Canine Pooping Blood? This is What to Do Subsequent

Ouch! When you see something red in your dog’s stool, think about your dog pooping blood first. But don’t panic. First, determine if the red you see is really blood, and then read on how to deal with blood in the dog stool.

Do you think your dog poops blood? First, establish that all you see is actually blood. Photography by Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.

Do you notice something red in your dog’s chair? First, determine if your dog poops blood – or something else

Almost nothing is more alarming than seeing something red in your dog’s poop. Depending on what that red color actually is, red poop may be serious or nothing to worry about. So if your dog’s poop looks red, is your dog pooping blood – or could it be something else?

“It can be caused by a red color like food coloring,” says Tracey Jensen, DVM, Dipl.-Ing. ABVP, medical director at Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colorado. “It could be something that [your dog] ate that just passed innocently. I once saw a dog eat strawberry chapstick that got through. “If your dog eats red crayons, they can turn the poop red too. In general, food colors obtained from non-toxic sources will pass out in stool and do not leave any lasting effects.

When a dog poops blood, here are some things you should know

A more worrisome – but unfortunately more common – reason a dog’s poop might be colored red is blood. “Blood in feces can be caused by infections including various parasitic or bacterial infections, inflammatory diseases, and we see colon cancer in dogs,” explains Dr. Jensen. “Sometimes anal gland disease can cause a layer of blood on the feces.”

What to do with your blood in your stool

If you see red in your dog’s stool – and you haven’t noticed recently that your dog is eating a bunch of red crayons – call your veterinarian to make an appointment for the exam. If possible, bring a fresh sample of your dog’s stool for the vet to test.

Even if your dog is doing well, at least get in touch with your veterinarian for a conversation about your dog pooping blood. “Red is always worth a call,” explains Dr. Jensen. “There are many causes of blood in feces, some of which are very serious. When you contact your veterinary care team, there are a few questions you can answer to help determine if this is an emergency. “

Blood in the dog stool – could it be HGE or Parvo?

If it’s after hours and you see large amounts of bright red, bloody diarrhea, especially if the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting and / or lethargy (your dog is just lying around and obviously not feeling well), don’t wait until the morning you turn around to a vet. Bright red and bloody diarrhea can occur in an extremely serious condition called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). Without treatment, dogs with HGE can become extremely sick and even die.

Additionally, young puppies with bloody diarrhea may have canine parvovirus, a serious – sometimes fatal – viral disease. If you see adult dogs with large amounts of bloody diarrhea or puppies with bloody diarrhea, a visit to an emergency clinic is required for safety reasons.

The exact color / consistency can help determine the causes of a dog’s blood poop

The appearance of the poop and the color of the blood are clues your veterinarian can use to determine exactly where the blood came from. This can help diagnose the root cause of your dog’s blood pooping. “If the stool is normal in shape and consistency and has a red coating on the outside, which must be blood, we know it comes from the lower part of the intestinal tract,” says Dr. Jensen. “If it’s diarrhea or soft poop that has the red mixed in, then it tells us that the blood is likely going up a little higher in the intestinal tract.”

Sometimes the blood in the dog stool is not bright red, but very dark, black and tarry. “When we see the black, tarry stool, it’s digested blood,” explains Dr. Jensen. “If we see red blood that is covered or mixed in the feces, that blood has not been digested, so we know that it is actually getting closer to the exit point in the intestinal tract. When we see black, it tells us that it has been spending more time in the intestinal tract and is very likely coming from areas near or inside the stomach. “

How do you treat a dog that poops blood?

Treating a dog that poops blood will depend heavily on the cause of the bleeding. Once your vet can narrow down where the blood is coming from, they can run some tests to determine the cause and choose an appropriate treatment.

The takeaway here? If you notice your dog pooping blood, don’t panic; get your dog checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible. This is no reason to wait as your dog may need quick and life saving treatment.

Tell us: Has your dog pooped something red before? Has your dog pooped blood or something else?

Thumbnail: Photography © NUKUL2533 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

This piece was originally released in 2018.

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