When you are a dog parent, you need to be familiar with the different dog poop qualities – color, volume, consistency, texture. As gross as it sounds (and smells), keeping an eye on your dog’s poop is important as poop can be a health indicator.
Yellow balls in dog poop – why? If your dog’s poop contains yellow balls, there are two possible scenarios – your dog ate corn and could not process it completely, or your dog has tapeworms. There is also a chance your dog ate yellow crayons, and they are suffering the consequences of the dietary indiscretion.
In this article, we will talk about some dog poop details you never believed you would be interested in. We will cover why dogs sometimes have yellow balls in their poop, how the underlying issues are treated and prevented.
POOP QUALITY INDICATORS
Before discussing the meaning of yellow balls in dog poop, we should say a word or two about the overall poop qualities owners need to pay attention to. Generally speaking, there are five quality indicators:
- Color – the normal dog poop should be brown, pretty much like the color of chocolate candy bars.
- Shape – the ideal dog poop shape is log-like, while pebbles and nuggets are signs of dehydration.
- Consistency – the standard consistency of dog poop is dough-like, or when picked up, it should not leave traces on the surface.
- Size – the amount of poop should be approximately the same as the amount of food the dog eats.
- Content – dog poop should be nothing more than poop, and the presence of anything else indicates something is wrong.
These are the basic things you need to consider when it comes to dog poop qualities. Being constantly over your dog’s poop can be challenging and nasty. However, it is a good idea to take a closer look at your dog’s poop every two or three days. (even though you would probably rather avoid doing so at all costs)
And, of course, if there is anything out of the ordinary, give your vet a call and schedule an appointment. The vet visit will go much smoother if you can provide a picture of your dog’s abnormal poop. So don’t be afraid or embarrassed, to take a few pictures before you go. A sample would be even better if you are able to take one, though!
WHAT DOES YELLOW DOG POOP MEAN?
Dogs are well-known for their tendency to eat non-edible items. I can’t tell you how many times my dog has gotten into some questionable items… If those non-edible items are yellow, chances are they will make their poop yellow as well. A commonly eaten inedible thing amongst dogs is crayons.
A dog that made a feast of a few yellow crayons will pass equally colored poop for several days. Luckily, crayons are non-toxic as they are made for children (which also nibble the top of the crayons).
Other reasons for overall yellow poop are liver and gallbladder problems. Such issues can stem from genetic malformations in the bile ducts, traumatic injuries, or even metabolic abnormalities.
WHAT DO YELLOW DOTS IN DOG POOP MEAN?
With that being covered, it is time we address the main concern – the yellow dots in dog poop. As mentioned in the introduction section, the top two reasons for yellow balls in dog poop are undigested corns and tapeworm eggs. Let’s review each issue separately.
Yellow dots number 1: Undigested corn
Corn is a common ingredient in many commercially available dog food formulas. Although there are concerns about the suitability of corn for dogs, there are no studies suggesting corn is bad for dogs. (phew!) In fact, corn is rich in various nutrients and easily digestible.
Yet, sometimes our furry friends are unable to digest corn – why? Well, the answer is simple – it is because most dogs refuse to chew their food and swallow everything they eat. On the other hand, if mechanically processed (chewed), corn is easily breakable.
However, the intact corns can defy the dog’s digesting mechanisms. As a result, they will be passed via the poop, looking pretty much the same way they looked when ingested – like little yellow balls or dots. You might need to inspect the poop really well to see if you can find any remnants of visible corn to make sure!
Yellow dots number 2: Tapeworm eggs
Intestinal parasites in dogs are widespread and come in different varieties, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. If dealing with parasite infestations and yellow dots, there is one main culprit – tapeworms.
Tapeworms are flat and segmented parasites of the Cestode family. There are various tapeworm species, but the most common tapeworm in dogs is called Dipylidium caninum. Dogs become infected with this pesky parasite through flea bites. So if your dog has or has had fleas, this might be a more likely scenario of why your dog’s poop has yellow dots.
As the tapeworm matures, it starts shedding its final segments (also known as proglottids), which look like rice grains or cucumber seeds and are initially white. However, the more time they spend outside of the intestines, the more they dry out. Once completely dried, they turn from pearly white golden yellow – hence the yellow dots in your dog’s poop.
In puppies, tapeworms infestations can cause anemia or intestinal obstruction and have lethal consequences. However, in adult dogs, they are purely a nuisance – making them scoot to scratch that itchy bottom!
ARE YELLOW BALLS IN MY DOG’S POOP BAD?
Yes, as explained above, the normal and healthy dog poop should be brown and contain nothing more than just poop. Therefore, yellow dog poop and brown dog poop with yellow dots do not fit into the standard definition of ideal poop.
If dealing with yellow poop and yellow balls in the poop, do not hesitate to call your vet and determine the root of the problem. While undigested corns are a transient issue, tapeworms require proper and prompt treatment.
The sooner you seek veterinary attention and identify the culprit, the sooner you will be able to resolve the issue, and your dog will be back to producing normal and healthy poop.
HOW DO I PREVENT YELLOW BALLS IN MY DOGS POOP?
Basically, the prevention depends on the underlying issue. In the case of undigested corn, the prevention is straightforward – do not give your dog corn if they are a known “gulper” and tend to swallow food whole without chewing. There is a widespread misbelief that corn is nothing more than cheap filler. The truth is, corn is a rich energy source. However, not all dogs are capable of digesting (chewing) it.
If the yellow dots in your dog’s poop are, in fact, tapeworm eggs, it means your dog is not up-to-date on its deworming medications. Luckily, all you need to do to prevent tapeworm infestations is give your dog dewormers on a regular basis. The term regular means different things for different dogs and often depends on age, diet, living area, and lifestyle. Talk to your veterinarian about the ideal deworming schedule for your dog.
As for overall yellow poop, the prevention approaches are a bit different. Namely, if the yellow discoloration is due to a dietary indiscretion involving yellow crayons, prevention means keeping the crayons out of the dog’s reach (teeth).
Finally, yellow poop caused by gallbladder and liver problems is a more severe concern that requires an individually tailored management plan. In such cases, it is hard to talk about prevention, as the underlying conditions are unpredictable.
SUMMING UP: YELLOW BALLS IN DOG POOP
From undigested corn through yellow crayon chunks to tapeworm eggs – various situations result in yellow balls in dog poop. However, none of these scenarios is normal.
If dealing with yellow dots in your dog’s poop, you must take the problem to the next level and have your dog examined by your trusted veterinarian. Some underlying issues are easily solvable, and others require longer treatments. Don’t take the risk with your furry friend, and contact your vet today if you are concerned!