Finding blood in your dog's stool can be quite alarming, especially if your dog has had bouts with diarrhea recently. The presence of bright red blood in dog's stool is called hematochezia, which basically means that the blood is coming somewhere from the lower intestinal tract. Blood that comes from further up the digestive system usually is not red. Rather, it has a black, tarry appearance. Hematochezia has many causes, so you will need a vet to examine your dog before you will know the exact cause of their distress. Generally speaking, however, most causes of bloody mucous-filled stools fall into one of the following four categories.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Dogs can suffer from the same intestinal disorders as humans. Prolonged IBS along with colitis, proctitis, polyps, intestinal inflammation, and internal hemorrhoids can all cause bleeding in the lower intestinal tract. Your dog's intestinal tract may also become inflamed if they eat too much food or the wrong type of food. Any type of inflammation in the intestines, if prolonged, can cause the walls of the intestines to bleed, resulting in the red blood you see in your dog's stool.
Inflammation may also be cause by a host of parasites, such as hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, roundworms, and protozoans. Don't assume that you will know if your dog has internal parasites. Many of them cannot be observed by the human eye. Others are rarely seen outside of the host. Just because you can't see worms in your dog's stool doesn't mean they're not there. Parasites is a common cause of bloody diarrhea, so your veterinarian will likely want to screen their stool to see if a parasite is involved.
Dogs eat all sorts of things that they shouldn't. Sometimes, trauma can occur. For example, if your dog eats a sharp object, it may cause tears or small cuts in the lining of the intestinal tract on its way through your dog's system.
Viral infections and food borne illnesses can cause a potentially fatal condition called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Along with vomiting and diarrhea, other symptoms of this serious condition include weight loss, listlessness, fluid loss, lethargy and shock.
Any time you find blood in your dog's stool it is cause for concern. Do not ignore it, but don't panic either. The cause could be something that can be easily cured. However, prolonged bleeding can have devastating consequences. For this reason, it's vital that you take your dog to the veterinarian, like All-Pets Hospital, immediately.