Blood in a dog's diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying condition, which ranges from minor health issues to life-threatening emergencies. Whether the cause of your canine's issue is serious or minor, a dog with bloody diarrhea should see his vet right away. The longer the bloody diarrhea lasts, the more likely the dog will experience electrolyte imbalances and severe dehydrations, according to the Daily Puppy. Understanding more about your dog's symptom and treatment options can help.
The first step in treating bloody diarrhea is determining the underlying cause. According to Pet Place, bloody diarrhea may be caused by: medication reactions, cancer, consuming foreign objects and inflammatory diseases in the gastrointestinal tract.
Testing will help determine the exact cause. A complete blood count and urinalysis is often done. Be prepared to provide a fecal sample for examination. X-rays of the chest and abdomen may also be needed to determine the cause of bloody stool.
Once the vet has determined the cause, treatment options will be presented. If the bloody stool is caused by gastrointestinal upset, a bland diet may be recommended. This is a special prescription food available at the vet's office. If your dog is taking a medication that is causing the upset, such as anti-inflammatory or corticosteroids; the medication may need to be discontinued. Gastrointestinal infections are treated with anti-viral medications.
For more serious issues, such as cancer, the vet may recommend a veterinary oncologist who can present cancer treatment options. Depending on your dog's situation, she may also need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous therapy. The longer your dog experiences bloody diarrhea, the more likely this is (because of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances).
Signs of an Emergency
If the diarrhea is foul-smelling and bright red, consider the situation a serious emergency and take your dog to the animal hospital. These symptoms are signs that a dog is hemorrhaging, which is a life-threatening situation.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.