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Dr. Christian K.
Dr. Christian K., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10146
Experience:  12 year of veterinary experience in surgery, medicine and behavior
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My dog has diarrhea with mucus and blood in it (he had a bit

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My dog has diarrhea with mucus and blood in it (he had a bit of diarrhea a few days ago but it cleared up and was not bloody - today is the first time I've seen blood in his stool) - what could be the cause and should I take him to an emergency vet clinic or can I wait until morning to see his regular vet?


This is Dr. Christian.

  • Is he lethargic?
  • Any vomiting?
  • How is his appetite?
  • Is it a small amount of blood (streaks or specks) or a lot of blood?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He's definitely not as peppy as usual but is walking around (i.e. he's not just lying around). I did not see any vomit today - he did vomit a few days ago, though, and has been eating a lot of grass tonight. He ate his dinner tonight but was slow at first to take interest (which is very unusual for him - he's a basset hound). The amount of blood in his stool was more than what I would consider a "small amount" (more than just specks) and appeared to be mixed with a lot of mucus. He had a bout of diarrhea last year and was prescribed metronidazole - I had a few left (the precrip was not expired) so I did give him one with dinner to help subside the diarrhea.

Thank you for the information. Here are some possible causes:

  • Intestinal parasites such as giardia, coccidia and hookworms. These parasites cause irritation to the lining of the colon and in the case of the hookworm actually latch on to the inside of the intestine and suck blood. Giardia in particular can be contagious to humans. Here's a link:
  • Colitis can cause blood in the stool. It is usually caused by stress, diet changes or sometimes the cause is not determined. The wall of the colon becomes inflamed and seeps mucous and blood. Medications are usually necessary to prevent the situation from worsening. Here's a link:
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE)- Colitis can sometimes progress to hemorrhagic gastroenteritis which is a life threatening condition that puts the dog in to shock. Treatment involves fluids, medications and sometimes vomiting medications. Here's a link:

In this case I think you can wait until morning. The metronidazole was a good idea unless he has lost or gained a lot of weight since that prescription was given. More than likely he has colitis but it can still progress to HGE. If he becomes more lethargic, starts vomiting again or the blood increases then I would have him checked tonight. If you have more questions please let me know.

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