/Dog Pooping Blood? Here’s What to Do Next

Dog Pooping Blood? Here’s What to Do Next

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Yikes! When you see something red in your dog’s poop, the first thing you think of is your dog pooping blood. But don’t panic. First, determine if the red you’re seeing is truly blood and read on for how to handle blood in dog stool.
Notice something red in your dog’s stool? First, determine if your dog is pooping blood — or something else
Think your dog is pooping blood? First, determine is anything red that you’re seeing is, in fact, blood. Photography by By Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.
Almost nothing is more alarming than seeing something red in your dog’s poop. Depending on what that red color actually is, red poop can be serious or nothing to worry about. So, if your dog’s poop looks red, is your dog pooping blood — or could it be something else?
“It can be caused by red coloring, like food coloring,” says Tracey Jensen, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, medical director at Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colorado. “It could be something that [your dog] ate that is simply innocently passing through. I once saw a dog that ate strawberry Chapstick, which came through.” If your dog eats red Crayons, they may also color the poop red. In general, food dyes that come from nontoxic sources will pass out in the stool and leave no lasting effects.
If your dog is pooping blood, here’s what to know
A more troubling — but unfortunately, also more common — reason a dog’s poop might be colored red is blood. “Blood in the feces can be caused by infections, including various parasite infections or bacterial infections, inflammatory conditions and we do see colon cancer in dogs,” Dr. Jensen explains. “Sometimes, an anal gland condition can cause a coating of blood on the feces.”
What to do about your dog pooping blood
If you see red in your dog’s stool — and you didn’t recently notice your dog eating a pile of red Crayons — call your veterinarian to make an appointment to have him checked out. If possible, bring a fresh sample of your dog’s stool for the vet to test.
Even if your dog is acting fine, at least contact your vet to have a conversation about your dog pooping blood. “Red always warrants a call,” Dr. Jensen explains. “There are many causes of blood in the feces, some of which are very serious. Contacting your veterinary care team can help you work through some questions to help determine if it’s an emergency.”
Blood in dog poop — could it be HGE or parvo?
If it’s after hours and you see large amounts