Dogs are said to be man’s best friend. Most people prefer dogs to have as pets simply because of their loyalty and affection. Dogs can also protect their owners; some breeds have great protective instincts while others can be trained to become guide dogs for the handicapped.
But like humans, dogs also need protection from several conditions that may lead to their demise. Dogs are prone to infection and disease, and as owners we must be vigilant in keeping our pets healthy. One condition that is alarming to all pet owners is blood in stool of dogs. This is a sure sign that something is very wrong – but what exactly?
Blood in stool of dogs is condition is called hematochezia which usually occurs when there is bleeding in the lower intestines, including the colon and rectum. But as a symptom, it may signify an undiagnosed condition which can be both minor and serious.
Because dogs are exposed to natural harmful agents, they are more susceptible to a variety of infections. This includes the presence of bacteria, intestinal parasites, viruses and protozoa. Though this can be prevented through vaccination, your dog is still not 100% protected from contracting these infectious agents. Aside from lack in appetite, blood in their stool is another symptom that your pet’s immune defenses have been compromised.
A dog’s food intolerance is a major problem of owners. Foods like beef, chicken and dairy products, lamb, wheat, and fish are among the top offenders. When a dog’s digestive system rejects a type of food, certain symptoms may be observed. They begin to have skin infections, ear infections, hot spots and hair loss. They also have increased incidence of bowel movements. In cases where intolerance is severe, fecal material may have blood.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This is a condition that arises when intestines are infiltrated by inflammatory cells. Its symptoms are same with polyps. Treatment is not a worry; owners only have to change their dog’s diet and use proper medication as prescribed by the veterinarian.
Rectoanal Polyps are non-cancerous growths of masses attached to the intestinal or anal walls. Dogs suffering from this condition experience strain or pain when defecating. Also, their stools may be stained with blood. Surgery is the only known treatment but recurrence is highly possible, especially if the dog has multiple polyps.
Intussusception of the Intestines
This is a life-threatening condition in dogs. When the intestine slides within itself, intussusception occurs, reducing blood supply to that section which leads to tissue swelling and death. It occurs very rapidly, so early detection and treatment is vital. Symptoms include abdominal pain, depression, lack of appetite and jelly-like, bloody fecal material.
This illness is a cancer that can be located either in the esophagus, stomach, intestines or rectum. Dogs who are diagnosed with gastrointestinal neoplasia can express symptoms such as difficulty in eating, excessive salivation, weight loss, vomiting (with or without blood), diarrhea and blood in stool. There is no specific prevention for cancer, but it can be treated if diagnosed early.
The appropriate treatment for blood in stool of dogs depends on the condition which caused it. As mentioned, each condition may require an operation, medication, or a change in diet. For mild conditions such as infection, home remedies can be administered, such as de-worming. Vets also recommend a high fiber or hypoallergenic diet to avoid gastrointestinal problems. Also, avoid feeding your dog with bones because sharp pieces can puncture him internally and cause bleeding. When symptoms persist, it is time to seek professional help. The vet will decide what form of treatment can best cure your dog.