What does mucus in the stool mean?
Of course, the answer people are really looking for is an easy remedy. But things rarely work that way.
What is mucus?
Mucus is a slimy substance normally produced by the lining of body cavities and passageways. It has essential jobs:
- maintaining hydration
- and protection
That includes the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Mucosal surfaces in the gut are part of the immune system. They are designed to detect and kill pathogenic organisms that may be trying to make their way through the gut lining. Mucus is produced in the intestine all the time.
Normally, however, it isn’t noticeable in the feces.
Healthy poop does not have any visible coating on it.
Both solid stool and diarrhea can come with visible mucus.
How concerned you should be, depends on what else is going on.
If the poop looks otherwise normal and your dog is their regular happy self, the problem could have been caused by some temporary irritation of the gut lining. When Cookie decides to munch on too much grass, she will likely poop out some of the blades later covered in mucus; clear cause and effect. Any other dietary indiscretion can do this.
A lot of mucus, diarrhea, and other concerning signs.
In general, mucus in the stool points to a problem in the large intestine. But with serious conditions, this rule doesn’t necessarily apply.
Besides dietary indiscretions, things that can cause excessive mucus in the poop include:
- intestinal infections
- adverse food reaction
- foreign bodies
- hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
- and even cancer
As you can see, you cannot figure out the cause based on finding mucus in the stool alone.
If your dog also presents with diarrhea, pain, blood in the stool, vomiting, lethargy, or any other concerning signs, or is very old, very young, or has a preexisting medical condition, seek veterinary attention quickly.
If your dog has mucus in the stool persistently, seek a diagnosis. For example, Jasmine had mucusy stools frequently, along with other issues. Eventually, she was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
What’s in the Poop?
Mucus in Dog Stool