Is finding blood in your dog's stool an emergency?
There are two types of bloody stool, and anytime you find blood in your dog's stool, there may be cause for concern and you should call your vet. Experts cite two types of bloody stool -- hematochezia and melena. Keep a journal and note which one of these applies to what you found in your dog's poop. You'll want to share this with your vet.
According to the American Kennel Club, there are common causes of bloody stool and specific illnesses we include below. There are also common causes of melena. Bright red blood means the condition can be very serious.
"Hematochezia is bright red blood. This type of bleeding occurs in the lower digestive tract or colon and indicates a specific set of conditions.
Melena is a dark, sticky, tarry stool, almost jelly-like. This blood has been digested or swallowed, indicating a problem in the upper digestive tract. You can check whether your dog's stool contains this kind of blood by wiping it on a paper towel to see if the color is reddish."
What causes bright red blood in your dog's stool?
The AKC provides a list of causes every pet parent should be aware of when they're seeing blood in their dog's stool.
- Parasites (also a cause of melena in some cases)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
A dog that has intestinal parasites like whipworms, or hookworms will have loose stools as a side effect. Remember to bring a stool sample to your vet appointment so they can perform a fecal exam along with blood tests and blood work. HGE is also very serious and you may see fresh blood in the stool if this is the cause.
Stress is on this list and a cause of blood in the stool. Unfortunately, if there is a major transition in a dog's life it can throw off their digestive system and cause inflammation of the colon. Dietary changes can cause issues in the GI tract and intestinal tract too. Your vet may recommend probiotics.
Causes of melena
- Clotting disorders
Other possible causes of bloody diarrhea include kidney failure, liver disease, foreign objects, or more serious conditions. It's extremely important a DVM performs an exam on your dog if you see blood in their stool. Make an appointment right away.
Have you ever found this when they're sick? Please leave a comment below!