The Six Most Common Causes of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs | If your dog has been diagnosed with bloody diarrhea, you’re probably concerned about the potential severity of the problem and seeking guidance on what you can do to help your furry friend. Fortunately, there are many possible causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs, some of which can be treated at home with medications and dietary adjustments, and others that require immediate veterinary care. In order to make the best decisions about your dog’s health and wellbeing, it’s important to know all about these six most common causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs.

Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

Bloody diarrhea is a common ailment in dogs that usually indicates an underlying health issue. The most common causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs are hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, stomach ulcers, and viral or bacterial infection. Treatment for bloody diarrhea will vary depending on the underlying cause, but typically includes antibiotics, pain relief, and supportive care. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Diagnosis of the underlying cause of bloody diarrhea can take some time because multiple tests must be performed to rule out potential causes.

Misdiagnosis and mismanagement can lead to life-threatening complications such as sepsis, bowel perforation, shock, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, pancreatitis and renal failure.


Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a disease that causes vomiting and bloody diarrhea in dogs. HGE is most commonly seen in young, small breed dogs. The exact cause of HGE is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. HGE can be deadly if not treated quickly. Treatment for HGE typically includes hospitalization, IV fluids, and antibiotics.

Depending on the severity of the case, surgery may also be necessary. Stomach ulcers: Gastric ulcers are open sores or lesions found in the stomach lining due to chronic irritation from excess acid production. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, fever and bloody stools. Treatment for gastric ulcers often requires surgery and medication to control acid levels in the stomach.

READ ALSO  Are Dalmatians Hypoallergenic? The Truth Revealed

Viral or bacterial infection: In rare cases where canine influenza virus (CIV) has been identified as the underlying cause of bleeding bowels syndrome symptoms may include fever with respiratory difficulties such as nasal discharge and sneezing; diarrhoea with blood; abdominal pain; dehydration; difficulty breathing; lethargy; coughing up green mucus foam from the nose and mouth.

Gastric Ulcer Disease

Bloody diarrhea can be caused by Gastric Ulcer Disease, a condition where the lining of the stomach is irritated and ulcers form. Ulcerative colitis, another type of gastrointestinal disease, can also cause bloody diarrhea. Other causes include bacterial or viral infections, such as parvovirus or coronavirus, and parasites, such as Giardia. Some medications, such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), can also cause bloody diarrhea. Stressful events, such as moving to a new home or changes in routine, can also lead to bloody diarrhea.

Gastrointestinal Tumors

Bloody diarrhea can be caused by gastrointestinal tumors, which are abnormal growths that can occur anywhere in the digestive tract. While some tumors are benign (non-cancerous), others are malignant (cancerous) and can spread to other parts of the body. The most common type of gastrointestinal tumor in dogs is an adenocarcinoma, which starts in the cells lining the stomach or intestines. Other types of tumors include leiomyomas, lymphomas, and histiocytomas. Gastrointestinal tumors are typically seen in older dogs, and the majority of cases are diagnosed in dogs over the age of 10. Treatment options vary depending on the type and location of the tumor, but may include surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.


Bloody diarrhea can also be caused by Parvovirus, which is a highly contagious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal system. The most common symptoms of Parvovirus are vomiting and bloody diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and death if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to preventing serious health complications from Parvovirus. If you suspect your dog has Parvovirus, contact your veterinarian immediately.

READ ALSO  Can Dogs Get Dementia? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


Viral infections are a common cause of bloody diarrhea in dogs. One such virus is panleukopenia, which is also known as feline distemper. Panleukopenia is a highly contagious virus that affects cats of all ages, but is most deadly to kittens. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal tract and can cause severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. If your dog has any symptoms of bloody diarrhea, it is important to take them to the vet immediately as this can be a sign of a serious health condition.


One of the most common causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs is colibacillosis, which is a bacterial infection that usually affects the intestines. The bacteria responsible for this infection are known as Escherichia coli, or E. coli, and they can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. In some cases, the diarrhea may be so severe that it leads to dehydration and death. Treatment for colibacillosis typically involves antibiotics and aggressive supportive care.

Treatment of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs

  1. If your dog has bloody diarrhea, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. They will be able to properly diagnose the issue and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
  2. If your dog is diagnosed with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, they will likely be treated with IV fluids and anti-nausea medication.
  3. If stomach ulcers are the cause of your dog’s bloody diarrhea, treatment will focus on reducing stomach acid and protecting the stomach lining. This can be done with medications like omeprazole or sucralfate.
  4. If a viral or bacterial infection is causing your dog’s bloody diarrhea, they will likely be treated with antibiotics or antivirals.
  5. Strict rest, plenty of water, and bland food may help if your dog has bloody bloat or gastric torsion (bloating).
  6. Dogs with pancreatitis will need fluid therapy and antibiotic therapy.
READ ALSO  Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick Me So Much? 10 Possible Reasons

Prevention of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent bloody diarrhea in your dog.

  1. First, make sure your dog is up to date on all their vaccinations. This will help reduce the risk of them contracting a viral or bacterial infection.
  2. Second, feed your dog a high-quality diet and avoid giving them table scraps. A healthy diet will help keep their digestive system functioning properly.
  3. Third, don’t let your dog eat anything off the ground or drink from stagnant water sources. This could introduce bacteria or parasites into their system.
  4. Fourth, make sure you clean up any accidents promptly and thoroughly to prevent the spread of infection.
  5. Fifth, schedule regular visits with your veterinarian so they can examine your dog’s stools and check for signs of infection.
  6. Finally, keep an eye out for blood streaks in the stool as this may indicate that something serious has occurred internally.


Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is the most common cause of bloody diarrhea in dogs. This condition is typically caused by a virus or bacteria and results in inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Stomach ulcers are another common cause of bloody diarrhea in dogs. These ulcers can be caused by a number of things, including stress, diet, and certain medications. Viral or bacterial infections are also common causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs. These infections can be contracted through contact with contaminated food or water, or from exposure to another infected animal.