White Specks in Dog Poop: What It Means

White Specks in Dog Poop: What It Means

Your dog’s poop is a good indicator of overall health, and the color and consistency of their poop can give you a lot of information. Pet parents who are on poop patrol should also pay attention to what’s in their dog’s poop, especially if you see white specks in dog poop. 

While not always, white specks in dog poop can indicate that your dog has intestinal worms. 

Never fear! This article will help you figure out what those white specks are and more importantly, what to do if you see white stuff in dog poop.

White Stuff in Dog Poop: What to Watch For

Even though it seems gross, it is important to pay attention to the contents of your dog’s poop. If you notice weird white things, it’s time to summon the courage to take a closer look. First, note the size and shape of the white stuff. Then, consider the following:

  • Are the white specks moving or not moving?
  • Do the white specks look like rice or spaghetti? 
  • Do the white specks look like chewed up foreign material or food?

In addition to the white specks, pay attention to whether your dog has any other signs of sickness or an upset stomach. These symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, low energy, pot belly, and low appetite, and all indicate the need for veterinary attention.

Why Are There White Specks in My Dog’s Poop?

White stuff in dog poop can be a variety of things, ranging from harmless to infectious, including:

  • Undigested bits of food or bones
  • Chewed up, undigested foreign objects, such as plastic, fabric or rocks
  • Intestinal worms or worm eggs

Intestinal parasites in dogs are very common, and some types of worms are contagious to people as well. The most common types of intestinal worms in dogs are:

  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Whipworms
  • Tapeworms

Dogs typically pick these worms up from the environment: an infected animal leaves feces containing parasite eggs that contaminate the soil. When a dog comes into contact with parasite eggs, they become infected. These dogs can pass infectious eggs in their feces, as well. In addition, dogs can get certain worms by eating infected animal carcasses or ingesting an infected flea. Some worms can also pass from a mother to her unborn puppies. 

Worms in dog poop that look like rice are likely tapeworm segments, whereas spaghetti-like worms in dog poop are likely roundworms. Whipworms and hookworms are rarely noticed outside the body. 

You can protect your dog against most intestinal worms by giving them a broad-spectrum dewormer every month, such as Interceptor Plus. This chicken-flavored chew protects against five of the most common types of worms that infect dogs.

What to Do If Your Dog’s Poop Has White Spots

If you notice white specks in dog poop that may be worms, don’t panic. It’s not an emergency, but you really should get veterinary attention for your dog as soon as possible. Call your veterinarian and make an appointment. Explain to the receptionist what you noticed, when you noticed it, and any other symptoms your dog may be experiencing.

If you notice white specks in your dog’s poop but think they may be undigested food or chewed up material, and if your dog is acting otherwise normal, it is acceptable to monitor your dog to see if the problem continues. If the problem continues, or if your dog is acting sick in any way or is losing weight, see your veterinarian.

The day of your dog’s veterinary appointment, collect a fresh sample of poop from your dog and bring it with you in a sealed container. It is important that the sample is fresh because vital clues in your dog’s poop may disappear if the feces sits out too long. It is very helpful if you can actually collect the white specks or strings and bring those as well. Make sure to wear gloves and wash your hands after! If you have a compromised immune system, ask someone else to collect the sample for you. If you can’t collect the white stuff, take a picture or video and show it to your vet.

During the appointment, the veterinary care team will weigh your dog, take vitals, ask you questions about your dog’s health history, and conduct a complete physical examination. The veterinary technician will test your dog’s feces for parasite eggs, abnormal bacteria, blood, or other abnormalities.

If it turns out that your dog has worms, then deworming medication will be prescribed to eliminate the worms from your dog’s gut. Fortunately, intestinal parasites are easily treatable and there are multiple deworming medications available. The type of deworming medication required is dependent upon the type of intestinal parasites present. Your veterinarian will be your best resource to determine the right type of medication that is necessary to treat your dog. 

Treatment for intestinal parasites should eliminate the problem and also resolve any other symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss. Pet parents may notice white specks in dog poop after deworming: if you see this don’t worry, this is a part of the normal process of expelling worms. You may also not notice any worms after deworming. This is also normal — trust the process.

If your dog still has diarrhea, upset stomach, low energy or appetite, or is acting sick in any way after treatment, call your veterinarian for advice.

White Worms in Dog Poop: Prevention

The best way to deal with white specks in dog poop is to avoid them in the first place. The following are recommendations for keeping worms out of your dog:

  • Pick up dog (and cat) poop regularly.
  • Cover children’s sandboxes to prevent them from becoming contaminated by passing animals.
  • Regularly deworm your dog. Most heartworm preventatives also protect dogs against intestinal parasites year-round. Interceptor Plus prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and whipworm infections in dogs. 

For 360-degree parasite protection inside and out, ask your vet about using a monthly tick and flea control medication for dogs, such as Credelio. 

Although tiny white worms in dog poop are gross, with common sense and the right parasite protection, you can keep them out of your dog and out of your life. 

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