Now like normal human beings, dogs also get sick. And seeing blood in dog stools can be a frightening and panicky situation at first but you should immediately see a veterinarian to know the cause for it. While it may seem a little unpleasant, correctly observing and describing the appearance of the blood in dog stool helps determine the source and cause of the blood. There can be two things: either bright red or dark/black blood in dog stools. Now there are different causes for both of them.
Why Have a Dog?
They play many roles in our life as they keep us healthy both physically and mentally. A dog is a man’s best friend. They are loyal and trustworthy. Keeping a dog with you also helps in the way that they easily detect people doing suspicious activities and they instantly start barking when they see such a person entering your house so that you become conscious and aware.
Additionally, they keep us safe and aid those in need. If you’ve ever been to the hills or areas where you don’t know the path, you must’ve noticed that if there are dogs in those areas then they become the path leader and whenever you are in the possibility of any risk or difficulty they come to support you and stand beside you. They also support and help people who are blind, deaf or disabled, dogs do a lot for us humans.
Bright red blood in stools
Hematochezia is the medical term for bright red blood in dog stool. It is fresh blood, most likely from the lower intestines, and often from the colon or rectum. It can be mixed in the dog’s stools, or you can see a few droplets of blood as your dog defecated. Some causes of hematochezia include:
It is a serious virus mostly found in puppies. Black-and-tan breeds, such as rottweilers, German shepherds, and Dobermans are mostly affected by parvo. The symptoms of this virus include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and blood in dog stools. Since this disease is deadly, puppies suspected of having parvo should be seen by a vet immediately.
They are the most common cause of blood in dog stools. The most common parasites that cause blood in dog stool are hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms. Besides blood appearing in your dog’s feces, other symptoms indicating your pet has worms include visible worms in vomit, in fur or around the dog’s rear. Other signs may include weakness, increased appetite, constant hunger, and weight loss. Protozoans such as coccidia can also be a cause of bloody stools. A veterinarian can identify the offending parasites and prescribe specific dewormers to kill these parasites and get rid of them.
Overeating or dietary indiscretion may irritate a dog’s colon, causing diarrhea and bloody stools, which can also have mucus. When a dog eats something unusual it can disrupt the Gastrointestinal tract and cause mucus in the stool. If you are switching your dog’s food, do so gradually over the course of several days. A sudden diet change can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Other dietary causes of blood in dog stool include eating spoiled foods and food intolerances or allergies. Mild cases resolve over time. More severe cases that are accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea may require supportive care, antibiotics, fluid therapy, and sometimes surgery to remove foreign material.
If your dog’s stool contains a lot of blood and mucus (often described as being raspberry jam-like), HGE may be suspected. Treatment includes supportive care, anti-nausea drugs, fluid therapy, and antibiotics. Affected dogs are very sick and can get dehydrated quickly so they need immediate care.
It can be caused if your dog eats a sharp object which scrapes the lower intestine during digestion or elimination. Anal gland injuries and rectal polyps can also lead to bright red blood deposited on stools.
Alike people, stress can cause a dog’s bowels to leak excess fluid along with blood from inflammation. This is often referred to as stress colitis. The Reasons for stress may include moving to a new place, in addition to a new dog or family member to the household.
Dark Red or Black Blood in Stools
As discussed above this is the second kind of blood found in stools. Melena is the medical term for dark red or black/tarry stools. Since it is darker in color, it’s often harder to detect and differentiate. In these cases, the blood source originates higher up the intestinal tract so that by the time the stools are eliminated the blood is almost totally digested. The dog’s lungs, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine may be the origin of blood. Some causes of melena include :
Use of NSAIDS
Your dog may develop ulcers if he is on aspirin or some type of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs like Rimadyl or aspirin. Stomach and intestinal ulcers can cause diarrhea and bleeding.
Blood Clotting Disorders
Some dogs that have clotting disorders may develop blood in dog stool.
You should immediately call your vet if you notice black, tarry stools up to 72 hours after any recent surgery. This could indicate internal bleeding.
Tumors or cancer
Cancer of the GI tract can cause mucus in the stool. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or palliative therapy. Many kinds of cancer can affect the digestive tract and unfortunately cause several issues including bloody diarrhea. Bleeding tumors or polyps, especially in older pets, can cause dark stools.
Ingestion of Blood
It might be the case that your pet may have licked a bloody wound,or he may have had a mouth injury or nose bleed that causes it to swallow blood.
The bloody diarrhea can be a result if the dog has experienced some sort of injury or has surgery on the digestive tract.
Any type of inflammatory condition affecting the bowels can cause bloody diarrhea.It is a condition that results when your dog’s immune system turns against the lining of her gastrointestinal (GI) tract, causing an issue with the absorption of nutrients and, ability to digest food properly. This is a pathetic situation for your dog’s entire GI system, and can impact the stomach and upper small intestine, causing chronic vomiting, and/or the lower intestine, causing diarrhea.
Bacterial and Viral Infections: Various infections, such as Salmonella, E.Coli and, parvovirus can all cause bloody diarrhea.
Diagnosing Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs
Bloody diarrhea is usually identified by visually inspecting the stool. Bright red blood is quite obvious to see in most stools but black, digested blood may be less apparent and difficult to differentiate. A fecal occult blood test is conducted that says whether or not blood is detected in the feces if digested blood or a very small amount of red blood is suspected.
The complete and underlying diagnosis of diarrhea requires a complete health history and physical examination and often some combination of diagnostics, which may include fecal examinations, blood work, a urinalysis, imaging (x-rays or ultrasound, for example), tissue biopsies, and more.
Depending on what was the cause of bloody diarrhea, treatments will vary. For foreign bodies and cancer, surgical intervention may be necessary, the vet may advise making dietary changes to increase fiber intake or reduce inflammation, and medications may be used to kill parasites, treat diseases, alleviate symptoms, and provide support. Fluids and blood products may be needed to overcome dehydration.
How to Prevent Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs?
The best way to prevent a dog from developing bloody diarrhea is to make slow food transitions, keep foreign objects and toxins that it may consume out of its reach, monitor its stress level, feed appropriate foods, use intestinal parasite preventatives, and have regular check-ups with a veterinarian.
The treatment for this depends on the cause:
If the blood and mucus are not a result of prolonged illness and merely a result of a night of eating garbage, your veterinarian may recommend a special diet for a few days and medication. Medications can be prescribed if parasites are the cause to deworm your dog and discuss how to safely clean up the environment to prevent reinfection. Hospitalization may be required if there is a viral infection like parvovirus since it is life-threatening. Intravenous fluids, antibiotics (for secondary infections) and additional medications might be required to control pain and vomiting.
Emergency surgery is usually indicated for foreign body obstructions as they are also deadly.
The vet may suggest changing the diet, switching to a highly digestible diet or adding additional fiber to the diet will help dogs with mucus in the stool. Boiled white meat chicken (no skin or bones), white rice, and a teaspoon to a tablespoon (depending on the size of the dog) of canned pumpkin is a good, homemade option that can be safely fed for a few days.
Dogs are loveable creatures as they love you back also and are always happy when you come back home. Their adorable faces and happy go lucky attitudes fill our lives with such joy. You must always take care of your pet’s health and see a vet as soon as you find anything different and suspicious.
Dogs, the most loyal beings, man’s best friend are the most amazing creatures to be around. They are those selfless creatures who give us companionship in all moods and emotions. If you are happy, your dog will jump along with joy. If you are sad, he also becomes sad. You can have a discussion about your entire day and narrate all your happy and sad stories and you’ll never feel like you are talking to someone who cannot speak because all their barks and moans make you feel that they understand what you are up to and want to say.