If your dog seeks out poop everytime you bring them on a walk you’re not alone. Most of the time we are quick enough to redirect the attention of our furry friend, but what happens when your dog snags a few bites of deer poop before you can get them away?
Luckily, although there is a possibility for your dog to catch a disease from deer poop, the most likely scenario is an upset stomach. There are risks for other bacteria infections, parasites, and leptospirosis, but these outcomes are rare, especially if your dog is vaccinated.
In this article we will discuss some reasons why dogs eat deer poop, the potential negative side effects, and how to proceed when your dogs eat deer poop.
Table of Contents
Why Do Dogs Eat Deer Poop?
Although the idea of eating deer poop sounds disgusting to us, your dog likely thinks of poop as a tasty treat. Most of the time if your dog goes after the occasional pile of deer poop or geese poop this doesn’t point to any issue with their diet.
However, in some cases, this can be a sign of coprophagia. Coprophagia is defined as the desire to eat poop and is often a sign of an illness or deficiency.
Symptoms of coprophagia include:
- Stomach ache,
- Intestinal parasites, and
Although coprophagia can be caused by a dietary deficiency it can also be a side effect of diabetes, thyroid issues, malabsorption syndrome, parasites, or steroids.
If you observe that your dog is going after poop more often than normal and are concerned there is an underlying issue you should consult with a veterinary professional for a diagnosis.
However, in this article we will simply discuss the potential health consequences from the occasional bite of deer poop.
What Health Risks Are Associated With Eating Deer Poop?
Although rare, there are health risks with your dog eating large amounts of deer poop. Deer poop can contain parasites, leptospirosis-causing bacteria, and tooth decay causing bacteria. Luckily, all of these potential side effects from deer poop are highly treatable.
What Parasites Can Be Found In Deer Poop?
Roundworms and whipworms are the most common parasites found in deer poop that can be passed to your dog after they ingest it. The most common signs that indicate your dog has contracted a parasite from poop include frequent diarrhea and weight loss.
If you suspect your dog has caught a parasite from deer poop you should bring a stool sample into your vet as they can detect any intestinal parasites with it. Generally, if a parasite is found your dog will simply need an anti-parasitic medication and should recover quickly.
These parasites are not a life or death concern as long as you are able to get medication for your dog.
What Is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is generally transmitted from the urine of rats, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and deer. Since deer poop is fairly likely to be contaminated with urine, there is a possibility that leptospirosis can be spread through the consumption of deer poop as well.
It is highly treatable with either antibiotics, dialysis, or hydration therapy.
Another way to protect your dog from this bacterial infection is to get the leptospirosis vaccine from your vet. Although this isn’t a required vaccine for dogs, it is highly effective and recommended for any dog that spends a lot of time outdoors and could come into contact with the feces or urine of an infected animal.
How Can Deer Poop Cause Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay isn’t as common in dogs, however deer poop can contain bacteria that can cause tooth decay in your pet. Unfortunately tooth decay in dogs is sometimes hard to detect early on. It usually shows up first on the bite surfaces of molar teeth, and unless you inspect your dog’s teeth regularly, you may not notice signs of tooth decay until it has progressed fairly far.
However, in most instances once the tooth decay is discovered your dog can receive a cavity filling from your vet.
A great way to make sure you keep up on your dog’s tooth health is to regularly brush their teeth. This hygiene practice is slowly becoming more commonplace and can help make sure your dog’s mouth remains healthy and save you money in the long run by avoiding expensive dental cleanings.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Deer Poop?
In most instances your dog will likely be just fine after eating deer poop, even if it was a whole pile. This is especially true if your dog is up-to-date on their vaccines. In most cases you will simply need to monitor your pet for signs of an upset stomach which includes diarrea, vomiting, or reluctance to eat.
If these signs do not improve within 48 hours then you may need to seek veterinary assistance. But, in most cases your dog will likely only have a mildly upset stomach that they will fully recover from on their own.
Dogs have tough stomachs. They have more acid in their stomach than humans=ns do, which helps them break down bacteria quicker. They also have a smaller digestive tract, which means they pass bacteria containing items quickly and give the bacteria less time to colonize in their gut.
The occasional deer poop ingestion by your dog shouldn’t present them with any consequences, but you should always monitor your dog and consult with a veterinarian if they are behaving out of character and aren’t improving.
Final Thoughts: Dogs Will Likely Be Okay After Eating Deer Poop.
Although we may not want our dogs to lick us after they eat deer poop, we don’t need to worry too much about their overall health unless this is a problematic occurrence. If you feel as though your dog is eating more poop than normal, including their own, then you may want to consult your vet.
In most cases, a few bites of deet poop here and there will not harm your dog. They will have an upset stomach and get back to their regular selves quickly. We can thank their digestive system for this quick ability to rebound after eating items rich in bacteria.