Dogs Pooping Blood

Dogs pooping blood is a serious condition. Dog owners should take their pets to their vet if this occurs, or at least call them. Typically, parasites of some type are the cause. Other causes are stress, change of diet, swallowing a sharp instrument, or serious digestive problems. Regardless, it is considered a health risk for your dog.

Any change in dog stools that causes blood to develop from inside the anus and rectum is a red flag. It always involves color, consistency, and the frequency of the dog’s stools If the feces is dark, black or tar-like, it is a matter of concern there is blood in the dog stools. This should be a double flag requiring a quick call to your vet.

dogs pooping blood

Adobe licensed image by Nancy Houser

Dogs pooping blood in any color of feces other than brown means there can be digested blood located somewhere in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.  Repeating myself,  bloody feces in dogs can be caused by bleeding ulcers, foreign objects, colitis or anal gland conditions. This is something that cannot be stressed enough.

Dog owners spend over half their lives knee-deep in dog poop for one reason or another. We become so conditioned to it that its a normal part of /our life, especially if we run a shelter, a large kennel, or a foster home for unwanted pets.

When dogs poop blood, I generally look for dog worms at the get-go, especially if the dog is new.  I routinely worm my own dogs, but if I find blood in dog poop at my place, parasites or dog worms are never ruled out as there are so many types of dog worms and parasites. The affected dog is taken to the vet for a fecal sample right away.

Dog worms that are most apt to cause the condition of dogs pooping blood are hookworms and whip-worms. Whip-worms are accompanied by bleeding rectums, slimy bloody stools, and anemia.  Hookworms, on the other hand, cause bleeding stools and anemia, not slimy stools or bleeding rectums.

Health risks for dogs pooping blood

  • Black stools – sometimes black stools are caused by the dog or puppy consuming Ibuprofen or Motrin, causing a serious toxicity (poisoning). This is accompanied by pale gums, large amounts of digested blood, and a low red blood cell count.
  • Coccidiosis – this is an intestinal disease that primarily affects puppies, kittens, canaries and human beings. A parasite that lives in the wall of the intestines, it causes a water, mucous–based diarrhea. In puppies, it can be fatal if not treated. Without treatment, it damages the lining of the intestinal tract.
  • Dyschezia – constipation associated with a defective reflex for defecation in dogs and young children.
  • Dog diarrhea – loose feces, dog diarrhea is the most common problem that affects dogs. If it is accompanied by loss of appetite, marked lethargy, frequent vomiting, abdominal pain, and lasts longer than 48 hours … medical attention is required.
  • Hematochezia – the passage of bloody stools, Hematochezia involves a passage of fresh blood through the dog’s colon or rectum. It is more commonly referred to “bright red blood in the stool.” As it can also be maroon in color, the blood is usually in or with the feces, located in the lower gastrointestinal tract.
  • Melena  – the black, “tarry” dog feces that is associated with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The black color comes from hemoglobin in the blood, changed by digestive chemicals and intestinal bacteria.
  • Mucus in dog stools –  this can be caused by a variety of dog illnesses and parasites, even though it is not always an indicator of poor dog health. If it is accompanied by blood or a serious change in your dog’s bowel movements, it is usually more serious.
  • Blood in dog stools – Dyschezia and Hematochezia


dogs pooping blood

Image of little Scotia by Nancy Houser

Blood in dog stools should be a red flag alert that something is wrong, even if you do not know what it is.  But common sense says fresh red blood coming from our dog’s anus is a health problem, and slapping a brightly colored bandage on it will not work.

Two pretty common conditions, other than dog worms,  that involves dogs pooping blood are Dyschezia and Hematochezia. Both involve diseases of the digestive and intestinal system. And both are visible presentations of an underlying disease that causes inflammation or irritation of the rectum or anus.


Dyschezia refers to a difficult or painful defecation. The word originates from Ancient Greece, meaning to “ease oneself, or defecate.” Dyschezia is usually associated with constipation in young children and newborns who have difficult or painful bowel movements.

However, temporary dyschezia also develops in dogs. Dyschezia in dogs is the inability to have a bowel movement without pain for many reasons. It can be caused by a disorder of the colon or rectum, bowel impaction, bacterial infections, constipation because of an incorrect diet, anal sac infections, allergies, colon cancer, and chronic constipation. The colon and rectum are associated with body elimination, passing through areas formed by the pelvic bones.

Dyschezia can develop because of dislocations and diseases of this area. In male dogs, prostrate diseases can cause secondary painful bowel eliminations, as the colon passes directly over the prostrate gland.

Canine Hematochezia is the presence of bright, red blood in dog stools.  If the blood accompanies vomiting, lethargy or coughing, the vet can determine the cause quicker, so make sure you observe any abnormal symptoms. Also, the age of the dog has a lot to do with how serious the condition is.

Younger pups or dogs under one to two years are chewers and players, so the cause of dogs pooping blood could be a foreign object it has chewed on with sharp edges, or it could be parasites or dog worms due to inadequate worming. Older dogs get sicker with more serious conditions and they heal slower, so it should be a mandatory vet trip.

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6 Responses:

  1. Sigridlag

    - 31st Oct, 17 11:10am

    Thanks a lot for the article.Much thanks again. Awesome. – Gal

    Reply to this comment

  2. Waycooldogs

    - 8th May, 17 10:05am

    Any person, dog, cow, bird or related creatures that poop blood has a problem. It is common sense, especially if there is diarrhea and blood combined, possibly with mucous, to go to the vet immediately.

    Reply to this comment

  3. margaret

    - 21st Sep, 16 11:09pm

    It’s quite clear your website is just copying ideas from other websites. It’s tarry stools not terry. Websites on dog health should be written only by vets or professionals in the field!

    Reply to this comment

    • WayCoolDogs (author comment)

      - 29th Sep, 16 09:09pm

      Yes some is, while the rest is medically caring for dogs since 1999 in our rescue. I combine as much information from the vet, books, online, classes, discussions, etc. that I can. If I was copying from online sources I would not have misspelled terry, now would I?

      Reply to this comment

  4. Evangeline Friese

    - 1st Feb, 16 08:02pm

    My fiance and I have two puppies one boy and girl pit bull mixed with mini hound dog however the girl will eat and go straight to the bathroom and has diahhrea with bright red blood the boy has worms diahhrea with blood and barely will eat he will drink and eat spoonfuls of very very soft food and then use the bathroom and fall back asleep should we be worried?

    Reply to this comment

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