If you spot blood in the stool of dogs, it can be an intimidating sight. If you know what causes blood to appear in the stool of a dog, you can easily find out how to treat the condition and positively affect your dog’s health and well-being.
Why Is There Blood in My Dog’s Stool
Blood in the stool, known as melena, can have several causes. Blood may or may not be seen by naked eyes when a dog has a bowel movement, and when seen can take on two forms. Bright red blood in the stool usually indicates a bleed or issue with the lower digestive tract such as the colon (large intestine), rectum or anus. This is because the blood is not digested having not moved through much of the GI tract, indicating a lower end bleed. Dark bloody stools, which may be dark brown or tarry looking, indicate a bleed in the upper intestines, such as the stomach or small intestine. This dark color is due to the blood being partially digested and broken down as it moves through the digestive tract and passes out of the body.
Color is one of the major indicators as to where to look for GI problems in your dog. Other signs and symptoms associated with GI bleeding include a painful abdomen that may be painful to touch or may give your dog a hunched appearance as they attempt to protect their belly. Dogs may have pale or bluish gums in cases of severe bleeding, may vomit or lose their appetite, or may have diarrhea in addition to blood in the stool.
Can I Prevent My Dog From Having Bloody Stool
Blood in the stool is a very serious condition and should put up many red flags for owners. While not all causes of blood in the stool can be prevented, some causes, such as ingestion of a foreign object or toxic substance, can be. Checking the environment for any potential hazards and removing them before your dog enters the environment can help prevent problems. If your dog does have blood in the stool, checking the environment for potential hazards can also alert you to information that is valuable for your vet and key in preventing further complications.
What Should I Do If I See Blood in My Dog’s Stool
If you see blood in your dog’s stool, fix an appointment with your vet. If your furry friend has a bloody stool due to the ingestion of a toxic or foreign object, contact a veterinarian immediately. Your vet will perform a complete body examination and may request a stool sample for examination of blood type and any indications of parasites, bacterial, or viral issues. Your vet may also recommend blood work and X-rays to check for internal organ problems and visible signs of illness.
Blood in the stool can be treated, depending on its cause. In puppies and young dogs that are not fully vaccinated, viral disease, such as parvo virus, is usually a major cause of blood in the stool. Treatment requires hospitalization and isolation due to the extremely contagious nature of the virus and serious symptoms. Home treatment is not recommended.
Treatment may include removal of the foreign body and medications to absorb or treat toxicity issues. Hospitalization may be required to help an object pass and to monitor blood and fluid levels while the substances are removed from the body.
For less serious causes of blood in the stool, such as internal parasites, gastritis or minor digestive upset, treatment may range from simple stomach-soothing medications, deworming products or even minor IV and subcutaneous fluids to treat dehydration. If symptoms appear more severe or continue after basic treatment, hospitalization may be recommended. Most dogs will recover very well with treatment if symptoms are addressed early enough.
Natural Remedies for Treating Blood In The Stool Of Dogs
Minor digestive issues associated with melena may be treated with homeopathic or herbal remedies. Contacting a holistic or naturopathic veterinarian prior to care can also help rule out more serious conditions before treatment. Remedies, such as Ipecacuahna 30C, Arsen Alb 30C, and Cuprum Met 30C, may help with diarrhea tinged with blood. Echinacea, Garlic, and Myrrh are also recommended to boost the immune system and treat any minor bacterial or viral causes of illness.