Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs


Bloody diarrhea in dogs is something all pet owners should not ignore.  When a dog passes out very soft or watery stools that contain blood, it definitely is a sign that something is amiss with the dog.  Professional medical attention should be given the soonest time possible so that worsening, complications and even death can be prevented.

The dog is said to have diarrhea when the dog’s bowel movement is more than 5 times a day, which has already lasted for several days.  Bloody diarrhea in dogs is characterized by the passage of the feces that contain blood.  This could be very alarming for a pet owner so it is best to consult the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and management.

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What are the Classifications of Bloody diarrhea in dogs?

There are two classifications of bloody diarrhea in dogs. These are Hematochezia and Melena.

Hematochezia is typified by the presence of fresh blood in the stool. The blood is bright red in color. Hematochezia occurs when there is bleeding in the lower part of the digestive system such as the large intestines. Melena, on the other hand, is characterized by the appearance of black, tarry stool during bowel movement. Melena happens when there is bleeding in the upper part of the digestive system such as the stomach and small intestines. The feces is colored black because the blood therein is old and digested. Generally, Melena is worse than Hematochezia.

Causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs

There are many possible causes of Bloody diarrhea in dogs. The list below briefly explains each.

  • Foreign Object swallowed

Often when there is a foreign object swallowed by the dog, especially if the item is sharp, it can cause bloody diarrhea in dogs. The swallowed object may abrade some parts of the intestinal lining or the rectum as it comes out together with the feces. Watch the dog attentively when it is playing because it may ingest foreign objects causing bloody diarrhea.

  •  Eating dead bodies of animals or rotten garbage

The rotten garbage or dead bodies of animals can irritate the digestive system causing bloody diarrhea in dogs. The ingested garbage and dead body may also have viruses that can harm the dog’s health.

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  •  Parvo

Parvo is a disease caused by the Parvo virus. Parvo virus is a contagious virus affecting dogs, and can spread from one dog to another dog. Parvo virus affects the heart and the intestines of the dog.

  • Rat poison

Rats carry many kinds of viruses that can greatly affect the health of dogs. Accidental ingestion of rat urine or feces can lead to diseases such as blood clotting disorder and bloody diarrhea in dogs.

  •  Cancer

One sign of cancer in dogs is bloody diarrhea. If the pet owner sees the dog’s stool with bright red or black colored blood then there is also a possibility that the dog has cancer. Along with the bloody diarrhea, other signs and symptoms of cancer are obstruction of the intestines and bloating body.

 Diseases that causes blood in dog’s loose stool

  • There are various diseases that can cause bloody diarrhea in dogs such as Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is when there is sudden diarrhea with copious blood in the stool. The exact cause is not known but the dog needs immediate medical attention such as administration of the right kind of medication and intravenous fluids.
  • Blood clotting disorders or coagulopathy happens when the clotting factors of the blood are not performing their function or are insufficient to stop the bleeding. As a result of this disorder, bloody diarrhea in dogs can occur.

 What to watch out for when there is bloody diarrhea in dogs?

The dog should be observed properly for other signs and symptoms accompanying the bloody diarrhea as it may signal a disease. Watch out if the dog is vomiting, licks its lips constantly, has difficulty in defecating, excessively drinking and urinating, shows lethargy, constantly bumping other objects due to loss of vision, displays lack of interest in food, suffers uncontrollable panting, weight loss and seizures.

Treatment for Bloody diarrhea in dogs

The veterinarian may change the diet of the dog to compensate the loss blood. If the cause of the bloody diarrhea in dogs is bacteria then the veterinarian would prescribe antibiotics. Deworming medications are given if the cause of the bloody diarrhea is intestinal parasites. Replacement of the fluid lost is also crucial to avoid dehydration. The dog is given vitamin K for blood clotting disorders and blood transfusion if necessary.

Consider bloody diarrhea in dogs a sign of an ongoing danger inside the dog’s body. It is important to bring the dog to the veterinarian for check up. Don’t wait for the condition to become worse before you get the appropriate help for your pet dog.

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