Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs Common Causes & How to Stop It

Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Absolutely! Here’s a comprehensive guide to bloody diarrhea in dogs, including causes, when to worry, treatment, and prevention tips.

Bloody Diarrhea: A Red Flag for Dog Health

Seeing blood in your dog’s stool is alarming. Bloody diarrhea (also known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) can be a sign of a serious health issue and requires prompt attention. Let’s understand the potential causes and how to approach treatment.

Common Causes of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

  • Parasites: Worms, like hookworms and whipworms, as well as microscopic parasites like Giardia can irritate the intestines, causing bleeding.
  • Infections: Bacterial (e.g., Salmonella, E.coli) or viral (e.g., parvovirus) infections can lead to severe inflammation and bloody diarrhea.
  • Foreign Bodies: Ingesting sharp objects like bones or toys can cause internal injuries and bleeding.
  • Food Intolerances or Allergies: Reactions to certain ingredients can lead to intestinal upset and blood in the stool.
  • Poisoning: Exposure to toxins or household chemicals can cause severe digestive distress.
  • Medication Side Effects: Some medications, like NSAIDs, can irritate the stomach lining.
  • Tumors: Growths in the digestive tract can obstruct and cause bleeding.
  • Systemic Diseases: Underlying issues like kidney or liver disease can contribute to digestive problems.
  • Stress or Colitis: Anxiety can trigger inflammation in the colon.

When to Seek Urgent Veterinary Care

  • Significant blood loss: Not just streaks, but large amounts of blood.
  • Severe diarrhea: Frequent and watery stools.
  • Puppy or small dog: Prone to rapid dehydration.
  • Lethargy, weakness, or fever: Indicates possible infection.
  • Chronic illness: Pre-existing conditions can make the dog more vulnerable.
  • Persistent symptoms: If diarrhea with blood doesn’t improve within 24-48 hours despite home care.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Veterinary Exam: A thorough physical exam and medical history are essential.
  • Diagnostic Tests: May include fecal analysis, blood tests, X-rays, or ultrasound to pinpoint the cause.
  • Treatment Plan: Will depend on the diagnosis and may include:
    • Deworming: For parasitic infections.
    • Antibiotics: For bacterial infections.
    • Anti-inflammatories: To reduce intestinal inflammation.
    • Fluid Therapy: To combat dehydration, especially in severe cases.
    • Bland Diet: Easily digestible food to rest the gut.
    • Surgery: To remove foreign objects or treat tumors.

Prevention is Key

  • Regular Vet Checkups: Catch problems early.
  • Parasite Prevention: Use year-round protection against fleas, ticks, and worms.
  • Balanced Diet: High-quality food promotes good gut health.
  • Safe Environment: Supervise your dog outdoors to prevent them from eating dangerous objects.
  • Careful with Medications: Follow your vet’s instructions closely.

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t Ignore Bloody Diarrhea: It’s a sign something is wrong.
  • Seek Veterinary Help: Accurate diagnosis leads to the right treatment.
  • Early Intervention is Crucial: Prompt care can dramatically improve your dog’s outcome.
  • Prevention is the Best Medicine: Good care minimizes the risk of many causes.

Remember, while bloody diarrhea can be scary, with appropriate veterinary attention, most dogs make a full recovery. Stay vigilant, prioritize prevention, and don’t hesitate to consult your vet for your furry friend’s health and well-being!

Why Does My Dog Have Blood In His Stool During Diarrhea?

No one likes to find blood in their dog’s loose stools when they have diarrhea. Worry immediately takes over. We wonder if it is serious, if we need to intervene urgently in the face of this blood and sometimes even in the face of a sticky substance in the stool accompanied by blood.

There are many reasons for bloody diarrhea in dogs. So, see below the common causes of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs.


Loose stools with blood are often caused by helminth infections. Damage to the body by worms and isospores does not go unnoticed by the body as a whole. But the first blow is taken by the intestinal mucosa.

Parasites pierce the intestinal walls, thus obtaining food and thereby causing small amounts of bleeding. With minor helminthiasis, blood impurities in the stool are chronic, and episodic in nature. If helminthiasis has affected most of the intestines, the problems are much worse.

Side Effects Of Medications:

It can also happen that medications that are aggressive to the intestinal flora and intestines play a role in dog diarrhea. Some can cause loose stools or diarrhea and other transit disorders, such as corticosteroids and antibiotics or even dozens of other very commonly used medications such as certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and many others.

In some cases, this diarrhea can also be accompanied by blood in the stools. In these cases, it is better to find a natural alternative whenever possible. Do not hesitate to contact us for more advice. Please note: dewormers can also cause diarrhea during treatment.


An equally commonly diagnosed cause of bloody diarrhea in dogs is infectious diseases. Puppies, young and weakened elderly pets are at risk for developing bleeding. Infections are especially dangerous for those animals whose owners neglect vaccinations.

Among the main causes of diarrhea with blood due to infection are:

  • Parvovirus enteritis (often fatal for puppies and adult dogs);
  • Salmonellosis;
  • Leptospirosis.

In addition to stool upset and the appearance of blood impurities in the stool, when an animal’s body is affected by infections, severe lethargy, refusal to eat, attacks of nausea and eruption of gastric contents, and an increase in body temperature are observed.

Foreign Object:

Blood detected by the owner in the pet’s stool may indicate the presence of a foreign object in the gastrointestinal tract. Various sharp bones, stones, branches, and other objects, inadvertently swallowed by an animal during active games or walks, can injure the walls of the stomach or intestines. Depending on the degree of damage, the amount of blood released will vary.

Often, dog owners who feed their pets chicken bones come to the veterinary clinic. Red blood or melena (black-colored stool) only indicates a symptom. In most cases, the animal requires surgical intervention, since conservative methods are not effective in advanced cases.

Food Intolerance:

Purebred dogs often have a number of genetically transmitted diseases. One of the pathologies is food intolerance. It may manifest itself as upset bowel movements, itching all over the body, or rashes. Also, with food intolerance, blood may appear in the stool.

Inflammation in the stomach or on the walls of the intestinal tract in the absence of timely treatment leads to the formation of ulcers. Ulcerations are formed not only as a result of food intolerance to a number of foods. Regularly bleeding ulcers develop with a number of autoimmune pathologies, as well as while taking medications. For example, against the background of long-term treatment with anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs.


Damage to the mucous membrane of the stomach or intestines is the main factor in the appearance of blood in the stool. In addition to traumatic damage, chemical damage is also noted. Poisoning with chemicals, and in particular when household chemicals enter the dog’s body, is manifested by impaired coordination of movements, vomiting, and diarrhea, often with blood.

A chemical burn to the mucous membrane is very dangerous and can lead to a range of problems and complications. Therefore, if an owner notices his pet licking a known dangerous substance, he should immediately take the animal to a veterinary clinic.

In addition to chemical poisoning, blood in the stool may indicate a stressed state of the animal and constipation.

It is important to understand the cause and only then take measures to eliminate it.

It is from the cause of bloody diarrhea that a further chain of therapeutic techniques will be built. For example, if blood in your pet’s feces is a consequence of prescribed medications and symptoms disappear after they are discontinued, no special treatment is required.

If the cause of blood in the stool is an infectious disease, long-term treatment may be required in a veterinary clinic. The reason is that a large loss of essential fluid from the body along with feces and blood is a direct threat to the life of the animal.

A damaged intestinal wall is an entry point for infection. In this regard, one of the points of patient treatment is the prescription of antimicrobial drugs. The course of antibiotics is calculated and selected by the veterinarian individually depending on the clinical case.

If necessary, hemostatic agents, drugs to protect the mucous membrane from acid attack (gastro protectors), as well as adsorbents and astringents can be prescribed. An important point in treatment, and later prevention, is diet.

If the cause of blood in the stool is tumor processes or foreign objects, conservative treatment is not effective. Surgery is prescribed with a further rehabilitation plan.

When To Worry About Blood In Stools Or Diarrhea In Dogs?

If your dog is healthy and has diarrhea and/or vomiting, it is advisable to put him on a diet and let him rest for a day. However, leave water available to avoid dehydration. You can also give him well-cooked rice, in small quantities. An intestinal dressing based on smectite is recommended. Very often, everything is back to normal within a few hours.

Mucus Stools or Blood Loss:

If after 24 hours, diarrhea or vomiting continues, or if you see other symptoms such as listlessness, change in behavior, fever, tremors, blood, or phlegm in the stool, it is imperative to consult your veterinarian for rapid treatment because the pathology can then be more serious.

The Case of The Puppy:

For a puppy who has black or bright red blood in his stool, it is best to call the veterinarian quickly, especially if he is not up to date on his vaccinations. Infectious diseases such as parvovirus, distemper or even leptospirosis – a zoonosis, that is to say, transmissible to humans – are very serious and can cause the death of the puppy if they are not detected and treated on time. A puppy or miniature dog (Yorkshire, Chihuahua, Miniature Pinsher, etc.) should not be put on a diet, as they are more susceptible to hypoglycemia.

The Elderly or Sick Dog:

For a sick or elderly dog who presents with diarrhea and/or vomiting, it is urgent to consult the veterinarian urgently, because his system is weakened and less resistant to microbial or bacterial attacks, which can be fatal for the dog. The veterinarian will then be able to carry out additional exams such as an abdominal ultrasound, a stool sample analysis, or a blood test.

A blood test makes it possible, for example, to ensure that no organ is affected or to detect anemia (a decrease in the level of red blood cells). To help the veterinarian in his diagnosis, you can describe the appearance of the blood observed in the dog’s stools, and the color of the blood, although this is not always obvious.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Bloody Diarrhea?

Gastrointestinal disorders occur not only in people but also in beloved pets. Caring owners should know how to deal with intestinal upset in dogs – bloody diarrhea, which can cause serious concern. The reasons vary, but the most important step is timely seek help from a professional veterinarian.

Here are some key points to improve this condition:

Find out the Reasons:

Bloody diarrhea in dogs can be caused by various factors. Some possible causes include infections, food allergies, colic due to stress, or coccidiosis. There may also be more serious causes such as liver disease, cancer, or damaged blood vessels.

The Importance Of Quick Action:

If you notice bloody diarrhea in your dog, pay immediate attention and act quickly. This condition can be life-threatening for the animal, so prompt consultation with a veterinarian is recommended.

Examination By A Veterinarian:

An important stage in treatment is a thorough examination and analysis of the pet’s condition by a veterinarian. This may include stool, blood, ultrasound, or other additional tests to determine the exact cause of the condition.

When You Should Consult a Veterinarian?

  • Diarrhea with a significant presence of blood is a sign of lower digestive bleeding, or black digested blood, is a sign of upper digestive bleeding.
  • Significant diarrhea with or without the presence of blood occurs in a puppy less than 6 months old (risk of rapid dehydration) Or in a dog weighing less than 5 to 7 kg (risk of rapid dehydration).
  • Diarrhea with blood in the stools of a dog already suffering from a chronic illness, or who has just had surgery,
  • Fever in dogs,
  • Signs of pain when defecating, which may mean the presence of an object that the dog has eaten
  • If the symptoms persist for more than 48 hours even though you have fasted your dog for 24 hours from the first symptoms of diarrhea, and have given him a good diet again.
  • If it is a simple “thin” of blood as in cases of Giardiasis, or following a poor diet based on kibble incorporating vegetables or other unsuitable ingredients, do not panic. You can do something and there is no need to worry right away. You will understand better and be reassured by reading the following two parts of this article. You will then be able to react correctly and put in place good practices to heal your dog quickly.

Diagnostic Of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs:

The veterinarian begins by carrying out a clinical examination of the dog. He often takes a blood test and the examination is sometimes supplemented by x-rays or an ultrasound in order to exclude certain causes.

If there is reason to suspect the presence of a foreign object in the intestine, the necessary examination is an ultrasound.

How to Prevent Diarrhea?

Errors relating to the composition of meals represent the most common cause of diarrhea or gastroenteritis in dogs.

To prevent the consequences of blood loss and dehydration during bloody diarrhea, it is better to protect the animal from this unpleasant condition. To do this, it is important to take preventive measures:

  • Regularly monitor the condition of the animal;
  • Give proven and fresh food;
  • Meat should be given only boiled or steamed;
  • During a walk, make sure that your pet does not pick up foreign objects from the ground;
  • Do not use small and sharp objects for play that he can swallow;
  • You should not feed only dry food, it should be alternated with wet food;
  • Take your dog to the veterinarian at least twice a year.
  • If you follow all the recommendations and advice, you can avoid bloody diarrhea in dogs. If you are unable to protect your pet from this condition, then it is better to immediately take him to the veterinarian. Often, bloody diarrhea is caused by dangerous pathologies that require timely treatment.

How To Treat Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs?

Complex treatment can only be prescribed by an experienced veterinarian, who will not have any difficulty analyzing the situation and identifying the root cause of blood inclusions in the pet’s stool.

It is much easier in cases where bleeding is caused by the use of medications, to which the animal’s body responds with a peculiar reaction. Usually, after their abolition and the prescription of hemostatic drugs, the stool completely normalizes.

It is more difficult with diarrhea that is debilitating to the dog, and caused by an infection or parasite in the gastrointestinal tract. Here you cannot do without drip procedures, which are carried out in stationary conditions, which will help restore the water balance in the animal’s body. Along the way, antibiotics with hemostatic agents, gastroprotection, astringents, and strict adherence to diet are prescribed.

Surgical intervention is used in the event of foreign bodies entering and neoplasms being detected, where chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be prescribed along the way.

A timely visit to a veterinarian is the only correct decision if blood and mucus are detected in your pet’s stool, which will further help promote a speedy recovery.


In veterinary practice, there are cases when the owner often does not notice that his dog is pooping blood, which often leads to disastrous consequences.

Therefore, at the slightest sign of blood in the stool, you should immediately contact a veterinary clinic. The appearance of blood in an animal’s stool is an alarming sign.

You should not wait for events to develop, but immediately seek help from a veterinarian at a hospital. If loose stools with blood appear and there is severe lethargy and vomiting in your pet, the dog should be taken to the clinic immediately.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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