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The Scoop On Poop

Guest jenznaz

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Guest jenznaz

Found this today on the internetz - thought it was a nice basic and humorous reference article!




The Scoop on Poop

Mary Pat Parkhill, with contributions by Ellen McCracken and from Medical Facts by.

Dr. Peter Betz


It was a beautiful afternoon for a tea with my friends. They brought over their

greyhounds to play with my two in my large yard. We sat on the deck with homemade

butter cookies and watched the dogs romp. I looked over at Yvonne and asked, “So what

do you think? Is an orange color something I should be worried about?” Kay chirped in,

“But you are feeding them pumpkin and sweet potatoes, aren’t you?”

After taking a dainty bite of cookie and sip of tea, Yvonne spoke up and asked, “But still

should it be THAT orange?”

Excrement, or the less technical terms of poop, stool, turds, BMs and the ever-popular

poopsicle found in winter, is a common topic for dog owners. It can be an emotional

issue because of our cultural embarrassment with the subject. But it is a strong indication

of the health of your greyhound. According to Dr. Peter Betz of the Hillsboro Vet Group

in Hillsboro, New Jersey, there are three specifics that you need to watch: form, color

and content. Some changes mean nothing. Other indicators should have you calling the

vet’s office immediately.


Posters on one Internet greyhound bulletin board display a descriptive “potato scale” for

poop form, ranging from potato soup to mashed potatoes, Tater Tots, or Idaho Bakers.

The most common cause for concern is “the Big D,” or diarrhea: a very popular topic

because it is so common in dogs.

Runny stool can be caused by many things – disease, parasites, excitement, running like

crazy when normally quiet, new food or riding in the back of a truck on a cold day. If

your dog is bright and alert, showing no other symptoms, there is no need to rush off to

the vet’s. Simply start a bland diet of white rice with boiled chicken or chopped beef.

Use one part meat to two parts rice. Let the dog go four to six hours without food; then

start off with very small portions, about the size of a Swedish meatball. Feed in half-hour

increments. Have the food warmed to body temperature. Cold food is added stress on an

already upset stomach. Keep it small, simple and frequent.

Remember that after your greyhound has had a bout with diarrhea, his or her bowels are

empty. So do not expect output too soon. Many people swear by pumpkin, but because

it contains fiber, there can be a corresponding increase in room-clearing greyhound gas.

You will also want to stay away from sugar and preservatives, as they tend to cause more

diarrhea and upset.

Chew toys, eating grass or eating stool can perpetuate diarrhea. What you do need to

watch for is black, tarry stool indicating blood in the small intestines. Prolonged diarrhea

can lead to dehydration. Check your greyhound’s gums for “refill” time. Press your

thumb against the gum; it should return to pink in 1.5 seconds. Longer than 2.5 seconds

means dehydration. A vet visit is in order for black, tarry stool; prolonged diarrhea when

diarrhea is accompanied by other symptoms such as legarthy, vomiting or depression. It

can take three or four days before you can expect formed stool to return.

A few miscellaneous basics on form: if your greyhound shows signs of constipation, or

if stool is so formed it “bounces,” Metamucil is recommended. When trying out different

foods, give your dog at least 90 days before you switch again. A myth is that the more

formed the stool is, the better for the anal gland. Thee is no relation between a clogged

anal gland and soft stool. A muscle does the expressing and firming up the stool will not

help. If food allergies are suspect, a simple blood test is all that is needed. It’s better to

spend the money on a blood test than to play around with different foods month after

month. It is a most definite improvement over prolonging the odorous atmospheric

conditions or performing a mutt-mitt ballet on underformed output.


Color does not hold as much diagnostic information as form or content. Color can

change from day to day. If you see bright red in the stool and you aren’t missing any red

crayons, that is “frank” blood and indicates large bowel upset. If you see it occasionally,

there is no immediate cause for worry. New food, Nylabones or constipation could be

the cause. If it is persistent, however, see your vet.


Content poses perhaps the most fascinating poop topic. Late one night I was outside with

flashlight in hand when my neighbor called over, “Is everything alright?” I nonchalantly

answered, “Yes, I am just looking for Brindle’s poop.”

Since I foster many greyhounds coming off the track, I have to be constant lookout for

worms. Cleaning the yard at 10:30 p.m. does not really fit my schedule, especially if my

foot find the treasure before the flashlight does. However, a regular cleanup does keep

the worm problem down. Two varieties of worms are easily seen with naked eye:

tapeworms, which resemble rice, and roundworms, which look like long spaghetti

strands. Dronsit or Cestex will take care of the tapeworms, while Panacur will handle the

other worms. Microscopic examination will be needed for whipworms, hookworms and

roundworms. Strongid will work on hookworms and roundworms but not whipworms.

Other parasites that will need a microscopic evaluation are Giardia and Coccidea. Most

of these organisms do not pose a big threat, but should still be addressed.

Another reason to get up close and personal with content is to look for undigested food or

foreign objects. You will need to contact the vet in these two incidences in case of

disease or damage. Dogs will attempt anything in their quest for the edible, ranging from

television remotes to pantyhose.

I had a gaggle of greyhounds visit one day for a playdate. One owner said she suspected

her ate the stuffing from a damaged toy, but she wasn’t sure. Later that day, after

cleaning up the yard, I was able to definitely tell her yes, her little girl did indeed eat the

stuffing, as I had just scooped up the evidence.


A clean, dry, waterproof container with a tight-fitting lid is recommended. I like to use

an old medicine container that many have held antibiotics previously prescribed for my

greyhound, cleaned and dried. Tongue depressors or wooden Popsicle sticks are

excellent tools for transferring the poop from where it landed to inside the container.

Gloves, clothespins, protective goggles and body suit are optional.

In short, use common sense, develop an understanding of what is normal for your dog

and practice moderation.

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Question: what is the simple blood test for food allergies?


Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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The clinic we go to uses The Spot Test from Spectrum Labs: Link.

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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Guest jenznaz

I was just in the process of polishing that article to send it to BARK to see if they were interested in it. I haven't looked at that for years.

Mary Pat



Well you totally should! It's a greyt piece :colgate Thank you, Mary Pat!

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