First of all, let us find out what are the varieties of hemorrhagic stool:
- scarlet blood secreted from the anus indicates a lesion of the lower part of the large intestine;
- an admixture of blood in the form of a tarry stool indicates that the cause of the lesion is localized in the upper gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small intestine).
Dog has bloody diarrhea for several reasons. It can be a manifestation of various infectious diseases:
- Parvovirus enteritis, plague enteritis, shigellosis, leptospirosis. The greatest danger is leptospirosis – a bacterial infection, which often leads to death.
- Helminthic invasion. The presence of parasites in the gastrointestinal tract can also lead to bleeding from the anus. Most often this is due to direct damage to the mucous membrane because of the parasite sticks to it.
- Mechanical damage to the mucous membrane. This condition can be observed if a dog has swallowed a sharp object. The most common reason is gnawing bones, splinters from which damage the mucosa.
- Tumors. Another reason why a dog has bloody diarrhea is a tumor that is localized in the large intestine. In this case, the blood will be scarlet.
In order to determine the disease accurately, it is necessary to take into account other symptoms that accompany bloody diarrhea:
- If the dog often tries to defecate but there is no result, it may indicate a false defecation urge. This often happens if there is a constant stretching and irritation of the intestinal walls (eg, by a tumor). In case of false urges, feces can come out in the form of “rectal spitting” (a mixture of blood and mucus).
- If there is not only diarrhea, but also vomiting with foam then this may indicate poisoning or lesion of the mucous membrane of the stomach. The dog may be poisoned both by some chemical substances and medicines provided to humans. For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause erosive damage to the gastric mucosa. Clinically, this can be manifested by coffee-grounds vomiting and tarry stools.
- If liquid diarrhea is accompanied by an increase in body temperature, it is likely that the reason is an infectious disease. The infection can be both viral and bacterial in nature.
- If there is a lot of blood in feces, and the dog becomes sluggish, weak and loses consciousness, then, likely, there is a massive gastrointestinal bleeding.
Laboratory studies may include the following methods (a specific list of studies is determined by the veterinarian after a physical examination of the dog):
- General blood test. The results of the study will indicate posthemorrhagic anemia (decrease in hemoglobin and red blood cells). If the cause of the condition is an infectious disease, in addition to anemia, there will be a neutrophil (if the infection is bacterial) or lymphocytic (if viral) leukocytosis and an increase in the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation.
- Biochemical blood test. The renal (creatinine, urea) and hepatic (ALT, AST) complexes are examined for the diagnosis of complications.
- The stool test for detection of worms.
- Virological examination of blood, enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to diagnose the causative agent of infectious diseases.
The most informative are instrumental methods of examination. The following methods are used for diagnostics:
- Endoscopic methods (gastroscopy or colonoscopy) are used to identify the source of bleeding. Endoscopy is also used in cases of suspected tumor process.
- X-ray (survey or contrast radiographs) is used to determine the location of the lesion.
- Ultrasound examination (ultrasound) of the abdominal cavity. It is performed to assess the internal organs and determine the presence of free fluid in the abdominal cavity.
The first thing you have to do in order to help your pet is to consult a veterinarian for medical help. Bloody diarrhea is a dangerous condition that can threaten the life of an animal. As there are many reasons for this condition, it is very difficult to determine the diagnosis yourself. In addition to the above mentioned causes, a dog may have bloody diarrhea after spaying. Sometimes the reason may be even food. Many dog owners notice that their dogs have bloody diarrhea after food change. That is why it is necessary to consult a veterinarian to identify the very cause of the problem and start to treat in properly. As we have already mentioned, the treatment of dogs with bloody diarrhea depends on its cause:
- If the cause is poisoning, it is necessary to wash the dog’s stomach and spend detoxication therapy. In the future, infusion of salt solutions is carried out.
- If diarrhea is caused by an infectious disease, it requires infusion therapy and the appointment of antibacterial agents (in case of bacterial infection).
- If the cause is in a foreign body that damages the mucosa walls (for example, a crushed bone), then it must be pulled out. Most likely, surgery will be required.
- In case of a tumor, the dog will need surgical removal of the tumor with subsequent radiation or chemotherapy (depending on the type of the tumor).