Australian Shepherd popping blood is very unusual and often means that something is affecting their digestive tract.
So, why does an Australian Shepherd poop blood?
In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind an Australian Shepherd pooping blood, the complications, and what to do about it.
Here’s Why Australian Shepherd Pooping Blood Happens
An Australian Shepherd pooping blood can be caused by a variety of conditions including constipation, change to a new diet, dietary indiscretion, infection, injury, colitis, certain medications, ulcers, cancer, poisoning, gastrointestinal blockages, and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.
Disorders outside the digestive tract that also lead to bleeding and an Australian Shepherd pooping blood include kidney and liver disease, pancreatitis, Addison’s disease, immune system diseases, hormonal disorders, cancer, and bleeding disorders.
Blood in Australian Shepherd poop and what it means
An Australian Shepherd’s poop can be indicative of an illness that can be observed through the color frequency and consistency of the stool.
Blood in the stool is one of the indicator symptoms that shows the presence of a serious underlying health problem.
Stools with blood can appear in three different forms:
Bright red blood in stool
Stool with bright red blood means that it is fresh blood mainly from the lower digestive tract which is the colon, anus, or rectum of an Australian Shepherd. The blood appears bright red because it has not been digested and indicates bleeding that has taken place.
A speck of bright red blood in the stool should not cause any alarm however when your dog produces large amounts of bloody stool, it is a cause for concern.
Bright red blood in the stool is often accompanied by diarrhea and sometimes the stool could also be covered by mucus with blood on the top of it.
Black or tan-like stool
When the stool comes out as a black or tar-like form, this means that the blood in it was digested from the upper digestive tract.
This is indicative of conditions affecting the stomach or upper intestines. The stool is usually in solid form.
An Australian Shepherd may also only produce pure blood from the anus. This is usually a sign of bleeding in the intestinal tract and that the digestive tract was empty and what comes out is blood without any stool.
Possible Causes of Bloody Poop in Australian Shepherds
Constipation can cause an Australian Shepherd to poop blood because of the difficulty and straining to pass compact stool which causes injury while being passed out.
This causes injury around the rectum as the stool passes out which results in an Australian Shepherd pooping bloody stool.
Just like any dog likes to explore their environment with its mouth, an Australian Shepherd will eat anything that seems interesting. They may eat things that they’re not supposed to eat such as garbage, rocks, sharp sticks, bones, or broken toys.
These items can cause injury to the intestinal tract as the stomach or intestines as they pass along the digestive tract. This can lead to an Australian Shepherd pooping blood.
Change to a new diet
Change to a new diet can cause irritation or inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract which in some cases results in bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract. This produces blood-stained stools.
Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections can cause the production of bloody stools. Infections by Salmonella bacteria, parvovirus, and worms such as hookworms, protozoa, or Giardia.
These infections affect the gastrointestinal tract of an Australian Shepherd and lead to bleeding and the passing of bloody stools.
Trauma or injury to the abdomen can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding. Therefore if an Australian Shepherd has experienced any injury such as falling, or being hit, this can lead to injury which can also result in bloody stools.
Colitis is the inflammation of the colon. Inflammation can be due to an allergic reaction to food such as proteins.
The condition causes an inability to store feces in the colon and leads to frequent diarrhea with mucus and blood.
Pooping of blood can also be one of the symptoms of cancer. Cancer can present anywhere on an Australian Shepherd’s body and cause symptoms including loss of appetite, weight loss, and also bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract which leads to passing stool with blood.
Ingestion of toxins can also lead an Australian Shepherd to poop blood. Potential poisons or toxins include household chemicals or products that may be accidentally ingested.
The toxins can be corrosive and irritate the stomach or intestine which can lead to bleeding. This results in the production of blood-stained stools.
Intestinal blockages can occur when an Australian Shepherd ingests foreign objects that lead to blockages of the intestinal tract.
This leads to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and the production of stools with blood.
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is a sudden disorder that is characterized by bright red bloody diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, weakness, and loss of appetite.
The disorder is not common in Australian Shepherds as is common in small breed dogs but Australian Shepherds can also develop the condition.
The underlying conditions that cause bloody stools can be mild while other conditions can be life-threatening and can lead to death.
A case such as passing stool with blood and vomiting is life-threatening because it can cause severe dehydration that can lead to unconsciousness and death.
Therefore complications can arise from an Australian Shepherd pooping blood and medical care is required when it occurs.
When to seek help
An Australian Shepherd popping blood should not be taken lightly and should be an emergency case.
Seek help immediately when an Australian Shepherd is:
- Not eating or drinking water
- Producing blood in the urine
- Has pale gums (pale pink or white)
- Currently under medication
- Showing other symptoms of illness (diarrhea, difficulty in breathing)
Treatment of an Australian Shepherd pooping blood depends on the underlying cause. Through diagnostic tests, the causes will be determined and the appropriate treatment provided. Treatment options include:
- Change of diet
- Medications including antacids and antibiotics
- Fluid therapy
An Australian Shepherd pooping blood should not be ignored because it means that a serious underlying health problem could be the cause of it.
Always consult your veterinarian when you notice blood-stained stool so that treatment can be provided immediately.