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My dog has blood in his poop - what should I do?

My dog has blood in his poop - what should I do?

Franklin emergency vets understand that responsible dog owners devote significant time cleaning up after their pets. As a result, you are likely familiar with what your dog's normal stool looks like. However, what steps should you take if you detect blood in your dog's poop?

Help, there's blood in my dog's poop!

Discovering blood in your dog's stool can be concerning and may indicate a significant health issue. When you notice such symptoms, it is best to contact your usual vet as soon as possible.

The critical issue is whether the blood in your dog's stool requires an immediate visit to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.


If you have a young puppy with blood in their stool, visit your vet immediately! Parvovirus is common in unvaccinated pups and can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Call your regular vet within normal office hours, or visit our Franklin emergency animal clinic after hours.

Assess Your Dog's Overall Health 

Seems Normal

If your dog appears content, is eating properly, and acting typically despite having blood in their stool, it is wise to inform your regular veterinarian and seek guidance. Your veterinarian can evaluate the situation's urgency and advise you on whether to bring your pet to the clinic for an examination.

Seems Unwell

If you detect blood in your dog's stool and they are vomiting, refusing to eat and appearing unwell, it is critical to take them to the vet right away. During regular business hours, schedule an emergency appointment with your usual veterinarian, and outside of business hours, contact your emergency veterinarian.

Assess Your Dog's Stool

Before going to the vet, take a moment to inspect your dog's stool. Providing an accurate description of your dog's stool can assist your veterinarian in quickly diagnosing your dog's condition. Concerning blood in your dog's stool, there are two distinct types:


Hematochezia is characterized by fresh-looking, bright red blood in a dog's stool and originates in the lower digestive tract or colon. This condition may be visible in both solid and loose stools. The distinctive bright red color of hematochezia indicates that the blood has not traveled far through the dog's body and is coming from the lower portion of the digestive tract.

The causes of hematochezia often include viral diarrheas, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.


This blood has been digested or swallowed, typically indicating a problem in the upper digestive tract. Melena results in a black inky stool that can be jelly like in consistency. Diarrhea is not common with melena, the stool is usually formed. 

Common causes of melena include stomach inflammation, stomach ulcers, and cancer.

Possible Causes of Blood in Stool

It's essential to recognize that a red stool may not always be a sign of blood. If your dog has consumed a red non-food item like crayons or lipstick, it can result in a red stool. Likewise, red icing and cakes can also produce this effect on your dog's stool.

Injuries or infections in your dog's sensitive rectal region, such as a ruptured anal sac, may cause streaks of bright red blood in their stool.

Furthermore, other potential causes of blood in stool are:

  • Viral and bacterial infections 
  • Parvovirus
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HG)
  • Cancer
  • Parvovirus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Severe food intolerance

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has blood in their stool and is showing other signs of illness or has bloody diarrhea, call your vet immediately, after hours, contact our Franklin emergency vets at Pet Vet Battlewood.

New Patients Always Welcome

Pet Vet Battlewood is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact (615) 794-3838