A bit of bright red blood is common for dogs new to a raw diet. The blood is typically from irritation to the intestinal tract and is known as hematochezia. As your dog’s body gets stronger and its stomach acids get healthier and more effective at breaking down whole foods, this should lessen. Normally within a few days.
Hematochezia (not to be confused with melena) usually occurs with bleeding in the lower intestines (colon, rectum). Melena (the passage of dark, tarry, black feces) is the passage of old, digested blood that has occurred with bleeding higher up in the intestinal tract.
Black tarry feces (melena) is an indication of a prolonged issue. This will require a vet visit.
While a dot or two of bright red blood (hematochezia) generally isn’t something to be overly concerned about, a lot of blood, or blood in every stool sample is a potentially more serious problem.
Repeated or persistent hematochezia should not be ignored. There are several possible causes. The most common cause in older pets is cancer and in younger pets are parasites.
General Causes of Bloody Stool in Dogs
- Cancer of the lower bowel
- Clotting disorders
- Dietary intolerance/allergy
- Infectious agents, such as bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and intestinal parasites
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Miscellaneous diseases of the anus, rectum and colon
- Polyps (benign masses) in the colon or rectum
- Trauma to the lower bowel or anal area
In addition to the bright red blood, watch for these symptoms:
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive urinating
- Increased number of bowel movements
- Poor appetite
- Straining to defecate
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Weight loss
Note: There may be no other signs of a more serious problem aside from the bloody stools. Again, if this persists, see your vet.
Keeping An Eye On Your Dogs’ Stools
Your dog’s poop reflects what they eat. Darker meats and blood-soaked meats like hearts, liver, and organs will result in darker poops. Lighter meats like chicken, turkey, pork, and rabbit will result in lighter poops.
It’s important to learn to recognizing when you’ve fed too much or too little of something to your dog.
Chalky Stools: Too much bone.
Undigested Bone Pieces: Too much bone or an improper diet of plant matter. If feeding plant matter of any kind, stop immediately. Decrease the amount of bone and/or increase the amount of meat.
This is also normal for new to raw dogs. Healthy stomach acids can take several days to build up and get up to speed with properly breaking down bones. You can add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their meals to help breakdown bones.
Dark Runny Stools: Too little bone, too much fat or too much organ. You’ll need to either reduce the fat or organ content, or increase the bone content accordingly.
Mucus: Mucus is a normal reaction for new to raw dogs. The intestines will over produce mucus to protect the tract from what it thinks is dangerous foreign objects. This will decrease as your dog adjusts to their raw diet.
Bright Red Blood In Stools: A bit of bright red blood is common with dogs new to raw. The blood is typically from irritation to the intestinal tract. It should lessen as your dog adjusts to their new diet (within a few days).
Dark Red Blood: Black tarry blood is an indication of a prolonged issue. This will require a vet visit.
Prolonged Problems: Stool problems that persist regardless of the adjustments you make may be a sign of a bigger issue and should be diagnosed by a veterinary professional.
Disclaimer: All content provided on this website, WhitneyLiving.com is for informational purposes only. The materials contained here are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed veterinary professional.