Seeing blood anywhere on your dog is naturally alarming. Seeing it in stool can immediately cause alarm that something is seriously wrong with your pooch. It will probably have you panicking, wondering what is causing it, what you should do, and if you need to seek medical attention.
Your first reaction to blood in your dog’s excrements might be disgust, but the anxiety is very soon to follow. It’s important to know what might be causing it and what your next steps should be to remedy the issue.
Different Types of Bloody Stool
There are various reasons why your four-legged family member might be experiencing bloody bathroom breaks. Seeing this is not only disheartening but a glaring sign that your dog probably needs medical attention.
Knowing what type of blood is in their feces can be vital to accurately describe it to your vet and discern the root of the issue.
There are different appearances and consistencies of blood found in dog stool:
Bright Red Blood ( Hematochezia ) – If the blood is bright red, it has not gone through the digestive tract. It, therefore, is likely coming from the colon, anus, or rectum. This area is their lower digestive tract, and the blood will come out “fresher,” causing a bright red appearance. This type is likely found in diarrhea, and your dog might be going to the bathroom more than usual. It can be wholly watery or just soft – it will not be solid; your dog will also probably be pooping increased amounts.
Sticky, Tar-Like, and Dark Blood ( Melena ) – This type is more difficult to spot as it might blend in with their stool due to its darker coloring. When this happens, the blood comes from the upper digestive tract. Since it passes through the body, it comes out with a less obviously bloody appearance. Their poop will probably be more solid than with hematochezia. If you’re suspicious of the sticky consistency, try to look closely and see if you notice any reddish tones or tar-like viscosity. This symptom often accompanies illnesses in the upper tract, including the intestine. It could indicate an ulcer, inflammation, or even cancer.
Only Blood and No Stool – If a watery substance that is only blood comes out, that is probably due to a combination of factors. Not only is it a symptom of a possible illness, but it is because your dog’s stomach is probably empty. This means that the only thing their body is disposing of is blood.
Knowing these different types can help you understand the root of the issue and will make it easier to get a detailed description to your vet. It can help to take photos or document the stool to show your vet at your appointment.
Reasons Your Dog Is Pooping Blood
Obviously, blood leaving your dog’s digestion system is very concerning. Your mind might be running away with worry, thinking about all the worst-case scenarios. There are many possible explanations, and it is not an uncommon phenomenon! So don’t fret, your vet will be able to help you, and you can help yourself by reading up on what might be the root.
Your dog ate something bad or had a change in diet.
If your dog ingests something toxic or unsafe, it can cause disruption in its stomach. Even further, if your dog ate something entirely inedible such as a rock, bone, or plastic object – it can seriously mess with their digestive tract. If this happens, the GI tract (digestive) can experience inflammation and result in “gastroenteritis” or “hemorrhagic gastroenteritis”; both can lead to blood in the stool. As strong as your dog’s stomach is, even a change in diet can result in an upset stomach. If you just switched to new food and notice bloody stool – that could be why! Consult your vet about dog food options.
They could have an infection, parasite, or cancer in their digestive tract.
These three causes are anxiety-inducing and scary to hear as a dog owner, so let’s delve into the details and whether any of these things might be plaguing your pup. Blood in stool is a symptom of multiple viral and bacterial infections, parasites, or possibly cancer. Since you should always call your vet if you see blood in your pup’s stool, tell them about any other symptoms such as vomiting or lethargy to see what your next steps should be.
They could have a blood clotting issue.
This cause originates outside the digestive tract and could be from a blood clotting disorder in your dog’s other organs. If this is the case, bloody stool is likely a symptom of a more significant issue or illness. Things like liver disease, kidney problems, immune systems failures, toxins in a dog’s system, or hormonal disorders can also cause blood clots. The blood found in their poop might be coming from a clot, so it is essential to look out for the other symptoms associated with each of these ailments to know the cause.
Some other medical conditions that might produce bloody stool:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
While this list is not exhaustive, it covers many probable causes of bloody stool.
Call Your Vet & Ask About Next Steps
If you notice bloody diarrhea or stool, you should reach out to your vet. Your dog may be experiencing other symptoms as well that require medical attention. It is best to get a medical professional’s opinion before treating their clearly upset system at home.
To help you, your dog, and your vet, pay close attention to how your dog is acting. Their other behaviors could be an essential indicator of the explanation behind the bloody stool. Note the type – whether it be bright red, dark & tar-like, or completely bloody – and discuss the consistency and frequency of bloody feces with your vet. They will be able to prescribe any necessary medications or diagnose any conditions. You and your vet can have your pup feeling better in no time! With Dog pet insurance plan options provided by Spot, you can get coverage for your dog’s unexpected accidents and illnesses.
Blood in Dog Poop: What To Do If You Find It | AKC.org
Blood in Dog Poop: Everything You Need To Know | vets-now.com
Common Dog Diseases | ASPCA.org