blood in dog stool should i worry if my dog has bloody diarrhea

Blood in Dog Stool: Should I Worry if My Dog Has Bloody Diarrhea?

Under normal circumstances, blood is only expected to be seen in the blood vessels, thus, when we observe blood anywhere else, or in your pet dog’s poop, then you would not be wrong to worry because there is always a good reason for blood to be present in a dog’s stool. The health conditions that can give rise to this situation are endless, but some are more critical than others. Having foreknowledge of what is before your eyes can aid you in conveying your pet’s condition more vividly to the vet. If you after some answers, continue reading to find out more.

sad dog on the sofa

How To Diagnosing Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs

No pet parent will enjoy their pooch if he happens to be inflicted with diarrhea; neither is it fun for the dog. While diarrhea can be chronic, there are still several cases that are temporary. Besides, the color of a dog’s poop is an indication of the underlying cause of bloody diarrhea.

No doubt you can identify bloody diarrhea by inspecting your dog’s poop. Although many may view it as distasteful, giving an accurate description of the blood you observed in your pet dog’s poop helps the vet at arriving at an informed decision concerning the source of the blood and diagnosis. While the blood that is dark red in color is an indication of some form of upper digestive issues, the bright red blood emanates from the lower digestive system. With the bright red blood, it is easily discernible, but when it is the darker digested blood, it becomes a bit tricky. If the vet suspects digested blood or a smaller quantity of blood, they will conduct a fecal occult blood test, which confirms the presence of blood or otherwise.

How Vets Diagnose Blood In Dog Stool 

An accurate diagnosis of the possible causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs calls for your pet’s complete health history, physical exams, as well as a combination of some diagnostics including the likes of blood work, fecal examinations, imaging like ultrasound or x-rays, urinalysis, tissue biopsies, and lots more.

Treatment varies depending on the underlying causes, while cancer and foreign bodies may call for surgery, you can reduce inflammation or boost fiber intake by dietary changes. And in the case of parasites, medication is required.

Bright Red Blood In A Dog’s Poop – What Does It Mean?

Bright red blood in a dog’s poop is medically referred to as hematochezia. The blood is usually fresh and maybe coming from the dog’s lower intestines. Most of the time, it emanates from the rectum or colon. Hematochezia can be caused by a lot of things which include:

  • Parvovirus: This is a severe virus often present in puppies. The symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy. This calls for prompt attention.
  • Parasites: Most cases of bloody poop in dogs are caused by parasites, which can be detected through fecal The vet will then be in a better position to administer the right treatment depending on the causing organism.
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis: This comes with diarrhea and vomiting, resulting in a large quantity of blood in your dog’s stool. Dehydration may occur, and treatment is usually with medications and IV fluids.
  • Rectal injuries: This happens when a dog swallows a sharp object that might have scraped his lower intestine in the course of elimination or digestion. Rectal polyps, as well as anal gland injuries, can give rise to deposits of bright red blood in your pet dog’s stool.
  • Stress: Changes in the animal’s household or routine may bring colitis mixed with blood and/or mucus in your canine friend’s loose stool.

Black Or Dark Red Blood In A Pup’s Stool

Medically, this health condition is referred to as Melena. It is a bit difficult to detect because the blood comes in a darker color. In cases like this, the origin of the blood is the upper intestinal tract, which means that the blood in the stool will be almost completely digested at the point of defecation. Causes of Melena include:

  • Blood clotting disorders: This can be caused by several conditions, including when a dog consumes rodent poison.
  • Use of NSAIDS: Extended use of this type of medication may cause gastric ulcers for the dog.
  • Post-surgery complications: The vet must be consulted when you observe black, tarry poop for up to three days following a recent surgery, it may be an indication of internal bleeding.
  • Cancer or tumor: this is more evident in older dogs where bleeding tumors or polyps may result in dark stools.
  • Ingestion of blood: It may happen that the dog licked a bleeding wound, or he may have sustained a mouth injury causing him to ingest some blood.

Other Causes Of Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs Include

  • Side effects from drugs: One of the side effects of medication can be bloody poop.
  • Pancreatic disease: As the pancreas is charged with a vital role in digestion, diarrhea may occur when it fails to function optimally.
  • Liver disease: When the liver cannot function well, the resultant effect may be bloody diarrhea.
  • Kidney failure: Bloody diarrhea may be as a result of renal disease.
  • Addison’s disease: This is an endocrine disorder though it is quite uncommon. It targets the adrenal glands, giving rise to bloody poop in dogs.
  • Dietary indiscretion: A dog may develop inflammation or some form of intestinal irritation; if he ingests foods that he is not used to, this may result in a bloody stool.
  • Anal gland problems: The location of the anal gland is beside the anus, and if they happen to be impacted, infected, or inflamed, you may observe blood in your pet dog’s poop.
  • Straining to defecate: Straining to achieve a bowel movement may burst some small blood vessels found around the rectum. When this happens, the poop will be mixed with blood.
  • Bowel inflammation: Expect to see streaks of blood in your dog’s poop when there is any type of inflammation in the bowel.

Dog Pooping Blood Or Mucus: What Is The Required Treatment?

Treatment here depends on the cause: There are several kinds of treatment for blood in dog’s stool, which will be administered by the vet depending on the underlying causes.

  • If the cause of mucus or blood in dog poop is the resultant effect of garbage consumption, the vet’s recommendation may come in the form of a special diet for a few days in addition to medication.
  • If parasite happens to be the culprit, the vet’s prescription will consist of deworming medication and advice on the best way to sanitize the environment so as to avoid re-infection.

Related Post: Best Dewormers for Dogs

  • On the other hand, bloody poop from viral infections such as parvovirus is quite threatening and often calls for hospitalization, antibiotics when it is a secondary infection, intravenous fluids, and extra medication to take care of the resultant pain and vomiting.
  • However, when it is a foreign body obstructions case, it is quite lethal and requires emergency surgery. Ultimately, it is the duty of the vet to determine the best cause of treatment after assessing your pup’s diagnosis and his overall health condition.

How To Prevent Bloody Stool In Dogs

You can go for treatment when your dog has bloody diarrhea. However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent the occurrence of bloody dog stools.

Watch your pooch closely, or better still, put him/her on a leash to stop it from consuming the feces of other animals. Keep your pooch from continuing to eat stale food, and reduce the quantity of human food that it eats. You can also prevent your canine friend from developing anal sacculitis through a monthly anal gland expression performed by a technician or a vet.

Help your pet dog’s overall health by making sure that it is adequately exercised and feed with a balanced diet. An annual examination by the vet is key; the vet will be in a better position to arrest any budding issue before it develops into serious health conditions.

Questions That The Vet Expects You To Answer On A Call

You don’t just take your pooch on a visit to the vet; pet parents should arm themselves with answers to certain questions, which will be asked by the vet. You can expect to hear questions like:

  • For how long have you observed blood in your pet’s poop?
  • Is this the first time you are witnessing this or has it occurred before?
  • Do you think your pet is experiencing diarrhea, and for how long?
  • Does your dog have a loss of energy?
  • Has your pooch been vomiting?
  • Is your dog’s appetite normal, does he/he eat and drink?
  • Is your pup a free-roaming pup? Here the vet wants to know whether your dog is an indoor-only pet, or if it lives in the great outdoors.
  • Do you have an idea of anything your dog may have eaten, which it shouldn’t have.

dog sitting on the blanket

There are pet parents who are averse to going into a vet’s clinic, but once you observe blood in your canine friend’s pooch. Then it is time to pay the vet a visit.


  1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease In Dogs, Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
  2. How to Treat a Dog That Has Diarrhea, HowStuffWorks
  3. Painful Defecation in Dogs: Causes and Treatment, WebMD
  4. Ernest Ward, DVM, Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome in Dogs, VCA Hospitals
  5. Susan O’Bell, DVM, DACVIM, Acute Colitis: The Scoop on Diarrhea in Dogs, The MSPCA–Angell

Leave a reply

Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.