Causes of Dog Health Blood in Stool Problems and Treatment Options

"Dog health blood in stool problems can have multiple causes and is never normal. The most common reasons for a bloody stool are parasites or an intestinal tract problem.  Dog stool blood can indicate minor problems such as constipation (when the blood is red and the stool is dry and hard) to chronic conditions such as a bleeding tumor. Puppies in particular are subject to parasites (worms) and gastrointestinal infections that can result in anemia, sepsis and dehydration with a bloody stool being one of the symptoms. In puppies, red blood is almost always the result of parvovirus enteritis or intestinal parasites.  For all dogs in general,  treatment involves identifying the underlying cause and using a specific approach such as de-worming for parasites or dietary change to correct any food intolerance or allergy. A small red streak of blood along accompanied by a hard stool is probably due to constipation and is not of immediate concern. If you see a p a good amount of blood,  visit your vet immediately for a rectal exam to check for anal and rectal tumors or an anal gland abscess.  If there is a large amount of blood in the stool or if the blood is digested (black and tarry) a veterinarian needs to check for dehydration, coagulapathy and anemia immediately."

Dog blood in stool can be caused by many things, including:

A dog health blood in stool problem is usually caused by some type of condition that is affecting the intestinal tract. In older dogs blood could mean cancer while in younger dogs it is usually indicative of a parasite problem. One incident with bright red blood is usually not a cause for great concern. Repeated episodes could indicate something that needs immediate treatment.

If the blood is only on the outside of the stool then the bleeding is from the anal canal. It is common for dogs with this condition to try and pass their stools while standing up. This condition can be caused by some type of obstruction such as an enlarged prostate, a foreign object that your dog ingested, or a fracture of the pelvic bone.

Puppy Bloody Diarrhea and Stool

Dog health blood in stool problems in puppies is commonly caused by gastrointestinal infections and parasites (worms) and less commonly from parvovirus. These conditions can result in either a hard/loose stool, or diarrhea. Other symptoms can include sepsis (bacteria in puppy blood), dehydration and anemia. If the blood is red (hematochezia), and the amount is small, then it could be due to a simple case of constipation.  If a large amount of blood is seen, then the problem in most cases are parasites or parvovirus.

If the dog health blood in stool problem is caused by parasites, then it is probably due to roundworms, coccidia or hookworms. Hookworms and roundworms result in puppy bloody diarrhea or blood in a loose stool. Coccidia causes symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, mucus and diarrhea. At the first signs of blood be sure to see a veterinarian so that treatment can be started early.  It is common practice to diagnose a dog health blood in stool problem by testing the feces for the presence of worm eggs. Since eggs may not be shed all of the time, repeated tests may be needed before worms are diagnosed.  If puppy worms are the problem, a dewormer will be prescribed by the veterinarian.  Parvovirus cannot be directly cured, and is treated by addressing symptoms such as dehydration.

Dog Health Blood in Stool Video

Dog Blood in Stool Symptoms

You may notice anything from a few red drops to a few streaks of blood on your dog’s feces, or you might notice a lot more blood in his stool. The blood may be bright red, or your dog may have black, tarry stools.

  • Red blood indicates a condition called hematochezia which indicates bleeding in the lower part of the colon or rectum.  Red blood is referred to as frank blood or digested blood.

    • Bright red blood in dog stool in a few small streaks, combined with a dry hard stool indicates constipation as the cause.
    • Bright red dog blood stool in large streaks could indicate a bleeding  anal or rectal lesion, such as bleeding anal or rectal tumor or anal gland abscess.
    • Dog bright red blood in the stool combined with bleeding from anther part of the body such as the mouth or nose could be a serious problem with coagulation, which occurs when a dog ingests rodent poisons.

      Diarrhea in dogs with blood
    • Diarrhea in dogs with blood, creating a raspberry-colored diarrhea, could mean that the dog is suffering from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). This condition is often seen in toy-breeds such as Pugs and Pomeranians.

      Because the colon is very vascular, it is common to see mucus and blood in the stool. Other accompanying symptoms that show signs of gastrointestinal distress include  flatulence, loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy and overall discomfort.

      There are many things that can cause dog diarrhea, including:
      • Viruses
      • Bacterial diseases that can colonize in the gastrointestinal tract
      • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
      • Intestinal parasites (more commonly seen in young dogs and puppies)

  • Black, tarry stools indicate bleeding in the upper part of the intestines or stomach.  It is a condition called melena. The black color is caused by older blood from the upper intestinal tract. This is a serious condition and points to problems such as bleeding ulcers, coagulation problems or tumors.

Your dog may have diarrhea, or his stool may be harder than usual. He may seem to be straining to move his bowels. He may have a lack of appetite.

If it is only a few drops of blood, you don’t need to worry. If it is more than that, your dog should bee seen by a veterinarian.

Melena represents the passage of old, digested blood that has occurred with bleeding higher up in the intestinal tract.

Dog Blood in Stool Diagnosis

If you take for dog to the vet for dog health blood in stool related problems, take a stool sample with you. This will help your vet to make a diagnosis. The vet can test the stool for parasites and for certain viruses.

Your vet will do a thorough physical exam, checking for things like an anal sac infection,  as well as check the rectum for conditions such as an anal gland abscess or rectal and anal tumors. 

If there is a large amount of blood, or if the blood is black and tarry/digested, Your vet will probably also do a blood test to check for blood clotting disorders such as anemia, coagulopathy and dehydration. Depending on what he or she finds, the vet may also order x-rays.  

Examination of the feces can indicate parasites, bacteria or to find blood that might not be visible to the naked eye.

A common diagnosis for young puppies is parasites. Cancer is a more common diagnosis for older dogs.

For puppies who have not been vaccinated, parvo virus is a possibility. We strongly encourage you to get your puppy vaccinated, because parvo can be fatal to puppies.

Dog Stool Blood Treatment

The appropriate treatment for dog health blood in stool depends on the cause of the problem. In the case of parasites, medication such as a dewormer is generally prescribed. Antibiotics are given for anal sac infection. Treatment for cancer depends on how advanced the disease is and how aggressively the owner wishes to treat it.

There is no treatment for parvo virus. Supportive care is given, and the dog may or may not survive. Again, we strongly encourage you to vaccinate your dog regularly.

To calm the gastrointestinal tract dietary change may be recommended to a high fiber or hypoallergenic diet. Intolerance might be treated with an elimination diet (where diet is limited to chicken and rice and then expanded).


To prevent future dog health blood in stool problems, it is also suggested that you not feed your dog bones, because your dog can chew them into sharp pieces that can cut him internally and may cause bleeding.  For overall digestive support after recovery, a natural remedy such as Digestive Support may be of some value in maintaining digestive health.

Have A Question For Our Vet about Dog Blood in Diarrhea or Stool?

Do you have a question for our Vet or a Helpful Story to Share about finding blood in dog stool or diarrhea? Please include information such as age, sex, breed, medical history, symptoms and medications. Also let us know the color of any blood (bright red, dark), consistency of the stool (hard, dry, watery, diarrhea).

We will do our best to get back to you quickly (depends on how many questions we receive each day). If you do require an immediate response we suggest using this online dog veterinary service that is available now.

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References Dog Health Blood in Stool:

Washington State University