Dog lovers can become very concerned when their dog has diarrhea, and finding blood and mucus in your dog’s stool makes matters worse.
But before you imagine the worst-case scenario, there is a common cause for this.
Blood and mucus in your dog’s stool that looks like raspberry jam are common signs of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE). HGE causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. It is not contagious but does require a vet visit.
We will discuss everything you need to know about HGE. We will also cover other causes of bloody diarrhea and what to look for in your dog’s stool.
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)
HGE, aka acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS), is the most common cause of mucus and blood in a dog’s stool. HGE causes dehydration, and smaller dogs are at an increased risk of life-threatening problems from HGE.
Your vet will perform a Packed Cell Volume (PCV) test to diagnose HGE. The test measures total blood cells. The average dog has a hematocrit number of 40% – 50% red blood cells (the rest is plasma). HGE is confirmed when your dog has a hematocrit number of 60% or higher.
Causes of HGE
Vets and scientists do not know the exact cause of HGE. Causes may include:
- Stomach or intestinal trauma
A dog’s body responds to the inflammation in the gut and intestines by coating the walls with mucus. Blood comes from inflammation of the bowels.
HGE is not contagious. It is not zoonotic and is not transmissible from dogs to people.
The most common symptom of HGE is blood and mucus in your dog’s stool. HGE commonly causes dehydration.
If your dog is refusing to eat or vomiting, you should see a vet immediately. These are more serious symptoms of HGE.
IV fluids combat dehydration in dogs with HGE. Your vet may also prescribe antibiotics to clear up the underlying issue causing HGE.
What to do if You Think Your Dog Has HGE
Visit your vet if you see blood or mucus in your dog’s stool. Lethargy, vomiting, and food avoidance are also symptoms of HGE.
Your vet may ask for a stool sample. Collect a fresh sample and bring it to your vet visit (if possible).
Other Causes of Mucus and Blood in Dog Poop
HGE is the most common reason a dog gets mucus and blood in their stool, but it’s not the only reason. There are two types of bloody stool in dogs Hematochezia and Melena. They each have different meanings.
Fresh, bright red blood in your dog’s stool is called hematochezia. The blood is coming from your dog’s intestines or lower digestive tract.
A tar-like color of dark red or black means your dog is digesting the blood. Blood can come from a wound, the mouth, the throat, or a trauma to the stomach.
Other causes of blood and mucus in your dog’s stool:
- IBS (Colitis)
- Colon cancer
- Liver disease
HGE can happen on its own, or it can be a symptom of a more serious issue.
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that spreads through contact with an infected dog. Symptoms of parvo appear between 3 and 10 days of exposure.
Persistent vomiting and diarrhea are the most common signs of parvo. Other symptoms include lethargy, decreased appetite, abdominal bloating, and body temperature changes.
Parvo can be deadly for puppies if left untreated. Your dog should see a vet immediately if you suspect parvo.
Dogs with parvo need IV fluids and antibiotics. Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea can be deadly in puppies and small dogs.
Parasites cause blood in a dog’s stool. Other symptoms of parasitic infection include:
- Bum scooting
- A swollen tummy
- Weight loss
You will not see parasites in your dog’s poop. Call your vet if your dog has been vomiting, lost weight, or had diarrhea for more than a day.
Similar to parasites, worms can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Other indicators of a worm infestation include visible worms in their poop.
Common worms that cause blood in your dog’s stool:
You may see small white “rice” like objects in your dog’s poop, which is a good indication that you are dealing with a worm infestation.
Your dog can also lose weight, become lethargic, get a potbelly, or start scooting.
Worms can be scary, but they have an easy fix. Your vet may recommend treating your dog for worms every 3 to 6 months, depending on environmental factors.
Giardia is a parasite that lives in mammals, birds, and amphibians. Giardia is transmitted through ingestion.
The symptoms of Giardia are weight loss, gas, diarrhea, nausea, and green stool.
Giardia is a zoonotic parasite and can pass from your pet to you.
Symptoms of colon cancer include diarrhea and vomiting with blood. You may also see weight loss and a loss in appetite.
A dog with cancer will start to become lethargic before you see any other symptoms.
Symptoms of liver disease include weight loss, appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, and instability. Jaundice is a discoloration of the skin, turning your dog’s eyes and gums yellow and a symptom of liver disease.
Understanding Your Dog’s Poop
There are a few different causes of diarrhea. It is best to see a vet if your dog has diarrhea for longer than 24 hours.
Your dog’s poop can tell you a lot about how their health. Yellow or orange poop means there is a problem in the liver. Green or grey poop is also a cause for concern. Call your vet if you are unsure about the color or consistency of your dog’s stool.
Your dog’s poop should be brown and solid most of the time. Occasional runny poop is not uncommon in dogs. But diarrhea lasting longer than a day is cause for concern. A dog can also get IBS. Symptoms of IBS in dogs include frequent but short bouts of diarrhea, mucus in stool, bloating, or constipation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gelatinous Dog Poop
Should I Be Worried About Blood in My Dog’s Poop?
Blood in your dog’s poop can be a sign of something serious. Call your vet to discuss symptoms. They will be able to walk you through your dog’s specific needs. It is not a cause for immediate concern if your dog’s behavior has not changed.
A change in your dog’s behavior with the addition of blood in their stool is a good sign that your dog needs to go to the vet immediately.
What Are The Signs of Parvo in a Dog?
The most common signs of parvo in a dog are vomiting and diarrhea.
Your puppy may also become lethargic, stop eating, change temperature (fever/hypothermia), and have abdominal bloating.
If you suspect your puppy has Parvo visit a vet immediately.
Will Blood in Dog Stool Go Away on Its Own?
There is a chance bleeding will go away on its own. However, you should take your dog to the vet if the blood in your dog’s stool is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. The immediate concern of diarrhea and vomiting is dehydration. A secondary consideration is an underlying issue causing the blood.
A single poop containing blood is not a major cause for concern—consistent blood in the stool warrants a vet visit.
Can Eating Grass Cause Bloody Stool in Dogs?
Grass will not commonly cause blood in your dog’s stool. Vets believe a dog eats grass because they are bored or stressed. There is a chance of trauma during digestion if your dog eats a stick with grass.
Dogs cannot digest grass properly. Grass will come out whole in their stool.
Is There a Home Treatment For HGE?
There is no home remedy for HGE. Your vet may advise you to cook a simple chicken and rice meal to help settle your dog’s stomach. Dogs suffering long bouts of diarrhea need IV fluids no matter the cause. IV fluids are not the same as hydrating at home. Dogs are prone to dehydration.