Why Is There Blood in My Dog’s Poop?
Do you keep track of what your dog’s poop looks like in the yard? If you’re like most pet parents, you probably don’t think a lot about it until you notice something wrong. If you see blood in your dog’s poop, there is likely a serious issue that you need to address.
In general, blood in dog poop is a sign of some sort of intestinal issue or constipation problem. It’s important that you pay close attention to what the blood looks like—while it can be red like typical blood, it can also show up as black, which is a sign of a more serious problem.
Let’s look at the issue of blood in dog poop so you can be aware of any issues in your dog’s health that need to be addressed.
Types of Blood in Dog’s Poop
You may not realize that there are two ways blood can show up in dog’s poop. In some cases, you’ll see bright red blood, which is called hematochezia. The blood is red and fresh because it indicates an issue in the lower digestive tract such as the colon or the anus.
Hematochezia can be caused by a variety of illnesses and issues and may not be as serious as other types of blood in poop.
The second type of blood you might find in your dog’s poop is called melena. This blood is generally dark, almost black in appearance, and will often look rather tarry. Melena is generally blood that comes from the upper digestive tract and has been digested by the dog.
Melena can be caused by much more serious issues such as diseases or infections. It can also be a sign of cancer, in rare cases. It’s important that if you notice either kind of blood in your dog’s poop, you speak to a veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out any serious issues.
Reasons for Blood in Dog’s Poop
There are a variety of reasons you might find blood in your dog’s poop. We’ll look at both hematochezia and melena to determine the most common causes of each type of blood.
Reasons for Hematochezia
There are several reasons for hematochezia. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Colitis (colon inflammation).
- Parasites such as hookworms, coccidia, or giardia.
- Toxins from human foods dogs shouldn’t eat (garlic, onions, chocolate, etc.) or things like weedkillers and bug poisons.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Eating non-food items like bones, sticks, toys, and garbage.
- Infections or impactions in the anal sac.
- A dietary shift to a new food that doesn’t agree with your dog.
Most of the time, your dog will poop more often and with more volume when dealing with hematochezia. This type of blood often accompanies diarrhea as well.
Reasons for Melena
Melena has many more causes than hematochezia. It can be caused by:
- Inflammatory disorders.
- Foreign bodies in your dog’s gut.
- Kidney failure.
- Addison’s disease.
- Liver disease.
- Clotting disorders.
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Reactions to medications such as anti-inflammatory medications.
A dog that has melena in its poop may also be showing signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, difficulty breathing, etc. If your dog is manifesting any of these issues, you should speak with a vet right away to rule out any serious issues.
Other Reasons for Bloody Poop
If your dog is showing bloody poop, it’s possible that they’re dealing with a clotting disorder that is causing blood to come out in its poop instead of staying in blood vessels where it belongs.
Some of these clotting disorders include:
- Bleeding disorders.
- Liver disease.
- Kidney disease.
- Immune system diseases.
- Hormonal disorders.
Your dog may also get bloody poop if they are stressed by environmental factors such as a new home, a new houseguest or family member, fireworks, or other common dog stressors. Be aware of anything that might bother your dog so you can rule out stress as a potential issue.
What To Do When You Notice Blood in Your Dog’s Poop
The best thing you can do when you notice blood in your dog’s poop is call your dog’s vet. You will want to keep a sample of the bloody poop with you, if possible, and you’ll definitely need to know how to describe it to your vet as clearly as possible.
Once you’ve chatted with your vet, they can test the dog poop you have (if you have a sample available) and take a look at your dog to determine if they are suffering from any other symptoms.
If your vet determines that your dog is merely stressed and doesn’t need significant further treatment, they may send you home with instructions and medication to help your dog get to feeling better.
Treatment Options for Bloody Dog Poop
If your dog has blood in its poop, your vet will likely perform some tests to determine the cause and what treatment is right for your dog’s specific situation.
Some of the most common treatment options for bloody dog poop include:
- Diet change.
- Increased fluids to treat dehydration.
- Treatment for diarrhea.
- Anti-parasite treatment.
There is no great home treatment for dog poop with blood in it, so it’s important that you give a vet a call as soon as possible.
Watch Your Dog’s Poop
It’s important for you to watch your dog’s poop for any sign of blood or other abnormalities. Keep an eye out whenever you pick up your dog’s poop.
If you’re not one who has the time or energy to pick up your dog’s poop, we can help! Our team at Idaho Poop Scoop cares deeply about your dog. We’ll do everything in our power to watch out for your dog’s health when we’re picking up their poop and let you know if we see anything abnormal.