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No one ever wants to wake up to find their dog passing gooey, red stool. But if you’re around dogs long enough, you’ll face that very situation eventually.
When your dog’s poop looks like strawberry jelly, it’s a sign of an irritated, inflamed colon that is bleeding and producing excess mucus. And that is a serious intestinal problem.
It’s important to understand and address these symptoms promptly. Ignoring them could lead to severe complications, even risking your dog’s life. In this guide, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and necessary actions to take.
- Strawberry jelly-like dog poop with blood is caused by colitis. It’s a common but serious condition that needs veterinary attention.
- Colitis often happens when dogs eat things they shouldn’t, get sick from infections, or feel really stressed.
- Most dogs recover from the condition with early, appropriate medical care.
What is Dog Poop Like Jelly with Blood?
Again, dog poop that looks like jelly with blood is a sign your dog has an irritated, inflamed colon (the large intestine).
This happens when the colon makes too much mucus, water, and blood. This inflammatory reaction is the colon’s general response to many irritating things. Colitis poo can look like raspberry jam, slime or even rubber cement! The graphic below explains some of the abnormal fecal appearances seen in dogs.
Common Symptoms and Causes
Acute diarrhea with mucus and blood is one of the most common conditions veterinarians see in practice. Every case is different, but let’s explore the symptoms and some of the factors that could contribute.
Standard, mild dog diarrhea might not cause other symptoms. But when your dog’s poop looks like jelly with blood, there are often other noticeable symptoms. Keep an eye out for:
- Urgent need to defecate
- Pooping in the house
- Straining while trying to defecate
- Increased licking of the rear end
- Passing gas more frequently
- Decreased appetite
- Audible stomach sounds
- Lethargy or lack of energy
These symptoms indicate that something isn’t right with your dog’s digestive system. Let’s talk about some of the more common causes of bloody, mucus diarrhea in dogs.
Vets call this condition acute colitis and it’s a frequent occurrence in dogs. In colitis, the lining of the colon fails to absorb water, produces extra mucus and bleeds due to Inflammation. Additionally, increased colonic contractions move feces through too fast and cause pain and urgency to defecate. (1)
Colitis can stem from various factors, ranging from dietary indiscretion to endocrine disorders. The table below explains some of the condition’s common causes.
|Causes of Bloody Diarrhea||Description|
|Eating Inappropriate Substances||Consuming spoiled food, toxins, or non-food items like dirt can lead to irritation. *This is a VERY COMMON CAUSE.|
|Toxic Reactions||Reactions to bee stings or toxins can trigger colon inflammation.|
|Stress and Anxiety||Sensitive intestines can become irritated due to stress or food intolerance.|
|Infectious Diseases||Viruses (including parvovirus infection), bacteria or parasites (worms, etc.) can cause inflammation and affect stool consistency.|
|Underlying Health Conditions||Conditions like immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, liver disease, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and kidney disease can contribute to colon inflammation.|
|Medications||Certain medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, might lead to gastrointestinal disturbances.|
Prompt Veterinary Care: Why It Matters
When your dog is experiencing bloody diarrhea, it’s important to seek immediate veterinary care for several critical reasons:
- Dehydration Risk: Colitis can lead to rapid dehydration, risking severe complications or fatality. Quick vet action prevents this.
- Underlying Health Issues: Colitis may signal deeper health problems. Treating the cause is crucial for effective resolution.
- Comfort and Relief: Vets offer meds and advice for swift relief from your dog’s colitis discomfort.
- Cost-Efficient Care: Early treatment can prevent costly hospitalization. Swift action spares both your dog and wallet.
When you take your dog to the veterinarian, the vet will first check your dog’s condition with a thorough physical exam.
Next, they will run lab tests on blood, feces and urine to learn more about what’s happening to your dog internally. X-ray and/or ultrasound imaging may be performed to look for things like fluid buildup, growths, or foreign objects in the abdomen.
These tests help the vet understand what’s wrong and how serious it is. This way, the vet can create the best treatment plan for your dog’s recovery.
The treatment your dog gets depends on how they’re doing during the vet check-up. Here’s what might happen:
- Mild Symptoms: If your dog has only diarrhea with a little bit of blood but no other symptoms, treatment might consist of oral medicine and a special diet.
- Moderate Symptoms: Dogs who aren’t eating or are mildly dehydrated are often treated with subcutaneous fluids, anti-nausea meds, antibiotics, and pain relief drugs.
- Severe Symptoms: Pets with severe dehydration, poor appetite and other symptoms may be hospitalized for IV fluids and injectable medication. It may take a day or two for them to recover fully.
The cost of treatment varies by location, but treatment for moderate to severe cases might cost around $1600+ for tests and one day of hospitalization. Milder cases could incur outpatient charges of $200-700.
Home Care Tips
If your dog is very young, small, or has other health issues don’t try home remedies—go straight to the vet. Their life is on the line!
But if your dog only has mucus-filled diarrhea and no other symptoms, here’s what you can do at home:
- Rest the Gut: Skip a meal or two to calm their tummy.
- Encourage Drinking: Offer water, chicken broth or unflavored Pedialyte-mixed water.
- Soothe the Microbiome: Probiotics can help dogs with diarrhea. (2) Try non-prescription Proviable DC® for gut relief.
- Feed Easy to Digest Food: Opt for cooked lean ground turkey, mushy rice, or prescription gastrointestinal dog food.
- Rest and Relaxation: Let them rest and minimize activities; only take them out for potty breaks.
When to See a Veterinarian
Even if they’re acting fine except for diarrhea, really young or very small dogs should see a vet. And if your dog has existing health issues, don’t wait to take them to the clinic.
These symptoms indicate that your dog needs to see a veterinarian immediately:
- Passing lots of bloody stool
- Not wanting to eat
- Throwing up repeatedly
- Lethargy or weakness
- Skin bruises or rashes
- Breathing hard or fast
If you’re worried, don’t hesitate—get them checked. It’s safer than waiting and wishing you hadn’t.
Prognosis, Recovery, and Prevention
With early and appropriate treatment, many dogs with acute colitis usually get better within a few days.
To help your dog recover quickly make sure you:
- Stick to the diet and meds your vet recommends.
- Avoid giving them new foods, treats, or supplements for a few weeks.
- Keep an eye on your dog for new symptoms and consult your vet if you see any.
If you are aware of something that set your dog off on this diarrhea episode, avoid repeating it in the future. Always use caution when introducing new food and treats.
Minimize situations that are mentally and physically stressful such as boarding, day care and visits to grooming shops. If your dog is generally anxious, medication and behavioral modification can help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In conclusion, being prepared for emergencies like acute colitis is an important part of being a good dog owner. It is a serious condition that warrants a trip to see a veterinarian right away. Swift action is key to preventing serious complications and helping your pup feel better.
- Sethi, A. K., & Sarna, S. K. (1991). Colonic motor activity in acute colitis in conscious dogs. Gastroenterology, 100(4), 954-963.
- Shmalberg, J., Montalbano, C., Morelli, G., & Buckley, G. J. (2019). A randomized double blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial of a probiotic or metronidazole for acute canine diarrhea. Frontiers in veterinary science, 6, 163.