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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My dog is constantly squatting to poop, but only rarely does

Resolved Question:

My dog is constantly squatting to poop, but only rarely does anything come out and it's usually clear and gelatinous, yet he spends much of the day outside squatting to no avail. What can I do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

HI thereCustomer

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your Pug with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.


How long has this been going on for?


What was the name of the medication(s) he was on?


What diagnositc tests did your vet do? A fecal analysis for worms? A fecal culture? A Giardia test?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It's been going on for a while, only it used to be infrequently (every couple of weeks) and over the last few months, it has increased in frequency to almost every day. I'm not sure about the diagnostic tests, but I think a fecal analysis was done. I also don't have the names of the medication except the hook worm (pyrantel).
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Was he on metronidazole (also known as Flagyl - a white pill given twice daily)?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He might have been but I'm not entirely sure, unfortunately.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

That's ok!


Has there been blood in his stools?


Anything stressful in the last few months?


Any changes in food?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No blood in the stools or anything stressful that I know of. His food has remained consistent (veterinary-prescribed diet) except the rare occasion where I ran out and had to use a quickly-purchased alternative for one meal.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hi again,



What you are describing in your dog sounds like he may have colitis.

With colitis, dogs tend to have more frequent bowel movements, a sense of urgency, sometimes straining, and mucus and even blood on the stools. The stools often start out a bit soft, or pudding like and become gelatinous, shiny and mucoid as it progresses. The colon normally makes mucus to help the stool to pass along, so when it is inflamed it makes a lot of mucus, and also can have erosions that lead to bleeding.

Colitis could be caused by a large number of different things. Examples are stress, dietary indiscretion (eating something he shouldn't have), bacterial and viral infections, and parasites. In a sensitive dog, even a one-meal food change could trigger this.

If a dog with no history of stress were to come in to my hospital, and we didn't have to consider money (so I could do all the tests I would want to do!) I would start with a physical exam and then a number of tests:

- fecal analysis to rule out hookworms, whipworms and coccidia

- an ELISA test for Giardia. Giardia used to be hard to diagnose, but this test is fast and easy and accurate.

- a fecal smear to look for Campylobacter

- a fecal culture (sent out to a lab) to check for Clostridium or other unusual bacteria. This test takes 3-4 days.

Then, if ther dog were my patient, I would see how the dog responded to treatment as follows:

- fibre trial - I would start the dog on metamucil. I usually suggest 1 tsp per 10 lbs body weight given 2 or 3 times a day. Do this for at least one week.

- medication trial:

I would try metronidazole ( as a first line treatment but there are a number other drugs that can be helpful too:

Panacur (fenbendazole, ,

Tylosin ( )

and even steroids (prednisone )

Now, in terms of what people can do at home for dogs that I have seen and diagnosed with colitis, I suggest the following:

1. When he has an episode of blood and mucus on the stool, you should WITH-HOLD FOOD! Do not offer anything for 12- 24 hours. This gives the intestines a chance to rest and heal.

2. When he is fasting, he can have lots of clear fluids. So, water is fine, but also he can have pedialyte, Gatorade, apple juice diluted 50:50 with water, or chicken or beef broth diluted 50:50 with water. Give the fluids in small amounts frequently. For a dog this size that means about 1/4 cup an hour.

3. After 12-24 hours if the diarrhea has stopped, you can start your dog back on a bland diet. For patients that I see, I recommend a mixture of 75% cooked white rice, and 25% low fat protein. For the protein you could use extra lean ground beef, boiled with the fat scooped off, or chicken breast boiled with fat scooped off or even scrambled egg cooked without fat in the microwave. Feed small frequent meals. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-3 tablespoons every 3 to 4 hours.

4. After 1-2 days on the rice mix, you would gradually change your dog back to the normal diet and food. So, on day 3, give the rice mixture, but bigger meals, spaced further apart. On day 4, mix a little tiny bit of the normal food in there, and decrease the frequency so it is down to 3 meals or so. And so on.

5. Keep your dog as quiet as possible - just out to relieve himself and back in.

6. Start Metamucil at 1 tsp per 10lbs body weight given twice to three times daily.

I'll give you links to further information:

So, my suggestion would be to try fasting today but giving lots of clear fluids.

In terms of preventing this problem, it is very helpful to have dogs prone to this on a bit of OAT bran (very important it is OAT bran and not wheat bran) in their food daily. For a dog this size, I would suggest 2-4 teaspoons daily, divided between his meals.

Alternatively, you may just wish to keep him on the Metamucil.

Also, you may wish to consider a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) diffuser to decrease stress if this has been a factor in the last few weeks. It contains a smell that calms dogs, but is not a drug and is perfectly safe. It has no odour to humans. Here is more about them:

If your boy is continues to have straining and is passing mucus, or begins vomiting, or loses his appetite, then a trip to your vet would be in order. Your vet may want to start him on metronidazole which is very quickly effective at helping to make dogs with colitis feel better.

I hope that helps you. If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback. I will be back later if you have further questions!



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