When to give a poop -dog edition
April 8, 2020 1:57 PM   Subscribe

My dog has red blood in stool. I know to call the vet but...more below the fold to hide the pleasant details.

YANMVet. I know only a vet can/should answer this question but I am going to ask anyway. When would you "absolutely" take any next steps and try to figure out this bloody problem. First, this may or may not be connected but my dog was bit on his bottom by another dog on March 8, that required stitches around his anus. It was quite an ordeal but he healed and the vet said his anal glands were fine. He seemed back to normal a week or so later so about the 13th of March. Then around the 23rd he started having loose stools with some bright red blood. A vet said it could just be stress and to monitor for a few days, it seemed to get a little better but then he a bowel movement that my kids said looked like the creature from stranger things on the 27th. Because all of the vets are emergency only right now due to covid, I took the stool and had it analyzed but the vet did not see the dog. The stool came out negative for any parasite sand the vet prescribed and antibiotic and probiotic combo that seem to return him to normal. It was a week long regimen that seemed to return him back to normal - with the last dose being April 2nd. Now the blood is back. Today, on his regular walk he had one poop that was totally normal, then a second poop that the first half was normal and the second loose with blood. Other than this grossness, he is acting fine with regards to eating, drinking, sleeping (he has not had any change in dog food). He is a purebred Mutt - aged 10. If I hadn't been financially wiped out from the first emergency visit with stitches, I would have no problem taking him again, but I am worried about losing my job due to covid and can't explore every diagnosis/treatment option. I am inclined to take a wait and see approach but I was wondering if any *experts* have suggestions. Again, I know ultimately this is a take him to the vet situation, but the world is upside down right now. When is "must" go territory as otherwise he seems fine?
posted by turtlefu to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Poor doggie!! Is the blood bright red?
(And and I am not a vet!!!)

If i were you, i might have the dog go on just water for a day or so and then start with a rice&chicken diet for a few days (we just boil them together, and then give small portions throughout the day) so his stool stays small and easy to pass. Sort of how you deal with diarrhea in dogs. With trauma to the butt, a little bright red blood could just be an indication of small wounds around his butthole (which would make sense if his first poop is ok, and the next comes out bloody?) while dark red blood could be a sign of internal issues (way more serious). I'd also look into some vaseline/bebanthen (i dunno if you have this in the states?) or something to maybe help the healing/protect the area.
posted by speakeasy at 2:16 PM on April 8, 2020

Oh and if you go the chicken and rice route, try to incorporate his regular dog food back gradually, if things start looking ok.
posted by speakeasy at 2:20 PM on April 8, 2020

Also not a vet. My last dog would get bloody diarrhea once or twice a year. The vet thought it was probably something she picked up and ate on our walks in the open space, she would get a dose of pills, and be fine, but I always wondered if the pills were necessary. I would also do as suggested above, but also see if you can call the vet and ask over the phone what they would suggest, since you just saw them and the prescription just ended.

For me, “must go to the vet for right now” would be diarrhea you can’t stop, pale gums, panting, lethargy, seeming to be in pain, not drinking or eating.
posted by umwhat at 2:32 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

For an otherwise healthy dog, I will often give my dogs a course of bland diet (chicken and rice), and then maybe a course of Pancur (which many pet stores have in person and online) for things like this, before going to a vet. It can help with things like giardia, which tends to turn up here when there is any standing water outside. I will usually try this before taking a dog to the vet. If that doesn't work, it's often a trip to the vet for something like metronidazole.

You may want to just call your vet. They may just have an option like this for you to pick up something like it in the parking lot.
posted by answergrape at 2:49 PM on April 8, 2020

Best answer: Watch your dog closely. I imagine it's more likely to be related to their injuries healing than anything else, but if the bloody diarrhea continues and includes any of the following symptoms please ring your vet ASAP. Vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever or dehydration. Put your dog on an easy to digest of poached chicken, rice and a table spoon of canned pumpkin (pumpkin can help calm an irritated intestine) and the fibre will make the poops easier to pass so if it is an old would it's less likely to get irritated. Slowly over say 2 weeks change back to the dogs new diet by mixing the 2 together.

If your dog shows any other symptoms such as lethargy, changing of the gums color, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite or restlessness or fever please call your vet ASAP.
posted by wwax at 2:52 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

We used to have a dog who had frequent bouts of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. It was pretty much exactly like what you describe (except of the butt-bite.) Once our vet had ruled out absolutely everything else, we continued to check in the vet during every episode, but we only wound up taking her in in to be examined if she was lethargic, dehydrated, not eating, or if she was vomiting too, and there were a few times when she needed to stay at the vet's overnight and get IV fluids. She also got antibiotics fairly frequently.

There is no cure for chronic, ideopathic HGE in dogs, so it just became a yucky, occasionally expensive, but mostly pretty normal part of our lives.

Do note that HGE is a much bigger deal in smaller dogs. At 40 lbs, ours could weather it reasonably well most of the time.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:54 PM on April 8, 2020

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