Blood in Stool Treatments

The presence of blood in your stools can be very alarming, as it is not a normal occurrence during bowel movement. As someone who experiences this kind of phenomenon, you will naturally try to find ways to treat this condition.

One thing that you should remember is that there are several possible causes for bloody stools. It can be a hemorrhoid protruding in your anus, a gastrointestinal infection, or can even be as severe as a malignant tumor. The first thing that you need to do once you experience bloody stools is to visit your physician to have yourself assessed. The doctor will run some tests and will be able to diagnose what it is that is causing blood to pass in your stools. The underlying cause will determine the course of treatment for the blood in your stools.

There are basically two types of gastrointestinal bleeding that can be experienced. The first one is melena, in which the stools appear black and tarry because it is made of dried blood. An occult blood test for feces is important in diagnosing this, since there are times when the bleeding is not readily seen in the feces. Melena usually stems from upper gastrointestinal bleeding, such as bleeding in the stomach ulcers or in the esophagus. The second type of bleeding is known as hematochezia, in which fresh blood can be seen in the stools. This usually happens because of trauma in the anus, or in the presence of hemorrhoids. Hematochezia usually indicates lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

As previously mentioned, hemorrhoids is one major cause of blood in stools. Your doctor will usually prescribe stool softeners to avoid straining during defecation. However, you can avoid straining the natural way when you incorporate fiber into your diet. Fiber provides the needed bulk in order for you to be able to move your bowels with ease. You should also avoid taking too much processed foods, as well as oily and spicy foods, as they have the tendency to further irritate the stomach and bowels and cause bleeding. Hydration is also important since drinking lots of water can help avoid the passage of hard stools that can contribute to hemorrhoids. You can also try some homemade remedies and over the counter medicines for your hemorrhoids.

It is also important to watch the drugs that you are taking, since some of these can have adverse effects on you stools. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs can cause ulcers and subsequent bleeding in your gastrointestinal tract. Peptic ulcers are also leading causes of the presence of blood in stools. If you are using anti-inflammatory drugs for pain management, you can ask your physician to prescribe you other pain medications so as to avoid bleeding. An example of a drug that you should avoid when you have bloods stools is aspirin, which tends to promote bleeding.

Since there are cases when blood in stools is caused by stress, it is essential to develop a healthy lifestyle. This involves a healthy diet, as well as regular exercise and ample rest. One of the causes of hemorrhoids is inactivity, so always being on the go can help you avoid the development of hemorrhoids.

You can also use natural home remedies in the treatment of bloody stools. For example, in order to avoid straining and constipation, you can mix dry ginger powder and senna leaves powder to a cup of warm water, and then take this in the evening before going to bed. If you have bleeding external hemorrhoids, you can apply a poultice of sesame seeds over it. These are just some of the natural remedies that you can do for your bleeding in stools.


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What Causes Bloody Stool During Pregnancy?

 

Pregnant woman

Pregnant woman (Flickr/IlYoungKo)

Rectal bleeding during pregnancy can be pretty common, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy and immediately after giving birth. Bloody stools during pregnancy are typically caused by hemorrhoids, which are swollen blood vessels in the rectal area. These hemorrhoids can either be inside the rectum or protruding outside the anus. These blood vessels can bleed when you strain too hard when moving your bowels, when you are passing hard stools, or when you rub your anus when wiping or cleaning it off.

A less common cause of bloody stools during pregnancy is the presence of anal fissures, which are painful cracks in the anus. These anal fissures can be due to the passage of hard stools during pregnancy, since constipation is also very common among pregnant women.

If you happen to have blood in stools during pregnancy, there is usually no reason to panic if it is caused by constipation. This will resolve on its own once you address the problem of constipation. However, you may need to consult your physician if severe bleeding occurs. It is also important to consult your obstetrician once you see blood in your panties, since you can never be sure whether this blood is coming from your rectum or vagina.

Fortunately, rectal bleeding secondary to constipation can be treated just by preventing constipation in the first place. Simple dietary modifications will be needed, such as increasing your intake of high fiber and bulk-forming foods. These include whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Fiber will help you pass stools regularly.

Hydration is also very important so as to soften your stools and avoid the passage of hard stools that may cause trauma to your rectum and anus. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water every day is already enough. You can also drink a glass of fruit juice every day.

Another way to prevent constipation is through regular exercise. You can engage in daily walking exercises, or you can enroll in yoga classes if you have the time. Contrary to what most people think, pregnant women can still enroll in yoga classes if you have the time. Contrary to what most people think, pregnant women can still exercise. Kegel exercises, in particular, are beneficial for both prevention of hemorrhoids and preparation for childbirth. This will not only help prevent constipation but will also strengthen your pelvic muscles in preparation for childbirth.

While you can usually purchase fiber supplements over the counter, it is still important to consult your obstetrician prior to doing so since these can have adverse effects to pregnant women. In fact, you should make it a habit to consult your obstetrician first before taking any kind of medication or supplement during pregnancy. Ask your physician regarding the safe supplements that you can take in order to prevent constipation and subsequently prevent bloody stools.

Behavioral changes are necessary as well. For example, when you feel the urge to defecate, do not suppress this urge. Go to the bathroom at once so as not to develop any problems in passing stools. The problem in putting off bowel movement is that the longer your stools stay in your rectum, the more water is absorbed by the body. As a result, your stools become hard and painful to excrete. By simply following your “gut feeling,” you can already prevent rectal bleeding.

Once you have already developed hemorrhoids, you can still do something to prevent them from bleeding. Putting cold compress on your anal area can reduce the swelling. In fact, alternate hot and cold treatments can be beneficial, such as using an ice pack and a warm sitz bath afterwards.


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What Causes Blood In Tissue Paper?

There are times when you might have noticed few amount or streaks of blood on the tissue paper after going to the bathroom. Anxiety is inevitable once you saw it because you were instigated with the knowledge that it can lead to a very serious complication. What can help you more is to stop consuming your time in getting apprehensive at all. Instead comprehend the possible reason or cause of the blood.

The bright red colored blood that you see in the tissue paper after bowel elimination is most probably due to rectal bleeding. Sometimes, rectal bleeding is manifested through black, tarry stools. Bleeding at the area of the rectum, which lies just above the anus, can have a mild or impose a serious effect. That is why it is always recommended to ascertain the source and treat it appropriately.

Causes of rectal bleeding include the following

Hemorrhoids

Also known as piles, they appear as swollen blood vessels in the anal area. They can cause pain, discomfort, and bleeding (bright red blood) during bowel elimination. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. The rectal mass caused by the internal hemorrhoid are not easy to see and can be felt with bowel movements. It is also generally painless unlike the external hemorrhoid in which anal itching is also common.

Rectal or anal fissure

This is a tear in the lining of the anus which is usually brought about by the passage of hard stools. The bleeding is usually bright red in color and can cause moderate to severe pain.

 Diverticular disease

Diverticulosis is manifested by small pouches or bulges in the lining of the lower bowel. These bulges that contained fragile blood vessels can rupture and result to painless bleeding. This condition is usually due to low fiber diet and can cause dark red or maroon color of stool.

Gastroenteritis

It is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which often results from bacterial or viral infection. It can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, and watery stools with streaks of blood.

 Inflammatory bowel disease

This disease is typical for the young adult that occurs as a group of inflammatory conditions of the small intestine and colon. Aside from the bright red colored blood from the rectum, symptoms also include abdominal pain, vomiting, and muscle spasms.

 Tumor and polyps in the colon

Tumors can be benign or malignant and affect mostly people who are older than 50 years of age. Bleeding occurs in large polyps and is commonly minimal.

If there is minimal rectal bleeding, it can be self treated at home. This home care treatment for rectal bleeding comprises rectal ointment or suppositories. If the anal area is painful, you can also apply ice pack on the affected area to relieve the pain.

However if more symptoms like fever, vomiting, weight loss, chronic diarrhea, and profuse bleeding occur, it is recommended to seek medical care from a physician. Significant blood loss requires medical intervention, such as oxygen treatment, intravenous therapy, or possibly a blood transfusion.

Since the causes of bleeding from the rectum is normally due to passage of hard stools, one good way to prevent it is by following a high fiber diet and increasing oral fluid intake. You should also bathe daily to cleanse the area around the anus, preventing bacteria to form. Avoid straining during bowel movement.

In every health condition, one should keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. As long as you can do something to maintain a good health, such as proper hygiene and healthy diet and lifestyle, you no longer have to worry.



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Blood in Stool Treatments

Seeing blood in the stool, toilet water or tissue paper after bowel movement is a common experience. In fact, thousands of people are experiencing it every day. Some people are not even aware that there is blood in their stool until they undergo medical tests like fecal occult blood test.

It is normal that you will be surprised and alarmed when you see blood in your stool. You begin to associate it with colon cancer and other life-threatening diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Although rectal bleeding is one of the symptoms of colon cancer, most of its causes are not life threatening.

Instead of panicking, schedule an appointment to your doctor. There are medical tests that will determine the cause and location of bleeding. Once the cause and location of the bleeding are identified, you will then be given the needed medical treatments to stop the bleeding and prevent rebleeding.

Medical Tests

Your age, symptoms, and past medical history will help your doctor determine the best medical test for your rectal bleeding. The purpose of medical tests is to diagnose the cause and location of the bleeding. Treatment will only be administered when your doctor knows the specific condition that is causing the bleeding and its accurate location in the digestive tract. One or combination of the following diagnostic tests will be performed into you:

Causes of Blood In Stool

Anal fissure, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, colon cancer and polyps, angiodysplasias, Meckel’s diverticulum, post-polypectomy, colitis or proctitis can cause rectal bleeding.

The usual cause of moderate to severe rectal bleeding in teenagers and young adults is Meckel’s diverticulum. While for older individuals, the common cause is angiodysplasias or diverticulosis.

Bleeding with abdominal pain is not associated to Meckel’s diverticula, angiodysplasias, or diverticulosis but associated to ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or colitis due to infection.

Mild bleeding with pain in the anal area during bowel movement suggests bleeding from an anal fissure. The doctor will inspect the anal area to check if anal fissure is causing the bleeding.

Unlike anal fissure, bleeding from hemorrhoids is not painful. A doctor can inspect the anus for the presence of hemorrhoids. However, the doctor cannot be certain that these hemorrhoids are causing the bleeding especially if they are not bleeding during inspection. To be certain, the doctor will perform sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to rule out potentially serious causes of bleeding.

Medical Treatments

Individuals who lost too much blood due to moderate or severe rectal bleeding need immediate medical attention or hospitalization. They need to receive intravenous fluids and/or blood transfusions to replace the blood that has been lost. Of course, these two treatments are worthless if the bleeding is not quickly stopped. Using diagnostic procedures, the doctor needs to accurately locate the site of bleeding and determine what is causing it.  He needs to seal or remove the source of bleeding.

Patients with severe iron deficiency anemia due to rectal bleeding may need hospitalization for blood transfusion followed by prolonged treatment with iron supplements until their condition improves.  If the anemia is not severe, taking iron supplements (tablets) would be enough. Of course, the doctor still needs to locate and stop the bleeding and prevent rebleeding.

If the doctor finds diverticular bleeding, he needs to remove the bleeding diverticulum through surgery. However, in case that there are numerous diverticula scattered throughout the colon and the location of the bleeding diverticulum cannot be located, the doctor will perform a colon resection or surgical removal of a section of the colon where the diverticula are found. However, before colon resection is done, the doctor makes sure that the bleeding is caused by diverticula.

Just like diverticula, bleeding colon polyps can also be removed through polypectomy or  surgical removal of polyps.

Cauterization is used to seal bleeding angiodysplasias and postpolypectomy ulcers as well as bleeding blood vessels inside diverticula.  It is performed during colonoscopy where a cauterizing probe is inserted through the colonoscope.

Treatment for hemorrhoids and anal fissures may include hemorrhoidal creams, sitz baths, and stool softeners. If these local measures do not work, several surgical and nonsurgical treatments are available.


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Reference

  • Rectal bleeding causes, signs, symptoms, and treatments – MedicineNet

Fecal Occult Blood Test

Gastrointestinal bleeding can mean a lot of things, with colon cancer being the worst case scenario. Patients who would want to rule out if they have early onset of colon cancer or none may visit their physician and undergo fecal occult blood test.

A closer look at the fecal occult blood test

Fetal occult blood test is performed on stool samples of an individual suspected to have gastrointestinal disorders. Sometimes, the amount of blood in the stool is too small to be seen by the naked eye. This particular test will allow the physicians to see if there is indeed presence of blood in the stool.

When you talk of fecal occult blood, this is usually the end result of an internal bleeding that started from either the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract. Since the amount of blood is really few, testing will help in determining whether the patient has colon cancer or none.

Many medical organizations will usually advise people who are aged 50 and above to have themselves checked and opt for fecal occult blood test.

The process involved in fecal occult blood test

In doing the fecal occult blood test, the doctor will usually require you to have at least three samples of your stool for multiple testing. The reason for that is of course, they would want to provide you with the most accurate results possible.

Fecal occult blood test can be done through:

  1. Immunologic testing – In this type of testing, the stool sample is mixed with a solution containing globin. This substance is what makes up the protein content of the molecule of hemoglobin. A small amount of gold is also added because once the solution settles, a positive visible line will reflect in the test strip indicating the presence of blood in the sample.
  2. Chemical testing – In chemical testing, on the other hand, the solution that will be used for the sample contains an oxidizing chemical and guaiac. The blood will be seen if the solution turns blue when mixed in with the stool sample.

Between the two types, chemical testing is least expensive although it is inferior to immunologic testing since the latter is more sensitive and specific when it comes to determining the presence of blood in the stool sample. It is also more accurate in giving the results. With that, less follow-up examinations and tests will be required by the physician.

Preparing for the test

Patients who need to undergo the test need to follow the advice of their doctor when it comes to specific foods that should be avoided prior to the testing. The patient should do this few days before the test. But if the immunologic testing will be performed, then there will be less or no dietary restrictions at all.

Reading the results

Once the test results are with the doctor, he/she will disclose the information to the patient. If the test is negative, then there is nothing to worry about. However, a positive test result will mean that the patient has some type of abnormal bleeding happening somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract. The bleeding can actually mean anything from inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, hemorrhoids, polyps, or cancerous tumors. The fecal occult blood test remains to be the most efficient way to detect early signs of colon cancer. The doctor may prescribe that you take the test again on another day to double-check and re-assess.

It is important that the patient should be reminded that a positive test does not necessarily mean colon cancer. Undergoing through other tests is highly recommended.


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Reference:

  • Fecal Occult Blood Test: WebMD

Blood in Stool of Cats

White cat

Having blood in the stool of your pet cats can signify health-care issues that need to be addressed immediately. Presence of bright red blood in your cat’s stool is usually referred to as hematochezia. This is different from melena, since the later is the presence of black or tarry stools.

Blood in stool can mean almost anything. When the bloody discharge only happened one and you only saw a few droplets of blood, then it can be constipation. Although to make sure, you need to consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

Causes of blood in cat stool

Constipation is very common among animals as well, especially if you have recently introduced a new brand of cat food to your pet. It takes a while for the digestive system to process the new food that is why stools will usually come out hard and dry. The pressure in passing of stool can infect the anus of the cat that in turn will result to blood in stool.

Intestinal parasites can also be blamed for bloody stool. Some of the usual parasites that live in the system of cats include giardia and coccidian. If your cat has acquired these two, they promote bloody diarrhea. There are also other bacteria types that infect the gastrointestinal system of the cat. These cases should be addressed and seen by the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Also, it is also important to note that any trauma in the lower intestine or in the anus can promote bloody stool. Meanwhile, if your cat is already old, there are certain instances wherein blood in bowels may signal cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

Blood in your cat’s stool can mean anything from food intolerance, to colitis, to bowel syndromes, and so on. Aside from seeing blood, most cats will also have vomiting episodes if there are problems in their gastrointestinal system. They are at risk for dehydration too if they have diarrhea which can make them lethargic.

Other possible symptoms include the following:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Increased water intake

  • Weight loss

  • Excessive urination

Addressing and treating blood in cat stool

Of course, it is your primary role as the pet owner to guarantee that your pet cat will get the proper care. During your visit to the veterinarian, it is highly recommended that you discuss the issues that you have. This will help the vet suggest possible treatment options to cure your pet. For example, if your pet has ingested spoiled food or non-food item, tell it to the doctor. Let him also know about changes in the diet of your cat.

Before your visit, try to collect sample of bloody stools from your pet. This is the best way for the veterinarian to check what the possible causes of it are. He will most probably administer stool examination and other tests such as:

  • Urinalysis

  • X-rays

  • Abdominal ultrasound

  • Colonoscopy

  • Complete blood count

When it comes to treatment options, the best medical intervention depends on the cause. For example, if your cat is suffering from constipation, the veterinarian will prescribe increased water intake to let the stools pass freely and lessen friction in the anus area.

On the other hand, parasites can be addressed easily with the help of certain drugs. For bacterial infection, antibiotics will cure your pet. Another thing that you need to remember is that you should always give the right food for the cat. If you plan to switch from one pet food brand to another, then do it gradually and slowly. This will keep your pet’s system from getting “shocked”.



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Bright Red Blood In Stool Causes

You may have rectal bleeding or hematochezia, a condition wherein bright red blood passes through the anus, often mixed with feces and or blood clots. The condition is called rectal bleeding since the rectum (the last 15 cm of the colon or large intestine) lies just above the anus. However, the blood could not only originate from the rectum but can also come from other parts of the gastrointestinal system such as the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and the large intestine.

The color of blood in your stool can indicate where the bleeding occur in your gastrointestinal tract. If your stool has bright red blood, it indicates that the bleeding occur within the anus, rectal area, or the sigmoid colon (part of the large intestine closest to the rectum). On the other hand,  if your stool has black, tarry (sticky), and foul smelling blood, it indicates that the bleeding occur in the upper digestive tract consisting of the right colon, stomach, and the esophagus. The blood turned black and smelly because it stayed long enough in the digestive tract to be acted upon by bacteria. The tarry stool is called melena, produced by bacterial breakdown of blood cells.

Small or mild amount of bright red blood in your stool (a spoon or two) is not dangerous but you should report it to your doctor to get treatment advice. Rectal bleeding becomes dangerous if you pass several bowel movements or a single bowel movement containing a large amount of blood; this can cause a decrease of blood pressure that could lead to a fatal medical shock. If too much blood is lost, blood transfusion is needed immediately.

Below are the causes of bright red blood in stool.

Reasons for Bright Red Blood in Stool

Anal Fissure

Fissure, Image from Wikimedia CommonsAnal fissure is created when the anal lining is torn due to constipation or the forceful movement of  stool in the anus. Tight muscle of the anus can also contribute to the formation of anal fissure. Having anal fissure is painful in subsequent bowel movement. Blood is released through the torn part of the anal lining and can be noticed in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper as bright red in color. Anal fissure is fairly common and the amount of bleeding is small.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are masses or clumps of tissue filled with blood vessels located at the junction of Hemorrhoids, Image from Wikimedia Commonsthe rectum and the anus. People has a notion that having hemorrhoids is an illness but in reality we all have hemorrhoids. Illness occur if the hemorrhoids are enlarged in such a way that they cause bleeding and anal discomfort. Just like anal fissure, the amount of blood lost through hemorrhoids is small and does not cause anemia or low blood pressure.



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Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis, Image from Wikimedia CommonsDiverticulosis is a medical condition in which little sacks or outpocketings (diverticula) develop in the linings of the large intestine. Diverticulosis is common to people at the age of 50-60 and the reason is not entirely known.  It can be due to years of high pressure within the large intestine  or weakness in the colonic wall. Diverticula are more common in the sigmoid colon, a common place of high pressure within the large intestine.

Diverticulosis is not a problem unless the diverticula are ruptured and cause bleeding. Unlike anal fissure and hemorrhoids, bleeding due to a ruptured diverticula can be more severe and brisker. Diverticular bleeding is the most common cause of mild to severe rectal bleeding that needs hospitalization and blood transfusion among aged people in western countries.

Colon Polyps and Cancer

Colon cancer, Image from Wikimedia CommonsPolyps are benign tumors that develops in the wall of the large intestine. Malignant tumors in the colon are called cancer and believed to have developed from the polyps. The amount of blood lost through colon polyps and cancers is small and irregular and typically does not cause a drop in blood pressure or shock. Bright red blood releases through the anus is usually due to bleeding in polyps and cancers located in the rectum or the sigmoid colon.

 

 

Angiodysplasia

Like diverticulosis, angiodysplasia is developed in the large intestine of elder population. angiodysplasia, Image from Wikimedia CommonsAngiodysplasia are enlarged blood vessels that frequently occur just under the inner lining of the large intestine. They appear as bright red, spider-like lesions beneath the colon’s lining when observed via colonoscopy. They can develop anywhere in the colon but they are concentrated in the right colon. The cause of angiodysplasia is not yet known but they occur with increasing frequency as people get older. Ruptured angiodysplasia causes bleeding in which bright red, maroon, or dark blood appear in the stools. Anemia symptoms is associated with ruptured angiodysplasia.

 

Colitis and Proctitis

CD Colitis, Image from Wikimedia CommonsColitis and proctitis are inflammations in the colon and rectum respectively. There are several diseases that causes the colon and rectum to be inflamed. They include ulcerative colitis or proctitis, Crohn’s disease, ischemic colitis, bacterial/viral infection, and radiation colitis or proctitis.

Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and proctitis are chronic inflammatory diseases of the large intestine due to oversensitivity of the body’s immune system to certain substances. Inflammation of the colon causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloody diarrhea. Bleeding can be moderate or severe that medical attention is needed.

Inflammation of the colon due to bacterial or viral infection would have the symptoms of the inflammatory diseases described above. Examples of bacteria that could cause infection are salmonella, shigella, Campylobacter, and E. coli. Cytomegalovirus, on the other hand, is an example of virus that can cause infection.

Meckel’s Diverticulum

Meckel's_Diverticulum, Image from Wikimedia CommonsMeckel’s diverticulum looks like diverticulosis but found in the small intestine near the junction of the small intestine and the large intestine. About 2% of  the population has Meckel’s diverticulum present in the small intestine since birth.  The diverticulum can secrete acid that can cause ulcerations in the inner lining of the diverticulum or nearby tissues. The ulcers created can bleed resulting to the appearance of bright red, dark red, or maroon blood in the stool. Bleeding from a Meckel’s diverticulum, which is painless, is commonly reported among children and young adults.


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Blood in Stool of Dog

Having a pet dog is a big responsibility on the part of the owner. Besides feeding and taking your pet out to walk, you also need to secure their health. Vaccinations and constant visit to the veterinarian will help you in making sure that your pet is doing well. Seeing unusual things like blood in the stool of your dog is a frightful event, something that you should immediately check with the doctor.

There are various causes of bloody stool among dogs, but you have to remember that not all of them are cancer-related. They could be caused by parasites, or by foods that your dog had eaten. As a responsible pet owner, it is your job to have this condition verified on a medical basis.

Hematochezia or melena is the clinical term for blood in stool. The difference between these two is in the appearance of the stool. For example, if the blood still looks fresh and red, it could possibly mean that the bleeding either started in the lower intestines or in the rectum. On the other hand, tarry and black stool is referred to as melena. Once your dog’s stool looks like this, it goes to show that the blood came from the upper intestine.

Possible causes of hematochezia in dogs

As mentioned, blood in your dog’s stool can mean anything, and it can be either of the following:

  • Parasites – Parasites are the most usual causes of blood in the stool. They live inside your pet and can cause inflammation or infection that lead to bloody stool. Some of the parasites that cause bloody stool include roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms. Sometimes, certain protozoans like coccidian can lead to bloody stools as well.
  • HGE – Otherwise known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, this involves blood stool with diarrhea. The dog may also vomit from time to time. The cause of HGE is unknown.
  • Parvo – This is a contagious virus that usually affects puppies and certain dog breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. Dogs will exhibit excessive vomiting, blood in stools, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. This disease can be very serious and deadly at the same time.
  • Over eating – Feeding dogs too much or sudden introduction to new foods can irritate their intestine which in turn will lead to bloody stools. Spoiled foods and allergies can also affect their intestines.
  • Rectal injuries – Injuries or wounds that can scrape off the skin in the lining of their rectum also causes bloody stools

Diagnosing and addressing bloody stool among dogs

The first step should always be a visit to the veterinarian. Never self-medicate or treat your dog on your own. Even though you have been a pet owner for a long time and you have addressed health issues of your past pets, you need to remember that every dog is unique. There are some dog breeds that are allergic to some medicines or they will not be able to tolerate it as much as the other pets. Going to the veterinarian will give you the peace of mind and assurance.

The first thing that the vet will do is a series of tests, particularly stool test. You can bring your pet along to the vet together with a sample of his stool with blood. Physical examination, blood tests, and x-rays will also be requested by the doctor to make the proper diagnosis of the disease.

Treatment options vary depending on the cause of the bloody stool. If it is because of parasites, your dog will have to be dewormed and given proper hydrates to keep the body fluid up. Unfortunately, parvo does not have any cure yet and you will have to face the fact that your pet might or might not survive. If your dog tested negative for parvo, you should have him vaccinated.



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Proctitis and Bloody Stool

Radiation proctitis

A colonscopy showing radiation proctitis

Seeing blood in one’s stool is a sign that the person should seek for professional medical care. Ask anyone and they will tell you that this is not normal at all. Once there is blood, it means there is something bothering the gastrointestinal track and it could possibly be proctitis.

 

Proctitis is best described as an inflammation in the anus and along the rectum area. This usually causes discomfort among the people who have it since they usually experience bleeding or pus and mucus discharge.

Causes of Proctitis

In most rectal diseases, the primary culprit usually is straining during passing of stool. If a person is having difficulty in relieving his/her self, this particular action places a lot of stress in the colon area. This can lead to other complications like constipation that can lead to more serious rectal infection.

Aside from that, some of the causes of proctitis include the following:

  • As a sexually transmitted disease, especially if the person engages in anal sex
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Non-sexually related infection
  • Irritation because of other factors such as radiation therapy for cervical cancer or prostate cancer
  • Stress
  • Inability to absorb gluten in the body
  • Gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 are just some of the examples of sexually transmitted proctitis. People with suppressed immune systems are very much at risk of developing this complication, as well as those who practice unsafe sex like anal intercourse and the like.

Telltale Signs and Symptoms

Blood in stool is an alarming sign that there is a health threat in the body. Aside from that, here are some of the usual signs and symptoms of proctitis:

  • Severe pain during passing of stools
  • Bleeding in the rectum
  • Frequent urge to move bowel
  • Mucus in the rectum
  • Rectal pain
  • Pain on the left side of the abdomen
  • A feeling of having a “full” rectum
  • Diarrhea

Complications of Proctitis

If not treated immediately, proctitis can bring about a series of complications that can impair the quality of life of the patient such as:

  • Ulcers – Inflammation in the rectum that becomes chronic can lead to sores (ulcers) in the rectum, particularly in the inside lining.
  • Fistulas – Fistulas are little “connections” that develop whenever ulcers are present. This can be very risky because these connections will link organs surrounding your intestine. In women, there is a high possibility that their rectum might connect to the vagina, thereby stool will go through the vaginal canal.
  • Anemia – Chronic bleeding that brings bloody stool can make the patient suffer from anemia because of too much blood loss. This can also lead to other complications that will make things worse.

Addressing and Diagnosing Proctitis

Visiting a healthcare professional will lift the worries off the patient because the doctor will be able to address the issue and give out proper care needed by the patient. Tests are mandatory, of course, since they are important in guiding the doctor on which practices and treatment options suit the patient. Some of the tests that the patient will have to go though are the following:

  • Colon examination or colonoscopy
  • Testing for sexually transmitted disease
  • Stool test
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Depending on the severity of proctitis, medicines vary from one patient to another. The doctor will look into the possible cause of the proctitis to prescribe the right drug information. For example, if the cause is infection, the patient will have to drink antivirals or antibiotics. Likewise, there are also medications to stop bleeding, and even surgery if there is already a large damage in the digestive tract.


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Colitis and Bloody Stool

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis

Inflammation in the gastrointestinal area can lead to certain rectal diseases that may cause bloody stool. Take colitis as an example. This particular condition can lead to bloody stool. Colitis is an irritation in the colon area. It can be either acute or chronic and sometimes persistent. However, the problem with most rectal diseases is that most of them are asymptomatic. Meaning, the onset of signs and symptoms may mean another thing already.

The colon is situated in the abdominal activity. It is composed of three parts namely – cecum, ascending colon, transverse, and the descending colon. Since it is a given fact that the blood circulates around the body, it also reaches the areas of the colon. But when there is lack of blood, diseases like colitis develop. This is the primary scientific cause of why rectal diseases exist.

Possible causes of colitis

Aside from lack of oxygen in the colon, there are other possible causes for having colitis such as:

  • Infectious colitis – This is a type of colitis that is caused by bacteria and viruses. These viruses can be acquired from food that is not prepared hygienically. Some of the bacteria that can cause infectious colitis include the following: E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter. A patient may have this if he/she went through food poisoning.
  • Ischemic colitis – This is caused by lack of oxygen in the colon, as mentioned earlier.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases – Chron’s disease, diarrhea and constipation can stress the colon area that may lead to lesions.

These are just some of the most common causes of colitis; there are more depending on the type of colitis that you have.

The signs and symptoms of colitis

Aside from blood in stool, some of the signs and symptoms of colitis may include the following. Do take note that most of these symptoms are rarely felt by the patient unless the pain is in the extreme levels already. As mentioned, this is the problem with many rectal diseases.

Possible symptoms are:

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain, severe
  • Urge to move bowels at most times
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Gas
  • Dehydration

From the list of signs and symptoms, you will clearly notice that it can colitis can be mistaken for something else, that is why seeking professional advice from a medical practitioner is highly recommended.

Diagnosing colitis

Blood found in the stool means that there is something wrong with the body. Whether or not it is as simple as hemorrhoids or as serious as colon cancer, visiting a doctor is needed.  In going to the doctor, he/she will request that you go through certain laboratory examinations as these will allow the physician to make sound decision regarding detecting and treating your disease. Medical history will be taken as well tests which include abdominal x-ray, barium enema, abdominal CT scan, and abdominal MRI. This will help the doctor determine the type of colitis that the patient has. Moreover, this will best assist the doctor in creating the treatment plan for the patient.

Ways to treat colitis

Treating colitis depends on its type. There are some forms that may require serious treatment, while other types can be addressed at by home care practices. For colitis caused by infections, antibiotic treatment should be administered to the patient. If it is because of inflammatory bowel diseases, then the patient will be given anti-inflammatory drugs. Sometimes, surgery may even be required. Analgesics are also recommended to ease the pain that the patient feels. All these are important to avoid complications brought by colitis.


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