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Dog Hematochezia

Veterinarian Reviewed on March 29, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford

Dog Hematochezia

Fresh red blood in the stool of your pets is called Hematochezia. This blood is coming from the lower intestine, the colon or rectum. It is often the symptom of another problem, such as Dog Cancer. The problem can be minor or serious. If it is a single occurrence, chances are that it is not a serious event. If it happens repeatedly or continuously, you will need to visit your vet. In older pets the usual cause is cancer and in younger pets it can be caused by parasites.

Usual causes

• Bacteria, viruses, protozoa or intestinal parasites

• Dietary intolerance to certain foods caused by allergy or intolerance

This will usually cause colitis or irritable bowel syndrome which causes bleeding.

• Neoplasia of the bowel

• Polyps in the rectum or colon

• Trauma to the area

• Certain clotting disorders

• Intussesception which is the telescoping of part of the bowel into another part of the bowel

• Rectal, colon or anal disease

Signs and Symptoms

Your dog may have to strain to pass their stool. When the stool is passed, it will contain bright red blood. Bowel movements can increase.

There can be other non-specific signs such as Dog Loss of Appetite, Dog Weight Loss and Dog Increased Urination and Dog Increased Thirst. These can be signs of a significant number of other illnesses.


Your veterinarian will obtain a complete medical history of your dog. This will be followed by physical examination. Your vet will do a rectal examination and will do a fecal examination. If there is blood in the stool, your vet may do x-rays and ultrasound of the area. If further examination is necessary, your veterinarian will do a colonoscopy. This is a test in which a small tube is placed in the rectum and pictures are obtained as it progresses up the colon.

The usual blood tests will be performed. There will be a complete blood count and a coagulation test to see how efficiently your dog’s blood is clotting.


• Initial treatment will include fluid therapy if your dog is dehydrated.

• If the bleeding is the result of parasites, deworming medication will be given.

• Antibiotics will be ordered for bacterial infections

• Your vet may order medication to slow down the movement of the bowel and decrease bowel movements.

• Pharmaceuticals that coat and protect the intestines will be given. There will also be soothing medications administered.

Home Treatment

The most important things to do at home are to give your dog all of the prescribed medications. You will have to adhere to the diet that the veterinarian has ordered and keep your dog comfortable. Any recommendations that the veterinarian has given you should be strictly adhered to.

Observe your dog. Pay attention to activity, appetite and stool. If there is a significant change in their appetite or water consumption, you should use caution and report it to your vet.
If your dog becomes lethargic or irritable, you need to be observant and notify your vet of any changes in personality.
Keep your dog comfortable. All of the treatment that is received will put him on edge and it can take a few days for your little friend to return to normal.

Suggested Products

Nu-Pet Vitamin & Antioxidant Wafers
Cancer Support Kit – Dogs

Additional Dog Cancer Pages

Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors

Read also: Dog Ear Tumor
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Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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