What does bloody stools in dogs indicate? These problems may be the cause

László Enikő

2020. October 14 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

The end product of dogs can tell us a lot about their health. Bloody stools may be a cause for concern. What could be the problem?


Most owners are very frightened when they find blood in their pet’s faeces. Not surprisingly, this can be a sign of serious health problems. It can be caused by a viral disease, inflammation of the intestine, bacteria or foreign bodies in the animal’s body. It’s worth paying attention to the quality of your dog’s stool, as it can tell you a lot. If you see blood in it, take him to your vet as soon as possible.

Always check your dog’s stools during walks.


Parvovirus is often a fatal viral disease. Most often it affects puppies. Fortunately there is a vaccine which has greatly reduced the incidence of the disease. If your pet is very young and hasn’t had the necessary injections, don’t take it outdoors or to parks, as it can easily catch it almost anywhere. Symptoms of infection include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and loss of appetite.

Coronavirus enteritis

It is very difficult to distinguish coronavirus enteritis from parvovirus as the symptoms are very similar. Infected dogs often present with dehydration, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and lethargy. The disease has been present in Hungary for only a few years and also affects puppies most frequently. The affected dog produces large amounts of dilute and often bloody faeces. Pets over three months of age can be vaccinated against it.


It also occurs in puppies, but not as often as the above two diseases. However, rotavirus can also be transmitted to humans, especially babies, so it is advisable to be careful. The most common symptom is diarrhoea. However, the good news is that in the vast majority of cases it only occurs in dogs under 12 weeks old. At this age, unless you are a breeder, you probably don’t own a puppy.

Infection caused by Campylobacter jejuni

Intestinal infections caused by the bacteria are most common in puppies with parasites in their bodies and a weak immune system. It causes a watery, mucousy and sometimes bloody diarrhoea, accompanied by vomiting and fever.

Campylobacter jejuni bacteria.

Infection caused by Clostridium species

Some species inhabit the gut flora, but overgrowth can lead to intestinal inflammation. This is typically caused by excessive stress or frequent changes in diet. This is why it is important not to change feeds too often. Dogs are not like humans, they don’t tend to get bored of what’s already worked. It is important that your pet is fed a good quality diet rich in the nutrients it needs, and if it likes it, don’t change it. A typical symptom of infection is mucousy, bloody diarrhoea.


Disease caused by Salmonella species is rare in healthy dogs. It can also be a threat to humans, so prevention is of paramount importance. Do not allow your pet to eat other animals’ faeces, water or unknown food. Improperly treated food is a common cause. Therefore, only get raw meat and eggs from a reliable source if you feed them to your dog. Always refrigerate opened canned food to prevent mischief. Symptoms of infection caused by salmonella bacteria include bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever and dehydration.

Epilepsy, anxiety

Although rare, bloody stools can be a sign of epilepsy. In fact, it can even be the only symptom, so many people don’t think it’s the cause. Anxious dogs may also have blood in their faeces.

Excessive straining, constipation

If your dog is constipated, he may not be able to defecate, or he may have to defecate with great difficulty. Trying may result in blood in the stool. It is important to note that the faeces itself is not bloody, but only on the surface. In this case, it is important to feed your dog high fibre food to loosen the stool.

Foreign body in the gut

The intestinal wall can be damaged by a foreign body, causing the stool to be bloody. It is common for this to be something with some bone fragments. For this reason, it is important not to give your pet too many bones, as they cannot digest them and defecation can be difficult and painful for them. You may even take it away from him after he has chewed enough and played himself out. That way, you’re making sure he doesn’t get something in his stomach that doesn’t belong there. And don’t leave small objects, especially sharp ones, where he has easy access to them, as they can also cause problems.

Black stools

If your dog’s diarrhoea is black in colour, it is a sign of coagulated blood. This can happen when a foreign body is drained or after foaming too quickly. It can also be a sign of a more serious illness, so you should also visit your vet with your pet in this case.


First and foremost, it’s important to seek professional advice if your dog’s stool is bloody, as diarrhoea can quickly dry it out. If you think your pet is feeling well, has an appetite and is no longer defecating blood, you can help him at home. During chronic diarrhoea, you can give your dog some boiled potatoes or some kefir or yoghurt to help restore his gut flora.

If you have bloody diarrhoea, see your vet.

Many things can explain why your dog’s stool is bloody. Therefore, it is not worth waiting for it to go away on its own, as it may indicate serious problems. Almost all diarrhoeal diseases can cause bloody end products, so leave it to your vet to diagnose.

bloody stools diarrhoea dog diseases Health infection parvovirus symptoms of the disease virus

Related articles

More articles