Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Blood in Dog's Stool: Is It an Emergency?

Blood in Dog's Stool: Is It an Emergency?

Responsible dog owners spend a lot of time picking up their dog's poop so they'll likely have a pretty good idea of what a normal stool looks like for your dog. But what should you do if you notice blood in your dog's stool? Our Greensboro vets explain.

Blood In Dogs Stool

If you see blood in your dog's stool, you are likely going to be concerned because this is a clear sign of a potential health issue.

If you notice blood in your dog's stool, you need to contact your vet right away to get to the bottom of the underlying issue. The bigger question is whether blood in your dog's stool is actually an emergency that requires a trip to the closest emergency veterinary hospital.


If your puppy is producing bloody stool, you need to get them to the vet immediately. This could be a sign of parvovirus which is common in unvaccinated puppies and is fatal if not treated immediately.

Assess Your Dog's Overall Health 

If They Seem Normal

If you see blood in your dog's stool but they are behaving normal and eating and drinking the same as usual, it is still a good idea to contact your vet to ask for advise. Your regular vet will be able to assess the urgency of the situation and let you know whether it's a good idea to bring your pet into the office for an examination.

If They Seem Sick

If you've noticed blood in your dog's stool and your dog also vomiting, refusing to eat, and looking unwell, it's time for an immediate trip to the vet. During normal business hours contact your regular vet and book an emergency appointment, after hours you should call your emergency vet.

Assess Your Dog's Stool

Take a moment to examine your dog's stool before heading to the vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose your dog's condition more quickly if you are able to provide an accurate description of your dog's stool. When it comes to blood in your dog's stool, there are two distinct types:


Hematochezia is bright red blood or fresh-looking blood in dog stool. This blood often comes from the lower digestive tract or colon because it means that the blood has not had to travel far within the digestive tract. Hematochezia may appear on a firm formed stool or in diarrhea. 

Common causes of hematochezia include viral diarrhea, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.


This type of blood has been digested or even swallowed which can mean that there is an issue with the upper digestive tract. Melena results in a black inky stool that can be jelly-like in consistency. Diarrhea is not common with melena, the stool is usually formed. 

Common causes of melena include stomach inflammation, stomach ulcers, and cancer.

Possible Causes of Blood in Stool

It is important to make a distinction. Not all red stool is indicative of blood. If dogs eat something red such as a crayon, or lipstick, they could pass red stool. Red icing and cakes may also have this effect on your dog's stool.

Streaks of bright red blood in your dog's stool could be caused by an infection or injury to your dog's sensitive rectal area, such as a ruptured anal sac. 

Other causes of blood in stool include:

  • Parvovirus
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HG)
  • Viral and bacterial infections 
  • Severe food intolerance
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cancer

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you see blood in your dog's stool, or if they are showing any other signs of illness, contact our Greensboro vets right away for urgent care.

Clients Share the Love

  • The staff at Friendly Animal Clinic is always incredible at their work and their bedside manner is pretty awesome, too (which I greatly appreciate). I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of veterinary care.
    - Katherine M.

Book Online (336) 299-6011