blood in pet's stool

    What To Do If There’s Blood in Your Pet’s Stool

    Seeing blood in your dog or cat’s stool can be an alarming discovery. While there are various possible causes, blood in the stool often signals gastrointestinal issues or systemic illness that require veterinary attention. This guide covers identifying bloody stool, home monitoring, first aid, and getting proper medical care for your pet.

    Potential Causes of Bloody Stool

    Possible causes of blood in a pet's stool include:

    • Parasites like hookworms or whipworms
    • Foreign object obstruction or blockage
    • Tumours, polyps or other growths in the colon or rectum
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Stress colitis
    • Infections from viruses, bacteria, or fungi
    • Blunt trauma to the abdomen
    • Stomach or intestinal ulcers
    • Liver or kidney disease
    • Clotting disorders

    Detecting Blood in Stool

    Possible signs of blood include:

    • Bright red blood coating or mixed within stool
    • Black, tarry stool indicating digested blood
    • Pink, rust, or dark red urine if bleeding is internal
    • Strained or painful defecation
    • Lethargy, weakness, or collapse
    • Loss of appetite or vomiting

    Owners may not always visibly notice blood, so be alert for any behaviour changes. Always monitor your cat's litter box for any changes in stool and urine. Some pets eat stool to hide blood. Check areas where your pet defecates and look closely at the stool’s texture and colour.

    What To Monitor at Home

    If you see possible signs of bloody stool:

    • Note if it is from fresh blood or digested blood based on colour
    • Check if blood is on the surface or mixed within
    • Observe stool consistency - solid, loose, diarrhoea
    • Estimate volume of blood loss
    • Track time between symptomatic defecations
    • Monitor for worsening symptoms like lethargy or vomiting
    • Isolate solid samples showing blood for the vet

    This information helps vets assess severity and possible causes. Watch for changes indicating worsening internal bleeding.

    At-Home First Aid

    Until you can see the vet:

    • Let your pet rest and restrict activity to prevent exertion
    • Feed the blandest diet like boiled chicken and rice
    • Prevent dehydration with access to fresh water
    • Avoid any supplement, medication, or food change without vet approval
    • Gently clean the pet’s rear if bloody stool soils the fur
    • Monitor energy levels, gum colour, vomiting, appetite

    Notify your vet about all symptoms and history. Get medical guidance before giving any home treatments.

    Getting Veterinary Care

    Take your pet to the vet promptly if you suspect bloody stool. Timeliness is essential with conditions like:

    • Parvovirus - Highly contagious, often fatal viral illness in dogs and cats
    • Pancreatitis - Serious abdominal inflammation
    • Rodenticide toxicity - Requires prompt treatment
    • Cancer - Early intervention improves prognosis
    • Ulcers - Can perforate intestines if not treated swiftly
    • Irritable bowel disease - Needs medication and diet regulation
    • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis - Causes bloody diarrhoea and vomiting

    In most cases, identifying the underlying cause via lab work, imaging, examination, and monitoring leads to proper treatment and recovery. Keep a close eye on your pet’s symptoms and waste elimination for any signs of blood. By taking timely action, you can get prompt medical attention when needed and provide critical information to your vet. Stay alert and be prepared to act fast at any sign of bloody stool. Your vigilance makes a difference in protecting your pet’s health.

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    By Dr. Shashank Jupaka


    Driven by a lifelong love for animals, Dr. Shashank pursued a PhD in Veterinary Health. He firmly believes that every animal, regardless of size, deserves unparalleled love and care. He speaks English, Telugu, and Hindi, specialising in dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and tortoise.

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