For any dog parent, it can be alarming to see traces of blood in your dog’s poop. It is a real cause for concern and can be a sign of an underlying illness.
Before you panic, take a deep breath and do some research. This will help you figure out the best way to help your dog. Ideally, you should consult a vet as soon as you notice blood in your pet’s poop.
Let’s take a closer look at what causes dogs to bleed while pooping and how to treat it.
Symptoms of Blood in Dog Poop
According to experts, blood in your dog’s poop is a common symptom which means things that vary from harmless to deadly. This alarming symptom usually coincides with the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness and fatigue
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty while breathing
Medical professionals also add that seeing blood doesn’t mean that there is blood in your dog’s poop. What looks like blood may actually be a piece of candy or crayon that your dog chewed on.
Why Does a Dog Poop Blood?
Let us take a look at possible reasons why there can be blood in your dog’s poop.
Why is my dog bleeding when he poops? Here are some of the most common causes that will help to address your question.
Infections and Digestive Problems
Digestion-related problems with your pet may indicate causes such as
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis or internal bleeding dog poop
- Bowel diseases
In some cases, the dog will release bright red blood with its poo, known as hematochezia.
When your dog has problems with its digestive tract, it will take frequent trips to the bathroom and have a larger volume of stool. The texture and consistency of the stool will range from being soft and formed to completely liquid. At times, the stool might also be covered in mucus while the blood will be all over the excreta.
Digestive problems can also occur when your canine has ingested a non-food item such as a bone, stick, toys, garbage, or other toxic substances. Another possible reason behind gastrointestinal conditions could be
- Introduction of a new food item and other dietary changes
- Severe food intolerance
- If your dog has accidentally consumed another pet’s food
Inflammation and Ulcers
Inflammation and ulcers usually take place in the upper digestive tract of a dog, including its stomach and large intestines. In such cases, the blood that is ejected from the body bears a dark and thick texture. This type of blood is known as melena and is characterized by a dark, sticky, and tar-like consistency.
When a dog releases melena, its poop is more solid. Sometimes, the blood that comes out may also be black. Just like hematochezia, melena also needs to be taken seriously, as it might signal that your canine’s digestive system has been infected with more than just an ulcer or inflammation. It could be a parasitic infection and even cancer.
Stressful situations may cause your dog to remove blood along with excreta. Stress could be brought by:
- Moving to a new house
- Anxiety-inducing scenarios such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, or fireworks
- Being left alone with strangers
Sometimes, stress also triggers colitis, a condition that causes inflammation in the large intestines.
Aside from these external and internal factors, your pet’s bloody stool may also be an effect of allergies or viral infections.
Whenever you see your dog bleeding poop, it might also vomit, lose appetite, feel weak, avoid socializing and going out, face problems in breathing, and even bleed while urinating.
As a pet owner, you should check for these symptoms and book an appointment with a vet at once.
Eating Something Bad
Bleeding in a dog’s poop can also occur if your dog has eaten something unfamiliar. It could either be a food item that can cause an upset stomach or accidentally swallowing a hard object, such as a toy.
Puppies are more vulnerable to falling ill to diarrhea, particularly when a new diet is introduced.
How Does Blood in Poop Look Like?
If you notice a single streak of blood in your dog’s excreta while the rest of the poop is normal, then it’s not a cause for concern. However, consistent or large amounts of bleeding indicate a serious problem and can be attributed to a wide range of causes.
Blood in a dog’s poop is mainly of two kinds: hematochezia and melena.
Hematochezia refers to bright red blood in the stool, which oozes out of the body due to an infection in the lower digestive tract. Usually, hematochezia takes place due to acute gastrointestinal bleeding.
Melena is a type of blood that has a dark color and resembles tar. A darker stool indicates that the blood has either been digested or swallowed. It is a sign that your dog has an infection in its upper digestive system.
There are a variety of treatments available to treat blood in dog stool while pooping. While some cases might require medical intervention, you can administer treatment at home in other situations.
Caring at Home
In mild cases, providing care at home might be sufficient in treating your dog’s condition. You can start by taking into account all the food items that your dog has consumed in the past few days and whether any dietary changes have been made.
If you believe that the introduction of a new food item has resulted in your dog becoming ill, then remove it from your pet’s diet. Replace it with something else. You can also consult with a vet about the best course of action.
Treatment of the Digestive Tract
If your dog has inflammation or disease of the digestive tract, the vet might prescribe a few medicines such as antibiotics, probiotics, antacids, and various other medications.
The doctor may also recommend you provide your pooch with food that is bland and easily ingestible.
Treatment for Dehydration
If your canine has been passing stool frequently and in large volumes, chances are that it may be dehydrated. In case your dog appears to be dehydrated, the vet will suggest fluids that you need to provide your pet from time to time.
It’s not enough to give water. Your dog will need a special oral rehydration solution to compensate for the lack of electrolytes in its system.
Intravenous fluid therapy might be administered to those dogs with severe dehydration. Your dog may also need hospitalization and more intensive support.
Best Food for Dogs Pooping Blood
If your dog has blood in its poop, it is recommended that it be put on a 24-hour fast. This will help their digestive system to recover. However, a fast is not recommended for puppies and dogs that are diabetic.
Some of the best foods that you can feed your dog during illness include:
- Chicken broth, which is excellent for hydration
- Activated charcoal
- Electrolytes dissolved in water
Ensure that you feed your pet a bland diet that is easily digestible, rich in nutrients, and does not require too much chewing.
How to Care for a Dog Pooping Blood?
Seeing a dog bleed while pooping can be a scary situation for any pet owner. However, there are various ways by which you can care for your dog while it’s not well:
- Ensure that your pet is getting adequate rest. Avoid taking your dog out for walks or inviting people, as it might aggravate the problem even further.
- Provide it with a diet that is rich in nutrients and is easily digestible. Administer as much liquid as possible to keep your dog hydrated.
- Do not change your pet’s diet or food patterns immediately after recovery. If the need arises, it is best to discuss it with a vet first.
Prevention is also important. Keep all hard objects away from your pet to prevent it from accidentally swallowing them. Make sure you keep a close eye on your dog’s diet and anything that comes near its mouth.
When Do You Go to the Vet?
It is best to call or go to a vet immediately if your dog has been pooping blood and has any of these symptoms:
- Pale gums
- Refusal to eat or drink
- Becoming unresponsive
In serious cases, your dog may vomit while passing bloody stool. Vomiting along with pooping blood can lead to shock, internal organ damage, anemia, and even death. When this happens, head over to your vet or a pet ER immediately.
Depending on the severity of the problem, your vet may recommend the following procedures:
- Blood, poop, or urine testing
The results of these tests will help your vet figure out the possible causes behind your dog’s bloody poop. A vet will be in a better position to diagnose your pet’s condition. Together, you can discuss possible treatments and what changes need to be made to your dog’s diet, if any.
Blood in your dog’s poop may or may not be a serious or a life-threatening condition. It can be hard to pinpoint the cause, which ranges from infections and eating something bad to stress.
A good rule of thumb is to go to the vet if you are unsure about how to treat your pet or what is bothering it. You should also monitor for other symptoms like vomiting, which signal life-threatening conditions.
Hopefully, this information will alleviate your worry and guide you in caring for your beloved dog.