Jennifer Coates, DVM
By Jennifer Coates, DVM. Reviewed by Veronica Higgs, DVM on Jan. 30, 2024
A black dog sits in the grass.

What Does Mucus in Dog Poop Look Like?

Your dog’s poop can tell you a lot about their health.

Before you pick it up, always take a quick peek to make sure your dog’s poop looks normal. Mucus can be common in dog poop and usually looks like shiny slime, clear jelly, or snot surrounding the stool. If you see mucus in your dog’s stool, it’s important to find out what could be causing it.

Is Mucus in Dog Poop an Emergency?

A little bit of mucus in a dog’s stool is not a reason to panic.

However, excessive amounts of mucus in your dog’s poop may indicate a medical condition that needs veterinary attention. If you consistently see mucus in your dog’s stool, or you see a lot of mucus—even if it’s just in one instance—call your vet.

However, if your dog is very young or very old or has a pre-existing condition, speak with your vet immediately if you notice any mucus in their stool.

Additionally, mucus can occur with diarrhea and with blood. If your dog is having diarrhea with mucus or any blood in their stool, visit your vet right away.

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Causes of Mucus in Dog Poop

Anything that causes colitis or inflammatory/irritation to the colon can cause mucus production, which then causes mucus to appear in the stool.

Here are some of the more common disorders that cause mucus in dog stool.

Intestinal Infections

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can all infect the canine gastrointestinal (GI) system. This can include E.coli, salmonellaparvovirus, and pythiosis.  

With GI infections, most dogs will also develop diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or other symptoms in addition to mucus in the stool. Supportive care and medications that address the infection will typically be needed.

Parasites

WhipwormstapewormsGiardia, and other intestinal parasites can cause mucus in a dog’s stool.

A fecal exam can identify the type of parasite present, and an appropriate dewormer should take care of the issue.

Dietary Indiscretion

When a dog eats something unusual, it can disrupt their GI tract and cause mucus in their stool. Mild cases resolve with time.

More severe cases may require medications to control vomiting and diarrhea, antibiotics, fluid therapy, nutritional support, and sometimes surgery to remove foreign material.

Change in Diet/Food Allergies

An abrupt change in diet can lead to mucus in a dog’s stool. Returning to the original food and then slowly mixing increasing amounts of the new food into the old will usually resolve the problem.

In some cases, a food allergy/intolerance may be to blame. You may need to switch to a therapeutic diet, like a veterinarian-prescribed hypoallergenic food.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Stress is thought to be a major factor in flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome.

Treatment involves stress relief, dietary changes, and medications (sulfasalazine, for example) that lessen the severity of a dog’s symptoms.  

Inflammatory Disorders

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause mucus in the stool, but it is usually accompanied by weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Treatment with diet changes and sometimes immunosuppressive medications should reduce a dog’s symptoms.

Cancer

Cancer of the GI tract can cause mucus in the stool.

Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or palliative therapy.

Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS)

When a dog’s stool contains a lot of blood and mucus (often described as looking like raspberry jam), AHDS—also known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis—may be to blame.

Treatment includes supportive care, anti-nausea drugs, fluid therapy, and antibiotics.

What To Do If Your Dog Is Pooping Mucus

It’s time for a vet appointment if your dog has abnormal amounts of mucus in their stool over an extended period, or if your dog has additional symptoms, such as:

  • Poor appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Concurrent blood in the stool

  • Pain

In these cases, take your pup to the vet as there could be an underlying health issue at play.

How Veterinarians Diagnose of Mucus in Dog Poop

If your dog is pooping mucus, your veterinarian will take a complete health history and perform a physical exam.

To determine the underlying cause, they may need to run a combination of the following tests:

  • Fecal exam

  • Blood work

  • Urinalysis

  • Abdominal X-rays and/or ultrasound

  • Endoscopy

  • Biopsy of the intestinal tract 

Treatment of Mucus in Dog Poop

Appropriate treatment will depend on the results of these tests and your dog’s eventual diagnosis.

However, often a diet change or even a prescription diet are needed.

Based on the underlying cause, anti-diarrheal medication, immunosuppressants, or antibiotics may be prescribed.

Probiotics can be a good addition to treatment plans for mucus in stool.

Home Remedies for Mucus in Dog Poop

If your dog has just a little bit of excess mucus in their stool but is otherwise feeling fine (eating well, happy, active, no diarrhea), ask your vet about trying to treat at home before an office visit and diagnostic work-up.

Short-term Bland Diet

Sometimes switching to a highly digestible diet or adding additional fiber to a dog's diet can help.

Boiled white meat chicken (no skin or bones), white rice, and a teaspoon to a tablespoon (depending on the size of the dog) of canned pumpkin is a good, homemade option that you can typically feed your dog for a few days.

Probiotics

A small amount of mucus in the stool—in an otherwise healthy dog—does not require treatment with medications, but a probiotic supplement may help.

Look for probiotic products designed specifically for dogs or ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

Recovery and Management of Mucus in Dog Poop

Depending on the underlying cause, mucus in a dog’s poop may be a temporary problem that quickly resolves.

However, in other cases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), mucus in the poop could wax and wane with relapses of the underlying condition. This may be an indicator to talk with your vet. 

Normal stool appearance can be tied to pet health. Monitoring your dog’s poop is a great way to make sure they’re on the right track. Watch for any mucus in the stool or any other abnormalities, such as blood or diarrhea.

If you are unsure if something is normal, call your vet and remember that photos can be useful.

Featured Image: TJ_Kloster/E+ via Getty Images


Jennifer Coates, DVM

WRITTEN BY

Jennifer Coates, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Jennifer Coates is an accomplished veterinarian, writer, editor, and consultant with years of experience in the fields of veterinary...


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