Let’s talk about poo! Use the ‘stool tool’ provided
by Holistic Vet, Dr Nick Thompson
'Pasty', 'watery', 'diarrhoea', 'loose', 'firm', 'normal' and 'average'; words used to describe your pet's poo. The trouble is, one person's diarrhoea is another person's loose, is another person's 'normal'!
To get round this, I've come up with a simple idea - my 'poo score'. It's easy to understand and will transform conversations with vets and nutritionists to allow you to keep track of the health and diet of the pets in your life.
It's a 0-10 scale, with 'zero' being no structure at all, or soup-like. At the other end of the scale, we have the supreme stool specimen: firm, easily pickupable and healthy - a cigar or torpedo! In between, we have a blancmange consistency at 5/10 and a gradation of increasing structure from zero to nine. Here are some examples:
The Thompson Stool Tool Score for Dogs and Cats
- 0 - Water
- 3 - Thin, but will hold together on the ground without dribbling everywhere. Uncooked thin cookie dough.
- 5 - Blancmange - neither liquid or solid. Scoopable, but leaves a mess.
- 7 - Formed but soft. Very soft sponge cake. Not pickupable, but perhaps cleanly scoopable.
- 10 - Perfect cigar or torpedo. Pickupable in two fingers.
It's that simple. I find food analogies are useful, if unappetizing. You can add useful detail like colour, smell and uniformity (lumpiness) for added information. Beware making the thing too complicated.
If you pet is producing less than perfect stools, say 8/10 or below, then you may have a problem. The first thing to do is talk to your vet. If you know they have no disease issues, then it is possible they have food intolerances. A food intolerance is where the bowel is irritated (hence Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Irritable Bowel Disease) in response to a food, usually a protein, a meat.
It can be relatively easy to bump your pet up the stool score. I usually remove all but one protein (single meat minces are great for this) for a few weeks and see the effect on the poos. Feed this with one or two types of greens only initially. If they improve, then gradually bring in other proteins, one at a time, with sufficient time between each introduction to allow you to identify problem-foods if they arise. You can bring in new veg and fruits in the same way, in time. If your dog or cats poos don't improve within a week or two, try another protein in a trial, as above. If the loose stools continue, then you might want to consult a vet or pet nutritionist to discuss things.
We do hope The Thompson Stool Score for Dogs and Cats (TSS) helps you in monitoring, and therefore improving, your pet's gut health and communicating this to your friends and canine professionals.
To find out more about how keep your pets gut systems in optimal health, pop in and speak to a Scampers Pet Care Advisor
Scampers Natural Pet Store is located on the A142 Soham By Pass, between Ely and Newmarket and only 15 miles from Cambridge.
Scampers, Your Pet’s Natural Choice.