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Common Conditions

Ate Wild Animal Poop

August 27, 2014, 10:39 PM
Q: my puppy just ate wild rabbit or deer poop...not sure which one, as they look the same to me....other than being really gross, is it harmful to her?
A: Occasional consumption of poop from wild species usually is not a problem. Most parasites are "species specific" which means they do not infect animals of a different species even though the common name for the parasite may be the same. For example the "roundworm" of deer is not the same as the "roundworm" of dogs. Consumption of rabbit poop does put your puppy at risk of coccidiosis. This is a protozoa( not a worm) and this organism does cross species lines. Catching and consuming portions of some small mammals like moles, mice, etc can expose your puppy to a tapeworm called "Tenia." Routine fecal tests by your veterinarian would pick up both coccidia and tenia, let your vet know about your puppy's lifestyle so they are on the lookout. There is also risk of exposure to a couple of fecal bacteria that usually are not serious if recognized and treated. Diarrhea would be the most comon symptom associated with these infections. I know this information may sound threatening to you and your puppy but I want you to know the risks and know what to look out for, don't be alarmed -- just be informed. You can use the forum or chat for any other questions. Thanks Dr. Rybka