Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What Does Bloody Diarrhea Look Like

Must read

Can A Colonoscopy Be Used To Diagnose Prostate Cancer

Blood in your poop: what it looks like & what it could mean

No. A colonoscopy is not designed to find prostate cancer. However, some doctors may choose to perform a digital rectal examination and a prostate examination before inserting the colonoscope. Men may believe that that their prostates have been examined, but this might not be true. It is a good topic to bring up with your doctor before a colonoscopy.

Here is a final thought about colonoscopies. Many people avoid them because they find the idea embarrassing and the preparation to be unpleasant. However, people often ask themselves and their care providers how we can prevent something from happening. Here is one way: colonoscopies can stop colon cancer before it starts.

How Are Ulcers Diagnosed

Your healthcare provider may be able to make the diagnosis just by talking with you about your symptoms. If you develop an ulcer and youre not taking NSAIDs, the cause is likely an H. pylori infection. To confirm the diagnosis, youll need one of these tests:


If you have severe symptoms, your provider may recommend an upper endoscopy to determine if you have an ulcer. In this procedure, the doctor inserts an endoscope through your throat and into your stomach to look for abnormalities.

H. Pylori tests

Tests for H. pylori are now widely used and your provider will tailor treatment to reduce your symptoms and kill the bacteria. A breath test is the easiest way to discover H. pylori. Your provider can also look for it with a blood or stool test, or by taking a sample during an upper endoscopy.

Imaging tests

Less frequently, imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans are used to detect ulcers. You have to drink a specific liquid that coats the digestive tract and makes ulcers more visible to the imaging machines.

What Should I Do If I See Blood In My Dogs Stool Or Vomit

Regardless of the type of blood you see in your dog’s stool or vomit it is important to contact your vet, or your nearest emergency vet right away. Bloody diarrhea or vomiting can be a veterinary emergency requiring immediate care. Some causes of blood in stool or vomit are potentially fatal if left untreated, so it’s always wise to err on the side of caution.

At Carolina Veterinary Specialists, our board-certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist;is equipped to offer advanced diagnostics and care for pets with internal health conditions. Our emergency veterinary team treats animals in circumstances requiring urgent medical care, including life-threatening emergencies.

Read Also: Does Rice Help With Diarrhea

What Bloody Poop Really Is

Sure, pooping blood sounds pretty straightforward, but it can actually mean a few different things depending on where the blood is coming from. The blood that you notice in your poop or when you wipe could be coming from your rectum, your lower colon, or other areas of your digestive system. For instance, the Mayo Clinic1 explains that rectal bleeding typically refers to bleeding coming from your lower colon or rectum. The small amount of red blood that you may notice coating your poop,;blotting your toilet paper, or dripping into the toilet bowl are all most commonly coming from the rectum. But blood in your poop can also come from other areas of your digestive system. For example: A gastric ulcer, which is an open sore that develops on the inside lining of your stomach, can cause bleeding in your G.I. tract that leads to bloody poop, according to the Mayo Clinic2.

Whats The Difference Between A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy And A Colonoscopy

Blood In Stool Following Colonoscopy

Both procedures are screening tools for colon cancer. A sigmoidoscopy is less invasive. It allows your healthcare provider to see only the lower part of the colon. With a colonoscopy, your healthcare provider can examine all of the large intestine. If the flexible sigmoidoscopy procedure reveals polyps in your lower colon, your healthcare provider can remove them. Youll need a colonoscopy next. During a colonoscopy, your healthcare provider can remove additional polyps before they turn cancerous.

Also Check: What Is The Purpose Of Probiotics

What Does Blood In The Stool Look Like

It is difficult for us to tell if its blood in our poop, or just red-colored fecal fluids.

As you may already know, a normal poop color ranges from yellowish brown to dark brown.

Sometimes, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal conditions may cause the stool to turn green or red.

So, it is important that youre sure of seeing blood in the stool.

The most obvious answer to what does blood in stool look like is your poop changing its color.

Now, note that your stool will not necessarily turn red to indicate you are discharging blood.

Coagulated blood is usually a shade darker than red, and is discharged as blood clots in the stool. These clots are easily visible.

Another way to know what does blood in the stool look like is the way your stool is formed.

Rectal bleeding will cause the feces to disintegrate, and the amount of blood will be covering the majority of your discharge.

But, even still, you must be thoroughly sure that theres blood in your poop. There are several ways to identify this.

Colon Cancer Or Other Serious Condition

While most instances of blood-containing stool aren’t life-threatening, its necessary to have an evaluation. Bloody stool can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as colon cancer. Let us know if you experience bleeding along with a sudden change in bowel habits. This may signal a more extensive problem elsewhere in the digestive tract.

Its important to find out the cause of blood in your stool and rule out serious digestive conditions. Left untreated, bloody stool could lead to dangerous complications. If you have any digestive complaints, call our office in Annapolis to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

You Might Also Enjoy…

Read Also: How To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics

What Is The Treatment For A Dog That’s Pooping Blood

Since there are several reasons why a dog might poop blood, the treatment will depend on the presumed cause.

After examining your dog, the veterinarian will provide a list of possible causes. They might need to do blood, urine, and poop testing, as well as x-rays or ultrasound, to identify the cause.

Diagnosing Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs

Diarrhea: what is it? what does it look like? who gets it? how do we treat it?

Bloody diarrhea is usually identified by visually inspecting the stool. Bright red blood is quite obvious to see in most stool but black, digested blood may be less apparent. If digested blood or a very small amount of red blood is suspected, your veterinarian may perform a test called a fecal occult blood test that says whether or not blood is detected in the feces.

Diagnosing the underlying cause of a dog’s bloody diarrhea requires a complete health history and physical examination and often some combination of diagnostics, which may include fecal examinations, blood work, a urinalysis, imaging , tissue biopsies, and more.

Depending on the cause of bloody diarrhea, treatments will vary. Surgical intervention may be necessary for foreign bodies and cancer, dietary changes may be made to increase fiber intake or reduce inflammation, and medications may be used to kill parasites, treat diseases, alleviate symptoms, and provide support. Fluids and blood products are also sometimes needed in pets that are dehydrated or anemic.

You May Like: Does Almond Milk Cause Bloating

Why Does My Dog Have Blood In Their Stool

Not Actually Blood

  • First it’s important to determine whether what you see is actually blood, since ingesting red foods, Pepto-Bismol or red items such as a lipstick or crayon can cause your dog’s stool or vomit to appear as if it is blood streaked. Take a really analytical look at your dog’s vomit or stool, and be prepared to provide your vet with a detailed description.

Hematochezia in Dog’s Stool

  • If the blood in your pet’s stool is bright red, then it’s Hematochezia. Typically, hematochezia stems from bleeding in the lower digestive tract, rectum or colon. Bleeding in this area will point your vet to investigate a particular set of conditions such as parvovirus, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, cancer, viral and bacterial infections, parasites, digestion of something inappropriate, sudden change in pet’s diet, rectal injury, or colitis.

Melena in Dog’s Stool

  • If the blood in your dog’s stool is darker, sticky and tar-like then it’s Melena. Melena is blood that has either been swallowed or digested which points to issues in your pet’s upper digestive tract, esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine such as;parasites, liver cancer. Other common causes of melena in stool include ulcers caused by medications, blood clotting disorders, post-surgery complications, tumors, polyps, or ingestion of blood .

Other Causes of Bloody Stool in Dogs

  • Some other causes for blood in your dog’s stool include intestinal blockages, trauma, bacterial infections, or fissures.

Eating Something Bad Or A Switching To A New Food

Bloody poop can be a consequence of something affecting your dogs digestive tract .

Common conditions affecting the digestive tract include inflammation thats called gastroenteritis, or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis when blood is also present.

Either of these can occur when your dog has eaten something he or she should not have. This can include non-food items, such as:

  • Bones

  • Cancer

Read Also: What Is The Human Microbiome

Other Reasons For Pooping Blood

Lets look briefly at some of the other reasons for blood in your poop.

Angiodysplasia. This is a condition associated with enlarged blood vessels in the right or ascending colon. Angiodysplasia can cause blood in stools that range in color from bright red to maroon or black depending on where the bleeding occurs.2

Proctitis. Inflammation of the lining of your rectum commonly occurs with inflammatory bowel disease and can result in painful rectal bleeding. Proctitis can also cause passing mucus with bloody stools, diarrhea, and painful bowel movements.15

Ischemic colitis. A lack of blood flow to the intestines can cause ischemic colitis that can cause bloody diarrhea. This can be accompanied by abdominal pain, and in time can damage the lining of the intestine.16

Causes Of Dark Tarry Dog Stool

Blood Flakes In Stool

Black tarry stools can stem from some serious problems like tumors, cancers, blood clotting disorders, post-surgery complications and medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .;

Note: This section also covers stools with a strawberry milkshake appearance as described above. It can have similar causes to black tarry stool because it means the blood is partially digested, and comes from the small intestine.;


Tumors and cancers are all too common, with 50% of dogs getting cancer. If your dog is pooping dark, blackish or strawberry milkshake stools, see your vet.;;

Rat Poison

Has your dogs skin turned purplish? If its a small area, it could be just a bruise but it also could mean internal bleeding. Add in black, tarry poop, and its possible your dog ate some rat poison. You may see lethargy, pale or bleeding gums, breathing difficulties, a bloody nose or coughing blood.; If you suspect he got into rat poison, or ate a poisoned rat, get him to your vet urgently.

Surgical Complications

If you see black tarry or strawberry milkshake stools within 2-3 days after your dogs had surgery, this could also mean internal bleeding. Call your vet immediately if you notice dark bloody poop post-surgery.


RELATED:Find natural pain relief alternatives instead of giving NSAIDs to your dog ;

Pepto Bismol

Don’t Miss: Is It Ok To Take Probiotics With Antidepressants

Taking A Pharmacological Test

The best way to know what does blood in stool look like is to perform a fecal occult blood test. Buy this test kit from a pharmacy, review the instructions and place the flushable pad into the toilet. This pad resembles thick tissue paper.

Before using this test kit, make sure you wipe your genital and anal regions with an alcohol swab. This will ensure that any open wound outside the rectum is not causing the blood in the stool.

After the flushable pad is immersed into the toilet and gets mixed with the stool, it will change its color. No change after five minutes indicates the absence of blood.

If the flushable pad changes color within five minutes, then blood is present in your stool.

How Would My Stool Look If I Had Rectal Bleeding

When you have blood in your stool it can look a few different ways. You may have bright red streaks of blood on your poop or you could see blood mixed in with it. Stool could also look very dark, almost black, and tarry.

Sometimes, you can have blood in your stool thats not visible. This is called occult bleeding. This can be a sign of bleeding inside your digestive tract. It can also signal a more serious condition like an inflammation disease in your intestines or cancer. Occult bleeding is usually found during lab tests that look at a sample of your poop to check for small amounts of blood. This is called a fecal occult blood test and it can be used as a way to screen for possible colorectal cancer. Your healthcare provider might recommend this if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.

One thing to keep in mind when you see an unusual color in your poop is what you ate. There are certain foods that can change the color of your stool and make it look red or even black. This is often mistaken for blood in your stool.

Also Check: Are Probiotics Good For Colitis

When To See A Doctor About Bloody Poop

As you may have gleaned above, a little bit of bright red blood in your poop isnt typically a huge cause for concern. If youve been in great health, saw a small amount of bright red blood just once, and the bleeding went away on its own, you probably dont need immediate medical attention, Dr. Lee says. That bleeding is most likely due to a hemorrhoid or anal fissure. Your butt has a hard job to do, so bleeding can just come with the territory sometimes.

But if the blood in your poop is dark, youre seeing a lot of it, or youre experiencing other strange symptoms, see a doctor. Same goes for if your bleeding persists for days or goes away and comes back seemingly at random. Even if it doesnt, its still a good thing to mention the next time you do visit your doctor. And, again, you should absolutely seek medical attention immediately if you notice blood in your stool and have any concern you may be at risk for colorectal cancer.;

Your other symptoms matter too. If you have bleeding and youre also struggling with shortness of breath, abdominal pain, chest pains, dizziness, fatigue, and a fever, it could be a sign of bleeding in your G.I. tract, Dr. Lee says. This is another time that anal bleeding should mean an immediate trip to the doctors office.

Bristol Stool Chart Explanation

Poop Health: What a Healthy Poop Looks Like (Bristol Stool Chart)

This chart was developed by a team of gastroenterologists at the University of Bristol. It is now a widely recognized general measurement used in the healthcare profession to evaluate the consistency or form of stools. This scale is a medical tool designed to classify ones bowel movements into seven distinct categories.10

There is a direct correlation between the shape of the stool and the amount of time it has spent in the colon. Therefore, the Bristol scale can be used to measure the consistency or form of a patients stools and present your healthcare provider with information for detecting patterns or changes in bowel habits. However, its important to remember that this scale is intended to provide a general, not exact, measurement of fecal form and consistency.

The Bristol Stool Scale classifies feces into seven types, based on their appearance as seen in the toilet water. They are distinguished as follows:


I hope you will now take notice of the toilet’s contents with a view to checking out whether you are healthy or not, and if you should be adjusting your diet in any way. Especially look out for blood in your poop, as this can indicate bowel or colon cancer, and is best caught early. Do not panic too much over red blood in stools, as this can simply be hemorrhoids, but it is worth getting checked out.

Read Also: What To Take For Leaky Gut

What Does Blood In Stool Look Like

The medical name for bloody stools is hematochezia. Blood in stool usually looks like bright red drops of blood in the toilet bowl or red streaks on stool. Usually, the color of blood in poop depends on the location of the bleeding, and in fact, there is a lot that the color of your stool can tell about your health.

Dr. William Shiel on MedicineNet says that bright red blood in stool is usually a sign that the bleeding is closer to the anus or lower down the gastrointestinal tract at the base of the colon. Stools that look dark or tarry can mean that the bleeding is further up the colon. If you have bleeding in the stomach caused by an ulcer, your stools may appear black and have a foul smell.1

Bleeding in the right side of the colon may result in stool that has a dark maroon or almost black color to it. This is because feces from the right side of the colon take longer to travel through the digestive tract, and the old blood turns black. This is also called melena.

Some medical conditions mean that blood cant be detected in stool with the naked eye, and this is called occult rectal bleeding. Some cases of anal cancer, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or hemorrhoids can result in little rectal bleeding. Usually, the only way to detect occult blood in stool is to send a sample to the lab for testing.1

More articles

Popular Articles