Modified stool in dogs is common and can be caused by mild intestinal conditions. Sometimes gastrointestinal problems are directly related to diet, such as when the dog is fed leftovers or when a sudden change in the type of food is made.
Monitoring the consistency and color of your dog’s stool is important because feces can provide important clues about your dog’s health or how it is affected by diet or the environment. As in humans, there are two types of rectal blood exteriorization: hematochezia, fresh blood in stool, and melena, digested blood in the stool.
Ingesting blood is the simplest reason why the dog has black, digested blood in the stool. Licking wounds often leads to black-blooded stool for a day or two.
Post-operative complications are another common cause of blood in the stool and are a cause for you to get alarmed. It is important to contact your veterinarian immediately after you notice the dark stool if the dog has recently undergone surgery. It may be a sign of internal bleeding.
Some drug treatments, aspirin, or anti-inflammatory drugs, can cause ulcers in the dog’s stomach or esophagus, conditions that lead to black blood in the stool.
Polyps, tumors, and cancer are the most common causes of melena in humans and can have the same effect on dogs. If symptoms persist, consult a veterinarian.
If blood in the stool has appeared only once, and the dog has subsequently had normal stools and is no longer bleeding, it is not necessarily an emergency. But if the bleeding is consistent and in large quantities, it is recommended to contact the veterinarian, as this may suggest the presence of a serious condition such as parvovirus, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bacterial or viral diseases, or even cancer.
When the dog shows blood in stool for several days in a row, does not appear to be constipated, and has no injuries to the rectal area, you will need to take a stool sample, so the veterinarian can analyze it before making the diagnosis. It is recommended that fecal samples be as fresh as possible. 12 hours after collecting it, the results won’t have the same accuracy.
Dogs should not eat for 12 to 24 hours before they are given their next meal. This procedure will allow the digestive system to relax, as dogs can walk without eating for several days in a row.
It is recommended to feed your dog once a day. You can offer it two meals, but this will put more pressure on the irritated stomach than you would like. Give it the second meal 24 hours after the first. After 48 hours, they should be able to return to their normal diet, which should be raw or cooked.
It is not recommended to administer anti-diarrheal medication for human use to the dog, as it can be toxic to his body. In case of persistent melena, it is recommended to visit the veterinarian who will determine the appropriate treatment.
Treatment may include:
Regardless of the reason why the dog shows signs of melena, you should always go to your veterinarian and take the relevant exams.
A laboratory test will clarify any doubts and show the treatment to be followed. It is also very important to be careful when feeding the dog and only provide allowed foods that guarantee good health.