What Your Dog Pooping Blood Could Mean

Joanne Keenan
dog pooping blood

It can be frightening as a dog owner is to see your dog pooping blood. It may be reason for immediate concern … but it's important to understand some underlying causes to assess how severe it is.

Let’s explore the reasons behind dogs pooping blood, along with some additional symptoms like mucus or jelly-like poop. Then we’ll consider whether your dog needs a vet visit ... or some natural things you can do in less serious cases.

Why is My Dog Pooping Blood? 

Blood in your dog's stool, also known as hematochezia, can happen for several reasons:

  • Parvovirus symptoms can include bloody diarrhea as well as vomiting, as well as lethargy, especially in puppies. Parvo needs urgent medical attention to manage the infection and avoid deadly dehydration.  
  • Intestinal parasites such as hookworms, whipworms, or roundworms can cause inflammation and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Eating things like foreign objects, toxic substances, or an in appropriate diet.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), meaning chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, can lead to bleeding.
  • Viral or bacterial or viral infections like parvovirus or salmonella can cause gastrointestinal distress and bleeding.
  • Polyps, tumors or ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract may cause blood in the stool.

Dog Pooping Mucus And Blood 

You may see mucus as well as blood in your dog's stool. Sometimes mucus goes along with diarrhea.That may just mean your dog is detoxing a toxic or harmful substance, and the problem will clear up quickly on its own.  Other times, mucus in or on the stool can indicate underlying conditions that can cause both mucus and blood in the stool, such as:

  • Colitis (inflammation of the colon)
  • Infections (bacterial, viral or parasitic)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (chronic inflammation of the digestive tract)

Dog Poop Like Jelly With Blood 

Another distressing sight for dog owners is jelly-like stools with blood. This consistency is often related to conditions such as:

  • Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE): This is a sudden onset of profuse bloody jelly-like diarrhea. HGE is a serious condition needing an immediate trip to your vet. It can be caused by problems like acute pancreatitis, bacterial infections, stress, or dietary changes. It’s more common in small dogs who can dehydrate quickly, so call your vet right away.
  • Rectal Injuries:  These can happen if your dog ate a sharp object like s stick, needle or bone shard. 
  • Anal Gland Problems: These may include abscesses or tumors, which can cause bleeding and change the consistency of the stool.

If you suspect any of the above problems, check with your vet so you can rule out serious illness.

When To Worry About A Dog Pooping Blood

The severity of a dog pooping blood varies depending on the underlying cause, the amount of blood, and other symptoms. A dog pooping liquid blood can be serious and requires immediate veterinary attention. If your dog is otherwise healthy, eating well, and showing no signs of distress or lethargy, the situation may be less urgent.

Here are some things you’ll see in severe cases that need veterinary care:

  • If your dog is lethargic, refusing food, vomiting, has severe diarrhea, or shows signs of pain or discomfort, seek immediate veterinary attention.
  • Large amounts of fresh blood in the stool, dark, black or tarry stools, or persistent bleeding,should be taken seriously and require prompt medical care.

A visit to your vet can help determine what's causing the bleeding ... then you can decide on treatment options. 

Veterinary Treatment For Bloody Dog Poop

When your dog is pooping blood, your veterinarian may perform various diagnostic tests, including fecal examinations, blood work, imaging, and sometimes endoscopy or biopsy, to determine the underlying cause. The treatment options may include:

  • Immediate treatment for severe conditions like Parvo, HGE or acute pancreatitis.
  • Medications to manage inflammation, infections, or parasites.
  • Prescription diets.
  • Fluid therapy to prevent dehydration and correct any electrolyte imbalances.
  • Surgery may be suggested to remove tumors, polyps or other issues.

If the problem is not serious, consider some natural alternatives to manage your dog pooping blood.

Natural Options To Stop Dog Pooping Blood

There are some natural options that can help minimize symptoms and promote healing in dogs pooping blood. 

Here are some options to consider:

  • Diet: First, fast adult dogs for 12-24 hours to give the digestive system a break. Next, feed a bland diet as you would to stop diiarrhea
  • Fluid therapy: To prevent dehydration and correct electrolyte imbalances.
  • Digestive enzymes: To support healthy digestion and normal bowel function. 
  • Probiotics: To maintain proper gut flora and support proper digestion and bowel health.
  • Herbal remedies: Soothing herbs can calm the digestive tract.
  • Stress reduction: Provide a calm and comfortable environment for your dog to support his recovery.

RELATED: If your dog's off his food, here's what to know about how long a dog can go without eating ...

The Importance Of Hydration In Dogs Pooping Blood

When a dog is pooping blood and vomiting, which can happen together, he loses a lot of fluids. Fluids are essential to help ...

  • Prevent dehydration: This can happen quickly and lead to weakness, lethargy and loss of organ function. In severe cases you may need your vet’s help to provide IV or subcutaneous fluids (they can give you sub-q fluids to give at home). 
  • Promote healing: Hydration is important in the healing process in dogs pooping blood. Sufficient moisture in the body supports cell function, tissue repair, and overall recovery. When the body is properly hydrated, it can better flush out toxins, support immune function, and assist in repairing any damage in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Maintain organ function: Proper hydration is crucial for the optimal function of vital organs like the kidneys and liver. These organs play a key role in filtering toxins and waste from the body. When dogs are pooping blood, the gastrointestinal system may be under stress. Adequate hydration helps support these organs, allowing them to function effectively and aid in the elimination of toxins, to support your dog's overall health and well-being.

RELATED: How long can a dog go without water?

And here are some dietary considerations for a dog pooping blood.

Nourishing Diet for Dogs Pooping Blood

It’s important to provide your dog with a nourishing diet to support his gastrointestinal health and promote healing. An easily digestible diet can play a significant role in soothing inflammation, improving digestion, and restoring the delicate balance of the gut. 

Avoid kibble, which is high in carbohydrates that give the digestive system extra work. Here’s how to build a nourishing fresh food diet to help your dog recover.

(Note: This a temporary diet while your dog recuperates. For ongoing full time feeding, follow these guidelines for getting started with a raw food diet for dogs).

1. Choose The Right Protein Source

Opt for high-quality protein sources that are easily digestible and less likely to trigger allergies or sensitivities. Some excellent choices are:

  • Lean meats: Chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of beef can provide necessary proteins without adding unnecessary fat or potential allergens.
  • Fish: fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, to support gut health.
  • Consider changing proteins: If your dog has a history of food allergies or intolerances, feed a protein he hasn’t had before, like venison, duck or rabbit.

2. Incorporate Fiber-Rich Foods

Fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive tract for dogs with gastrointestinal issues. Some fiber-rich foods to consider include:

  • Cooked vegetables: Steam or lightly cook vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes to provide a good source of fiber and essential nutrients.
  • Psyllium husk: A small amount of psyllium husk in your dog's meals can help add bulk and support digestive health.  

If you increase fiber in your dog’s diet, make sure he has access to plenty of clean, filtered drinking water. 

3. Provide Fresh Water

As mentioned earlier, make sure your dog gets plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. You can incorporate foods like bone broth to ensure he gets enough liquids.

A dog pooping blood can be shocking but it’s not always as serious as it appears. Feeding a fresh, whole food diet will also help support a healthy gut and immune system that will go a long way to preventing parasites and infections that could be a cause of a dog pooping blood. 

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© 2024, Four Leaf Rover - The content on this website is not meant to replace veterinary advice. Please support the hard working holistic vets who make this information possible. To find a holistic or homeopathic vet near you or to find one who will do phone consultations, visit The Academy Of Veterinary Homeopathy.