Blood in Your Dog's Stool? Here's What The Problem Could Be

Blood in dog stool can be incredibly alarming for a pet owner to see. But there are many possible causes for bloody stool. 

When you take your pup out for a walk, the last thing you want to see in your dog's poop is blood. However, blood in your dog's stool can be more than just alarming. There are many reasons why your dog may have blood in its stool; for example, blood in the stool may come from their digestive tract or bacterial infection.

Dog Pooping Blood?

Dog owners know that a dog eats things they should not, which can lead to intestinal distress. But sometimes, it is a lot more than just eating a bad apple. There are two types of bloody stools: Hematochezia and Melena. Hematochezia is the bright red blood that shows up in your dog's poop, and melena is the tarry-colored stool. Let's take a look at some of the common causes why your dog is pooping blood.

When you see bright red blood or Hematochezia in your dog's stool, it generally means there is bleeding in the lower digestive tract or colon. However, this can depend on what your dog's poop looks like as a whole.

If there is only a little bit of blood and the rest of their feces looks normal, then it may just be a one-off incident and not life-threatening. However, it can also signify more significant gastrointestinal issues, or it could be from their rectum. Bloody diarrhea or stools can be signs of viral infections or bacterial infections, parvovirus, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), and cancer. Some other things that can cause the bright red blood are:

  • Parasites like hookworms or whipworms
  • ?Colitis or inflamed colon
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
  • Anal gland infections 

To diagnose what exactly is going on with your pup, a vet will have to run a variety of tests, from fecal tests to blood work. 

Pooping Tarry Stools

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There are many more reasons why your dog would have dark blood in their stool or melena. The darker, sticky blood has most likely been swallowed, which is indicative of problems in the upper intestinal tract. Since there are so many reasons, this can be more difficult to diagnose. Some of the causes of blood from the upper digestive tract are severe conditions such as:

  • Parasites like giardia
  • Infections
  • Ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Kidney failure
  • Foreign bodies
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Clotting disorders
  • Inflammatory disorders
  • Dietary changes

Dogs have very sensitive digestive systems, and blood can be something as simple as their stomach doesn't agree with their dog food, they had a dietary indiscretion in the form of a mouse or other vermin, or ingestion of a chemical.

When You Should Go See A Vet

Really, when blood shows up in your dog's fecal matter, you should talk to your vet. Leaving regular blood in your dog's stool untreated can lead to serious problems. If your dog is experiencing bloody diarrhea along with other severe symptoms like vomiting or shaking, you may want to head to an emergency vet.

Your dog can quickly become dehydrated. The DVM onsite at the emergency vet will want to rehydrate your pup. The vet will run a series of tests, including blood work and possibly X-rays, to determine what may be causing distress in your pup.

If your dog is diagnosed with HGE, which can affect the small intestine, the vet will start with intravenous fluids. Fluid therapy will help treat HGE. Probiotics will also help to heal your dog's gut and help it (and them) return to normal.

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