Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs – Should I be Concerned?

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Alex

bloody diarrhea in dogs

There are several possible causes for bloody diarrhea in dogs and all should raise a flag of concern. Dogs are not able to tell us something is not right with them and they can’t tell us exactly what is wrong so we have to leave it up to the professionals. Especially in cases where the symptoms are serious in nature and could be a symptom of something detrimental to the dogs’ life.

Here are some of the common causes for bloody diarrhea in dogs:

1. Medications the dog has been on can cause a bloody show in their bowel movements and also cause them to have diarrhea.

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2. Something the dog ate and is trying to digest. Typically, something eaten that causes bloody stools was an item the dog was not supposed to consume and its digestive system is struggling while the intestinal tract is not able to easily pass the item which could result in tearing of the lining and blood to be present.

3. Internal parasites is a very common cause for bloody diarrhea.

4. Injuries can also cause bloody bowel movements.

As a pet owner it is your responsibility to be able to give your vet all of the pertinent information to diagnose your dog.  This means you will need to take a closer look at the blood to assist your vet in determining, at the very least, the location to begin looking for the cause of the blood. Here is what you need to look for:

1. Color

The color of the blood will help your vet determine the location of the bleeding in your dog.

  • If the blood is a bright red your vet should be looking near the rectum, lower intestine and the colon first. The bright red color indicated the blood is “fresh” or has not traveled through the dogs body for a long time.
  • If the blood is a darker red, black or maroon shade your vet should begin looking higher up in the upper intestinal region.

2. Behavior of the dog

Look for any noticeable changes in his or her attitude, depression, lethargy and so forth. These can be symptoms of something serious that your vet will consider, such as Parvo.

3. Weight loss

Your dog should not lose a noticeable amount of weight from diarrhea, however if there is a serious underlying condition he could lose weight at a fast paced.

4. Dehydration

When a dog gas runny stools dehydration is a concern. If you can lift the skin between your dogs shoulders and it does not immediately fall back to its original location your dog might need an intravenous saline solution to hydrate him again.

Bloody diarrhea in dogs should be treated by a veterinarian because of the seriousness of the situation. Having as much information about your dog, activities just prior to the blood and so forth will help your vet quickly diagnose and treat your dog. Do not postpone a visit to your vet to see if your dog will get better. It is important you get to your vet as soon as possible.

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