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DrRalston, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2205
Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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my dog still has her appetite but has black (tar like) stool

Resolved Question:

my dog still has her appetite but has black (tar like) stool and is losing weight. Whats wrong with her?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  DrRalston replied 5 years ago.
Hello, welcome to JustAnswer! I am a Veterinarian and will help you right away!

Black tar like stool is never a good sign. This is likely melena which is digested blood.

It can often indicate that there is bleeding somewhere in the digestive system. Often that bleeding is very high in the system like stomach or first part of the small intestine. This allows the blood time to be digested and change to black tar like appearance before it passes in the feces.

Colonic blood and large intestinal blood is often bright red and fresh because it comes from a source closer to the anus/rectum.

Parasites are a very common cause of blood in the digestive system and weight loss. Other causes might include a disease called hemorhagic gastroenteritis, toxins, stomach uclers, foreign bodies in the digestive tract and others. Some of these can be fatal, so it is best to have your friend Baby checked by a Vet as soon as possible.

In addition, if you have given any pepto bismol in the past this can sometimes stain the feces black. If you are giving another medications these can also cause stomach bleeding.

But, the black tar is most likely blood. The cause will need to be determined by your Veterinarian. You should go as soon as possible.

Please feel free to ask any follow up questions or any other questions you might have!
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Are there any other signs that would show that the cause of her problems are parasites beside the blood and weight loss. There have been no worms in her stool. Is there anything that i could try at home. I have called my local vets and the price is a little out of my range right now. i just dont know what to do. She is a part of my family
Expert:  DrRalston replied 5 years ago.
Not necessarily other signs with parasites. Take for example hookworms. These are VERY small and you can't see them without a microscope. But there can be thousands of them inside the intestine.

Now, they are called hookworms because they have hooks around their mouth parts. If you have seen Empire Strikes Back think of the worm that comes out of the cave, and then put hundreds of razor sharp teeth sticking out at odd angles, and a more sucker like mouth. They use these to attach to the intestinal wall. The result is a very little micro bleed from this one tiny little hookworm. Again though, there are thousands of them. It literally opens up thousands of bleeding holes in the intestine. Puppies can actually die from blood loss.

Again, you would not see them in the stool because they are very very small. And they are contagious to humans, so your health might be at risk.

There are over the counter medications which have been used for treating the most common fecal parasites. This is an option, but I would not recommend it. BECAUSE, if it is HGE (hemorhagic gastroenteritis) this could prove fatal.

I would like to give you options, but I would be doing a possible great wrong to you and your pet. Maybe you could borrow the money? Or even apply for care credit?

And I haven't even mentioned the worst cause for blood in the feces - parvo virus.

No, this is very serious and needs to be checked out by a Vet in person or it could lead to the death of the pet.