Causes of Bloody Stool in Dogs

Blood in a dogs stool could mean a number of things, but the most common is a condition known as hematochezia. Hematochezia is the presence of fresh, bright red blood in the dog’s stool and generally occurs when there is bleeding in the canine’s lower intestines such as the rectum and colon.

Hematochezia vs. Melena – Don’t Be Confused!

It is important for your canine’s health that you do not associate or confuse hematochezia with another bloody stool condition known as melena, which is much more serious. Melena does not have the presence of bright red blood in the stool and instead is old, digested blood that occurs due to bleeding in the upper intestinal tract.

Causes of Blood in a Dogs Stool

Sometimes, hematochezia could actually be a symptom of an underlying condition or problem, which could be minor or serious. If it occurs just once or twice with your dog then you can rest assured that the bleeding is most likely associated with a minor problem; however, when there is persistent blood in the dog’s feces, there could be a much more serious problem at play and should never be ignored. Cancer is a common problem in older dog’s that have bloody stools while parasites are the most common problem for younger pup’s that have blood present in their feces.

Some of the most general causes of blood in the dog’s stool are as follows:

· Clotting disorders.
· Cancer of the lower bowel.
· Dietary intolerance or allergy to a specific food.
· Infectious factors such as viruses, parasites and/or bacteria.
· Trauma to the anal area or the lower bowel.
· Inflammatory bowel diseases – colitis is an example.
· Miscellaneous diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.

Keep Your Eyes Open For

·Bright red and fresh blood in your dog’s feces.
·An increase in the number of bowel movements produced.
·Your dog straining to produce a bowel movement.
·Possibly no other form of clinical sign.
·Possibly other systemic illness signs such as excessive urinating, vomiting, diarrhea and/or drinking as well as weight loss or a reduced appetite.

Causes of Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Dogs

Below is a list of some (not all) common causes of gastrointestinal bleeding, which could very well be the cause of your pet’s bloody stools. The veterinarian will determine the exact cause based on a number of diagnostic tests, as outlined later.
· Colitis.
· Parvovirus.
· Ulcers.
· Coronavirus.
· Hookworms.
· Whipworms.
· Giardiasis.
· Coccidiosis.
· Thromobocytopenia.
· Bacterial infections such as salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium and E-Coli.

Diagnosis of Hematochezia as the Cause of Bloody Stool in Dogs

Your veterinarian has a number of tests that can be conducted to determine the cause of bloody stools including but not limited to:
· Complete blood count.
· Rectal examination.
· Fecal examination.
· Urinalysis.
· Biochemical profile.
· Coagulation profile.
· Abdominal ultrasound.
· Abdominal X-Ray.
· Colonoscopy.

Treatment for Bloody Stools in Dogs

Depending on your dog’s exact symptoms, the veterinarian has a number of options for treatment. Some possible treatments that your vet might prescribe or suggest include:
· Dietary changes.
· Fluid therapy.
· Antibiotics if there is a bacterial infection present.
· Deworming medications if there are internal parasites.
· Intestinal protecting drugs that will work to coat, sooth and protect the gastrointestinal tract.
· Medications that will alter the movement rate of food through the dog’s intestines.