|Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 9:43pm PST |
|Mucus on or accompanying a poop is simply natural intestinal mucus being passed along with waste, and is not necessarily an alarming event. It shouldn't be confused with the consistency of the poop -- runny or softly formed. That's a bit different. The innermost lining of the intestinal tract is the mucosa, which, among other functions, produces mucus as a natural part of digestion and elimination. When it's in volumes enough to be separate and distinguishable as part of a bowel movement it's a sign that something could be wrong, but I have to say I think a lot of times normal amounts of passed mucus are taken as a sign of the diet needing a tweak when really it's just a sign that the body's doing it's job properly.
A good raw diet is not homogenous, and poop shouldn't be, either. The intestines of a dog are set up to facilitate the consumption and elimination of bone and other really fibrous matter. One of these functions is intestinal mucus. When people get concerned about a dog's ability to pass relatively large chunks of bone, they're likely not taking into account that the structure and physiology of a dog's system is really designed to do just that. Intestinal mucus helps lubricate and protect, and it does that all the way through.
Signs that something is amiss are bloody or abnormally colored mucus, copious amounts of it, passing just mucus, and/or strong abnormally smelling mucous eliminations. If these things are present, and especially in conjunction with other signs of illness, a diet change and/or vet visit is a must.
As raw feeders we tend to get a little poop obsessed. It's a good thing, overall, I think. One of the things I love about a raw diet is the connection we gain with our dogs thru being aware of what goes in and what comes out, BUT unhealthy fixation is also a hazard. When trying to gauge poop consistency and its relation to health and proper diet, I find that a help is to not only monitor how it comes out, when it comes out (straining? constipation? soft? irritating?) but also in an exercise of not being over-analytical, how the actual consistency is as gauged a bit later. Sure, picking up poop immediately is a great way to keep the yard clean, and, of course absolutely a given if using parks or on walks, but if your dog poops in an area like your yard where you can note it and come back later, you'll notice that, say, an organ poop that looks just loose and vile immediately still dries up into that easy-to-pick-up, relatively compact form that you associate more with bone-and-muscle poos. Not so scary or weird then!
At the end of the day, I guess what I'm trying to say, is: Take a step back, and keep in mind the dynamics of a raw diet and the resulting dynamic nature of the resulting poos. Know your dog.
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