It’s definitely an alarming situation to discover blood in your puppy’s poop. This could mean a lot of things considering the fact that blood is not a normal part of a dogs stool. In this case, bloody diarrhea in puppies should be taken very seriously because there may be more concerning underlying reasons for this. With that said, it’s important to identify the root cause of the problem and get the appropriate treatment for your dog.
The first thing to do is determine whether this is truly blood or your pet ate something that contains red dye or huge amounts of food coloring. If it’s really blood, what color is it? When your puppy poops blood, it could either be bright red or blackish red. Both issues have entirely different causes. I will briefly discuss what each of these issues means;
Bright red blood in the puppy’s poop
When the color of the blood in the stool is bright red, this could mean the puppy has a condition referred to as hematochezia. If there is just a little bit of blood, the issue may be temporary and is likely to go away on its own. On the other hand, if you spot copious amount of blood, this is enough reason to get concerned. You definitely have to consult with a veterinarian for further guidelines.
In some cases, the bloody red diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting. Diarrhea and vomiting in dogs may indicate a more severe condition called haemorrhagic gastroenteritis aka HE. This condition may be life threatening especially when left untreated.
Blackish red or dark poop
This is an issue that can go unnoticed for quite some time. If you notice your puppy’s poop is dark or blackish red in color, it’s an indication that it has spent a significant amount of time in the intestinal tract. It may also mean that the blood has already been digested. This may be a sign of infections, parasites or even toxins. Simply ask a vet free of charge to get some answers and ease your anxiety.
What are the common causes of bloody stool in puppies?
Dark or blackish red stool indicates a condition known as melena. On the other hand, bloody stool is as a result of a condition commonly known as hematochezia. Well, these two issues occur differently. For instance, melena means that the blood was digested hence turns black. It’s more likely that the problem is close to or somewhere in the upper digestive tract. Conversely, hematochezia is most likely caused by bleeding in the dog’s lower digestive tract.
All in all, there are various causes of these types of bloody stool and diarrhea. In fact, if you don’t consult with a veterinarian, you may never know the real reason behind the problem. Here are common reasons why your puppy may be pooping blood;
- Intestinal parasites- warms and parasites feed on the intestinal wall and can often cause irritation resulting in bloody stool. Always check for worms in dog’s stool most especially the hookworms.
- Bacterial and viral infections- bacterial and viral infections like salmonella and parvovirus can be the root cause of bloody stool.
- Anal gland issues- if you notice blood in the dog’s stool, there is a high possibility the anal glands are inflamed or infected.
- Liver disease- when the liver is not functioning as it’s supposed to, your dog may experience bloody diarrhea.
- Foreign object- some dogs are prone to ingesting foreign object which may not be digestible. This in turn causes trauma or injury in the digestive tract resulting in bloody stool.
- Ulcers- puppies with stomach or intestinal ulcers may poop blood.
- Cancer- there is a variety of cancers which develop in the intestinal tract and can cause problems such as bloody diarrhea.
- Difficulty in defecating- if your puppy is constipated and is straining to defecate, the blood vessels surrounding the rectal area may burst hence blood in stool.
What should I do about the blood in my puppy’s stool?
It’s never a good idea to still and wait for the issue to subside on its own. The first thing any pet owner should always do in such a scenario is to call the veterinarian and even schedule an appointment to get the dog checked. This may immensely help to rule out any serious conditions that is life threatening.
The vet will most likely carry out a full physical examination on the dog and request a stool sample for further analysis. Pay close attention to any changes in the stool consistency as well as well as other abnormal signs.
Diagnosing bloody poop in dogs
Since there is a wide range of reasons why your puppy may be pooping blood, the vet will have to conduct a comprehensive examination to pin point the underlying issue. Aside from a physical examination, the vet will perform a fecal floatation to determine the presence of intestinal parasites such as hookworms and whip worms.
In addition, depending on the symptom, there may be some blood work, tissue biopsies, imaging and urinalysis. Imaging such as x-rays or ultrasounds are carried out when the vet suspects there is an ingested foreign body which is blocking the intestinal tract. The actual treatment will then depend on the root cause.
Is there a way to prevent puppies from experiencing bloody diarrhea?
While some issues may be out of your control, there is definitely something you can do to prevent the occurrence of bloody poop or bloody diarrhea in dogs. For starters, keep foreign objects and even toxins out of sight. Also, when introducing a new food, make the transition slowly so that the dog has ample time to get used to it. Dogs are susceptible to intestinal parasites such as hookworms hence it’s important to make sure you protect them against these.
Another vital thing to do is keep an eye out for your dog’s stress levels. Similar to human beings dogs also get stressed and experience inflammation in the bowels. This often results in blood in the stool.