Is there blood in your dog’s stool?
There are pet owners who would leave their dogs and would not spare a glance during pooping time. However, watching your dog performing ‘poop show’ can save you a lot of trouble. Understand what causes blood in dog stool and monitor it daily is a good way to check your dog’s health condition.
You have to pay attention to the process and most importantly the stool itself. Know that the colour of a normal stool can be in any shade of brown. If there are some abnormalities in its colour and consistency, it may be an indication of an underlying problem. Now, what does it mean when a dog has blood in his stool?
Blood in dog stool
According to Dr Beth Guerra from Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services (ACCES), a bloody stool can be an indication of a health problem that requires immediate attention.
‘Blood can show up in the stool in two ways—as haematochezia, which is the presence of bright red blood with normal faeces or diarrhoea, or as melena, which is digested blood that often gives a dark, tarry appearance,’ she explained.
What is the difference between haematochezia and melena aside from how they look?
Haematochezia refers to the bright red blood in dog stool. The bright colour signifies that it is fresh. As such, it is most likely acquired from the lower intestines, usually the colon or the rectum. The blood can be mixed in with the faeces, so a few droplets of blood are visible as your dog defaecates.
In melena, the stool appears in tarry and asphalt black colour. This suggests that the blood was digested and could possibly derive from the upper intestinal tract. What’s distressing with this condition is that it is not as recognisable as the stool in haematochezia.
After all, it is possible for canines to defaecate dark stools without health issues. That being said, most owners would miss the sign of melena.
It is very important to check your dog’s stool for abnormal signs as it could be an indication of underlying issues. We will enumerate a list of possible causes as to why there is blood in your canine’s stool both in haematochezia and melena.
There are various cases where haematochezia is caused by dietary intolerance or indiscretion.
- Eating spoiled food
- Foreign substance intake
- Sudden changes in diet
- Food allergies
If there are changes in diet that need to be done, introduce it gradually so you can observe, and give your dog time to adjust. If it is done suddenly, it can make your dog poop blood and vomit.
Parasite infestation is one of the most common causes of fresh blood in your dog’s stool. The most common parasites that cause this condition are hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. Your veterinarian can identify the particular parasite present in the body and can prescribe the right medication and dewormers.
The presence of blood in a dog’s stool is just one way of telling you that he is infected with dog worms.
3. Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis
Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis suddenly occurs without warning even to healthy dogs. There is still no apparent cause for this condition but suggested contributing factors are stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
This condition causes your dog to vomit, have diarrhoea, and have visible spotting of blood in his stool. In most cases, treatment includes intravenous fluid therapy and appropriate medication.
This is a serious viral infection that commonly manifests in black-and-tan breeds, such as Rottweilers, Dobermanns, and German shepherds. Affected dogs may vomit, have diarrhoea, lose appetite, feel lethargic, or have fresh blood in the stool.
Parvovirus is a worrisome condition often found in puppies and can be really deadly. As such, it is advisable to see your vet immediately after your pup has shown signs of dog parvo.
5. Rectal wounds
Be extra cautious when playing with pet sticks or giving him cooked bones. Your dog may ingest a stick, bone, or any sharp objects that can lead to problems in the lower intestinal lining or rectum. If your dog has unintentionally ingested harmful objects, you may feed him with high-fibre bread or rice to aid him to pass the bone.
It is best to check for any rectal injuries that might come in the form of swelling, injuries, or protrusions.
Can stress cause a dog to have blood in their stool? Unfortunately yes. Stressful life circumstances such as sudden adjustments in the environment, the addition of a family member or a new dog, or boarding in a kennel can lead to blood in dog diarrhoea.
1. Bleeding disorders
There are various causes of why bleeding disorders might occur.
- Thrombocytopenia or the decreased number of platelet
- Rat poison ingestion due to the anticoagulants that it contains
- Inherited clotting disorder
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
- Any internal organ failure
- Severe liver disorder
Aside from having dark tarry stools, affected dogs may exhibit other symptoms, such as purple-tinted skin.
2. The use of NSAIDS
NSAIDS stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They are commonly taken as a treatment for pain and inflammation. Such drug medications include Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and the like which can cause ulcer complications. The bleeding ulcer results in black tarry stools from the blood being digested in the stomach.
3. Post-surgery complication
Black stools may manifest after surgery caused by possible internal bleeding. This may occur up to 72 hours after the surgery.
When performed with abdominal radiographs (X-rays), you will be able to evaluate any abdominal organ complications or any manifestation of a foreign body or a tumour. The said health problems can cause your pooch to have a black tarry stool. This can be done with the help of your veterinarian.
5. Taking Pepto-Bismol
Black stools can be a reaction from taking Pepto-Bismol. The colour of your dog’s stool is expected to turn back to normal when the medication is stopped.
6. Blood ingestion
There are instances when your dog will lick on a bloody wound that causes him to ingest blood. That explains why your dog’s stool turns to black and tarry. For the best treatment, consult a veterinary.
Still, have more questions? Read more pet health advice.