Our Lexington vets understand that picking up dog poop is a regular occurrence for responsible dog owners. This is why you probably have a pretty good idea of what your dog's normal stool looks like. But what should you do if you notice blood in your dog's poop?
Help! There's blood in my dog's poop!
You are bound to become concerned if you notice blood in your dog's stool, and this could in fact point to a serious health problem.
If you see blood in your pet's stool, calling your regular vet is one of your first steps. The larger issue is whether blood in your dog's stool is actually a veterinary emergency. If so, you'll want to visit your closest emergency veterinary hospital.
If your young puppy has blood in his or her stool, see your vet immediately. Unvaccinated pups commonly contract parvovirus. The disease can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Contact us 24 hours, 7 days a week for emergency care.
Check Your Dog's Overall Health
If you've found blood in your dog's stool but they are eating well, behaving normally and seem happy otherwise, it's still advisable to call your primary vet to let them know and ask for advice. The veterinarian will be able to assess the urgency of your pet's situation and recommend whether to bring them into the office for an exam.
If you've seen blood in your dog's stool and your dog has been refusing to eat, vomiting or looking generally unwell, you'll need to visit your veterinarian immediately. You can contact our specialty and emergency hospital 24 hours, 7 days a week.
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 which stems from the lower digestive tract or colon. Hematocheza 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 diarrheas, 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 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 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:
- Viral and bacterial infections
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HG)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Severe food intolerance