Why Does My Dog Have White Stools?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy dog has dry white chalky stools. Is this a sign of worms? What can I do at home, if anything? (Tonya Stenson - Wisconsin)

Answer

A dog's feces are a remarkable insight into the general overall health of a dog. All dog owners should familiarize themselves with the "normal" appearance of their dog's feces and, as disgusting as it might sound, should inspect them regularly for any unusual features. The presence of blood or mucus, a substantial change in consistency, or unusual color can all indicate that the dog may be unwell. However, the appearance of your dog's stools is also subject to the vagaries of his diet and any medication he is on.

Any abrupt change in diet or various prescription drugs can radically change the appearance of a dog's feces. If your dog has recently been put on a new medication, consult with your vet or the manufacturer as to the possible side effects and if you should discontinue use. White, chalky stools are often an indication of a high level of calcium in the diet, such as eating bones or having a wholly raw diet. In these cases, the white feces are not a cause for concern. If you are not sure, you can adjust his diet and see if this helps solve the problem. If you are sure that your dog's diet or medication is not responsible, it is worth having your dog thoroughly examined by a vet to rule out any underlying health problems. Feces do not normally turn white in response to a worm infection - normally dog owners will notice a little blood or mucus instead - but you can give your dog an affordable over-the-counter worming treatment to be sure.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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SugarMonty
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Added on April 19th, 2010
Thanks so much for the info. It turns out that I did give my dog 2 bones in the last week and that is the only difference in his diet and other than the difference in stool color, he is acting fine. I will keep inspecting but won't worry about it unless he changes behavior.
   
Take care,
   
Loretta