Why Does Your Dog Have Bloody Stool? What Are the Causes and What to Do?

If you’re a fur parent, you have probably tried checking on your dog’s poop many times. It sounds gross, but this may be a good habit because your dog’s stool can tell something about their health. Changes in color, frequency, and consistency can be warning signs. More so if you start seeing bright red blood in their poop.

Though this seems alarming, you must understand that there are different reasons for this. The most common include constipation, allergies, injury, and bacterial or viral infection. So, how do you know if it’s an emergency or not?

Possible Reasons for Blood in Dog Stool

1. Food Allergies

Blood in your dog’s poop can result from eating something bad or dietary changes that affect their digestive tract. This can happen anywhere in their small intestine, stomach, anal region, or colon. Watch out for something they shouldn’t consume or non-food items such as:

  • Toys
  • Sticks
  • Garbage
  • Toxins

2. Gastroenteritis

Inflammation in the GI tract called “gastroenteritis” or “hemorrhagic gastroenteritis” is an emergency that requires an immediate visit to the vet because it can be fatal. In addition to blood in their stool and/or vomit, look for these other symptoms:

  • Dehydration
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of energy and interest

3. Hemorrhoids or Other Irritations

A dog pooping blood may be experiencing hemorrhoids or irritation near the outside of the anus. If they let you, check any possible visible causes on the outside of their body. They often have swelling and itching around the anus, a lump in the anus or rectum, and you see them feeling uncomfortable when sitting and defecating due to pain.

You may give them food with added fiber, such as pumpkin, carrots, apples, beet pulp, brown rice, and dark leafy greens. In minor cases, you can use anti-hemorrhoid creams to help relieve swelling, burning, and itchiness. But it’s always best to bring them to a trusted vet, such as AEC Memphis, for further assessment and treatment, especially for severe cases.

4. Enlarged Anal Glands

A small amount of bright red blood in a dog’s stool can result from enlarged anal glands. Unfortunately, this is a common condition among dogs, small or big, which involves painful procedures as treatment. To prevent this from reoccurring, try to increase fiber in their diet. Protein-based dog food that your dog isn’t used to eating may help.

5. Serious Illnesses that Affect Blood Clotting

Diseases that affect normal blood clotting can also be the culprit, such as:

  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Toxins
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Immune system diseases
  • Hormonal disorders

6. Parasites or Infections Affecting the GI Tract

Other more serious conditions that affect the GI tract can also lead to bloody poop, including:

  • Parasites: giardia, intestinal worms, coccidia
  • In some cases, cancer
  • Infections (bacteria, viruses such as parvovirus)

Veterinarians prescribe different treatments for mild infections, like ointment, a medicated shampoo, oral medications, etc. For conditions that need medical intervention, your vet will determine the most suitable treatment plan for your dog. For worms, here are natural pantry items to combat them:

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • Dried coconut
  • Chopped carrots
  • Chamomile
  • Turmeric
  • Kefir

Going to the Vet for Blood in Your Dog’s Stool

In some cases, you can simply wait to heal whatever is the cause of your dog’s bloody stool. Unfortunately, some conditions are as fatal as they look. To ensure your dog’s safety and health, always bring them to the veterinarian if you see even a tiny amount of blood in their stool.

It may not look life-threatening, but they’re the right people to give professional opinions and advice about your pets. But it would be best if you took time to find a vet that matches your needs since they will be playing a vital role in both your and your dog’s life for a long time. 

Choose one that’s near you so it would be easier to arrive there in times of emergencies. Ask for recommendations or search online. To narrow your search within your area, search for “emergency vet Memphis” if, for instance, you’re from the place.