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Yorkie with bloody stool

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

I have a 13-year-old 3 lb Yorkie. She is blind. We have just moved so I have her restricted to the kitchen area. She hasn't been eating the foods she loves lately and every morning when we wake up she has had diarrhea during the night. Weird but not during the day. Now she even has blood in her stool. I know that she sometimes eats our kitten's food. Is that bad and could that be causing the blood stool?

Joy Rentz


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Diet change is a very common reason for pets to get diarrhea. This can occur when pets have their food changed or when pets that get into another pets food. I'd recommend that you restrict your dogs' access to the kitten food.

You can most easily do this by feeding your kitten in an area that your dog can't access. This may be fairly easy if you can feed your kitten in an area or on a surface that your Yorkie can't reach (such as on a counter or chair). This may clear up your problem.

Diet change or eating something different is a cause for diarrhea; however there are many other causes for diarrhea. Is she straining? Is there mucous? Is she having small amounts of diarrhea at a time? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the problem may be a large bowel diarrhea, commonly called "colitis". Many dogs with colitis can have some blood in their diarrhea. There are many causes for colitis including:

  • Specific inflammatory disorders of the colon. Lymphocytic-plasmacytic, histiocytic, granulomatous, suppurative, and eosinophilic are terms that describe colitis on the basis of the predominant type of cell present in the inflamed colon.

  • Infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites
  • Dietary intolerance or allergy
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Cancer of the colon
  • Trauma, internal or external
  • Intussusception, which is a mechanical problem characterized by telescoping of the bowel into itself.

  • Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE), which is an inflammatory disorder of the intestinal tract characterized by hemorrhage and production of a "raspberry jam" appearance to the stool.

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Antibiotic-associated colitis

    The safest thing to do is to take your dog to your local veterinarian. An article that might be helpful to you is on our Petplace.com is "Diarrhea in Dogs" and "Colitis in Dogs".


    Best of luck!


    Dr. Jon





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