Dog Diarrhoea with Blood: What Does It Mean?

Dog Diarrhoea with Blood: What Does It Mean?

July 05, 2024

Discovering blood in your dog's diarrhoea is alarming and concerning.

It is important to narrow down the causes, whether the bloody diarrhoea is caused by dietary indiscretion or more serious issues like parasites, infections, food allergies, or underlying medical conditions.

Regardless of the cause, bloody diarrhoea requires prompt veterinary attention.

The succeeding sections will cover the reasons behind bloody diarrhoea, signs to watch for, and potential treatment methods. It will also cover how to get your dog the care it needs.

What Is Dog Diarrhoea?

During bouts of diarrhoea, your dog will expel loose, watery stool more frequently than usual. Diarrhea in dogs can be mild or severe, last for a brief time, or become chronic.

If your dog is experiencing bloody diarrhoea, it's a symptom of another health issue.

It could be something simple, like eating something they shouldn't have, or it could indicate issues like parasites or even inflammatory bowel disease.

Fortunately, dog diarrhoea typically clears up on its own.

However, it's important to schedule a check-up if the fever is persistent, bloody, or accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, or dehydration.

Common Causes of Diarrhoea in Dogs

Your dog's bloody diarrhoea may be caused by the following.

  • Dietary Indiscretion
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Infections
  • Food Intolerances and Allergies
  • Toxins or Poisons
  • Medical Conditions

The following sections will briefly discuss each reason below.

Dietary Indiscretion

Dogs explore the world through their mouths, which may lead to foreign body ingestion. Dogs ingest materials like garbage, table scraps, or spoiled food may experience a painful blockage, leading to bloody diarrhoea.

This goes beyond food. Ingesting toys or fabric can also cause bloody diarrhoea in dogs.

This can lead to mild intestinal distress and, in severe cases, diarrhoea (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.)

Intestinal Parasites

If you find dog diarrhoea with blood around your home, it may be due to intestinal parasites. Parasites like hookworms, whipworms, giardia, and coccidia can infiltrate a dog's upper digestive tract.

These parasites irritate your dog's stomach and lead to loose stool, inflamed intestines, or bloody diarrhoea.

Regular deworming can eliminate these parasites and reduce the incidence of bloody stool in your dog.

Infections

Infections like the following can also cause bloody diarrhoea in dogs.

  • Bacterial Infection: Your dog may be experiencing diarrhoea due to bacterial infections, like Salmonella or E. coli.
  • Viral Infection: Viral infections like parvovirus can affect your dog's lower digestive tract, marked by the appearance of red blood. Distemper can also be life-threatening if not promptly treated.

Food Intolerances and Allergies

Some dogs have difficulty digesting certain ingredients, leading to food intolerances or allergies.

Your dog's diarrhoea may be caused by an intolerance or allergy to the following foods.

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Chicken

Toxins and Poisons

Bloody diarrhoea in dogs may be caused by ingesting toxins or foreign bodies, such as household cleaners, certain plants, or even human medications.

NOTE: Never feed your dog human medications.

Medical Conditions

Bloody diarrhoea in dogs can indicate a serious medical condition.

Here are certain potential medical complications that can cause diarrhoea.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Some IBD symptoms in dogs include bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, and weight loss.
  • Cancer: Cancer that affects your dog's gastrointestinal tract can cause bloody diarrhoea in dogs.
  • Pancreatitis: An inflamed pancreas will disrupt digestion and lead to diarrhoea.

 Regular checkups will help your veterinarian monitor your dog's symptoms before they worsen.

When to Worry: Signs Warranting a Vet Visit

If your dog occasionally expels soft stools, that is not a cause for concern.

However, once you find blood in your dog's stool, promptly head to an emergency vet clinic so a professional can ascertain your dog's health.

Presence of Blood

If you see blood in your dog's stool, it requires veterinary attention immediately. Take your canine companions to the vet.

Whether the blood is bright red or dark and tarry, blood in your dog's stools indicates a serious issue.

Duration of Diarrhea

If your pup has had loose stools for over 24-48 hours or is experiencing repeated episodes of watery diarrhoea, it's time to call your vet.

Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which is a very serious concern, especially for dogs who already have a compromised immune system.

Additional Concerning Symptoms

Here are some other symptoms to watch for.

  • Vomiting: If your pup's constantly throwing up, that's a symptom of poisons/viral infections.
  • Lethargy: If your normally energetic dog seems tired and withdrawn, it could indicate dehydration or illness.
  • Fever: A fever and bloody diarrhoea can signal an infection.
  • Dehydration: Sunken eyes, sticky gums, decreased skin elasticity, or a decreased appetite are all signs of dehydration.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Diarrhoea treatment for canines will depend on the underlying cause.

The veterinarian will likely do faecal examinations and blood tests. X-rays or ultrasounds may also be necessary to view your dog's GI tract and take biopsy samples.

Here is a general list of potential treatments.

  • Dietary Changes: After inspecting your pet's symptoms, your veterinarian may recommend a change in diet. Feed your dog a bland diet, such as plain white rice with unseasoned chicken. They may also prescribe digestive health chews and other specially formulated dog foods.
  • Medications: Antibiotics are common medications prescribed for infections. Some over-the-counter medications can also help your dog's tummy feel better.
  • Fluid Therapy: To rehydrate dogs, Intravenous (IV) or subcutaneous fluids might be needed.
  • Surgery: Required for removing foreign objects, treating tumours, or severe obstructions in the digestive tract.
  • Probiotics and Supplements: Small amounts of natural yoghurt or peeled boiled potatoes can help soothe a dog's upset tummy.

Preventing Diarrhoea in Dogs

Here are some tips to help prevent diarrhoea in your dog.

  • Feed your dog a high-quality, balanced, consistent diet appropriate for their age.
  • Avoid feeding your dog table scraps. Ensure they cannot access or consume garbage and potential toxins.
  • Schedule regular vet visits for checkups and vaccinations.
  • Regularly deworm your canine.
  • To quickly cure diarrhoea, try fasting your dog for 12-24 hours and providing them with plenty of water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The below section discusses bloody diarrhoea in dogs further.

Is Bloody Diarrhoea in Dogs an Emergency?

Yes, bloody diarrhoea in dogs requires immediate veterinary attention. It could be a sign of a potentially life-threatening condition.

What Should You Feed a Dog with Bloody Diarrhoea?

A bland diet may help address your dog's bloody diarrhoea. Feed them plain-cooked white rice with boiled chicken and canned plain pumpkin. Do not feed them pumpkin pie filling. (not pie filling).

Once your dog feels better and is acting normal, gradually reintroduce their regular dog food.

How Long Does Dog Diarrhoea Last?

Diarrhea symptoms can persist from a few days to a few weeks. It will typically subside with time.

Key Takeaways on Dog Diarrhoea with Blood

Bloody diarrhoea (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) in pets can be caused by problems in their digestive system or other health issues.

It can start anywhere along the GI tract, from the oesophagus to the large intestine.

If you notice blood in your dog's stool or other symptoms, contact a vet immediately!

With proper care, regular checkups, and preventive measures, you can help your furry friend stay happy and healthy for years to come!