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Blood in Dog's Stool: Is it an Emergency & What to Do

Blood in Dog's Stool: Is it an Emergency & What to Do

Our Visalia vets know that responsible dog owners spend a lot of time picking up their dog's poop. What should you do if you notice blood in your dog's poop?

Help, there's blood in my dog's poop!

Noticing blood in your dog's stool is bound to be worrying, and could be a sign of a serious health problem.

Whenever you see blood in your pet's stool it's a good idea to call your regular vet. The bigger question is whether blood in your dog's stool is actually an emergency that requires a trip to the closest emergency veterinary hospital.

Is Your Dog a Puppy?

If you have a young puppy with blood in their stool go see your vet immediately! Parvovirus is common in unvaccinated pups and can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Call your regular vet within normal office hours, or visit our Visalia emergency animal hospital after hours.

Does Your Dog Seem Overall Healthy?

Your Dog is Acting Normal

If your dog has blood in their stool but otherwise seems health, is eating normally and behaving normal, you should call your regular vet to let them know, and ask for advice. Your regular vet will be able to assess the urgency of the situation and let you know whether it's a good idea to bring your dog into the office for an examination.

Your Dog Seems Unwell

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

Examine Your Dog's Stool

Take a moment to examine your dog's stool before heading to the vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose your dog's condition more quickly if you are able to provide an accurate description of your dog's stool. When it comes to blood in your dog's stool, there are two distinct types:


Hematochezia is bright red blood, fresh-looking blood in dog stool. This suggest an issue that stems from the lower digestive tract or colon. Hematocheza may appear on a firm formed stool or in diarrhea. The distinctive bright red color of hematochezia indicates that the blood comes from the lower part of the digestive tract and has only traveled a short distance through the dog's body.

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


This blood has been digested or swallowed, typically indicating a problem in the upper digestive tract. Melena results in a black inky stool that can be jelly like in consistency. Diarrhea is not common with melena.

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

Possible Causes of Red in the Stool

Red stool may not indicate blood at all. If your dog has eaten a red nonfood item such as a crayon or lipstick. Red icing and cakes may also have this effect on your dog's stool.

If it isn't something that was caused by them eating something that isn't dog food then 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.

If your dog has blood in their stool and is showing other signs of illness call your vet immediately, after hours contact our Visalia emergency vets at Tulare-Kings Veterinary Emergency Services.

Compassionate Emergency Care for Pets

Tulare-Kings Veterinary Emergency Services is a pet emergency animal hospital providing urgent care to cats and dogs in the Visalia area. Contact us right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency.

(559) 739-7054 Contact