I understand that dog poop is probably not a very exciting discussion topic, but if you are a dog owner and are concerned about your dog's health, there is no way around this issue.
In case you didn't know, dog poop can be black, red, brown, orange, purple, pink, grey, yellow, green, or even brown with white spots. Just for the record, under all these circumstances, you should see your vet because this is a sign that something is wrong with your dog.
Normal dog poop should be chocolate brown, although this color might change slightly based on the kind of food your dog is eating.
Orange poop can indicate that there has been a significant change in your dog's health or diet.
Here are 5 main causes of orange-colored stool in dogs.
1. Liver Disease
When your dog has liver disease, it means this organ is no longer functioning properly. The liver serves many important roles in your dog's body, such as removing toxins and promoting food digestion.
When the liver is affected, it could have problems releasing bile, which would greatly affect your dog's poop color.
In case a liver disease is the reason behind your dog's orange-colored poop, you will also notice other things such as yellowing of eyes, gums, or tongue, which would be a sign that your pet is suffering from jaundice.
Liver disease can also cause diarrhea and vomiting. Other symptoms of this health issue include loss of appetite, weight loss, frequent urination, reduced strength and coordination, and blood in urine or feces.
In dogs, liver disease is caused by many things, including tumors, liver injury, health problems like diabetes, cancer, heartworms, or consumption of poisonous plants such as ragworts, algae, or some kinds of mushrooms.
If the dog has liver disease, the vet may conduct blood panel analysis, X-rays, and even ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.
2. IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as colitis can also cause orange poop in dogs. This illness's symptoms can include lethargy, severe abdominal pain, flatulence, loss of appetite, and blood in the stool.
Unfortunately, colitis has no known cause, although the problem is often caused by food allergies brought about by meat protein, food additives, milk proteins, wheat, and issues like parasites, bacterial infections, or even stress.
Colitis is the inflammation of the colon. Something like moving to a new neighborhood can stress the dog and make it suffer from colitis, especially when it is barking.
Having a new baby in the house can also stress the dog, leading to colitis. When a dog has colitis, the food does not spend adequate time in the digestive system, and that can result in the dog having orange stools.
Although IBD has no cure, you can manage it to reduce its severity. The problem can go away with the use of antibiotics, acid reducers, and diet changes.
When the bile duct is obstructed, the dog will suffer from a condition known as cholestasis, and that can make it have orange poop.
Symptoms of cholestasis include jaundice, weight loss, orange urine, and orange-colored stools. The bile duct can get blocked due to gallstones, infections, pancreatitis, or gallbladder tumor.
Cholestasis solutions include gallstone removal, use of antibiotics, or treatment for the injury.
4. Diet Changes
Sometimes, the problem causing your dog to have orange poop could be less dire.
Giving your dog foods and treats that have artificial or even natural pigments can make its poop orange. This usually happens when the dog consumes these foods in large quantities.
For instance, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and squash have natural orange pigments called carotenoids, and these can make your dog's poop turn orange.
Therefore, if your dog has orange poop after recently consuming large amounts of such foods, you most likely have nothing to worry about, especially if you don't notice any other serious symptoms of illness in your pet.
Eating large amounts of food can also cause the dog to have orange poop.
That is why the dog can have this kind of poop after eating chicken and rice. In such scenarios, the orange poop could sign that food is passing too quickly through the dog's gut.
Bile changes dog poop and gives it a brown color. However, when the food passes too quickly through the intestinal tract, then it does not get enough bile to attain this color.
Consuming orange crayons might also make your dog have orange poop. This is usually not a big problem since crayons are not toxic to dogs, although dogs may experience an upset stomach after eating them.
Otherwise, if you feel that the change in poop color has something to do with the fact that the dog has consumed foods that might have compounds that would discolor its feces, then you can wait to see if the problem goes away in half a day or so.
Usually, three bowel movements should be enough to tell if the dog has other problems besides diet if its poop had turned orange. If you eventually find out the problem was diet, you can try to make appropriate diet adjustments.
If the problem persists even after changing its diet, the best option is to check with your vet to make sure there is nothing too serious ailing your pet.
Hemolysis is a term that refers to the destruction of red blood cells. The problem can be caused by autoimmune conditions such as thrombocytopenia or autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
Due to the massive release of destroyed red blood cells, the dog's poop can turn orange. The pet will also appear weak, have pale gums, and appear very lethargic.
What You Should Do About Your Dog's Orange Poop
Owning a dog means you will eventually have to deal with its poop. This aspect of pet care can tell you whether your dog is seriously sick or if it ate your child's crayons or other inappropriate things.
Suppose you are concerned that your dog might have a serious underlying health issue behind its poop discoloration. In that case, the best option is to make an appointment with the vet because your beloved canine might have liver, gall bladder, and bile duct problems.
Orange poop color can also indicate that your dog has inflammatory bowel disease or that it has experienced some significant diet changes.
The orange poop could also be in the form of diarrhea, in which case you should definitely take it to the vet.
Sometimes the symptoms might be so severe that orange-colored feces might be the least of your worries. If the dog shows signs of discomfort or is experiencing lethargy, jaundice, orange urine, or blood in the stool or urine, getting professional help is the best option.
Fortunately, if you notice that your dog has orange poop, you will at least know where to start and what steps to take to fix or at least alleviate the problem. Sometimes, you might have a problem telling if the dog has maroon, red, yellow, or orange poop.
In that case, you can consult experts to confirm what the problem might be.
Similarly, you can look at dog poop pictures or color charts and find out what healthy or unhealthy dog poop pictures look like. It is not very fun to do, but it could mean the difference between life and death for your beloved pet.