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Dog with bloody stool.

Species: Dog
Breed: Retriever/Chow
Age: 2-5 years
Hi, I mistakenly changed my dog's food without mixing which I now know is a big no-no. I went back to her original food after she was very constipated and was only producing diarrea when she did poop. This has been going on for a week and it seemed to be getting better. Her stool was coming back to her normal consistency she had before. Only once a day however where she typically will go 2 times. However yesterday she tried to go and all that come out was a little blood and the same today, her energy is a little down and I am very worried. And on another matter her left leg is weak, I checked to see if anything is in her paw and I did not detect anything. She has no problem jumping up and down for her food and sitting for a treat, she was running around too with no problem but the last few days she hasn't been up for running and has slowed down on our walks. When she is lounging around the house she is definitly limping and lifting up that back leg. I will be going to the vet on Tuesday but this is almost 4 days away. What if any suggestions could I do in the mean time? Thank you !


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Sage is having these problems.

While changing dog food can cause some diarrhea, it really should be a very temporary thing. The diarrhea associated with food change usually doesn't last longer than 48 hours. A change in food can cause some blood in the stool. I don't get too worried about that....UNLESS...the dog seems to be getting worse and is lethargic.

Sometimes blood in the stool can be a sign of a condition called HGE (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis), and this can be very serious. However, dogs with HGE are usually little dogs and the bloody stool comes on all of a sudden.

It's hard to say why she is limping. There aren't a lot of things that I can think of that can connect limping and diarrhea.

For most cases, when a dog has diarrhea after switching food, what I recommend is a period of 24 hours followed by small meals of boiled chicken and rice. (There's nothing magical about chicken and rice...it's just a very bland meal that's easy for the intestines to heal.)

However, my usual recommendation is to see the vet if any of the following things are happening:
  • No improvement in diarrhea after 48 hours

  • Decreasing energy in your dog

  • Lack of appetite for more than 24 hours

  • If your gut just tells you that something serious is going on. (This may seem silly, but I find that most owners just "know" when something is really not right.)



Is it possible for you to get to a vet before Tuesday? They could make sure there is nothing serious going on and see if there is some sort of connection between the leg problem and the diarrhea. They can also prescribe medication to help with the intestinal inflammation so that this clears up sooner. From what you have described I think a visit this weekend really would be best. It's unfortunate to have to pay an emergency fee...but it sounds like Sage would do a lot better with some medicines.

I really hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.