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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15690
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Our 14 yr old shitzu cross has had a loose bloody stool for

Customer Question

Our 14 yr old shitzu cross has had a loose bloody stool for three days.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How much blood are you seeing? A spoonful, more or less? Or is it all blood he is passing?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There is a small amount of,blood in each small stool.less,than a teaspoon, he is somewhat lethargic but does not seem to be any pain. His lip color s nice and red
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

Thank you,

First, I am very glad to hear that his gums are a normal color and that the blood is only that small amount. In that case, the blood is likely just due to the loose stools irritating the colon as they pass. And that usually will settle as we tackled the loose stools themselves. Though based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (hopefully less likely here).

With this all in mind, we can start by putting him onto small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and reduce diarrhea. You can also safely add fiber (ie canned pumpkin, all bran) to these meals to bulk up the stools. OTC canine probiotics can also be added to help the gut.As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning slowly back to what you normally feed.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE ( If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Finally, as long as there is no blood in those stools, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options, the one we most commonly use is OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing his upset GI.

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing but the blood will just be a side effect of the gut being irritated by these stools. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to try to settle his gut. Though if he cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, test a stool sample, ensure nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be, or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat with injectable antibiotics +/- fluids to to settle this and get him back to normal.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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