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What Are These White Specks in My Dog’s Poop?

White Dots In Puppy Poop Feature Image

While not a very popular topic of discussion, your dog’s poo can tell you a lot about what is going on inside its body. When you spot something unusual in your dog’s poop, you might start to wonder what it means. 

Normally, your dog’s stool will be moist, firm in consistency, formed (not loose), and will have a slight smell. Any alteration from this means either a change in its usual diet, problems with digestion, or some underlying health issues.

Seeing tiny white specks, sesame seed-like structures, or white dots in dog poop can not only be off-putting but also a cause for concern. However, not all specks are a sign of danger. It’s important to know exactly what the white stuff in dog poop is and what it means for the health of your pet. And this needs proper analysis of the stool sample.

What Could White Specks in Your Dog’s Poop Mean?

If you see white specks in your dog’s poop, don’t sound the alarm bells just yet. While there is a possibility of some abnormal occurrence in your dog’s intestines, there is also an equal chance that all is well.

The most common causes of white specks in your dog’s poop are:

Undigested Food

You will occasionally find bits of undigested food in your dog’s stool. They can appear as white specks in dog poop, not moving, and tinted with mixed colors, depending on the type of pet food they last had.

Sources of undigested food in the form of white flecks in dog poop may be:

  • Particles of undigested rice
  • Pieces of grains that your dog might have swallowed whole
  • Seeds they might have picked up while playing out in the yard
  • Traces of bone from dog food, or pieces of small bones your dog may have chewed-up

Fly Larvae

The little white things in dog poop you discovered may be harmless fly larvae. This can happen if the poo has been lying around the yard for some time. Flies get attracted to feces and look to lay eggs in them. Those eggs also appear as white dots. Soon enough, the eggs get hatched and subsequently produce maggots.

White Specks in Dog Poop Not Worms

Tapeworm Infection

Dogs can contract a tapeworm infection when they ingest fleas. Fleas are intermediate hosts of tapeworms. Thus, any such insect residing on your dog’s coat that already has tapeworm larvae growing inside them can be a source of infection to your pets.

Tapeworms can either appear in your dog’s poop as tiny white or off-white segments or be found clinging to the fur of the dog.

What Can You Do if You Find White Specks in Your Dog’s Poop?

There are ways to ensure that white specks stop appearing in your dog’s stools. If you have ascertained what the cause of those white spots in dog poop is, you can decide on methods to eliminate them. Depending on the reason, here are the steps you can follow:

Resolving White Specks In Dog Poop Caused By Undigested Food

  • If improper digestion is an issue, you will need to alter your dog’s diet. Make sure to give them cooked food more often than not, along with an adequate amount of water.
  • Replace whole bones with bone meal. Also, go through pet food companies’ list of ingredients to make sure that your dog’s meal contains more meat than bone.
  • Avoid giving rice to your pet, if you see tiny white specks signifying undigested rice grains in their poo.

Resolving White Specks Caused By Fly Larvae

  • Just make sure that you clean up after your pet poops. This way, there will not be any time for the stools to attract flies.
  • When clearing out poop containing eggs and maggots, bag it up properly and place it separately, away from the other waste in your house.

To fix the issue of white specks due to tapeworms, see the sections mentioned below.

Dog Poop Has White Specks in It

How Do I Tell if My Dog Has Tapeworms?

Tapeworms can cause a lot of health issues in your dog. If you observe small off-white or yellow segments in their poop, you might want to know if it is an infestation of these flat parasites.

Also, there are several common types of tapeworms that affect dogs such as Taenia, Echinococcus, and Dipylidium caninum. Determining which species of this parasite is infecting your dog is important for proper diagnosis and management.

The symptoms of tapeworm infection may manifest in your dog through the following signs:

  • Scooting across the floor, dragging their bottoms, in order to relieve anal itching
  • Aggressively licking their behind
  • Throwing up of tapeworm-laden vomit
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea, in case of a heavy infestation
  • Blood in stool
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Changes in diet or loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Constipation or intestinal obstruction when tapeworms are large in size

In order to get rid of these parasites, your dog will need to take medication prescribed by a vet.

Little White Specks in Dog Poop

How Do You Treat A Dog With Tapeworms?

If you notice the presence of white specks in puppy poop along with any or all of the above symptoms, you should immediately consult a vet for a confirmed diagnosis.

Having determined that your dog indeed has an infestation of these nasty parasites, your vet will recommend deworming regimes, specific to different types of tapeworms. These can be given as oral medication or in the form of a shot.

For a couple of days after taking the medicine, dogs will have mild to moderate diarrhea and their stools will have a watery consistency. However, this should not concern you. It is a normal way to flush worms out of their body. Diarrhea will stop in a few days to a week and your pet will regain its health.

Alternatively, your vet may prescribe praziquantel, an anti-worm medication that dissolves tapeworms. Arguably more effective than conventional deworming, praziquantel results in the destruction of whole worms. As such, you will not observe specks in their stools [1].

White Dog Poop and Stools

Frequently Asked Questions

What does your dog’s poop look like if they have worms?

If your dog has worms in their poop, you will notice the presence of either live, wriggling worms, broken-off pieces of their bodies, or their eggs in the stool.  Dead worms have a similar appearance to that of sesame seeds or rice grains.

Roundworms look like boiled spaghetti, off-white or tan in color. Additionally, your pup will suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular bowel movements. A similar appearance of the poop will occur in case of hookworm infections, the distinguishing sign being constipation. Tapeworm segments can be found in dog poo or attached to their fur around the anal region, appearing off-white to tan colored. 

Some worms can’t be seen with the naked eye. If you notice your dog exhibiting unusual symptoms such as vomiting,  weight loss, it could be a sign of whipworms.

On the other hand, heartworm infections (caused by mosquito bites and affecting the heart, lungs, as well as blood vessels) can be signaled by coughs. In this case, you should consult a vet and get a blood test done.

Can dogs get rid of tapeworms on their own?

No, they can’t. Worms might exit dog’s bodies on their own via stools if the infestation is a minor one. But in most cases, your dog will need to be treated properly to get rid of them.

Can tapeworms kill a dog?

While these worms are a major health concern in pets, they will not kill your dog. In rare cases, when adult tapeworms grow to such lengths that they block your pet’s intestines, they can cause significant distress to them. But if treated promptly, this will not progress to pose any grave danger to your dog.

Conclusion

Spotting white specks in dog stool can be disconcerting and a cause for worry for pet parents. These white dots can be something as harmless as undigested particles of food, but if they are moving, you should suspect worms.

Distinguishing one from the other is necessary for your peace of mind as well as being a means to improve your dog’s well-being. Also, if your dog shares space with other pets in the house, knowing for sure that they don’t have worms or other transferable diseases is important.

We saw what your dog’s poop will look like when they have other worms in their body. You can use this information to identify the source of these unsightly dots and get on track to rid your dog’s stool of them.