My dog still has blood in his stool even though he’s taking medication for it. What should our next steps be?

Original Question: Timmy my dog has a small amount of blood in his stool. No diarrhea, no vomiting but he has been a bit fussy about eating in the morning. I noticed the blood yesterday morning and took him to the vet. He was given a shot of Cerenia and Tylosin, twice daily, for a week. I am concerned since he still had blood this morning but not all his stools have blood and he does not strain when he poops. He’s on a freeze dried diet (Stella Chewy) which he usually eats very well. - Vivian

My dog still has blood in his stool even though he’s taking medication for it. What should our next steps be? Jul 22, 2018

Hi Vivian,

Thanks for your question!

Timmy is lucky to have you looking out for him. Blood in the stool can mean a lot of different things, some minor and some serious. If the blood is on the surface and is bright red, this indicates bleeding at the end of the gastrointestinal tract (in colon, rectum or anus). If the blood is darker and mixed throughout the feces, this generally means there is bleeding further up in the body.

Causes of blood in or on the feces are varied and can include straining from constipation, anal gland problems, food intolerance/sensitivity, gastrointestinal infections (parasites, bacteria, or viruses), dietary indiscretion/foreign bodies and tumours. Stress or a change in routine can commonly cause this as well (often called “stress colitis”).

If this problem is not clearing up on the current treatment plan or is accompanied by other signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or inappetence, it is best to visit the vet again. Consider bringing in a fecal sample so your vet can do some tests for parasites and other infections. Additional diagnostics such as X-rays may be recommended as well.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Kim Hester

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