Q: My dog had blood in his poo a few weeks ago. He seemed fine and it went away. Then a couple days ago I noticed it again and now he just had some more this morning. He seems fine and he hasn’t had any accidents or diarrhea. Does this mean he has cancer or something serious? Could it just be hemorrhoids?
A: Blood in the feces should always be investigated. Most of the time it is not a life-threatening problem if caught early. The most common cause is a parasite or bacterial infection. These problems can generally be diagnosed and treated by bringing a fecal sample to your veterinarian for analysis.
Dogs don’t generally get hemorrhoids but they can get painful infections or growths from the anal sacs that are on each side of the rectal opening. The sacs hold a strong smelling fluid used in scent marking and they are prone to infections and impactions.
Be sure to check your dog for dried fecal material under his tail. He could have matted hair or crusted feces that make it hard for him to have a bowel movement. Make sure that the hair is kept clean and trimmed in this area. It is often referred to as a “sanitary shave.” Some dogs are a little messy and need a quick wipe with a baby wipe or a tissue after they eliminate.
Your dog will need a trip to see his veterinarian to help clear up this issue. Hopefully it can be easily treated. Occasionally, blood in the stool is much more serious. Your dog can be loosing more blood than realized and may become anemic. The sooner the problem is diagnosed and treated the better.
Dr. Susan M. Baker received her degree at the University of Florida in 1985 and practices veterinary medicine in Palm Beach County, Florida.