Is Blood in Stool an Emergency?

Blood belongs in blood vessels and has no business being anywhere else. That includes external bleeding, internal bleeding, blood in vomit or blood in feces.

Blood in your dog’s poop does call for veterinary attention. It may or may not be an emergency.

Is Blood in Stool an Emergency?

What causes blood in your dog’s poop?

Bright red–fresh blood–results from a bleed in the large intestine or rectum Potential causes include:

  • intestinal tissue irritation due to dietary indiscretion
  • GI injuries
  • intestinal parasites
  • foreign bodies
  • infections
  • hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • stress

Further information: Blood in Dog Stool: Why Is There Blood in My Dog’s Poop?

When is it an emergency?

The urgency mostly depends on the amount of bleeding and presence or absence of other signs.

Diarrhea can aggravate the gut lining enough to cause small amounts of fresh blood in the stool. You need to understand that this happens because there has been enough damage to the gut tissue to cause it to bleed. Then the question remains what is behind all the damage. Is it an infection? Parasites? Is it an inflammatory disease? Trauma? Foreign body? Is blood not clotting properly? Or even more serious things such as cancer?

Just because the stool might be solid doesn’t mean the reason for blood on it is not serious.

See a vet

The thing is that you have no way of knowing what the cause is. If you find blood in your dog’s poop, you absolutely need to see a vet.

If there is a tiny amount and there are no other serious symptoms such as signs of pain, vomiting, lethargy etc, you might be able to wait till the morning or next day to see your vet.

The more blood and the sicker your dog appears, the more urgent it is they get medical attention. If your dog is a young puppy, also don’t wait at all.

If you found blood in your stool, would you seek a doctor?

Same should apply to your dog. I recommend higher caution with a dog because unless like with yourself you can’t always know how your dog is feeling exactly. You may or may not be able to read signs of pain, weakness and other serious symptoms.

Things can get worse fast

Many of the potential causes might start with a bit of blood and blow up in a disaster. Foreign bodies can cause severe injury to the intestine and even lead to sepsis. A young dog might have parvovirus infection. Your dog might be suffering from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.

Always err on the side of caution.

Related articles:
Blood in Dog Stool: Why Is There Blood in My Dog’s Poop?
My Dog’s Poop: What Can You Learn from Your Dog’s Stool

Further reading:
Dog Pooping Blood? Here’s What to Do Next

Categories: BleedingBlood in stool

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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