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Why is my puppy pooping blood?

Seeing blood in your pet’s stool is often nerve wracking and worrying.  It’s a disturbing experience for the dog and also the pet owner who has to clean it up or witness the puppy suffering.  But what exactly does bloody diarrhea in puppies mean? Could it be a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention or can I wait it out to see if it goes away? These are just a few of the question that may run through your mind during such a situation.

Without proper information, it can be extremely difficult to discern this kind of a circumstance.  Hopefully, after reading through this article, you will have a better understanding of what to do and when to get immediate medical care.

Do your own quick assessment

Before anything else, it’s important that you do a quick assessment of the situation.  This is because the red color may actually not be blood. Is there a time when you shared with your puppy food that has red coloring? What about the nonfood items?  Are there possibilities that the dog got a hold of your red lipstick and ate it?

 Foods containing profuse amounts of food coloring or items such as lipsticks that have dyes may color the stool and make it seem bloody. In most cases, this is not a cause of worry but it won’t hurt to ask a vet free of any extra charges. This is especially if you suspect it may pose some health risks

Secondly, take a good look at the stool consistency.  Is it normal in consistency (firm) or loose?  What about the normal behavior of the dog? Are the energy levels normal and is it eating the right way? Diarrhea and vomiting in dogs accompanied by lethargy should be a reason enough to call the vet right away even if it’s in the middle of the night.

What does it mean when there is blood in my puppy’s poop?

Whenever people see blood in their pets stool, they associate it with a severe health condition. There are times when it’s not a serious issue especially when there is only a streak of blood or there are no accompanying symptoms like lethargy or vomiting. Other times it’s an indication of a life threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.  Among many reasons, here is why your dog has blood in his poop;

Food allergies

Some dogs are allergic to certain foods or ingredients and this may lead to a severe reaction in the gastrointestinal tract.  If the dog eats a food it normally doesn’t, irritation or inflammation may occur in the gastrointestinal tract damaging the lining. The end result is blood in the stool.

Viral and bacterial infections

If your puppy is pooping blood and this is accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, there is likelihood of an infection.  For instance, the pet may have contracted parvovirus which is quite common especially when you fail to vaccinate your puppy. Without immediate treatment, viral and bacterial infections result in a life threatening condition known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.  Therefore, early intervention is vital.

Intestinal parasites

Intestinal parasites are another common cause of bloody stool in dogs. These can be roundworms, hookworms or whip worms.  These parasites irritate the lower intestinal tract causing bleeding. If you suspect your pet is infected with parasites, you can take him to a vet who will then check for worms in dog’s stool.

Ingesting a foreign body

There is no telling as to what your puppy can eat and sometimes he may ingest nonfood items which cannot be digested in the tract. In this case, an ingested foreign body may get lodged inside the gastrointestinal tract hence causing an obstruction. For one thing, there will be a significant strain on the movement of contents in the GI tract. Additionally, the foreign object will most likely damage the tract. Eventually, he may experience bloody diarrhea.

Blood clotting disorders

Blood clotting disorders are rare in dogs but if not detected early can be quite fatal.  What happens is the body is triggered to attack the platelets. Therefore, the clotting ability is largely affected causing bleeding in various parts.  This bleeding also occurs in the gastrointestinal tract and hence the bloody poop.

This list is not exhaustive and there are many more reasons why there may be blood appearing in your pet’s stool. For comprehensive evaluation, it’s always prudent to take your pet to the veterinarian.

Should I worry if my puppy poops blood?

If you notice only a small streak of blood in the poop, it’s probably nothing to worry about especially when the stool appears normal.  However, frequent bleeding or bleeding that occurs in large amounts is an indication of a more severe problem.  In such a situation, it’s wise to pursue veterinary care right away.

Also, pay close attention to the behavior of your pet. If the appetite and energy levels are good then it’s fairly safe to give it a day before going to a veterinarian. All in all, even very small amounts of blood in the stool should be mentioned to the vet.

What should I do if my dog is pooping blood?

Blood in your dog’s poop is supposed to be taken quite seriously. Any concerns about the appearance and consistency of the stool should be discussed with the vet. This way, the vet will carry out a physical examination and analysis of the stool as required. If there are any abnormal changes in your dog’s behavior or any symptoms, mention them to the veterinarian.

There may be need for further tests depending on the symptoms. Furthermore, the treatment will depend on the exact cause. In case parasites are the cause of the bloody stool, the next course of action would be to deworm the dog.  Viral and bacterial infections are quite serious and more often need hospitalization. 

Never ignore the fact that your dog is pooping blood.  This is mostly a symptom of an underlying problem. Always seek veterinary involvement.

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