Blood in Dog Feces - Causes And Diseases

Blood in Dog Feces - Causes And Diseases

Finding blood in your dog's feces can be shocking and is of course something that will worry any owner greatly. The causes of dog blood in stool are often very variable. By this we mean they can be a minor problem like a diet change or a more serious issue like parvovirus. In any case, if you’re dog is experiencing bloody diarrhea, we advice consulting your veterinarian to dismiss serious causes, ensuring you have done what is necessary for the safety of your dog.

If you have noticed blood in your dog's feces or that your dog has diarrhea with blood, this AnimalWised article will help you understand the possible causes of blood in your dog's feces .

The color of your dog’s bloody stool

There are two types of blood in in a dog’s stool: hematochezia and melena. They can be distinguished by the color of the blood in your dog’s poop. It is important to recognize the difference between these two types of stool blood because they will determine the diagnosis of your dog’s condition;

  • Hematochezia is the presence of fresh blood in a dog’s feces. The blood in the stool will have a vivid red color. In this case, the blood has not been digested and originates comes from a dog’s lower digestive system; the colon or rectum. This blood may be mixed with feces or you may notice drops of blood drip when your dog defecates.
  • Melena is the presence of blood digested in your dog’s feces. The blood then has a blackish color, is malodorous and has a generally tar-like appearance. This blood has been digested and comes from the upper portions of a dog’s digestive system. Mane is harder to notice than hematochezia. This is because a dog’s feces are generally dark, therefore, the dark blood in the feces will be less visible. If in doubt, place your dog's feces on white absorbent household paper, if a reddish color diffuses on the paper it is very likely that your dog has mane.

Blood in dog stool causes: hematochezia

Contrary to what happens in humans, hematochezia is not indicative of hemorrhoids in dogs. Either way, if your dog has hematochezia we suggest consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible because the underlying issue or cause of this blood in feces could be serious. The causes of fresh blood in dog stool (bright red blood) can vary. Here are some possible causes of dog feces with blood:

  • Parasites: Parasites are one of the most frequent causes of fresh blood in dog stool. The most comon parasites are hookworms, trichocephalus and nematodes. Additionally, protozoa, such as coccidia, can also cause hematochezia. Your vet will test your dog's feces and determine which parasite is present. Once a veterinarian knows the cause behind your dog pooping blood, they can treat the condition accordingly.
  • Parvovirus: Parvirosis is a serious disease that mainly affects puppies. Rottweilers, German shepherds and Dobermans are the dog breeds which are more prone to suffering from parvovirus. A puppy affected by parvovirus will experience dog diarrhead with blood and vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite and fresh blood in the stool. Parvovirus disease can be fatal. This is why it is advisable that you consult your veterinarian immediately if you suspect Parvovirus. Is your puppy vomiting and has diarrhea? Find out more about parvovirus here at AnimalWised.
  • Food: Some dogs have a tendency of overeating. Overeating can cause; irritation in your dog's colon, diarrhea and the presence of fresh blood in their feces, which in this case also contains mucus[1].

    Additionally, modifying in your dog's diet can have similar effects. Therefore, if you are going to change your dog's food, we suggest applying this change progressively over a period of several days. If a change in diet is too sudden, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Bare in mind that some dogs have sensitive stomachs, therefore, even a a new treat it can still cause bloody diarrhea in dogs. This blood is usually cause by inflammation in the colon from sensitivity. Food intolerances and allergies can also cause fresh blood in feces. If you believe that your dog may be suffering from an allergy or intolerance, we suggesting reading up; Dog Food Allergies and Intolerance.
  • Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis: the origin of this infection is difficult to determine. Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis can cause vomiting and dog diarrhea with dogs. If your dog is suffering from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis it may need fluid therapy and appropriate medication.
  • Rectal wounds: Has your dog recently eating a sharp object, like a stick or bone? If so, this object may have eroded the intestinal wall of the dog’s lower digestive system while following the intestinal tract.If this is the case, you will often be able to see this object in your dog’s poo.

    Another cause of fresh blood in dog stool could be due to rectal polyps. Rectal polyps are defined as abnormal growths. A veterinarian will diagnose this through rectal palpation or by endoscopy. These polyps can sometimes be carcinogenic and should be treated accordingly by a veterinarian.
  • Stress: In some cases, a stressful event can cause hematochezia to your dog. Is your dog stressed? Events that cause stress in your dog include: a move, elongated stay in a dog shelter, the arrival of a new dog in the house or the arrival of a new family member in a home (baby). If you want to find out whether or not your dog may be stressed, take a look at our article on; 10 Signs That Your Dog Is Stressed.

Blood in dogs stool causes: melena

Dark blood commonly known as melena in dogs can prove to be quite serious. Melena is may originate from a dog’s lungs, pharynx, esophagus, stomach or upper small intestine. If you believe that your dog is suffering from melena, we suggest consulting your veterinarian immediately. But for now, let's discuss some possible causes of melena in dogs:

  • Use of NSAIDS: NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, can cause ulcers in dogs. A dog with bleeding ulcers in its digestive tract will experience black tar-like blood when it poops. This is because it is digested blood that comes from the stomach. If your dog is pooping dark blood, consult your vet immediately.
  • Blood clotting disorders: There are several canine diseases which can cause clotting disorders in dogs. This blood clotting consequently causes bleeding and black blood in the stool. Rat poison can cause clotting problems and black blood in feces. If you think your dog has accidentally ingested rat poison, consider this an emergency and take it to your nearest vet immediately. For more, read: Dog Poisoning.
  • Complications after surgery: If your dog has recently been operated on and you notice your dog is pooping blood, call your veterinarian immediately. This complication can occur up to 72 hours after surgery.
  • Tumors: If your dog has black blood in their stool, your vet will have to perform tests to rule out the possibility of bleeding tumors, such as polyps or cancer. These causes are more common in geriatric dogs (old dogs).
  • Using Pepto Bismol: We discourage the use of Pepto Bismol in dogs. In fact, as with any medication, you should always consult your doctor before giving your dog any medication, specifically if it is human medication. Pepto Bismol can cause a dog’s feces to turn black, but this is not blood. If you notice this, stop giving your dog this medication and the color of your dog’s stool should revert back to normal.
  • Blood ingestion: Your dog may have licked a bleeding wound or swallowed blood from their nose or mouth which can then cause the presence of digested blood in feces.
  • Other causes of bloody stool in dogs: Bowel obstructions, fissures, trauma, bacterial infection by Campylobacter or Clostridium can also cause blood in the stool.

Mucus and blood in dog stool

Does your dog poop with blood and mucus? The treatment of the dog that presents blood in feces will vary depending on the cause. That is why it is essential to go to a veterinarian to obtain a reliable diagnosis of your dog’s bleeding. Remember that self-medicating a dog can be detrimental to its health.

A vet will probably suggest feeding your dog soft diet based on rice and chicken. At the same time, a dog's symptoms should be treated and medicated accordingly.

More serious problems, such as cancer, should be detected and treated as soon as possible. For more, take a look at causes of; Why Is My Dog Bleeding From Its Anus.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Blood in Dog Feces - Causes And Diseases, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.

References

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2808285/