My Dog Has Bloody Diarrhea – What Should I Do?
Bloody diarrhea in dogs is not a pleasant sight at all. Although diarrhea can be common and resolve itself on its own, bloody diarrhea is a different story. Bloody diarrhea is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly.
If your dog has bloody diarrhea then it is important that you take them to the vet as soon as possible. This is because bloody diarrhea in dogs is usually an underlying sign of a more serious health problem. It is also a good idea to save a stool sample for your vet as well.
In this article, we will be describing what you should do for your dog if they have bloody diarrhea, as well as the possible causes.
Causes For Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs
There are many potential causes for bloody diarrhea in dogs. Possibly the most common causes for this medical issue in dogs is intestinal parasites, infections, ingesting toxins, foreign bodies, and problems with the anal glands. However, injuries and many other medical conditions can potentially cause a dog to have bloody diarrhea as well. Here are all of the possible causes for bloody diarrhea in dogs.
Intestinal parasites are one of the most common causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs. In addition to blood, some dog owners may notice some other strange things about their dog’s diarrhea when they have intestinal parasites such as white spots or strange discolorations. The good news is that intestinal parasites are usually easily diagnosed and treated by a vet.
Parvovirus and Other Diseases
Parvovirus and other types of diseases can sometimes cause bloody diarrhea in dogs as well. This includes both viral and bacterial infections. Oftentimes, your dog will be experiencing other symptoms associated with illness along with bloody diarrhea. However, these symptoms will differ depending on the disease that the dog has. As a result, you should take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect that they are sick.
This condition causes a dog to have bloody diarrhea, and it is most common in younger, smaller breed dogs. Some other symptoms of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis include but may not be limited to:
- Vomiting (may also contain blood)
- Weight loss
- Changes in behavior
If you suspect that your dog’s bloody diarrhea is being caused by this condition, then you should take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Did you know that dogs can have IBD too? Well, it’s true, and it can also cause a dog to have bloody diarrhea. In addition to bloody diarrhea, some common symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease includes:
- Vomiting (may or may not contain blood)
- Weight loss
Although not much is known about IBD in dogs, dogs that have food allergies or food sensitivities are more at risk of experiencing IBD than dogs that do not. It is recommended that you consult with a vet if you suspect that your dog has Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Problems With The Anal Glands
Sometimes, bloody diarrhea may not be a sign that a dog has a problem with their digestive tract at all. This is because in some cases, problems with the anal glands such as infections or inflammation can cause them to bleed. This blood often ends up in the dog’s stool. Although this problem is not nearly as life threatening as some of the other causes for bloody diarrhea in dogs, you should still take your dog to the vet if they are having problems with their anal glands.
Foreign Bodies & Toxins
A foreign body or toxin can cause bloody diarrhea if it was ingested. You should take your dog to the vet immediately if they have bloody diarrhea and they have eaten something that they shouldn’t have. Ingested foreign bodies may require immediate emergency surgery, while ingested toxins are considered an emergency.
Injuries to the digestive tract can cause a dog to have bloody diarrhea as well. This is because injuries in the digestive tract that cause bleeding will likely result in bloody diarrhea that appears to be either dark or bright red. This color depends on where in the digestive tract the bleeding is taking place. Injuries to the digestive tract will likely require medical attention, so you should take your dog to the vet quickly if you suspect that they are injured in this way.
In some more rare instances very extreme stress can cause a dog to have bloody diarrhea. This is mainly due to the effects that a lot of stress has on the digestive tract. In these cases, it is recommended that you reduce your dog’s stress or anxiety as much as you can. It is a good idea to take your dog to the vet in this case as well.
In some cases, bloody diarrhea in dogs can be a sign of cancer. This is either due to inflammation of the digestive tract as a result of the cancer or because of direct injury to the digestive tract due to the cancer.
Other Medical Conditions
A wide variety of medical conditions can potentially cause a dog to have bloody diarrhea. These medical conditions do tend to be more rare, but bloody diarrhea is often a sign that something is very wrong with a dog health wise. As a result, you should always take your dog to the vet if they have bloody diarrhea.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Bloody Diarrhea
Any time that your dog has bloody diarrhea you should take them to the vet as soon as you can. This is because bloody diarrhea in dogs is usually a sign that they are experiencing a serious medical issue. Your vet may want you to bring them in a sample of your dog’s diarrhea or take a picture of it as well.
Your veterinarian will likely give your pup a comprehensive exam, focusing on the stomach and abdomen area to rule out any issues there. They may also run a variety of assessments to test your dog’s stool, urine, and blood.
Blood in your dog’s diarrhea is a serious concern and should not be taken lightly. While diarrhea in dogs can be common from time to time, bloody diarrhea is a more serious concern. If your pup is suffering from bloody diarrhea, a trip to the vet is recommended to rule out any additional medical problems.
For pups and pup parents in the Lakeland, FL region, Parkway Emergency Clinic offers after-hours emergency care and 24 hour care on the weekends to meet your emergency needs. If you have an after-hours or weekend pet emergency in the Lakeland, FL area, call them at (863) 665-3199.
At Parkway Veterinary Emergency Clinic, our team consists of experienced veterinarians and veterinary professionals dedicated to providing exceptional after-hours emergency vet care to the pet community of Lakeland.