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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20632
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi, I have noticed some blood in one of my dogs stools today

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have noticed some blood in one of my dogs stools today it was red in colour. I have 3 Alaskan malamutes they all seem perfectly healthy and I have seen no other changes in them. I haven't changed their foods or anything different that i can think of. I am careful with toys and things and I dont let them pick things up when out walking. Im really worried Bear is the baby of our family at 5 years of age. Can you advise me please
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

I am sorry to hear that you are seeing fresh blood in Bear's stool. If she is otherwise well, healthy, drinking/eating normally, has no sickness, diarrhea, belly pain or paling of her gums, then we'd be less panicked about the potential foreign bodies or picking up something she should not have. And with those as a lesser worry for the moment, we can consider other causes of fresh blood in a dog's feces.

Now when we see fresh blood in the feces it is often arising from the lower colon. Specifically, we can see this with anal gland disease (though often we will also peri-rectal discomfort, frequent rectal grooming, scooting, or see a swelling/wound to the side of the rectum), parasitic infection (ie whipworms) and with inflammation/infection of the colon (colitis).

In regards ***** ***** approach here, if Bear is not up to date on her worming then you may consider worming to remove the concern of parasitic causes. Ideally, you want to use a good quality wormer that will cover against whipworms. Examples would be Panacur, Drontal, Advocate, or Milbemax as it will cover all the worms in question and help rule them out as the cause of this colonic bleeding. These are available over the counter at the vets, pet stores, and some pharmacies. Do make sure you have an idea of her weight before purchasing, so you make sure to get the right dose for her size.

As well, if we have an inflammatory colitis (which can be triggered by immunological and environmental stress) then this can sometimes be settled with a light/easily digestible diet. (Though bacterial induced colitis will often require antibiotic treatment).
Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases like this (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). The easily digestible diet will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. We usually will try them on the diet for a week until signs settle, and then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.

If you try the above and this doesn't settle in the next 24-48 hours or you are seeing blood from the rectum not associated with her passing feces, then you would want to want to follow up with her vet. If you rule out the above and are concerned about bacterial colitis, then also consider bringing in a fecal sample with you for evaluation. The vet will be able to examine Bear, assess her hydration, check her anal glands, and if they too suspect bacterial colitis, then the fecal sample can be sent to the lab for evaluation to check for any infectious causes that may need to be addressed. As well, if necessary, they can allso cover her with broad spectrum antibiotics to treat against the most common bacterial agents of colitis +/- dog safe anti-diarrheal medication (ie Kaolin, Protexin, etc) if her stools become runny at all.

Overall, fresh blood can always be alarming when seen in a dog's feces. Still, most often we will just see a small amount and it is often a sign of colonic inflammation/irritation. Therefore, try the above to start ruling out our likely suspects. If you do so and she doesn't settle or you see those signs associated with anal gland disease, then we'd want to follow up with her vet to address this for her.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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