Bloody Stool and Vomiting in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Why is my dog having bloody stool and vomiting?

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Why is my dog having bloody stool and vomiting?

What is Bloody Stool and Vomiting?

As a pet parent, you are certain to be alarmed if you observe your dog vomiting and passing blood in the stool. Some dogs will vomit and have bloody diarrhea, but continue to eat or drink. If you observe that your dog is having bloody diarrhea and vomiting, they need to see a veterinarian immediately. While some causes of your dog pooping blood and vomiting may be easily treatable, others are life-threatening. It is always best to err on the side of caution. Several conditions can cause your dog to have a bloody stool and vomit:

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Parvovirus
  • Parasites
  • Changes in your dog’s diet

Why Bloody Stool and Vomiting Occurs in Dogs

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is characterized by sudden onset of bloody diarrhea in a dog with no previous issues. Vomiting may or may not accompany the bloody diarrhea. The refusal to eat (anorexia) and listlessness have also been observed. Dehydration can soon take place as the body empties of liquid and it is not replaced. This is a situation in which you need to get your pup to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Shock can occur without treatment. Stress is thought to be a factor in this condition. Toy breeds are thought to have a higher instance of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, especially between the ages of two and four. While these dogs have a higher occurrence of the disease, any breed of dog can acquire it. Gender is nonspecific as well. 

Intestinal Obstruction

Because dogs sometimes eat things that they should not, intestinal obstructions can be somewhat common occurrences. An intestinal obstruction can be a partial blocking of the small intestines. Blood supply to the GI tract can be cut off or compromised during a blockage, and, without treatment, sections of the intestine may die. Perforations may occur as a result. Bacteria can seep into the gut, causing septic peritonitis. Unfortunately, emergency surgery is often required to eliminate an obstruction. 

Parvovirus

Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral infection that normally affects young dogs (ages six weeks to six months) that have not completed all their immunizations. Transmission occurs when a dog comes in contact with contaminated objects – and these objects can be food bowls, shoes, clothing, even the ground. The virus can live for up to a year, and it is not easily eradicated. Parvovirus is resistant to most household cleaners; bleach is basically the only cleaner strong enough to kill parvovirus. Parvovirus can be transmitted when a dog licks any material that has come in contact with the virus – including feces – and then licks himself. Initial symptoms include fever and lethargy. Dogs may refuse food and water. Within 48 hours, profuse vomiting and diarrhea will often begin. 

Parasites

One of the more common causes of bloody stool in dogs is parasites. Hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms are known to cause blood in the stool. Coccidia is another parasite that has been associated with bloody stools. No breed is any more or less susceptible to parasites than others.

Changes in Your Dog’s Diet

Overeating, indiscriminate eating, or changing your dog’s diet may cause stress on the gastrointestinal tract, leading to bloody stools. Food allergies can also cause bloody diarrhea, and unintentionally eating spoiled food can cause your dog to have bloody diarrhea and vomiting as well.

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What to do if your Dog is Bloody Stool and Vomiting

If you suspect your dog has parvovirus, get him to the veterinarian immediately. Puppies can dehydrate quickly and sepsis can set in. Once your dog is vomiting and experiencing diarrhea, the virus has already progressed greatly.

If your dog has hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, your veterinarian will have to do many tests to eliminate other possible causes. There is no known exact cause of the condition. However, a dog that has had one incidence of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis may be more likely to have more episodes. You may actually see evidence of parasites in your dog’s bloody diarrhea, but this is not always the case. Your veterinarian will take a stool sample and examine it for parasites. If they are present, he will prescribe appropriate deworming medication. If your dog has an intestinal obstruction, he may be in a good deal of pain in addition to the bloody stool. Your veterinarian may need to do x-rays in order to confirm the diagnosis. Experts recommend gradually changing your dog’s diet in order to avoid gastrointestinal stress.

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Prevention of Bloody Stool and Vomiting

Always take caution when taking your unvaccinated dog into high-traffic areas such as public places or groomers. Also, be aware that parvovirus can live on the ground for up to a year. Your dog will receive the last vaccination against parvo at around sixteen weeks. Until then, take extra caution around strange dogs. Stress is a known factor in dogs with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, so try to minimize stress in toy breeds. Keeping your dog regularly dewormed will help prevent intestinal parasites.

Bloody stools and vomiting can be expensive to treat. To protect your dog and prevent high vet care costs, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Cost of Bloody Stool and Vomiting

Treating parvovirus in dogs can be an expensive treatment ranging from $500 to $12,000. This cost will be dependent upon the stage of the virus when you get to the veterinarian. The vaccination to prevent Parvovirus typically costs around $25, so this is one that is easily prevented.  The average cost to treat hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is $1000-3000.

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Worried about the cost of Why Is My Dog Pooping Blood And Vomiting treatment?

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Bloody Stool and Vomiting Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Miniature Australian Shepherd

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Two Years

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14 found helpful

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14 found helpful

Has Symptoms

My dog is puking up yellow/green slime and having bloody diarrhea

May 28, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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14 Recommendations

Hello, this could be due to pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, foreign body, or something else. Since she is vomiting and having diarrhea, it would be best for your dog to see your vet.

May 28, 2021

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Pit Bull

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Three Years

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5 found helpful

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5 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Vomiting Bloody Stool

Eating very little and started vomiting and having bloody stools since yesterday

March 11, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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5 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. It would be best for your vet to see your dog as this can be the signs of gastroenteritis, HGE, pancreatitis or something else. You can also give him a bland diet of chicken and rice to help calm his stomach.

March 11, 2021

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