Blood in the stool is always a concern for owners. This can be seen as blood in the stool or as blackish stool. A consultation with a veterinarian is recommended to determine the cause of the bleeding and the implementation of an appropriate treatment.
What is the origin of blood in the stool?
Blood can come from different parts of the digestive tract: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum.
The color of the stool varies depending on the origin of the blood:
- If the blood comes from the upper part of the digestive tract: the stool is blackish (the blood is digested) and is called melena.
- If the blood comes from the terminal portion of the small intestine, colon or rectum: the stool is red and is called hematochezia.
Dogs can also have diarrhea, but this is not always the case.
What causes blood in the stool?
There are several causes of melena in dogs, some of which are listed below:
• gastric or duodenal ulcers
• liver failure
• anticoagulant rat poison or coagulopathy
• Addison's disease (hypocorticism)
• drugs (anti-inflammatory drugs)
Hematochezia can have many causes in dogs, such as:
• MVA (motor vehicle accident)
• anticoagulant rat poisonings and coagulopathies
• foreign bodies
• food intolerance
• bone consumption
• histiocytic colitis
What to do if your dog has blood in his stool?
If your dog has blood in the stool, it is important to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause of the bleeding. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian quickly if the blood loss is important and/or repeated or if the animal presents other abnormalities (slaughter, loss of appetite, etc.).
Complementary examinations can be done to orient the diagnosis: blood tests, abdominal ultrasound, stool analysis, etc...