If you’ve noticed blood in your dog’s feces, you’re probably quite concerned. Asking yourself “Why is my dog pooping blood?” is probably the first thing you’ve done. Thankfully, unlike humans, dogs can poop blood for a wide variety of reasons and it’s not always serious. Since the reasons can vary so widely, few of these cases will be the same but if your dog is doing it there’s some stuff to keep in mind.
Should I See the Vet?
If your dog isn’t eating or drinking, or you find they’re acting lethargic in addition to having bloody stool you should see a veterinarian immediately. In other cases, you may want to collect a stool sample before you head out to the vet.
Collecting a stool sample is relatively easy, all you’ll need to do is collect a fresh pile of feces and put it in a Ziploc bag. You may actually want to double bag it, just to prevent the stool from getting on anything and to prevent contamination of other stuff in case it’s something contagious.
It might seem a bit odd to have to do this, but your vet will appreciate it and it’ll save both of you some time. From there they’ll be able to run tests and see what’s going on with your dog.
Types of Dog Bloody Stool
There are two different types of blood in stool that may present themselves in your canine. They’re pretty easy to differentiate, and can give you something of a closer look at what’s going on even if you aren’t a vet.
The first of these is hematochezia and it’s definitely the more noticeable of the two. With this condition the blood will be relatively fresh and there’ll be no question of if it’s blood. If your dog is displaying hematochezia then the blood is originating from the end of the digestive tract, and it can be indicative of a wide range of conditions.
In this case, the causes can be anything from rectal injuries, dietary indiscretions, to the dreaded parvovirus which can make short work of most dogs. If your dog is acting oddly as well as displaying this symptom, you need to get them to a certified veterinarian immediately.
The other way that it may present itself is melena, which can be harder to detect due to the usually dark color of dog poop. In the case of melena the blood may be originating anywhere in the digestive tract from the esophagus to the colon.
If you’re not quite sure if your dog has this symptom, place the stool on a paper towel and see if the liquid which diffuses into the paper has a reddish tint. There’s a wide number of different causes for this symptom, some serious and others quite coincidental ranging from internal hemorrhaging to a dog having licked a bloody wound.
Some of these conditions can be serious, including tumors and bleeding from the GI tract and in this case you may want to contact your vet and make an appointment. Try to bring a stool sample with you in this case, as it may just save your dog’s life.
The causes will vary, and depend a lot on which of the symptoms your dog is suffering from. For instance, a short breakdown for a canine suffering from hematochezia would look like this:
- Dietary Indiscretions(ie: eating something damaging)
- Injuries to the Rectum
- Internal Injuries in the Colon
On the other hand, the list of causes for melena is a bit different, and this symptom might be presenting due to one of the following:
- Use of NSAID Painkillers
- Blood Clotting Disorders
- Complications after Surgery
- Cancerous Tumors
- Ingestion of Blood
In either case, the best thing to do is get your dog to a vet so that they can be safe and you can be worry-free. Remember that it’s certainly not always the worst-case scenario, and sometimes things just happen so stay calm for your fuzzy pal until you know for sure what the problem is.
In most cases, the answer to “why is my dog pooping blood?” will only be able to be answered by a qualified vet. Your part in the diagnosis is deciding when to get your dog to the veterinarian and whether or not to wait long enough to take a stool sample with you.
In the case of either hematochezia or melena you should seek immediate attention if any of the following present themselves:
- Lack of Appetite
- Lack of Water Intake
- General Lethargy
As these symptoms can be indicative of a very serious issue.
We hope that we’ve answered your question. Leave us a comment below if you have any questions.