Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs – 3 Symptoms [Video]

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Having a furry friend suffering from bloody diarrhea can be quite alarming. Did you know this condition is often treated as an emergency and requires immediate veterinary care? Our comprehensive guide for bloody diarrhea in dogs will provide insights into the causes, symptoms, diagnosisand treatment options.

Stick around to learn how to handle this distressing situation effectively and efficiently – your pet pal’s health could depend on it!

Key Takeaways

  • Bloody diarrhea in dogs is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • The presence of fresh red blood or dark-colored matter in the stool can indicate different causes of bloody diarrhea.
  • Symptoms such as changes in behavior, vomiting, and loss of appetite often accompany bloody diarrhea in dogs and should not be ignored.
  • Common causes of bloody diarrhea include intestinal parasites, infections, dietary factors, and poisoning.
  • Diagnosing and treating bloody diarrhea involves a thorough examination, diagnostic tests, appropriate treatments based on the underlying cause, and supportive care such as fluid therapy.
  • The prognosis for dogs with bloody diarrhea depends on early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Prevention measures include gradual food transitions, keeping harmful objects/toxins out of reach, monitoring stress levels/exercise, using parasite preventatives regularly, and regular veterinary check-ups.

dog poops

Understanding Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Bloody diarrhea in dogs is a serious condition that immediately calls for veterinary attention. The occurrence of blood in your dog’s stool signals an issue with the gastrointestinal tract, often occurring due to factors like stress, changes in routine or diet, infections, and various other conditions affecting the digestive system.

One distinguishing aspect of bloody diarrhea is the visible presence of fresh red blood or partially digested dark-colored matter within the stool – each pointing towards different causes.

Fresh red blood — known as hematochezia — usually indicates bleeding from the lower parts of the small intestine or colon. Conversely, darker-colored stools occur due to a condition called melena, where bleeding happens at upper regions such as the esophagus or stomach, which undergoes partial digestion before being discharged.

These variations play a crucial role in diagnosing bloody diarrhea in dogs and determining its potential cause.

Many other symptoms, such as vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy, can accompany bloody diarrhea indicating severe issues like weight loss, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances, among others.

Both hematochezia and melena require urgent intervention from professionals.

Symptoms of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Changes in behavior, vomiting, and loss of appetite may accompany bloody diarrhea in dogs.

Changes in behavior

A dog suffering from bloody diarrhea often exhibits significant behavioral changes. This is due to the discomfort and weakness caused by symptoms like weight loss, fluid loss, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, hypovolemic shock, and hemoconcentration.

Your pet might become unresponsive or sluggish, showing little interest in their surroundings or usual activities.

You may also notice a decreased appetite or unusual drooling as they struggle with internal distress caused by the illness. Active dogs might become less enthusiastic about playtime. In contrast, others may be hesitant to eat their meals – all indicative of intestinal infections or more severe conditions like stomach ulcers and tumors.


Vomiting can be a significant symptom of bloody diarrhea in dogs. Dogs suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, infections, or ingesting foreign objects or toxins might vomit in addition to straining to pass bloody stool.

It’s an alarming sign calling for immediate emergency vet action due to potentially severe consequences like electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. Notably, vomiting coupled with symptoms of bloody diarrhea is seen in conditions such as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), trauma to the GI tract, stomach ulcers, and bacterial infections.

Thus it becomes essential for pet owners to notice these symptoms simultaneously and not delay seeking specialized veterinary care at clinics like Plains Veterinary Hospital or Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite is a common symptom associated with bloody diarrhea in dogs. When dogs have gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea with blood, they can often lose their desire to eat.

This can be concerning because it can lead to weight loss and further complications if not addressed promptly. Additionally, a lack of appetite may indicate an underlying infection or illness affecting the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Therefore, it is important to seek veterinary help if your dog experiences bloody diarrhea and shows signs of decreased interest in food. Remember that loss of appetite is not just a temporary issue but could be a sign of something more serious that requires professional attention.

dog is pooping

Common Causes of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Bloody diarrhea in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors. One common cause is the presence of intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, or Giardiaa.

These parasites can irritate the dog’s gastrointestinal tract and lead to bloody diarrhea. Another possible cause is an infection or illness affecting the dog’s digestive system. This includes conditions like viral or bacterial infectionsgastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colitis (inflammation of the colon), liver disease, kidney disease, or intestinal cancer.

Additionally, certain dietary factors can contribute to bloody diarrhea in dogs. Abrupt changes in diet or ingesting foreign objects that damage the gastrointestinal tract can also be culprits.

In some cases, dogs may have sensitivities or allergies to specific ingredients in their food that result in blood appearing in their stool. Furthermore, poisoning from toxins or poisons can also lead to bloody diarrhea.

It is important for pet owners to recognize these common causes when confronted with a dog experiencing bloody diarrhea so they can seek timely veterinary care and appropriate treatment for their furry companion’s condition.

Diagnosing and Treating Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Diagnosing and treating bloody diarrhea in dogs involves a thorough examination and various medical interventions. Here are the steps involved:

  • Conduct a physical examination of the dog, including observing its behavior, checking for signs of dehydration, and examining the abdomen.
  • Examine the dog’s stool to assess the presence of blood and any abnormalities.
  • Take a detailed health history from the pet owner to gather information about recent dietary changes, exposure to toxins or parasites, and any previous instances of diarrhea.
  • Perform diagnostic tests such as blood analysis to check for infection or underlying health conditions.
  • Conduct imaging tests like radiographs or endoscopies to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract for any abnormalities or blockages.
  • In some cases, fecal exams may be necessary to check for intestinal parasites.
  • Administer appropriate treatments based on the underlying cause of the bloody diarrhea.
  • Provide electrolyte and fluid therapies to address dehydration and imbalances caused by fluid loss.
  • Prescribe antibiotic therapy if there is evidence of bacterial infection or prescribe anthelmintics if parasitic infection is detected.
  • In certain cases, corticosteroid therapy may be recommended to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Allow sufficient healing time for the dog’s body to recover from the illness or infection.
  • Modify the dog’s diet by introducing specialized hypoallergenic medical diets or highly digestible nutrients to support gastrointestinal health.

dog is vomiting

Prognosis and Prevention Measures for Dogs with Bloody Diarrhea

The prognosis for dogs with bloody diarrhea depends on the underlying cause and how quickly it is diagnosed and treated. Prompt veterinary care is essential to ensure a quick recovery.

Treatment options may include fluid therapy, medications, surgical remedies, or dietary changes. With proper treatment, many dogs can fully recover from bloody diarrhea.

Prevention measures can also help reduce the risk of dogs developing bloody diarrhea in the first place. Gradual food transitions are important to prevent sudden dietary changes that could upset their digestive system.

Keeping harmful objects and toxins out of reach is crucial, as they can cause intestinal distress if ingested. Monitoring stress levels and providing regular exercise can also contribute to overall gastrointestinal health.

Using parasite preventatives regularly helps protect against common parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and giardia that can lead to bloody stools. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for early detection of any underlying conditions that could potentially lead to bloody diarrhea.

By taking these preventive measures and seeking veterinary consultation at the first sign of blood in a dog’s stool, pet owners can help ensure their furry friends stay healthy and avoid further complications related to bloody diarrhea.


In conclusion, bloody diarrhea in dogs is a serious issue that requires immediate veterinary attention. There are various causes for this condition, including infections, parasites, ulcers, and even cancer.

Seeking prompt medical care and following the treatment plan provided by your veterinarian is crucial for the well-being and recovery of your furry friend. Remember to always consult with a professional to ensure the best outcome for your dog’s health.

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