Did you just notice blood in your Boston’s stool?
A bloody stool can be an alarming sign. This is especially so if you have noticed other symptoms in your Boston, including vomiting, diarrhea, and not wanting to eat.
This article will explore the various causes of bloody stool in Boston Terriers and what actions to take if you notice bloody diarrhea.
Causes of Boston Terrier Bloody Diarrhea and What You Should Do About It
Bright red blood in the stool is known in the veterinary field as hematochezia. There are many various causes of blood in the stool ranging from mild illness due to stress to more severe illnesses, including infectious diseases or even cancer.
If your Boston has a bloody stool, you should speak with a veterinarian. Some of the illnesses causing bloody diarrhea can be potentially fatal if left untreated; it is vital to seek care sooner rather than later.
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Is Bloody Diarrhea in Boston Terriers Normal?
Bloody diarrhea is not normal for Boston Terriers. Typically, if you notice bloody diarrhea, there is likely an underlying reason for it.
A Boston Terriers stool should be semi-firm and brown. If you notice any redness in the stool or if the stool is very soft or liquid, this is an abnormal finding.
Why Do Boston Terriers Get Blood in Their Stools?
There are several different reasons your Boston Terrier may be having bloody stools. This list includes eight of the most common causes of blood in the stool in Boston Terriers.
1. Intestinal Parasites
One of the most common causes of bloody diarrhea is intestinal parasites.
Even if you don’t see any worms in the stool, your Boston may still be infected with intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are often so small that you won’t always be able to see them in the stool.
Veterinarians can do a special fecal test to determine if your pet has intestinal parasites causing the blood in the stool.
The most common intestinal parasites in Bostons include:
2. Stress Colitis
Has your dog been unusually stressed lately due to a recent move or schedule change?
Some Bostons may get stress colitis after a stressful event.
Stress colitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the large intestine and may also result in blood in the stool.
3. Dietary Indiscretion
Have you recently given a new type of treat, switched the diet, or has your Boston gotten into something they weren’t supposed to?
Dietary indiscretion occurs when your Boston eats something new, and it upsets their intestinal tract, potentially causing bloody diarrhea.
If you plan on changing foods, always remember to do so gradually over a 1 to 2 week period. A gradual food transition can help avoid bloody diarrhea from a diet change.
4. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), also known as Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS), is a potential cause for bloody diarrhea in Boston Terriers.
This condition occurs most commonly in young, small breed dogs. The bloody diarrhea will often start suddenly and appear very bloody and watery.
HGE is a potentially life-threatening condition if not treated quickly. This condition can rapidly lead to dehydration, shock, and even death if not addressed by a veterinarian.
If you suspect your Boston Terrier has HGE, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Parvovirus is a potential cause for bloody diarrhea, especially in Boston Terriers under one year of age or if your Boston has never been vaccinated for parvovirus.
Parvovirus is an intestinal virus that can cause severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Parvovirus is a severe infection that commonly causes death in puppies if left untreated.
It is essential to follow your veterinarian’s vaccine recommendations to ensure that your Boston is protected from parvovirus.
6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is another cause of bloody diarrhea in Boston Terriers. This condition will often occur chronically or long term and could also cause weight loss or vomiting.
If your veterinarian suspects inflammatory bowel disease, special medications can be given to treat the symptoms of this disease.
Rectal tumors and other intestinal cancers have the potential to cause bloody diarrhea.
If your Boston Terrier has bloody diarrhea, your veterinarian will likely do a rectal examination to ensure that no tumors are felt in the rectal area.
Did you know cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Boston Terriers? Check out this article covering the common causes of death in Boston Terriers, Causes Of Death In Boston’s.
8. Anal Gland Abscess
If the stool seems to be mostly formed, but you notice blood on the stool or around the rectal area, this could be a sign of an anal gland abscess.
If your Boston has an anal gland abscess, they may also lick a lot around the rectal area. Or you may notice a foul-smelling discharge around the rectal area.
Fortunately, anal gland abscesses are caused by an infection so they can often be successfully treated with antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian.
What Should I Do If My Boston Terrier Poops Blood?
Here are four things you should consider doing if you notice your Boston pooping blood.
1. Contact A Veterinarian
There are many different causes of bloody stool in Boston Terriers, and only a veterinarian will be able to appropriately diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
If your Boston Terrier is defecating blood, you should promptly contact your veterinarian.
Several of the conditions described above can be life-threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian.
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2. Gather A Stool Sample
If you can collect a stool sample, this can help your veterinarian determine the cause of the diarrhea.
Your veterinarian can run a fecal test on the stool sample to check for intestinal parasites and giardia.
3. Take A Picture To Show Your Veterinarian
If you are unable to collect a stool sample, you can also take a picture of the bloody stool to show your veterinarian.
The photo may help your vet determine what might be the cause of the blood in the stool.
4. Always Allow Access To Fresh Water
It is important to always have fresh water available to your Boston.
Water is especially important when they are having diarrhea because diarrhea can cause dehydration.
A Few Closing Thoughts
There are many different causes of bloody stool in Boston Terriers. Only your veterinarian will be able to determine the underlying cause of the diarrhea.
Because certain conditions causing blood in the stool can be potentially life-threatening, it is important to quickly contact your veterinarian if you notice any blood in your Boston’s poop.
- Brooks, W. (2018). Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS or HGE). VIN.
- O’Bell, S. (2020). Acute Colitis: The Scoop on Diarrhea in Dogs. MSPCA.