Dear VetBabble: Is Black Stool in my Dog a Sign of Internal Bleeding?
Us veterinarians receive numerous concerns from pet owners daily about the health of their furry companions. One question that often worries many is – “My dog’s stool is very black. Does this mean he is bleeding internally? Should I bring him to the vet?” Well, if you’re noticing a continuous abnormality with your dog’s stool, it is always wise to consult a vet. Now, let’s dissect this issue into three detailed segments to provide a clearer understanding for all worried pet owners out there.
Interpreting Stool Changes
It’s not the most pleasant task, but keeping an eye on your pet’s stool is crucial for monitoring their health. A sudden change in color, particularly to a dark black might be concerning. The color change could be down to dietary changes or even the ingestion of certain medications. However, it can be a sign of internal bleeding, known medically as melena. It’s the presence of digested blood passing through your pet’s digestive system that turns their stool black. But don’t fret just yet, a simple check-up with your veterinarian can help identify the cause. Here at VetBabble, we’ve covered the topic of why your dog might be dealing with diarrhea, which also incorporates understanding changes in their stool.
When To Worry
Blood in your pet’s stool or urine is an immediate cause for concern. While a black stool can indicate the presence of blood, red blood is typically a sign of problems lower in the digestive tract or other health concerns such as cystitis. We’ve published an article on what could happen if there’s blood in your dog’s urine that you might find useful. However, if the black stool is a one-time occurrence, it might not be a dire situation. If your pet is acting normally, eating well and doesn’t appear ill, monitor them closely and see if the color change persists. Nevertheless, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. We have a handy guide on when to start worrying about diarrhea in dogs that offers additional insight on this.
There are several causes for black stool in pets, beyond internal bleeding. Your pet might have ingested something they shouldn’t have. They might have eaten something rich and dark colored, or perhaps they swallowed a foreign object that is irritating their internal organs. It’s often difficult to tell unless you’ve caught your pet in the act of eating the offender. We have covered the topic of pets eating foreign bodies they shouldn’t have ingested on our website. Regardless, any prolonged abnormality, be it black stool, diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, or vomiting, is a clarion call to book an appointment with your vet. It’s essential to ensure your pet stays in optimal health, and the certainty brought forward by a vet consultation can give you peace of mind.
Remember, a proactive approach is the best way to handle any health concern with your pets. Always look out for changes and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice when in doubt.