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Blood in Dog's Stool: Is It an Emergency?

Blood in Dog's Stool: Is It an Emergency?

Noticing blood in your dog's stool would alarm any dog owner, and possibly for good reason. Our West Salem vets share what might cause blood in your pup's poop and when you should or shouldn't be concerned.

Help, my dog is pooping blood!

Blood in your dog's stool could be the result of a concerning health issue. If you notice blood in your pet's stool, you should contact your regular veterinarian no matter what.

This post will highlight some important information so you know if the blood in your dog's poop is an emergency or not.


If you have a young puppy with blood in its stool, visit your vet immediately! Blood in the stool is a symptom of parvovirus, which is common in unvaccinated puppies and can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Emergency or Not? Assess Your Dog's Overall Health 

Blood in feces is one thing, but your dog's external behavior and health can also indicate their level of health. This will help you determine how worried you should be.

Seems Normal

If your dog has blood in their stool but is otherwise happy, eating well, and behaving typically, call your regular vet and ask for the next steps. This behavior usually doesn't necessitate emergency. Your regular veterinarian will be able to assess the severity of the situation in more depth and guide you on whether or not to visit the clinic with your pup.

Seems Unwell

If you've noticed blood in your dog's stool and your dog also vomiting, refusing to eat, and looking unwell, it's time for an immediate trip to the vet. During normal business hours contact your regular vet and book an emergency appointment, after hours you should call your emergency vet.

Assess Your Dog's Stool

Before you take your dog to the vet, examine his stool as well as you can. You vet will be able to diagnose your pooch more effectively if you have a better description of the stool. Taking a picture is also a great idea.

When it comes to blood in your dog's stool, there are two kinds:


Hematochezia is the presence of bright red blood or fresh-looking blood in dog stool that originates in the lower digestive tract or colon. Hematochezia can manifest as firm stool or diarrhea. Hematochezia's distinctive bright red color indicates that the blood originated in the lower part of the digestive tract and traveled only a short distance through the dog's body.

Common causes of hematochezia include viral diarrhea, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.


Melena is blood in your dog's stool that has been digested or swallowed, indicating an upper digestive tract problem. Melena produces a black, inky stool with a jelly-like consistency. Melena does not usually cause diarrhea; instead, the stool forms.

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

Possible Causes of Blood in Stool

It is important to know that your dog's poop being red does not necessarily mean there is blood in it. If your dog ate a red nonfood item, such as a crayon or lipstick, their stool may be dyed red. Red icing and cakes could have the same effect.

Streaks of bright red blood in your dog's stool could be caused by an infection or injury to your dog's sensitive rectal area, such as a ruptured anal sac. 

Other causes of blood in stool include:

  • 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.

Did you notice blood in your dog's stool? Contact our West Salem vets right away to book an exam.

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West Salem Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of West Salem companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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