Blood in my dog's poop? Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Blood in Dog Poop

Finding blood in your dog's stool can be a distressing sight for any pet owner. This condition, known as hematochezia or melena depending on the color and location of the blood, can vary widely in its severity and underlying causes. It's important to understand when blood in dog poop might be a sign of a serious health issue and when it might be something less concerning. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the reasons behind bloody stools in dogs, how to identify different types of bleeding, and the appropriate actions to take.

Understanding the Types of Blood in Dog Stool

Hematochezia: This is typically characterized by bright red poop in dogs. The red color indicates that the blood is fresh and likely originates from the lower gastrointestinal tract, which includes the colon and rectum.

Melena: Unlike hematochezia, melena in dogs presents as black, tarry stools. This suggests that the blood has been digested, indicating bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach or small intestines.

Common Causes of Blood in Dog Poop

Dietary Indiscretions: Dogs often eat things they shouldn't, which can lead to gastrointestinal irritation or even injuries. Simple dietary changes or ingesting foreign objects can result in blood in dog stool.

Infections: Viral or bacterial infections can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and bloody diarrhea in dogs. Common culprits include Parvovirus and bacterial infections such as Salmonella.

Parasites: Hookworms, roundworms, and other parasites are frequent causes of bloody stool in dogs, particularly in puppies whose immune systems are still developing.

Inflammatory Conditions: Conditions like colitis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause blood in dogs stool, often accompanied by mucus and general discomfort.

Anal Gland Complications: Issues with the anal glands, such as impactions or infections, can cause blood in dog's stool, often noticed as streaks of bright blood.

Trauma or Internal Injuries: Any trauma to the internal structures of the digestive system can result in blood in dogs poop.

Symptoms to Watch For Blood in Dog Poop

Besides the presence of blood in dog poop, there are other symptoms that can indicate the severity of the situation:

  • Vomiting: If your dog is pooping blood and vomiting, it is a sign of a potentially serious health issue.
  • Lethargy or Weakness: A sudden lack of energy or weakness is especially concerning when combined with bloody poop in dogs.
  • Changes in Appetite: A decrease in appetite or avoidance of food is another red flag when noticed along with blood in stool in dogs.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you notice blood in your dog's poop, a veterinary visit is crucial. The diagnosis may involve:

  • Physical Examination: To check for pain, bloating, or other physical signs of disease.
  • Fecal Examination: To identify parasites or microbial infections that might be causing blood in stool of dog.
  • Blood Tests: To assess the overall health, organ function, and to check for infections or anemia.
  • Imaging (X-rays, Ultrasound): To look for obstructions, tumors, or other abnormalities inside the abdomen.

Treatment will depend on the diagnosed cause and may include:

  • Dietary Management: For mild cases related to dietary indiscretion, a temporary switch to a bland diet may be recommended.
  • Parasitic Treatment: Deworming medications if parasites are the cause.
  • Antibiotics or Antivirals: If a bacterial or viral infection is identified.
  • Surgery: In cases of severe internal injuries or obstructions.

Preventative Measures

  • Regular Deworming and Vaccinations: Keeping up with your dog’s regular preventive treatments can ward off many of the common parasites and viruses that cause bloody stools in dogs.
  • Dietary Supervision: Monitor what your dog eats and minimize access to non-food items that could cause harm.
  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Routine health exams can help catch many conditions early before they become more serious.

When to Seek Immediate Veterinary Attention

If the blood in dog poop is accompanied by any signs of distress such as vomiting, severe lethargy, or an inability to eat, seek veterinary care immediately. Also, if the bleeding persists for more than a day or two, even without other symptoms, it is important to get your dog evaluated.


Seeing blood in your dog’s poop can be alarming, but understanding the potential causes and appropriate responses can help you take swift and effective action. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment are key to resolving many of the issues associated with blood in dog stool and ensuring your dog’s health and well-being.

What can I give my dog to stop pooping blood?

If your dog is pooping blood, it's crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately. Blood in the stool can be a sign of a serious underlying issue such as gastrointestinal problems, infections, parasites, or even something more severe like gastrointestinal bleeding or cancer.

While there are some over-the-counter remedies that might alleviate symptoms temporarily, they won't address the root cause of the problem and could potentially make things worse. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the underlying issue and prescribe appropriate treatment, which might include medication, dietary changes, or other interventions.

In the meantime, make sure your dog stays hydrated and avoid giving any human medications without consulting your vet, as many human medications can be toxic to dogs.

How do you treat bloody mucus stools in dogs?

Treating bloody mucus stools in dogs involves identifying and addressing the underlying cause, which may require veterinary attention. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Consult a Veterinarian: Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. They will conduct a thorough examination and may recommend diagnostic tests such as fecal analysis, blood tests, imaging studies, or endoscopy to determine the underlying cause.
  2. Medication: Depending on the diagnosis, your veterinarian may prescribe medications such as antibiotics to treat bacterial infections, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, or dewormers to eliminate parasites.
  3. Dietary Changes: Your vet may recommend a special diet or dietary modifications to address gastrointestinal issues. This could include easily digestible foods, hypoallergenic diets, or prescription diets formulated for digestive health.
  4. Hydration: Ensure your dog stays well-hydrated, especially if diarrhea is present. Offer plenty of fresh water, and consider giving electrolyte solutions recommended by your veterinarian to prevent dehydration.
  5. Rest and Monitoring: Allow your dog plenty of rest to aid in the healing process. Monitor their condition closely and report any changes or worsening symptoms to your veterinarian promptly.
  6. Follow-Up: Follow your veterinarian's recommendations for follow-up appointments and monitoring. It's essential to monitor your dog's progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed.