You're likely very concerned if you notice blood in your dog's poop (stool), but what should you do? Here, our Douglasville vets explain what may be causing blood in your dog's poop, and which actions you should take.
Help, There's Blood in My Dog's Poop!
Finding blood in your dog's stool will likely trigger many worries and concerns, and may point to a serious health issue.
Whenever you notice blood in your pet's stool, it's a good idea to contact your regular vet. The larger question is whether blood in your dog's stool is actually a pet emergency that should prompt a visit to your closest emergency veterinary hospital.
If your young puppy has blood in their stool, see your vet immediately. Parvovirus is common in unvaccinated pups and can be fatal if not quickly treated.
Call your regular vet or your nearest emergency animal hospital.
Assess Your Dog's Overall Health
Does your dog have blood in their stool but otherwise seems happy? Perhaps they are eating well and behaving normally. However, we still recommend calling your regular vet to let them know and ask for advice. Your primary vet will be able to assess the urgency of your pet's specific circumstances and let you know whether 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 to bring your pet in for emergency veterinary care at an animal hospital near Douglasville. 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 be able to diagnose your dog's condition more quickly if you are able to provide an accurate description of your dog's stool. 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 have a jelly-like consistency. Diarrhea is not common with melena, the stool is usually formed.
Common causes of melena include stomach inflammation, stomach ulcers, and cancer.
Possible Causes of Blood in Stool
It's important to note that a red stool may not indicate blood at all. If your dog has eaten a red non-food 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:
- Viral and bacterial infections
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HG)
- 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.