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Dr. Marie
Dr. Marie, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience:  10 years in veterinary practice for dogs, cats and pocket pets.
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What does black stools in dogs mean? My dog has this

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How does a vet treat black stool. My dog has symptoms of what has been described. Should I treat this as urgent?

Hi there and thanks for your question.
I just have a few questions for you before I answer:
Does your dog seem unwell at all, other than the black stool?
Is the stool formed or diarrhea/soft?
Is your dog on any medications?
How is his appetite?
How long have you noticed the black stool for?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Archie is 12 and active, walks with us every day, loves to play ball. I noticed this black stool a couple of days ago and thought it might go away. He still has his usual appetite. However, I think it might be wise to feed the rice and boiled chicken. He may have eaten something similar to one of the testimonials I read on your site. If you have any suggestions before I am able to visit his long time veterinarian, I would appreciate it.

Thank you.

OK, thanks for that info.
There are a few possible reasons for black stool.

If the stool is black and tarry it could be a sign of bleeding in the stomach. The most common cause for this is a stomach ulcer. However, we see some dogs who can get this if they have a bleeding issue caused by something they ate such as aspirin or rat poison.
I have seen dogs have black stool for a few days for no apparent reason as well.

While a vet visit does sound like a good idea, you likely don't need to rush in for an emergency visit as long as he is bright and happy. I think feeding him chicken and rice for a few days is a good idea. Also, you can give him some pepcid which will help his stomach (and won't hurt if there is no problem). You can read about dosing here:
Pepcid dosing

If the stools are still black by Monday then a vet visit is a good idea. An emergency visit would be necessary if you see any of the following: lethargy, inappetence, vomiting (especially if the vomit looks like coffee grounds), pale or white looking gums.

I hope this information helps.

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