Blood in the Stool

Black or red blood in the excrements of the pet, you can also found mucus in stools. Blood in the excrements of your pet are not necessarily caused by a severe medical condition, although they can be a sign of a serious medical condition. In case of continuous blood in the stool of your cat or dog, it is always advised to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause and choose the treatment.

Blood in the Stool

How to Recognize

Your pet’s stool can reveal a lot about its internal health. Consistency and color are two qualities that a veterinarian evaluates when looking at stool. Within the color category, the appearance of blood warrants further investigation. Blood in your pet’s stool can appear as bright red streaks, or the stool may look dark maroon to tarry black in color.

Causes

The most common cause of bright red blood in the stool among puppies and kittens is intestinal parasites, including the protozoan parasite called giardia. Other causes of blood in the stool include infectious bacterial and viral diseases, colitis, dietary indiscretion, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, traumatic injury to the bowel, bowel cancer and polyps of the colon, rectum or anus.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will conduct a physical examination, palpate your pet’s abdominal organs, perform a digital rectal examination and pose questions regarding your pet’s diet, lifestyle and general health history. A sample of your pet’s stool will be tested for the presence of intestinal parasites. Abdominal radiographs may be taken to reveal any abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract. Blood panels may also be run to rule out infection and anemia and to evaluate overall health. An abdominal ultrasound and colonoscopy may be recommended.

Similar Symptoms

Other symptoms that you should take note of in your pet’s stool include the presence of mucous on the stool, whether the stool is formed, soft or watery, whether or not your pet strains to defecate and whether or not your pet needs to defecate more frequently. Observe for foreign material in the stool. You should also look for any additional signs of illness in your pet, such as vomiting, lethargy, a painful abdomen, weight loss or changes in appetite.

Possible Conditions

Bright red blood in your pet’s stool indicates the aforementioned causes, all of which affect the lower gastrointestinal tract. When the stool is tarry in color, this indicates a problem that affects the upper digestive system and other areas of the body. Some causes include tumors or ulcerations of the esophagus or stomach, raw food diets, rodenticide toxicity, blood clotting disorders, a lodged foreign body, traumatic injury of the upper gastrointestinal system and upper gastrointestinal infection and inflammation.

Treatments

Your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate treatment for the underlying cause of the blood in your pet’s stool. Intestinal parasites are easily eradicated with a series of deworming medications. Your veterinarian will also recommend a monthly preventative product that offers protection against some of the common parasites. In the case of infections, intestinal antibiotics will be used. Inflammatory bowel disease can be managed with a limited or novel ingredient prescription diet. In some cases, steroidal therapy may also be necessary for controlling inflammatory bowel disease. Other potential treatments for blood in a pet’s stool include the use of dietary fiber and probiotics, surgical removal of polyps, surgical repair of traumatic injury and hospitalization to treat infectious disease.

Blood in the Stool Affects

  • Dogs
  • Cats

Similar Symptoms

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