Blood in your dog's stools
Seeing blood in your dog’s stool (poo) can be worrying because most people associate it with serious illness.
It is always something to get checked by your vet but don’t panic, there are lots of possible causes ranging from very minor to more serious.
It can be very helpful to take a stool sample or a photograph of your dog's stool to show your vet.
Why is there blood in my dog's stools?
Some of the conditions that cause blood in your dog's poo are listed below:
- Parvo (parvovirus) or another virus
- Anal gland problems
- Colitis (inflammation of the large intestine)
- Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE)
- An upset stomach from eating something they shouldn’t have, or something that is toxic
- Worms or another parasite
- Stomach ulcer (this can sometimes be a side effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Bacterial gut infection (e.g. Salmonella)
- A rectal polyp (a harmless mass sitting just inside the bum)
- Anal furunculosis
- Food allergies
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Gut blockage (foreign body)
- Mass around the anus (bum)
- Mass in the guts
- Bleeding disorders.
When to contact your vet
It’s always best to contact your vet for an appointment if you see blood in your dog’s poo. Most of the causes are minor or pass quickly but some are more serious and need immediate veterinary attention, such as parvo and gut blockages.
It can be helpful to collect a sample of the poo show to your vet (or even a photograph if a sample isn’t possible).
Published July 2018
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.
Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst