Blood in Dog Stool: A Troubling Sign of Gastrointestinal Distress


Dogs are not merely considered pets; they are regarded as members of the family. For responsible pet owners, encountering blood in your dog’s stool can be alarming and worrisome. This sign could point to issues within the gastrointestinal system and may hint at various possible health issues.

Blood in dog poop isn’t something to ignore, and as a pet parent, you should understand the potential causes and take the necessary steps to ensure your furry friend gets help.

Bright Red Blood in Dog Stool: Possible Causes & Treatments

According to AKC, both bright red blood (hematochezia) and black blood (melena) can signify various medical conditions.

Determining the underlying cause of the bloody dog poop is important, as prompt treatment can be crucial in resolving the issue.

First, I will explore the possible causes and treatments for bright red blood in your dog’s poop, so take a look.

1. Intestinal Parasites

Hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms can cause bloody stool in dogs. Treatment involves deworming medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

So, if you’re noticing blood in your dog’s stool, have your dog examined asap; gastrointestinal parasites can cause other health issues, such as Giardia.

2. Dietary Indiscretion

Eating inappropriate things, such as garbage or spoiled food, can irritate a dog’s digestive system and cause bloody stool. Treatment involves withholding food for 12-24 hours, followed by a bland diet for a few days.

3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

This immune-mediated disease causes inflammation of the intestinal lining. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medication, immunosuppressive medication, and dietary management.

4. Infectious Diseases

Fungal, viral, and bacterial infections can cause bloody poop in dogs. Treatment involves antibiotics or antifungal medication, depending on the underlying cause.

5. Cancer

Some types of cancer, such as colorectal or anal gland cancer, can cause bloody stool in dogs. Treatment involves surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

6. Foreign Objects

If a dog ingests foreign bodies, such as a bone or toy, it can cause damage to the intestinal lining and lead to a dog’s bloody stool. Treatment involves surgical removal of the object.

7. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)

According to VCA, HGE is a condition that causes vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. Stress, bacterial infections, or food intolerances can cause HGE in dogs.

Treatment involves hospitalization, intravenous fluids, and medication to control vomiting and diarrhea.

8. Colitis

Colitis is inflammation of the large intestine, which can cause bright red blood in the stool. Treatment involves antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, and dietary management.

9. Anal Gland Issues

Anal gland problems, such as impaction, infection, or abscess, can damage the lower digestive tract and cause blood in the stool.

Treatment involves expressing the anal glands or surgical removal.

10. Trauma

Trauma to the rectum or colon can cause internal bleeding and bright red blood in the stool. Treatment involves pain management and monitoring for any complications.

Black Blood in Dog’s Poop: Possible Causes & Treatments

Dark red blood in your dog’s stool, or melena, is a serious symptom indicating bleeding in the upper digestive tract.

Determining the underlying cause of the passing blood is important, as prompt treatment can resolve the possibly life-threatening issue.

Here’s a list of possible causes and treatments for black blood in your canine’s poop:

1. Gastrointestinal Ulceration

Stomach ulcers or small intestine can cause digested blood or tarry poop. Treatment involves medications to reduce stomach acid and promote the healing of the ulcer.

2. Gastrointestinal Tumors

Tumors in the stomach or intestine can cause black or tarry blood .in the stool. Treatment involves surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

3. Ingestion of Certain Medications or Substances

Certain medications or substances, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or rat poison, can cause bleeding in the dog’s digestive tract and black stool.

Treatment involves discontinuing the medication or substance and providing supportive care.

4. Liver Disease

Liver disease can cause bleeding disorders and black, tarry stools. Treatment involves managing the underlying cause and providing supportive care.

5. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can cause bleeding disorders, black, tarry stools, and kidney failure.

Treatment for this life-threatening disease and preventing kidney failure involves managing the underlying cause and providing supportive care.

Blood in Dog Poop: Prevention Methods

You can treat blood in your dog’s stool with good nutrition, exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups. Here’s a list of prevention methods every dog owner should consider:

Good Nutrition

Feeding your dog a new food can help prevent dietary indiscretion, which can lead to blood in the stool.

Also, avoid feeding your dog table scraps or other inappropriate foods, especially if they have a sensitive stomach.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise can help maintain good digestive health and prevent constipation, leading to bloody stool.

Proper Hydration

Ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Dehydration can cause constipation and other digestive issues that can lead to blood in the stool.

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help detect and treat any underlying medical conditions that can cause blood in the stool.

Preventative Medication

Regularly deworming your dog with a veterinarian-prescribed dewormer can prevent parasitic infections that can lead to blood in the stool.

Good Hygiene

Properly disposing of dog waste and cleaning up after your dog can help prevent the spreading of infectious diseases that can cause blood in the stool.

Is Bloody Stool in Dogs an Emergency?

Blood in your dog’s poop can require immediate medical action depending on the severity and underlying cause of the issue.

If your dog is experiencing other symptoms, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Also, if your dog is a puppy, elderly, or has a pre-existing health condition, keeping track of changes in their stool is especially important.

Blood in your dog’s poop can indicate many health issues, including dietary changes, food allergies, infections, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.

Some of these conditions can worsen and cause severe health issues if left untreated. Therefore, seek veterinary care promptly to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of the blood in your dog’s stool.

What Should I Do if My Dog Has Blood in His Stool?

If you’ve noticed blood in your dog’s poop, visit your veterinarian immediately.

Your vet will perform a physical examination and may recommend additional tests, such as blood work, fecal analysis, or imaging. These tests can help determine the underlying cause of the issue.

Sometimes, the veterinarian may recommend dietary changes, medication, or other interventions to treat the underlying issue.

Depending on the severity of the issue, your vet may recommend hospitalization or surgery.

In the meantime, monitor your dog’s behavior and stool regularly to detect any changes. Provide plenty of fresh water and a balanced diet, and avoid feeding your dog any table scraps or foods that may irritate their digestive system.

Will Blood in Dog Stool Go Away on its Own?

Sometimes, blood in a dog’s poop can resolve itself without treatment. However, it depends on the underlying cause of the issue.

If the blood is due to dietary changes or minor infections, it may resolve itself with time and supportive care.

However, if the blood in the stool results from many serious conditions, such as cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, you must visit the vet immediately.

Note: Schedule a vet visit even if the blood in your dog’s stool disappears.

Can a Dog Poop Blood From Stress?

It might be because of stress if you notice blood in your dog’s stool, says VetsNow.

Stress can cause gastrointestinal upset in many dogs, causing inflammation and irritation of their intestinal lining and resulting in blood in the stool.

However, stress alone isn’t typically the only cause of bloody poop, and it’s important to rule out other potential underlying medical conditions.

Can Dog Food Cause Bloody Diarrhea?

Dog food can cause bloody diarrhea in some cases.

Certain ingredients in dog food can be difficult to pass through the dog’s stomach and cause gastrointestinal upset and inflammation, causing bloody poop.

Additionally, some dogs may have food sensitivities or allergies that can cause severe bloody diarrhea. It’s important to feed your dog a high-quality, well-balanced diet and monitor their stool for any changes.

What Does Blood in Dog Poop Look Like?

Blood in dog poop can look different depending on the cause and severity of the condition.

If the blood is bright red, it typically indicates that the bleeding is happening close to the rectum or anus, while black, tarry stool indicates bleeding further up in the digestive system.

The amount can also vary; large amounts of blood make the stool appear almost entirely red or black. Sometimes, the blood may be mixed in with the stool, making it difficult to detect.

Visit a local emergency vet if you notice blood in their stool or other changes.

My Dog is Pooping Blood and Diarrhea: Why is My Dog Pooping Blood and Vomiting?

One possible cause is that your dog may have ingested something toxic, such as a poisonous plant or chemical.

Alternatively, your dog’s GI tract might be inflamed or infected. Lastly, worms or ticks could disturb your dog’s GI tract and cause these symptoms.

If you find blood in their stool, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms, visit your regular vet or look for emergency vets, run some diagnostic tests, and remain calm.

Quick veterinary intervention could save your dog’s life.

Dog Pooping Blood: Conclusion

In a nutshell, bright red or dark blood in dog stool is a concerning sign of gastrointestinal distress that can indicate several health issues.

As a pet parent, monitoring your dog’s behavior and stool regularly to detect health changes is crucial. See veterinary care immediately if you notice your dog pooping blood.

Understanding the potential causes of blood in poop and restoring normal stool can ensure your dog’s condition is stable.

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