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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14840
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 7 year old Yorkie has diarrhea and blood in her stool

Customer Question

My 7 year old Yorkie has diarrhea and blood in her stool
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

You are very welcome. Most dogs love bread so don't blink an eye when offered the Vaseline sandwich.

If she doesn't want to eat it though whole wheat bread chunks alone are a great start.

You can put a little peanut butter on the outside of the bread to get her eating the vaseline sandwich, but it won't do much to act as a lubricant as peanut butter is a digestible oil.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

My apologies, for some reason the wrong response went to you after I typed out a long one directed at Diamond's bloody, loose stools. Please give me a few minutes to retype.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about Diamond's loose stools with blood.

Of course anyone would be concerned about blood in the stool. The fresher the blood appears the closer the source is to her rectum, darker clotted blood is likely from proximal colon (closer to the small intestine) whereas bright red blood is from closer to the rectum. The important factor in all of this is how she feels otherwise. If she feels great and is active and has a normal appetite then those are good signs.

There is a condition in dogs called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. These dogs have profuse dark, jelly-clot like, bloody diarrhea and are usually vomiting or refusing to eat anything. They are very sick dogs and get dehydrated quickly so they need immediate care. Thus if she seems lethargic and/or begins vomiting an emergency veterinary visit is best.

But colitis or inflammation of the large intestine, can be due to stress, a sudden change in diet, parasites, a viral or bacterial infection, inflammatory bowel disease or even a food allergy. Rarely a mass in the colon can be the cause, or exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides. Another possibility is an anal gland infection. These are scent glands that are located just inside the rectum and an infection can cause a bloody discharge, though should not cause loose stools.

A raw, irritated colon can take a few days to heal. Do you know if she got into anything that may have started all of this?

The bleeding should clear completely with treatment over the next 2 to 3 days. If not she should be checked by her regular veterinarian and her anal glands should be checked. Well worth checking at least a couple fresh stool samples too as parasites can cause loose, bloody stools and eggs/cysts are shed intermittently so they may be picked up on the second sample or third test if the first is negative.

If she still feels well otherwise now we can try some things at home. If her appetite is off he may have some stomach upset and reflux that can go along with bloody stools. To try and settle her stomach today you can give either:

1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

These will reduce stomach acid and should help if this is related to simple nausea and gastrointestinal irritation. They are very safe medications that can be given for several days if necessary.

I would not feed her any food for 12 hours after the acid reducers are started. This should help stop gut spasms and restore normal gut motility. Small amounts of water or ice cubes given frequently are fine as she needs fluids after all that she has lost with bloody loose stools. You can give pedialyte to replace electrolytes too but Gatorade is much too high in sugar which can make colon irritation worse.

Today even with the fast you can start Kao-pectate at 1ml per pound of body weight or 1 tablespoon per 15 pounds of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. This is quite safe and will coat her irritated gastrointestinal tract as well as absorbing bacterial toxins. You can use it for several days until stools look normal. You can find kao-pectate at the drug store. I like the kao-pectate formulation with kaolin and pectin better then Pepto Bismol as Pepto has salicylates which are in the same family as aspirin, and can further irritate the intestines.

If she has a tense painful abdomen, continues to have diarrhea with no improvement after being on kao pectate for 24 hours, becomes very lethargic, begins vomiting or runs a fever greater than 103.5F then she really must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you go.

After her food fast start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white skinless chicken), all fats drained off the meat, mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. You might wish to add 1-2 tablespoon of canned pumpkin to each meal as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon.

I recommend adding probiotics like Fortiflora, Proviable or Benebac to her meals daily to re-establish normal gut bacteria levels too.

Once she feels better (no bloody diarrhea for 48 hours) start mixing in her regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert her back.

If your pup is vomiting and feeling poorly though it would be best that she see a veterinarian now as anything you give her orally will just come back up worsening her dehydration.

Best of luck with your pup, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 9 months ago.
Hi Helen,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Daimond. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara