The Case of the Unusual Poop



How an undetected blockage

could have been

the end of Huff. 

Skinny Dog

Huff was underweight when I got him. The vet said he wasn’t eating enough. We knew part of the problem was his teeth.  They needed a good cleaning and at least one tooth would have to come out. I had scheduled that but in the meantime, I wanted to put a little weight on him.

I took him to the pet store and let him sniff the bags to choose his own food.  I doubt there was a real difference, but hey, it amused me.

Being Green

I am a responsible dog owner and clean up my dog’s poop. I even bought a roll of  brightly colored bags that go in the handy dandy bag holder on his leash. I love the fluorescent green.

Walking through the neighborhood with a freshly filled bag that glows a radioactive green is a great way to announce yourself as a responsible pet owner.

It also helps you avoid extended conversations with the neighbors.

And it acts as a reflective device on those late evening walks. Yup, people see you coming when you are carrying one of those.

Trouble Brewing

Since I was bagging, rather than shoveling, his poop I was able to get a close look at it. Life is good.

It  looked smaller than I expected for a dog that size.  I am not a dog poop expert, so I didn’t think much of it. It fit neatly into the pretty bags so I was happy.

Two weeks after our trip to the pet store,  his appetite had not increased. Then he developed constipation. While I was saving on bags, I was worried. The second day, I decided I would call the vet the following morning.

Our last walk of the night, he passed something. I have no idea what it was. Yes, I bagged it up, but it was dark and as I stated before, I am not  a poop expert. I didn’t examine it closely.

Perhaps my lack of curiosity is what keeps me from poop-expertness. My brain did say “huh, that’s oddly shaped.”  But the rest of me was happy he filled up a bag, so I shrugged and moved on.

Feed Me

The next day he had an appetite! He ate double what he normally did. Good I guess, but a bit frightening given the cost of food he had picked out.  Fortunately, this lasted only a few days and then he cut back to a more reasonable level. It was more than he had been eating when he first arrived. I figured this was his normal appetite.

Oh, and his poop looked more normal-sized to my non-expert self.

The Bottom Line

I’m sharing this because an intestinal blockage can be fatal. There aren’t a lot of warning signs.  Neither the vet nor I knew it was there. Fortunately, it worked itself out - literally.

For the record, no, I have not decided to become a poop expert.  I have sorted through barf looking for razor blades, and that was enough for me. (A different dog, another story.)

Huff isn’t inclined to grab and swallow odd things. But I’ll be more vigilant about poop size in the future.  My advice to you: if the poop doesn’t fit - find out why.