What’s Causing Blood In My Dog’s Stools
Seeing blood in your dog’s stool can be a frightening event, perhaps because we often associate blood in stool with cancer. Luckily, in dogs, the causes are often a lot less dramatic. Of course, as a responsible pet owner, it is always savvy to have the potential causes investigated by a veterinarian in order to rule out the more serious conditions.
Symptoms Of Diarrhea In Dogs
There are types of diarrhea that will respond to antibiotics, and this will need to be determined by tests at the veterinarian office. Symptoms of diarrhea that is caused by bacteria and can be antibiotic-responsive in dogs include:
- Diarrhea in excessive amount
- Straining when having bowel movement
- Intestinal sounds
Research is still being conducted on the various types of antibiotic-responsive diarrhea, and researchers and medical professionals are determining if all are unique or an essentially equal disorder. Different types of diarrhea that are antibiotic-responsive are known as the following:
- Antibiotic-responsive diarrhea
Potential Treatments For Blood In Dog Stool
Depending on the cause, there may be a variety of treatments you can expect when dealing with blood in your dogs stool. However, before a treatment plan can be determined, your pet must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible so they can find the underlying cause of why this is happening to your pet. Some of the tests a veterinarian might conduct to find out why your dog has blood in their stool include, but are not limited to:
- Urine tests
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Check Your Dog’s Stool For Abnormal Signs
So how can you tell whether your dog’s dark stools contain blood?
Is Black Poop In Dogs Bad
Although black poop can be due to a dog eating a lot of soil, it usually indicates bleeding from the stomach and/or small intestine. The blood is digested as it passes through the dogs digestive tract, causing the faeces to appear black. Therefore, your dog should always be seen by a vet, if you notice black poop. If it is diarrhoea, the dog should be seen that day. But if it’s normal consistency but black, and your dog is well in themselves and eating normally, then within 48 hours is usually ok.
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What Is Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome
Acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome is an acute disorder of dogs characterized by vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Most cases occur without warning in otherwise healthy dogs. The main and most disturbing clinical sign is large amounts of bloody diarrhea, very often bright red. Some dogs may have a painful abdomen, decreased appetite, lethargy , or fever.
AHDS can affect any breed, age, size, or gender of dog, but it is most common in small- and toy-breed dogs. Young Miniature Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, and Yorkshire Terriers seem to be more commonly affected. Other breeds commonly affected include the Pekingese, Dachshund, Maltese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shetland Sheepdog, and Poodle.
What Are The Alternatives To Metronidazole
Ask your veterinarian whether medications that treat specific aspects of your dogs GI condition would be appropriate alternatives to an antibiotic. Such symptomatic treatments include anti-nausea medications, proton pump inhibitors , motility inhibitors , bile acid sequestrants , and vitamin B12 . Some of these approaches may also cause changes to your dogs gut microbiome, but those changes will be much less radical than the effects associated with metronidazole.
Since diarrhea often indicates a disruption in the balance of your dogs gut bacteria, the prebiotic fibers inulin and psyllium may help by feeding those bacterial populations while also firming up the stool. S. boulardii is another supplement that can help resolve gut imbalances by supporting healthy bacteria.
In their Facebook Live event, Becker and Habib mentioned a supplement for diarrhea in cats and dogs called DiaGel, whose active ingredient is carvacrol. A phytonutrient , carvacrol is a compound with antimicrobial properties that is present in the essential oils of oregano, thyme, and several other plants. Though we havent found any scientific studies that specifically discuss carvacrols effect on diarrhea in cats and dogs, some encouraging research on this compound has been done in other animals and in humans.
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Recovery Of Diarrhea In Dogs
Since this type of diarrhea will respond to antibiotics, the symptoms should clear up with the medication and your dog should be feeling better once finished. It is important to finish all antibiotics even if he seems to be himself again. The supplementation with a probiotic, such as plain yogurt added to his food will help good bacteria build back up again.
Prevention is also a key factor in recovery and management of this type of diarrhea. The growth of bacteria can be inhibited by dietary changes and supplements. A healthy diet is vital in preventing antibiotic-responsive diarrhea avoiding foods with corn, preservatives, dyes, wheat, and meat substance that is not all-natural will greatly help.
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Diarrhea Average Cost
Is Your Dog Pooping Blood Blood In Dog Stool
With so many possible causes of blood in feces, youll need to examine and see whether your dog has diarrhea or if its normal in consistency. If your dog is pooping blood in his stool, youll need to bring a sample to your veterinarian. Black, tarry feces can also be a sign of intestinal bleeding or bleeding from the stomach.
Straining during bowel movements can also lead to inflammation of the rectum and anus, and blood in the stool. That said, sometimes your dogs stool may be red from something hes eaten that has red dye. Keep in mind that the problem could be a simple one like your dog eating food thats too rich for him. If thats the case, his stools will start firming up within 24-48 hours.
Problematic issues could relate to parasite infections, bacterial infections, colon cancer, and even hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Make sure that your dog is current on all vaccinations. Check to see whether hes playful, eating normally, and not vomiting. Changes in color, consistency, or the frequency of feces are a sign of digestive issues.
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Diagnosis Of Difficult Defecation And Blood In Stool In Dogs
The first thing your veterinarian will do is give your dog a thorough physical examination including body temperature, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate. The veterinarian will also need to do a rectal examination which may require sedation if your dog is in a lot of pain. You will need to provide your veterinarian with your dogs medical history including any recent injury or illness, immunizations, any medications your dog is currently or was previously on, changes in diet or behavior, what symptoms you have noticed, when they started, and whether they have gotten worse. The veterinarian will then need to run some tests such as a complete blood count , stool sample examination, blood chemistry panel, coagulation test, urinalysis, colonoscopy, and digital radiographs of the abdomen. He may also need to do further tests such as an ultrasound, CT scan, and maybe an MRI.
Sudden Change In Diet
Believe it or not, suddenly changing your dogs diet can actually cause blood to appear in the stool. This is due to inflammation of the colon, which results in excess straining when defecating.
If you are going to switch your dog to a new food, it is important that you do it gradually. You should keep about ten percent of the dogs old food with their new food for the first 3-7 days. This will reduce the chances of internal irritation and therefore blood in your dogs stool. If you are looking for best food for your dog, check out this article: The Best Dog Food.
Even certain treats can cause blood to appear in the stool of your pet. You need to make a point of choosing the treats you give them very carefully. Look at all of the ingredients before deciding on anything in particular.
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Change In Diet/adverse Food Reaction
An abrupt change in diet can lead to mucus in a dogs stool. Returning to the original food and then slowly mixing increasing amounts of the new food into the old will usually resolve the problem.
In some cases, a food allergy/intolerance may be to blame. You may need to switch to a therapeutic diet, like a veterinarian-prescribed hypoallergenic food.
Dark Red Or Black Blood In Stools
As discussed above this is the second kind of blood found in stools. Melena is the medical term for dark red or black/tarry stools. Since it is darker in color, its often harder to detect and differentiate. In these cases, the blood source originates higher up the intestinal tract so that by the time the stools are eliminated the blood is almost totally digested. The dogs lungs, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine may be the origin of blood. Some causes of melena include :
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Should Dogs Take Probiotics While On Antibiotics
When taking probiotics during an antibiotic treatment, it is important to avoid giving these two medications together to reduce the risk that the good bacteria in the probiotic are destroyed before having any beneficial effect. It is recommended to wait at least two hours between these two medications.
What Can I Give My Dog For Bloody Diarrhea
What is the treatment for bloody diarrhea or vomiting in dogs? Medications to soothe intestines. Electrolyte and fluid therapies for hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Antibiotic therapy for certain types of infections. Corticosteroid therapy for cases of hypovolemic shock. Anthelmintics for parasitic infections.
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Does Metronidazole Have Side Effects
Though its rare, some dogs may suffer from neurotoxic side effects, such as paralysis in all four legs, or they may have an allergic reaction hives, rash, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing. If this happens, contact a veterinarian right away because an allergic reaction can become dangerous quickly or may even be life-threatening.
Some more common side effects your dog may experience include:
Dogs who receive too much of this medicine, or those treated with metronidazole for extended periods of time, will need emergency veterinary attention if they experience:
- Irregular or abnormally slow heartbeat
- Stiffness or muscle spasms
- Dilated pupils or eye twitching
Intestinal inflammation, parasites, bacterial infections and their accompanying symptoms, such as diarrhea, are serious adversaries for our dogs. Thankfully, we are able to utilize powerful medical weapons such as metronidazole to help them recover.
This article is designed to help inform you about metronidazole in dogs and is not meant to take the place of veterinary advice and consultation.
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Dogs’ Bloody Diarrhea Has Many Causes
Diarrhea. It’s bad enough when a pet has stinky loose stools, but when they’re mixed with bright red blood or a pet strains to defecate and produces blood only even the most sanguine pet owner becomes concerned.
Causes of bloody diarrhea can include small, harmless masses major tumors toxic substances or simply emotional upset. Fortunately, it’s rarely an emergency unless the dog is losing enough blood to cause significant anemia or if the dog is bleeding out of the gastrointestinal tract because of a toxin such as rat poison or a systemic disease, says Craig B. Webb, veterinarian, professor of small animal medicine at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins.
Sometimes the cause is never clear. That has been the case with my dog Keeper, whose digestive system is sensitive, to say the least. Usually, his veterinarian prescribes antibiotics and a few days of a bland diet. But recent studies show that in some cases, symptomatic treatment a bland diet to soothe the digestive tract is all that’s needed.
Dogs who are positive for the toxin, which can be identified through a molecular test, usually eliminate it quickly, independent of treatment with antibiotics, Suchodolski said.
Why no antibiotics?
“We’re discovering more and more that these effects are long-lasting,” Suchodolski said. “And dogs don’t recover quicker compared to not getting antibiotics for acute diarrhea.”
What Should I Do If My Dogs Poop Is Black
Contact a vet that day due to the possibility of bleeding in the digestive tract. If your dog has black stools, even without diarrhoea, they should be seen by a vet within 24 hours, particularly if they are unwell in themselves. This is because it can indicate inflammation and bleeding in the stomach and/or small intestine. If this is left untreated, the bleeding and inflammation can worsen, leading to ulceration and ultimately rupture. This is a rare complication, but quickly fatal if left untreated.
What Are The Side Effects Of Metronidazole
Like all medicines, metronidazole can cause some very unpleasant side effects. Here are the most common side effects of this antibiotic:
- Loss of muscle control
Many puppies experience episodes of diarrhea when moving to their new homes and the assumption is that they might have a parasite.
Unfortunately, worried pet parents rush to the vet and they almost always get a prescription for metronidazole.
This is often a recipe for disaster as the puppy will have a hard time restoring the balance of the intestinal microbiome, and will end up being put on antibiotics yet again.
Doctors also advise caution if the dog is known to have liver problems as the drug might only make those worse.
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Possible Flagyl Side Effects
When prescribed by a vet, medication is usually safe. However, side effects from Flagyl are possible.
Vomiting is a common side effect and can make the experience of taking Flagyl very unpleasant for your dog. A much rarer, but potentially very dangerous, side effect is liver damage. The drug is metabolized in the liver and can occasionally cause or worsen liver damage. Once the liver is damaged, the drug can’t be metabolized and can build up in the blood stream, something which can be toxic to your dog. The following are symptoms of Flagyl toxicity:
What Is The Treatment For A Dog That’s Pooping Blood
Since there are several reasons why a dog might poop blood, the treatment will depend on the presumed cause.
After examining your dog, the veterinarian will provide a list of possible causes. They might need to do blood, urine, and poop testing, as well as x-rays or ultrasound, to identify the cause.
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Research On Probiotic Use For Ahds
A recentstudy on whether probiotics on dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome was effective added that Acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome is a common complaint in dogs presented to primary care veterinarians. The etiology is not fully understood, but there is strong evidence that C. perfringens and its toxins play a role in the pathogenesis and are responsible for the intestinal lesions in most dogs diagnosed with AHDS, via Plos One.
The results of this study demonstrated that the use of probiotics is important and advantageous to dogs suffering from acute hemorrhagic diarrhea. Both groups recovered quickly with a significant improvement on day 3 in the probiotic group and day 4 in placebo group compared to day of clinical presentation. Dogs receiving probiotic treatment also showed an accelerated normalization of Blautia, C. hiranonis, Faecalibacterium, and Turicibacter compared to dogs that were only treated symptomatically. Additionally, the abundance of C. perfringens encoding enterotoxin was significantly lower in dogs receiving probiotics.
Pancreatitis Or Inflammatory Bowel Disease
In some cases, dogs may have black stool from pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease. Both of these conditions are very treatable in dogs, and they can be managed over the course of your dogs life by following your vets guidelines. These conditions do not have to be fatal for your dog, especially if she gets quick and regular vet treatment.
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How Can I Prevent My Dog From Becoming Constipated Again
Based on the exact cause of your dog’s constipation, your veterinarian may advise you to feed a therapeutic diet, add supplements or medications to the food, or return for additional tests or treatments. For the majority of dogs, constipation is directly related to eating an unfamiliar food or object and further medical intervention is unnecessary. Other dogs may require lifelong treatment to help maintain normal bowel movements.Contributors: Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPH Ernest Ward, DVM
Are Medications Always Necessary To Treat Diarrhea In Dogs
No. Supportive care like diet changes, adequate hydration, introduction of fiber, and use of probiotics is sometimes tried before medications. For example, during the first 12 to 24 hours of diarrhea, your vet may recommend withholding food or providing small meals every few hours.
Dietary changes may include adding fiber or trying hypoallergenic dog food if your vet feels a food allergy might be the culprit. Canned pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber you can add to your dogs meal. Your vet may also recommend adding fiber with Metamucil or coarse wheat bran.
You may also be instructed to make these dietary suggestions along with antibiotics like metronidazole. Regardless of whether you are providing your dog medications, supportive care, or both, the most important thing is to follow your vets recommendations. This will help ensure your furry friend gets back to feeling like themself as quickly as possible.
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