My Dog is Pooping Blood: Top 15 Facts You Should Know about Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes; they are usually characterized as playful, cheerful, and very friendly animals, suitable for companion buddies and serve as watchdogs in house. It is our way of giving back to these beasty creatures by taking care of them like feeding and taking them to Veterinarians for regular check-ups. 

It is our way, owners of ensuring our pets are in good shape and good health all the time. However, instances like unexpected sickness sometimes occur. These are not anticipated hence, regardless of optimal supervision and maintenance applied.  

Some health conditions, like Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, is an unforeseen circumstance that occurs to your dogs and may similarly happen to other animals. It is unexpected since the cause of such ailment is unidentified up to this date. Nonetheless, if not treated properly, it may cause fatality among dogs and even your pets too. 

Being informed accordingly to useful information and facts about the health condition should be equipped by pet owners to prevent your pets from experiencing further suffering if, for instance, happens to them, unfortunately.

In this article, we will discuss further what is Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis about and how to identify that your dogs have to experience it already. Apart from those, you will be further informed of some facts regarding the condition, treatment, and preventive measures. To check these all out, read down below.

There Is Blood in My Dog’s Poop

There is nothing more alarming and frightening than seeing your dog disposed of blood with his poop. However, the redness of the poop does not always mean its blood; thus, proper inspection of their poop should be done first. 

Red poop may cause by something they have eaten. It could be red color food or anything edibles that are mixed with the color red. Careful assessment should be made by simply recalling what your dog has eaten, or do they have an infection on the anus, which typically result in red or bloody poop. 

However, if the poop has actual blood upon inspection, unfortunately, this shows there is some problem with your dogs’ health already. As doctors say, red always guarantees a call for expert help as it an initial sign of a crucial underlying problem.

The reason for such occurrence has a lot of reasons. It could be your dog is suffering from stomach upsetting, viral and bacterial infection, ingestion of foreign body inside the intestine, allergic reaction, inflammation, or disruptive bowel movement. 


The consistency and the color of the blood in your dog’s poop could determine as to where the cause of it is coming from. These signs will help you and your veterinarian in determining the real problem, either simple infection or serious disease. 

It maybe is quite horrible for us to check poop, but it is part of your role as a pet owner to observe its condition and describe accordingly to help experts determine the root cause of the underlying problem.

Typically, if the poop is characterized by a dark red to almost black color, it could probably indicate a problem in the upper digestive system of your dog, while the indication of bright red on their poop could be a sign of a problem in their lower digestive system. In most cases, Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis comes in the color of bright red blood present on your dog’s poop.

Simultaneous Occurrence of Other Symptoms

Typically, if the bloody poop is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting and loss of appetite, warrant deeper reason and cause. Hence, a call for an expert help should be done by this time.

Generally, Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis does not only come with bloody poop; rather, it only serves as an initial sign of dogs’ real problem. After a few hours, more symptoms and signs will start to show and very apparent.

Should I Worry? 

An indication of blood in your dog’s poop is a serious sign to a more complex underlying health problems of your dog. However, panicking should do no good at this point. Yet it only means that a visit to the nearest veterinarian should be made already to provide treatment for your dog’s complication. To fully illustrate essential truths about this disease, we have listed the top fifteen facts about it. 

  1. No Known Cause 

Abbreviated as HE, Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a disease with no known cause until now. Researchers have not yet discovered as to how and why this disease occurs to animals, and their formulated theories are still on debate. Generally, such conditions will manifest an onset of bloody diarrhea and sudden elevation of Packed Cell Volume, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

A further manifestation of the condition should occur if not treated immediately. This happens to dogs and other animals as well when their guts have seeped a large amount of fluid. Owners should be alert, and regular check-ups to the veterinarian should do good for your dogs for constant monitoring of their health, as this disease may come without warning.

Some studies have theorized that the disease is caused by allergic reactions of dogs to particular foods, or they have ingested toxins and parasites, which cause infections on their stomachs and further result in Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis. Nonetheless, none of these has proven exact and consistent.

  1. Small Dogs Are More Prone

The HE, though may occur to dogs of any breeds, shapes, and sizes. However, unfortunately, this disease typically occurs to small dogs or dogs that breeds belong to Toy Group, typically around 5 years old. These dogs may include Poodles, Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Dachshunds. It likewise includes small dogs that are mixed in the breed. It may even trigger severe dehydration among these types of dogs due to their tiny physique and limited inside fluid. 

  1. Multiple Occurrence of Symptoms 

Provided by its unexpected occurrence, the disease will even show mild symptoms, and automatically, after several hours, it will transition to the severe manifestation of symptoms, especially when it is not treated accordingly. At the onset, the dogs will experience a heightened level of Hematocrit or a Packed Cell Volume. 

These measures the number of blood cells inside the body of the dogs. Normally, dogs have hematocrit, which may range from 3%7 to 55%. However, if your dogs have Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, the level of hematocrit will elevate up to 60%.

Eventually, some signs will continue to show up like vomiting and diarrhea. Some symptoms will occur simultaneously, so be aware. It may include nausea, fatigue, stomach ache, loss of appetite, lethargy, dehydration, fever, fainting, and raspberry-like bloody stool. 

  1. Not Contagious 

Despite having apparent symptoms, Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is not contagious. Not to humans nor to other dogs or animals. The disease, though, as many researchers identified, has been associated with Clostridium Perfringens, a type of bacteria which causes abnormalities in reaction on dogs’ immune system. Stress, anxiousness, and being highly active of your dogs have also been correlated to the causes of the disease yet, remain ambiguous and still imposes additional researches.

  1. Cannot Be Treated At Home

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a serious disease for dogs, and ignoring it can cause the death of your beloved pets. Application of firs-aid and home remedies should never be made as it can result in further damage to the condition of your dogs. If your dogs have been visibly showing signs and symptoms of the disease, it is best to visit a veterinarian immediately. 

  1. Heightened Level of Reports are on Holiday Seasons

The highest reported cases of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is usually during holiday seasons. Many families prepare foods for them to share and ear. The tendency, many owners would feed their pets leftover foods. 

It has been studied that there is a high possibility of acquiring Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis when dogs have eaten up human food, which typically contains high levels of fat and seasonings that can trigger their sensitive stomach.

Even dogs who get food on the trash have higher chances of getting the disease. Yet, these are only circumstances, and the main reason for its occurrence remains ambiguous. However, this can serve as a guideline as to how you prepare food for doggies. 

  1. Previous Stomach Issue

Dogs with previous problems on their stomachs are at high risk of developing HemorrhagicGastroenteritis. Provided with their prior condition, they already have signs of a sensitive stomach that could easily trigger any disease to occur. 

  1. Food Transition

Most pet owners typically change their dogs’ food from one brand to another, especially when they grow mature. However, it may tend to trigger the occurrence of  Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis on your pets if there is a rapid transition of their diet. Hence, the gradual introduction of dog food should be required before immediately changing their diet. 

  1. Dogs Will Remain Weak After Treatment

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a serious condition, and it will not be easy for your dogs to handle it. Healing will take time, and in most circumstances, your dog will not regain their energy and appetite even after being treated. It may take a few days before they can get back on their feet and see few signs of improvement in their health.

  1. Dogs Should Not Be Given Food or Water

When your dog has Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, the stomach is where the problem rooted. Hence, there should be no food introduction to your pet before and after they are treated. Typically, veterinarians do not let dogs eat within 24 hours and only be given if there are signs of improvement in their condition.

It allows there stomach to rest and recovers. However, once development has been visible, a small and gradual introduction of food should be provided. A larger amount of food can be offered as long as it does not trigger nausea should be fine. 

If the Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis was primarily due to their prior diet, a change of their food or introduction of a HE-specific food would be prescribed by the Veterinarian.

  1. Very Lethal

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a very lethal disease that can occur without notice and easily get worse a few hours after the initial sign has shown. If pet owners remain blind and ignore such manifestations, it may lead to the death of your dogs. Medical attention is required instantly. 

  1. It Can Trigger Many Diseases

The occurrence of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis can trigger many complications, especially if not dealt with immediately. Apart from higher chances of not surviving, your dogs may encounter multiple complications from the occurrence of other diseases like sepsis or Hypovolemic Shock. Other diseases can be triggered by Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, especially to dogs with a history of complicated health conditions.

  1. Dehydration

Opposing to what is a common belief, Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis will not kill your dog, but rather it only serves as a triggering factor that helps cause extreme loss of fluid or dehydration of your dogs. As part of the symptoms, diarrhea can trigger an extreme loss of fluid. Eventually, the occurrence of vomiting will further make the dehydration worse, while your pet will be too weak to drink water, leading to death.

  1. It Will Not Get Away Without Treatment

If you find blood on the stool of your pets, as pet owners, you should be alert. This is already an early sign of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis. There are no diseases similar to this that will eventually getaway on its own. It requires veterinary action, or it may take the little life of your pet dog.

  1. Not Limited To Dogs

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is not only limited to dogs. Any animals may encounter such disease like cats of there are triggering factor which causes it from happening. If you have other pets, aside from dogs, regular check-ups should be done. 


Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a serious disease that appears without warnings; hence, preventive measures should be applied. On top of this, proper assessment of the symptoms should be wisely followed, and if you have certain apprehensions, better to consult experts before self-diagnosing your dogs. 

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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