Our Orlando vets know that responsible dog owners spend a lot of time picking up their dog's poop. What should you do if you notice blood in your dog's poop? We're here to explain.
Help, There's Blood In My Dog's Poop!
Seeing blood in your dog's stool is definitely a concerning sign, as it can be the result of some serious health concerns.
Whenever you see blood in your pet's stool it's a good idea to call your regular vet. The bigger question is whether blood in your dog's stool is actually an emergency that requires a trip to the closest emergency veterinary hospital.
Parvovirus & Puppies
If you have a young puppy with blood in their stool, visit your vet immediately! Parvovirus is common in unvaccinated pups and can be fatal if not treated quickly.
Call your regular vet within normal office hours, or visit an emergency animal clinic after hours.
Assess Your Dog's Overall Health
If you've noticed blood in your dog's stool but their behavior is typical, they seem happy and are eating and drinking normally, it is still a good idea to contact your vet for advice. Your regular vet will be able to assess the urgency of the situation and let you know whether it's a good idea to bring your pet into the office for an examination.
If you've noticed blood in your dog's stool and your dog also vomiting, refusing to eat, and looking unwell, it's time for an immediate trip to the vet. During normal business hours contact your regular vet and book an emergency appointment, after hours you should call your emergency vet.
Assess Your Dog's Stool
Take a moment to examine your dog's stool before heading to the vet. your vet will have more information to work off of for diagnosis if you are able to start with an accurate description of what the stool looks like. When it comes to blood in your dog's stool, there are two distinct types:
Hematochezia is bright red blood or fresh-looking blood in dog stool that stems from the lower digestive tract or colon. Hematochezia may appear on a firm-formed stool or in diarrhea. The distinctive bright red color of hematochezia indicates that the blood comes from the lower part of the digestive tract and has only traveled a short distance through the dog's body.
Common causes of hematochezia include viral diarrhea, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.
This blood has been digested or swallowed, typically indicating a problem in the upper digestive tract. Melena results in a black inky stool that can be jelly-like in consistency. Diarrhea is not common with melena, the stool is usually formed.
Common causes of melena include stomach inflammation, stomach ulcers, and cancer.
Possible Reasons For Blood in Dog's Stool
It's important to note that a red stool may not indicate blood at all. If your dog has eaten a red nonfood item such as a crayon or lipstick, they could pass a red stool. Red icing and cakes may also have this effect on your dog's stool.
Streaks of bright red blood in your dog's stool could be caused by an infection or injury to your dog's sensitive rectal area, such as a ruptured anal sac.
Other causes of blood in stool include:
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HG)
- Viral and bacterial infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Severe food intolerance
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.