It can be alarming if your dog poops a bright green stool. Your dog’s poop can be different colors from time to time, and the specific color can give you a clue as to what is going on inside your pup. Green dog poop is something that shouldn’t be ignored. While it can be harmless, it can also be a sign that something is seriously wrong with your dog’s health.
Does Green Dog Poop always need a trip to the vet? Photography © AndreyPopov | iStock / Getty Images Plus.
Why do dogs poop green? Sometimes there is nothing to worry about.
When it comes to Green Dog Poop – “It really depends on two things,” says Tracey Jensen, DVM, Dipl.-Ing. ABVP, medical director at Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colorado. “The first is that the green color is a pigment that passes through the intestinal tract relatively unchanged. Chlorophyll is a pigment that can get through the faeces in sufficient volume and give the faeces a green color. “
So green pigment in stool is not always a cause for concern. If your dog eats a large amount of grass or other plant material, it can turn its droppings green. Dr. Jensen has also heard of cases that occur after dogs eat large numbers of Greenies treats. Personally, I’ve seen my dog poop a true rainbow of colors after stealing and eating my son’s crayons. (It’s a good thing they’re non-toxic because crayons are like a dog’s bang to him!).
Dog green can be a symptom of something very serious. Photography by Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.
But sometimes it’s a sign of something serious.
A more scary situation is when the green pigment is there because your dog has ingested certain toxins. “One very dangerous pigment that can pass is the pigment that is used in rodenticides,” explains Dr. Jensen. Rodenticide (rat poison) can contain both blue and green pigments.
If your dog hasn’t ingested a pigment that turns their poop green, the poop may indicate a health problem. “The second reason faeces turn green is because of changes in absorption in the intestinal tract,” explains Dr. Jensen. “There is a very important digestive juice called bile that contains pigment. This pigment is normally absorbed and recycled and reused, mainly in the colon. With colitis – inflammation in the intestinal tract – the pigment is sometimes not absorbed and ends up in the feces. “
You should always speak to your veterinarian about green dog poop. Photography © cynoclub | Thinkstock.
How do you tell the difference between the two types of green dog poop?
How can you tell if Green Dog Poop was due to your puppy just eating some grass … or if he is actually sick? “When the feces change shape or if they’re slimy, the green you see is often because the bile pigments aren’t being reabsorbed,” says Dr. Jensen. “When the manure is normal and [show] Matching green, then it could very well be something that goes through the intestinal tract and not because of an intestinal disease. “
Either way, if you notice green dog poop, call your vet. It’s hard to know if it’s green because your dog ate too much grass or because he ingested rodenticide. Bring a fresh sample so the vet can examine and possibly test the green dog poop. When it’s poison, time is of the essence. The sooner you see a veterinarian, the more likely your dog is to recover. Even if your dog has just eaten some grass, other complications can arise.
“Sometimes dogs that eat a lot of grass are actually a symptom of gastrointestinal disorders,” advises Dr. Jensen. “I had one [dog] Anyone who has become disabled after consuming a lot of weed – some dogs do this simply because they like weed – so making a phone call is always a good idea. “
Thumbnail: Photography by Paul S. Wolf / Shutterstock.
This piece was originally released in 2018.