below your birdfeeder and eliminating suet from free-cast seed will help deter your dog from eating your birdseed.
Dogs may be omnivorous scavengers by nature, but centuries of domestication and breeding have sensitized the digestion of many dogs. While some may be ok eating new and exciting things, most do better with a specific diet. If you’re starting your dog on a new diet, perhaps one of home-cooked or raw foods, avoid grains. Grains are not easily digested by dogs. Adding rice or barley to a dog’s diet may lead to partially digested particles of grain showing up in their poop, and this may have the appearance of seeds in their stool.
Before we get into parasites as a cause, remember that dogs are omnivorous scavengers by nature, and as such, they will happily eat poop and dead things. Nasty, yes, but true. Therefore, no matter how well you guard your dog against fleas, the primary host of canine tapeworm, there is no guarantee that she will not get it from something she snacks on while you aren’t watching. Further, not all flea treatments repel fleas, so while your dog may not be infested, it doesn’t mean she hasn’t picked up a stray at the dog park.
When you’re doing doggy duty, if you notice poop with small yellow or brown seeds (think sesame seeds) peppered throughout, what you’re probably dealing with is tapeworm. Take a sample to your Vet for testing and have your dog treated immediately. Unchecked tapeworm infestations can destroy your dog’s health and eventually kill her!
Dog’s, like humans, are susceptible to diseases and disorders, and sometimes these diseases can cause changes in a dog’s poop. Some illnesses aren’t too concerning and can quickly resolve on their own. This, however, is not always the case.
Intestinal bleeding may cause your dog’s poop to look black or burgundy and sticky or tarry. Many times this stool appears to be seedy or the consistency of wet coffee grounds. If you see this kind of poop, it means your dog is bleeding internally somewhere in her digestive tract. Blood is being digested and passed in her feces. This requires urgent medical attention.
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis in dogs can present itself as poop with the appearance of raspberry jam. It can be red and seedy or simply red and jelly-like. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is immediately life-threatening. If you notice this kind of stool, go immediately to the Vet.
Liver disease is a fairly broad-spectrum term that can mean any disease of the liver, including biliary duct disorders, a fatty liver, or any disorder that causes the liver to function poorly or to fail completely. If your dog’s poop is gray or green, this is a sign you need to go to the Vet, but not all liver diseases present as gray or green poop. On occasion, yellow, sticky, seedy stools, with or without mucus, and also be a sign of liver problems. Liver disease of any kind is a true medical emergency, so consult a vet immediately.
My Dog’s Poop Cleared Up, But Now It Looks Seedy Again!
As discussed above, there are many reasons a dog’s poop may look seedy, and some of them can be serious. But what if your dog’s poop looks like birdseed, then it looks normal, and then the seedy stools return? If your dog doesn’t have symptoms of serious disease, making needed adjustments to her environment may be the key to successful treatment.
Check your yard for any areas of concern. Some things to look for in your dog’s environment are:
● Free-cast birdseed.
● Freshly spread grass seed.
● Bird feeders that allow the seed to spill onto the ground.
● Plants or shrubs that drop seed freely.
● Fruits that are seedy that may attract dogs.
● Dead animals that your dog may snack on.
● Flea infestation.
● Live animals that carry fleas.
It is important to note that treating parasites, such as fleas, ticks, or worms, will not prevent them from coming back. If you have treated your dog for fleas, the main host for canine tapeworm, it is crucial to maintain a regular schedule for prevention. Preventative medications are inexpensive and effective, and some offer protection against both external (fleas and ticks) and internal (tapeworm and heartworm) parasites.
How do I know if I should go to (or back to) the Vet?
If your dog was previously treated for parasites, and you see evidence of them again, call your Vet and make an appointment. If your dog seemed to recover but then relapsed, and you can’t find any environmental explanations for her seedy stools, you should call and make an appointment with your Vet. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms along with your dog’s seedy stools, don’t delay; take her in immediately.
● Seedy diarrhea (may or may not contain blood or mucus).
● Pain while eliminating or urinating.
● Failing to feed.
● Losing weight.
Dogs are like members of our families, but they can’t tell us what they’ve gotten into, nor can they tell us if they feel sick. Therefore, it’s vital that we pay attention to what goes into and what comes out of their bodies. Using preventative care and taking environmental precautions are good ways to ensure your dog stays happy, safe, and healthy. They are also good ways to reduce costly vet bills.
While looking at your dog’s poop may not be a pleasure, it will give you insight into what’s going on in their bodies. If your dog’s poop looks like birdseed, and you don’t know why it’s always best practice to consult her Vet. If seedy stools return, do your best to find the triggers and avoid or eliminate them. And if your dog shows signs of disease, do not wait! Take your pet to the Vet right away!