If you’re a fur parent, it’s most likely that you tried checking on your dog’s stool not only once or twice. It may sound gross to others, but this is a good habit because your dog’s poop can say something about their health. Remember that changes in color, frequency, and consistency can be a red flag. More so if you start noticing bright red blood in their poop.
While this seems alarming, know that there are various reasons for a dog bloody stool. The most common are allergies, injury, constipation, and bacterial or viral infection. How do you know whether it’s an emergency or not?
Possible Reasons for Blood in Dog Stool
1. Food Allergies
It’s natural for dogs to taste or eat whatever they find. Sometimes, this can cause allergies resulting in a bloody stool. You may have also changed their diet, which affected their digestive tract. Food allergies can occur anywhere in their stomach, small intestine, anal region, stomach, or colon. Look out for something they shouldn’t consume or non-food items such as:
2. Gastroenteritis or Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is a fatal inflammation in the GI tract that requires an immediate visit to the vet. Aside from blood in their stool and/or vomit, look for these other symptoms:
- Lack of energy and interest
- Weight loss
3. Hemorrhoids or Other Irritations
Hemorrhoids or irritation close to the outside of the anus can also cause bloody stool in dogs. If they allow you, inspect for any possible noticeable reasons on the outside of their body. You usually see them with swelling and itching around the anus, a lump in the anus or rectum, and discomfort when they’re sitting and defecating because of pain.
Food with added fiber, like apples, pumpkin, carrots, beet pulp, brown rice, and dark leafy greens, may help. In minor cases, apply anti-hemorrhoid creams to help ease burning, swelling, and itchiness. It’s always best to take them to a trusted vet, like AEC Memphis, for further assessment and treatment, especially in more serious cases.
4. Enlarged Anal Glands
A tiny amount of bright red blood in a dog’s stool may be due to enlarged anal glands. Sadly, this is a common condition among dogs – small or large breeds. Bring them to your vet since treatment can include painful procedures, such as emptying the sacs. To prevent this from happening again, add more fiber to their diet or try giving them protein-rich dog food that they are not used to eating.
5. Severe Sickness that Affect Blood Clotting
Diseases affecting normal blood clotting can also be the culprit, such as:
- Liver disease
- Bleeding disorders
- Kidney disease
- Immune system diseases
- Hormonal disorders
6. Parasites or Infections Affecting the GI Tract
Bloody poop among dogs can also occur due to other serious conditions, which affect the GI tract, such as:
- Parasites: giardia, intestinal worms, coccidia
- Infections (bacteria, viruses such as parvovirus)
- In some cases, cancer
Veterinarians recommend a wide range of treatments for mild infections, like ointment, medicated shampoo, oral medications, etc. They will identify the most suitable treatment plan if your pets have a more serious condition. For worms, you can treat them naturally with items you can see in your pantry, including:
- Dried coconut
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- Chopped carrots
Choosing the Best Vet for Your Dog
Sometimes you can just wait for your pets to heal, whatever is the reason for their bloody poop. But keep in mind that some conditions are as fatal as they look. Always bring them to a vet to ensure their health is 100% protected, especially when you see them pooping even a tiny amount of blood.
It may not look life-threatening to you, but veterinarians are the right people to give professional opinions and advice about your pets. Since vets are not created equal, take time to find one that matches your needs because they will be your partner in ensuring your dog’s health and safety.
Pick a vet near you so it would be easier to arrive there in case of emergencies. Ask for recommendations from your family or people you know. The internet is also an excellent place to look for vet clinics near you. To narrow down your search within your area, search for “animal emergency center Memphis” if, for instance, you’re from the place.