Dog has blood in stool: possible causes
Digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea are common in dogs. In most cases, the cause of the symptoms can be determined quickly and treated well.
But at the latest when a dog has blood in its stool, many owners panic. Fortunately, bloody faeces does not necessarily indicate a serious illness.
Nevertheless, you should be attentive and get to the bottom of the cause promptly. Where the blood in your dog's stool can come from and what you should do in this case is explained below.
Red and black blood in the dog's stool
The blood in your dog's stool can be either red or black.
Black blood has already been digested and its colour has changed. This is usually a sign that the cause is in the front part of the digestive tract. In rare cases, it may also come from the rear part of the digestive tract due to digestive delays, such as constipation.
If the blood in your dog's stool is red, it usually indicates that the cause is in the back of the digestive tract. The red blood comes from the front part of the digestive system only in exceptional cases, such as an infection with parvovirus, which prevents the digestion of the blood.
Fresh blood can occur in very different amounts in the animal's faeces, ranging from small streaks to almost all red diarrhoea.
Possible causes of blood in the dog's stool
If a dog has blood in its stool, there are many possible causes. These range from comparatively harmless symptoms to serious illnesses that can even be life-threatening.
Among other things, blood in dogs' stools can have the following causes:
- Worms are widespread in dogs. The parasites can lead to weight loss, anaemia and bloody faeces.
- Giardia are tiny intestinal parasites that are highly contagious and can cause bloody and slimy diarrhoea.
- Inflammations of the small and large intestine can have various causes in dogs and lead to bloody stools among other symptoms.
- Dogs can suffer from various gastrointestinal diseases, which can manifest themselves among other things also by blood in the excrement of the four-legged friend.
- Depending on the poison, poisoning can lead to internal bleeding and thus to blood in the dog's stool.
- Constipation can cause the veins in the dog's intestines to burst, allowing small amounts of blood to get into the dog's faeces.
- Tumours and ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract can also cause bloody faeces in dogs.
- An inflammation of the anal glands is usually caused by diarrhoea. Blood in the dog's stool is one of the symptoms that can occur.
- Bone faeces occurs when a dog is fed too much bone. Undigested bone fragments can tear the intestinal wall and cause bleeding.
- In addition, the trigger for the blood in the stool can sometimes be found in the dog's airways. This is the case, for example, when the four-legged friend suffers from nosebleeds and swallows the blood.
Other symptoms that can occur together with bloody stools include
In most cases, blood in the stool does not occur alone, but in combination with other symptoms. The exact symptoms depend on the cause of the bloody faeces and the amount of blood lost.
In combination with blood in stool, the following symptoms may occur in dogs:
- Pale mucous membranes
- Loss of appetite
- Nibbling and licking in the anus area
- Bloody vomiting
- Slimy excrement
- Weight loss
- Pain in the heel of faeces
- Wounds and swellings around the anus
- Sliding around on your bottom (so-called sledging)
A dog with blood in his stool has to go to the vet.
If you notice that your dog has blood in his stool, a timely visit to the vet is essential. Without treatment, the complaints can have life-threatening consequences for the four-legged friend, depending on the cause. A severe loss of blood, for example, can lead to anemia.
Blood in the faeces - cause research by the veterinarian
First the veterinarian will ask you about your medical history during a preliminary interview and carry out a general examination of your dog as well as various blood tests.
Depending on the results of the blood test and the colour of the dog's excrements, further tests will follow.
If the faeces is red and therefore fresh, a rectal examination is necessary to check the anal glands of the dog.
In order to diagnose parasites such as worms as the cause of the bloody stool, an examination of the faeces itself is useful, while an ultrasound examination can be used, for example, to search for tumours in the digestive tract of the animal.
If all these examinations are unsuccessful, an endoscopy or a biopsy (tissue removal) may be necessary to determine the cause.
Treating dogs correctly with blood in their stools
As different as the possible causes of blood in the stools of dogs are, so different are the necessary treatment measures. After all, it is not only a matter of stabilizing the four-legged friend, but also of treating the underlying disease.
This can take place on completely different ways. An affection with worms or Giardien can be treated for example with the help of a worm cure, while an anal gland inflammation makes a rinsing of the Analbeutel as well as the administration of antibiotics and the use of special ointments necessary.
Inflammation of the intestine, on the other hand, can often be alleviated with a change in diet. In some cases, however, an operation may also be necessary to eliminate the trigger of the bloody excrement in the dog.
In addition, fluid infusions or even blood transfusions are often necessary to stabilise the animal for a short time in order to compensate for a severe loss of blood.
Dog has blood in his stool - the most important thing at a glance
As you can see, from nosebleeds to parasites to tumors, there are many different triggers for the blood in your dog's stool.
If you notice that your dog's faeces is bloody, make sure you stay calm and make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. The veterinarian can determine the exact cause and initiate the necessary treatment measures.
If you are lucky, the blood in your dog's stool should soon have disappeared again.