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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16665
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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why is my dogs stool white

Customer Question

Should I be concerned. Twice this week, my dog's stool was white in color. Perfectly normal, otherwise.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.
HiCustomer

A dog that has totally white stools could have a problem with their gastrointestinal tract. Your dog could have a bile duct obstruction or it could be a sign of a problem with your dog’s pancreas or gall bladder. You may also see white stools when a dog has been fed raw bones. If this is an ongoing condition, I do believe you need to have this checked out by your Vet.

White flecks in feces could be worms, but given your description, I'd be more inclined to believe it is the former cause.

I hope you find this information helpful.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK, now I AM concerned! He was having pain a couple of weeks ago because he was having trouble passing a piece of a rubber toy he ate. My vet said to keep an eye on him (he did this before-ate his toy) He seemed ok, other than obvious discomfort passing the rubber piece for 2 days.
After a couple days, a piece of the toy did show up in his stool & he seemed fine. 4 days later he yiped when picked up. The vet examined him & thinks he may have pulled a muscle or bruised his rib cage. (he's usually very active & jumps around alot). This discomfort by his ribs and armpit have went on for a week. He seems to be improving, but I was surprised by his white stool today. I found one other white stool in the yard. I have 2 other dogs & didn't see who the white stool came from. I dismissed it as the heat or something- I had never seen white stool. Now the second white stool & I know it came from the dog that has been having the pain. Could the "rib pain" be internal, even though it is improving? He was more active (like normal) today & now appears to be sore, so I'm thinking he just over did it and was ready to be jumping around, but this white stool & thinbking a piece of that rubber toy is still in him has me worried. What do you think?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.
Customer

A foreign object would normally cause an intestinal obstruction. You can read about this here:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/gastric-stomach-foreign-body-in-dogs/page1.aspx

Pancreatitis can also cause abdominal pain, so you do want to have your vet run some tests. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland that produces and releases enzymes into the digestive track that aid in the digestion of food. When these same enzymes are activated while they are still in the pancreas, inflammation occurs and the enzyme start "digesting" the pancreas itself.

Some common causes of pancreatitis are eating a lot of very fatty foods, obesity, steroid use and other diseases and conditions.

Symptoms of pancreatitis vary but include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, weakness or collapse, dehydration, shock, fever, depression, and upper abdominal pain. A dog may indicate abdominal pain by acting restless, panting, crying or wincing when picked up, shaking, standing with an arched back, or lying with the front end down and the rear end elevated

You can read about it in detail here:
http://www.vetcentric.com/reference/encycEntry.cfm?ENTRY=23&COLLECTION=EncycIllness&MODE=full

I hope you find this information helpful.
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16665
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Jane Lefler and 7 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Jane Lefler's Post: HI,
I was just wandering.
Would his habit of chewing his toys lead to problems with his pancreas?
He hasn't had diarrhea or vomiting, just pain passing the piece. He seemed ok for a while after passing the piece of rubber, till this pain by his left armpit. Could there possibly still be pieces of the toy causing an infection which would spread to his pancreas?
My vet already thinks I'm a hypochondriac, but I'm almost always right & he's almost always dimissive unless there's something obvious. I wish I would have been more persistant about having blood tests done, when I was in his office last. Would xrays & blood tests answer my questions?
Thanks agin for your time!
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.
Customer

Pancreatitis is usually caused by fatty foods or treats or grease and butter. I do not think the previously swallowed toy has anything to do with the white stool. I do think it is important to find out the cause which bloodwork should help identify. I would start with bloodwork before moving on to x-rays or a barium series.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry, but I forgot to mention. My husband had given him a spoonful of olive oil on his food. (He said he thought it would help his bowels move to pass the toy)
Now after reading, I learned that greasy foods can irritate the pancreas-right?
Would the olive oil have anything to do with it?
(see why my vet thinks I'm a hypochondriac?)
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.
Customer

One dose shouldn't cause pancreatitis, but it is possible. Multiple doses may indeed contribute to the condition. And don't worry, my daughter is a self admitted hypochondriac and works for a doctor and call me BEFORE talking to her doctor.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You're obviously very knowledgable and genuinally seem to want to find an answer. I suppose that's why your daughter's comfortable trusting your opinion. She's lucky and your're lucky she listens!! : )
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Jane Lefler's Post: Hi,
My husband took our minature daschund to the vet, again, today. The only available appointment was at a time that I couldn't make, so my husband took him. My husband didn't insist on blood work. Charlie (our dog) had back surgery in januray, so the vet that saw him (not his usual vet)assumed he was suffering from back pain and prescribed rimadyl.
If the trouble is internal, will the rimadyl hurt him?
He has never been this depressed. He has never yiped like he does when picked up.
I had him in to see his regular vet earlier this week and the vet assumed he had pulled a ligament or bruised himself because he's normally hyper & very active.
Prior to the depression and yiping, he, also, had been suffering from obvious stomach pain for 2 days, and finally passed a piece of his rubber toy, so the vet dismissed that pain to the toy passing. After seeming better for about a day after passing the toy, he's been very depressed and yipes unless I'm very careful when picking him up.
Am I really a hyperchondriac? Should I be satisfied with the diagnosises?
He is so depressed and is arching his back and appears to have abdominal pain.
I was so anxious to get home and hear what the vet said, but now, since my husband just basically took him there and dropped him off, without discussing his sytems in detail, and it wasn't our regular vet that examined him, I feel the vet may have been too quick to assume it is his back. The back doctor didn't think it was his back, he knew the pain was around his abdomen.
His bowl movements are normal, and he only vomited once (which really scared me 'cause he's never done that). The one time he vomited was after passing the toy and being ok for a day, then the next day, he vomited and was actually screaming with pain. It was dismissed as the the toy piece passing. I had already seen a piece of the toy in his stool and he seemed fine for a day.
He vomited a lot. He has vomited in the past, but it always looked like bile or yellow mucous. This was a stomach full of half digested food. I thought maybe the severe pain had caused the vomiting, since the toy had already passed, but I'm stumped why the depression is worsening & the abdomen discomfort is still obvious & the arching in his back appears to, also, be worsening.
I hope this isn't too confusing. If so, I'll be happy to try again. : ) I haven't had much sleep & have brain fog.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, but I forgot to mention that my husband had given him a spoonful of olive oil on his food, thinking it would help his bowls move and pass the toy piece.
Also his stool was white, and my husband said he didn't tell the vet because I had told him I had learned that the only other thing that would cause white stool would be eating bones. My husband now tells me the garbage was accidently left out & our dogs got into pork chop bones. He doesn't know if any of the bones were missing, but he said the ones he did pick up were chewed clean. The garbage eating apparently happened after the vomiting and after the passing of the toy. My husband may be the one who does not survive the weekend : )
Charlie is sitting on my lap now & appears to have sudden pains in his abdomen. He is tensing up & arching his back.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.
HiCustomer

The vet should have been able to palpatate the abdomen to see where your dog was tender and decide if pancreatitis could be the cause. It is unclear if you have recovered all the plastic toy yet. If you haven't recovered ALL of the toy in the feces, etc, There may still be a piece caught in your dog's system. If this is even a possibility, I'd have them do x-rays to verify there is no blockage or intestinal issue as a result.

I don't believe you mentioned the back problems previously. Back pain will cause a dog to yip and even scream when picked up unless they are well supported from the rear legs and chest to prevent pressure being put on the spine. They will also move gingerly and be depressed with pain. This doesn't explain the white feces though. While the rimadyl will help with any pain issues there is a lot of issues with rimadyl. In most cases, dogs have no problems with it, but there are some serious side effects that can occur with its use. You can read about this here:
http://www.pgaa.com/canine/health/rimadylwarning.html

I know I probably brought up more issues than I cleared up, but I also think this vet may have been quick to jump to a back diagnoses. Since you did not get a chance to talk to this vet, I would call and request that he review the chart and call you directly to discuss his finding. He should be able to do this and if he doesn't want to find time to do this, I would definitely not use him again.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Jane Lefler's Post: if I don't get Charlie better soon
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Jane Lefler's Post: if I don't get Charlie better soon my huband's going to move out : )
He's yiping when my husband picks him up and I keep instructing him on how to hold him.We know to support his rear & keep his spine straight, but my husband keeps saying he never yiped when he picked him up before or after his back surgery.
He's not yiping when I pick him up, but I'm super, super careful (scared to death he'll yipe).
He's on my lap again, which is odd. He wants on my lap everytime I sit down, lately. He cannot get comfortable as if he's being stuck with pins.
I hope the bouts with stomach pain, in the past, that were presumed to have been from eating his toys wasn't something else & now it's worsened.(NO MORE TOYS - FINALLY we get it!!)
I spent $50 earlier this week & my husband paid $70 today, so I wish I would have already insisted on bloodwork. I'll call & make an appointment, again, with his regular doctor (the back surgeon) monday and we do have a 24 hour emergency hospital about an hour away, if he worsens before then.
I wish I knew about the garbage eating and the pork chops bones, sooner. Could that be the culprit? His bowel movements are normal except for the one white one I saw him make & the other white stool I saw in the yard. I was thinking the other one to be from my other dachshund, now that I know they were garbage picking, because I have been watching Charlie everytime he goes, looking for changes in his stool. Did the white stool throw me on a wrong path? Could that be the pork chops? I wish I knew if they ate them.
Charlie is squirming again, he just can't seem to get comfortable. When his back was hurting in the past he would stay in his bed and get in a comfortable position and rest.
He's so depressed and seems miserable. Nothing like I've ever experienced with his back in the past. With his back, he didn't even cry, he just looked clueless as to why he couldn't walk right. After his surgery, he had to be tranquilized to keep him down. Our other dachshund has had 2 back surgeries and basically behaved the same as Charlie did with his back. Neither squirmed like he is doing now.

I did receive good news, he was weighed today & has dropped from 14lbs to 12.5lbs. I've been trying to get all their weight down since his back surgery.
I just felt tremors from his abdomen & he keeps squirming & putting his rear up. What's with the tremor like shaking in his abdomen?

If it is internal from his pancreas, how long would this go on? He isn't vomiting, and has normal bowl movements, but keeps swalling like someone who is trying to keep from vomiting. He's very stubborn & weird about certain things, so I'm thinking he made feel the need to vomit, but is holding it in. Do dogs do that? Charlie has a lot of weird quirks, but then again so does our other dachshund, Max, so maybe it's the breed.
I'm sorry for the nervous rambling!
He just jerked his head real fast to the side as if he was stuck with a pin, again. Would back pain make him jerk like this & that trembling in his abdomen-what could that have been?
You aren't near Cicninnati, are you?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
sorry, forgot to mention, the vet did mark on the statement, today, that his abdomen was "tense"
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.
HiCustomer

I'm in NC. I think you are going to need to put down on paper all the things he has been doing and when they occured as well. For instance, ate toy monday, vomited monday afternoon, abdominal pain monday afternoon, painful elimination partial toy in feces tuesday, etc.

Once you have this down on paper and in order, it will make it easier to discuss with your vet and it will also ensure that a crucial fact is not missed. Be sure the garbage diving and bones are mentioned. With the bones being an issue, there could be a puncture as well. You can read about this here:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/peritonitis-in-dogs/page1.aspx


The trembling and the jerk would indicate pain. If he is on the rimadyl, he shouldn't be feeling much pain. I would keep an eye on him and keep him as inactive as possible in case there is something lodged in the intestines.

I wished there was a more positive diagnoses that could be given, but it is difficult. Do make the list of symptoms and timeline. This will help your regular vet know what to look for.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for the excellent idea!
So many different things have been going on, I understand it makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what could be wrong. Especially since it was a vet that had never seen him (she was new to the office & Charlie's regular vet was booked up.) They have never eaten garbage. I had another dog that passed away a couple years ago that was notorious for getting into garbage, even the neighbors, if she got out, but the others have never done it. (to my knowledge) And if he hadn't eaten a piece of his toy and been in so much pain from that for days, and then he did vomit, and the screaming for 2 days and then seeming to be better, and now yiping & squirming for about a week, and the depression just seems to get worse.
That's Charlie for you. He's always been a hand full! I just hope he's out of pain, soon.
I'll ask for an xray monday, and if there's nothing there, I'll insist on bloodwork. I'd rather do it all for nothing (and let the vet continue to think I'm a hypochondriac) than to keep worrying and wander if he's getting worse.
Thank you so much for your answers!!!
I feel better, I'll feel a lot better when he's well. Thank you very much!!

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