The very thought of blood in stools can conjure up frightening images and thoughts in relation to what might be wrong. While this is a problem that affects people, it can also affect our pets. Many dog owners become hugely distressed when they discover their dog is pooping blood.
However, before you let panic set in, you need to remember that there could be a variety of reasons why this is happening, some less serious than others. Of course, it is important to ensure your dog is seen by a veterinarian if you notice blood in the poop. In addition, you need to ensure that the vet has a stool sample with blood in it to check so that a diagnosis can be made quickly and efficiently.
It is only natural for pet owners to panic if their dog is pooping blood. It can come as quite a shock when you first see the poop and realize there is blood in there. Many naturally jump to the wrong conclusions and assume that there must be something seriously wrong with their dog.
Fortunately, it could be something as simple as constipation, which can make it difficult for the dog to eliminate and can scratch or damage the walls of the anus as the dog strains to get it out. In some cases, it may not even be blood that you are seeing, but just red coloring from something else, such as food coloring. So, try to avoid jumping to conclusions and panicking. Instead, try to determine whether it is actually blood and then get your dog checked.
Why Would a Dog Be Pooping Blood?
There are many different reasons why your dog may be pooping blood. Some are more serious than others, but it is vital that the cause of your dog pooping blood is determined as quickly as possible. Some people don’t realize that their dog can actually appear to be pooping blood but that the red coloration in the stools can actually be something else. The exact reason that you dog has blood in its feces, if it is indeed blood, will be determined by the vet after examining your pooch. Some possible causes include anal gland problems, bacterial or parasite infections, colon cancer, and inflammatory problems.
Is It Dangerous for a Dog to Be Pooping Blood?
The danger depends on what is causing the issue. If your dog has simply over-strained due to constipation, the situation is not a dangerous one even though it may cause your dog some discomfort for a short while. However, if your dog is pooping blood for some other reason, it may be more serious and dangerous.
You also need to check whether there are any other symptoms in addition to the blood you have noticed, such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, or lethargy. Also, you need to note how long your dog has been pooping blood to give the vet a better idea of what it could be and what to run tests for.
Steps to Take If Your Dog Is Pooping Blood
If your pooch has blood in its feces, it is important to take the right steps. This could make it far easier for a diagnosis to be made and the root cause of the problem to be identified. Ultimately, taking the right steps at the right time could actually save your dog’s life if the problem is due to something serious. So, it is best to familiarize yourself with what to do if your dog appears to have blood in its stool.
Make Sure It Is Blood
One thing to bear in mind is that if you see something red in your dog’s stools, this does not necessarily mean it is blood. Sometimes, red color in stools is the result of your dog ingesting something with a strong color that then comes out when your pooch poops. This could be a food item or even a bit of red plastic toy!
This is why you need to check to determine whether it is in fact blood before you start panicking and calling the vet. If the red color is caused by something else, and not blood, it will likely resolve itself once the ingested product comes out in the dog’s stool. As long as the color is from something non-toxic, your dog should be fine once the color has passed through the stools.
Determine How Long Your Dog Has Had Blood in Its Stool
If your dog has blood in its feces, you should try to determine how long this has been happening. It may be something you have noticed off and on for a period of time, or it may just have started happening. The more information you can provide to your vet, the easier it will be to run the right tests and make an accurate diagnosis. This can speed up the treatment for your pet and could help to save its life.
Check Whether There Are Other Symptoms
Another thing you need to determine if your dog has blood in its feces is whether there are any other symptoms that accompany the problem. For instance, your dog may be very subdued and lethargic, which could indicate it is feeling unwell. Your pet may be vomiting or off its food, which is another indicator of a deeper issue. In addition, your dog may have lost a lot of weight in a short space of time. Any information you can provide to the vet with regards to additional symptoms will help when it comes to finding out why your dog is pooping blood.
Speak to the Vet for Advice
As soon as you notice blood in your dog’s stools, it is important to speak to the vet for advice. If you are unable to get your dog to the vet to be checked right away, it is well worth calling up and speaking to them over the phone. This will enable you to describe the symptoms and provide other details so the vet can make a more informed decision with regards to the urgency with which your pet should be seen.
Make an Appointment to Take Your Pooch to See a Vet
Wherever possible, you should make an appointment for your dog to see the vet if you notice that there is blood in your dog’s stools. Even if you personally feel that it is nothing serious and there are no other symptoms, it is important to find out what the cause is, particularly if your dog has been pooping blood for a while. When you notice your dog is pooping blood, you should call the vet and arrange for your pet to be seen sooner rather than later, in case it is something serious.
Obtain a Stool Sample for the Vet to Check
When you make an appointment for your pet to see the vet because it is pooping blood, one of the things you should try to do is get a stool sample to take along. This can help the vet to determine what the cause might be by running tests on the sample you bring in. Make sure that the sample is in a clean container so there are no contaminants that could affect the results of any tests.
Remember Bloody Stools May Be Black
One other thing to bear in mind when it comes to blood in the stool is that the blood may not necessarily be bright red. Sometimes, when a dog has blood in its feces, it comes out black and results in the poop looking extremely dark and tarry. If this is the case, it generally means that the blood is from something that has already been digested and has been in the digestive system for some time. So, don’t just assume that the blood will be red. If you notice your dog’s poops have become very black and tar-like, it could be pooping blood. Again, you need to get the dog seen by the vet as soon as possible if this is the case.
When a dog has blood in its feces, it is obviously going to cause a lot of distress for the owner because we naturally tend to assume the worst. However, you need to remember that there could be any number of reasons why your dog has blood in its stool, and in some cases, it may not even be blood that you can see. So, before you make any assumptions, you need to ensure you get your dog checked over by the vet and provide as much information and detail as possible.
Taking along a stool sample along with details of any other symptoms will help to speed up the diagnosis, which can make all the difference when it comes to the health of your pet. If a serious problem is caught early enough, your dog could make a full recovery so the earlier you get your pooch seen, the better it will be. But don’t hesitate to have your dog seen, because blood in the stool could be a sign of a serious issue.