September 4, 2016 by The Dog Rules
Have you noticed that life appears to revolve around poop?
Did you remember to take the dog out? Did he poop? Pick up that poop. Look for a tissue in your pocket and find a poop bag. Reach for change in your jeans at the store? There’s another poop bag. Every jacket I own has poop bags in the pockets.
When volunteering as a shelter dog walker the first thing we all ask each other is “do you have (enough) poop bags?” Yes, I do. Okay. Then we think about bringing treats or a toy along in the event that we need to reward a dog for the behavior we want.
The shelter has a report sheet on the kennel of each dog for volunteer walkers to write our observations of the dog’s behavior on the walk. These reports have check boxes to indicate whether or not the dog urinated or defecated while in our care. Even with all this focus on poop I had not really thought about the importance of poop beyond the basic question of whether or not the dog pooped.
A few days after Drift was diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) we started the enzyme in his meals and his diarrhea disappeared. He no longer needed to go outside multiple times in the middle of the night. We all got more much-needed sleep!
When your dog has been diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency poop becomes a very important gauge of how well your dog is responding to the prescribed digestive enzymes. The dosage of enzyme is adjusted by the appearance of the stool. You find yourself becoming an expert on reading poop.
Of course you have to have a resource to learn the subtleties of poop reading. Thankfully I was directed to a website that is a fantastic resource for learning all about EPI and it had a poop chart to help evaluate poop. I took the liberty of copying their chart to my computer as a reference and I’m sharing it here.
Now I know you’re looking at the chart and thinking you’ve seen poop like this from some of the dogs you’ve cared for and they didn’t have EPI. Do you know what a “normal” poop is supposed to look like? Until you were reading this post, had you ever given that much thought?
I’m guessing that you will pay closer attention to your dog’s poop the next time he goes.