A dog with diarrhea and throwing up blood is a frightening sight. Yes, it is common for dogs to diarrhea once in a while, but throwing up blood occurring alongside diarrhea is not.
Throwing up of blood, also known as hematemesis, is a condition in which blood is present in a dog’s vomit. The blood may be fresh and bright red, or it may be partially digested and appear darker in color.
The question is, what causes dog diarrhea and throwing up blood?
We outline the potential causes of dog diarrhea and throwing up blood, along with the associated symptoms and when to seek help.
Causes of dog diarrhea and throwing up blood
Dog diarrhea and throwing up blood can occur together and can be due to a number of illnesses and health issues which include:
- A gastrointestinal infection (bacterial or viral)
- Presence of Intestinal parasites
- Ingestion of foreign objects
- Dietary indiscretion
- Disease (pancreatitis, cancer,kidney, and liver disease)
- Stomach or esophagus tumors
- Medication side effects
Throwing up of blood or blood in vomit occurs due to conditions that injure or corrode the gastrointestinal tract’s lining, which includes the stomach lining, exposing the blood vessels and leading to gastrointestinal hemorrhage and throwing up of blood.
Other causes for a dog throwing up blood include:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction
- Vigorous throwing up
- Coagulopathy (lack of proper clotting)
Sometimes throwing up blood or throwing up blood can be due to a dog having a respiratory problem that results in coughing up blood which they swallow and then vomit.
In other cases, a dog may also have a dental problem or mouth sores that bleed, which may be mistaken for throwing up blood.
Critically ill dogs are more susceptible to throwing up blood as well as puppies that have not yet had their parvovirus vaccination.
Other symptoms that may accompany dog diarrhea and throwing up blood include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry heaving or retching
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss if the diarrhea is chronic
- Fever or hypothermia
Should I be worried if my dog has diarrhea and throwing up blood?
Dog diarrhea and throwing up blood at any point is a cause for concern because it is a clear sign of a serious underlying problem that requires immediate medical attention.
When To Seek Help For Dog Diarrhea And throwing up blood
Dog diarrhea and throwing up blood should be treated as an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Always contact the veterinarian within 8 to 12 hours when your dog has diarrhea and is vomiting.
When your dog vomits blood in whichever form, that is either little spots of blood, fresh or brown, small or large volume of blood, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian, especially when accompanied by diarrhea.
These two symptoms can quickly dehydrate a dog which can be fatal. Diarrhea and vomiting lead to dehydration and loss of electrolytes from a dog’s body and if treatment is not provided in time, this can be life-threatening.
Diarrhea and vomiting of blood can also be symptoms of a serious or life-threatening condition and if not treated early can result in bad outcomes.
The veterinarian will conduct a full physical examination, and analyze your dog’s medical history, and other circumstances leading up to diarrhea and vomiting. In addition to this, different tests will be conducted to reach a diagnosis.
The treatment depends on the underlying cause of diarrhea and vomiting of blood.
The initial treatment consists of the provision of anti-nausea medication to stop the vomiting, pain relief medication in case of abdominal pain, and anti-diarrhea medication.
In severe cases of dehydration, hospitalization may be necessary for your dog to be administered with intravenous fluids for rehydration and replacement of lost electrolytes.
How To Prevent Your Dog Diarrhea And throwing up blood
A dog will have diarrhea and throw up in their lifetime and some circumstances are beyond our control, however, some measures can be implemented to prevent dog diarrhea and throwing up blood.
Regular health check-ups
Health checkups for your dog are important in checking their health status and early diagnosis of any diseases.
This helps to prevent and/or manage conditions that may lead dog diarrhea and to vomiting of blood. Therefore have regular checkups for your dog.
Prevent access to potential toxins
Household products, chemicals, and plants can be toxins to a dog when ingested.
Keep these products away where your dog cannot have access to them and also prevent them from eating plants that may be harmful.
Update vaccination for puppies
Puppies that have not yet been fully vaccinated for parvovirus are susceptible to infection and throwing up of blood due to the infection if they get it.
To prevent this, ensure that your puppy is vaccinated and you keep up with the scheduled appointments.
Prevent dietary indiscretion
This includes limiting access to items your dog shouldn’t eat which can lead to dog diarrhea and vomiting of blood, such as broken bones or toys.
This will also prevent esophageal obstruction by removing items that your dog may accidentally swallow which can also cause esophageal obstruction and injury which can lead to vomiting of blood.
Summary: Dog diarrhea and vomiting blood
Diarrhea and vomiting are common in dogs, however, they should not be ignored because they may be due to a serious underlying problem.
The two symptoms can quickly dehydrate a dog which can be fatal. Therefore dog diarrhea with vomiting of blood is a cause for concern therefore seek medical attention for your dog immediately.
Always consult with your veterinarian so that an early diagnosis can be made and treatment provided to prevent fatal outcomes.