As pet owners, diarrhea is one of the most common health concerns we may face with our furry friends. While it is not unusual for dogs and cats to have an occasional loose stool, bloody diarrhea can be alarming and may indicate a more serious health problem. Fortunately, several natural home remedies can help treat this condition and improve your pet’s overall health.
Causes of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats
There are many reasons why dogs and cats may develop bloody diarrhea. Some of the most common causes include:
- Food Changes: Abrupt changes in your pet’s diet can cause digestive upset, including diarrhea.
- Eating Foreign Objects: Dogs and cats may swallow objects such as bones, toys, or even hairballs, which can cause intestinal blockages and lead to bloody diarrhea.
- Stress Colitis: Stressful situations such as boarding, traveling, or changes in routine can lead to inflammation in the colon, resulting in bloody diarrhea.
- Parasites: Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and Giardia can cause bloody diarrhea.
- Dysbiosis: An imbalance in the natural bacteria that live in your pet’s digestive system can cause diarrhea, including bloody diarrhea.
- Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections such as Salmonella, parvovirus and E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea.
- Anal Gland Issues: Anal gland problems can lead to diarrhea and other digestive issues.
- Organ Issues: Certain conditions such as liver or kidney disease can cause bloody diarrhea in pets.
When to Go to the Veterinarian
While many cases of bloody diarrhea can be treated at home, knowing when to seek veterinary care is important. You should take your pet to the vet if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Large amounts of blood in the stool
- Your pet is a puppy or kitten
- Diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours
- You are concerned and worried since it’s always best to be safe
Home Remedies for Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats
If your pet is experiencing bloody diarrhea but is otherwise acting normally, several natural home remedies can help ease their symptoms and promote healing.
- 12-Hour Fast: The first step in treating diarrhea is to give your pet’s digestive system a break. For the first 12 hours, withhold food but allow access to water and/or broth to prevent dehydration.
- Saccharomyces boulardii: This probiotic is known for its ability to prevent and treat diarrhea in pets. It works by restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut and supporting the immune system. Start with 1/2 capsule for a small dog/cat, 1 capsule medium dog, and 2 capsules for a larger dog.
- Bland Diet: After the initial 12-hour fast, feed your pet a bland diet of lean meat such as cod or turkey, with cooked squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato. These ingredients are gentle on the digestive system and provide essential nutrients.
- Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is an effective natural remedy for diarrhea as it binds to toxins and removes them from the body. You can give your pet activated charcoal in capsule form or mix it into their food. Start with 1/2 capsule for a small dog/cat, 1 capsule medium dog, and 2 capsules for a larger dog. This is best given 1-2 hours away from main meals and other supplements and medications. Remember that charcoal may make your pet’s stool look darker or black. Another great option is to use RX Vitamins RX Clay which works very similar to activated charcoal.
- Slippery Elm: Slippery elm is an herbal remedy that can soothe and protect the digestive tract. You can give your pet slippery elm in capsule form or mix the powder with water to create a paste. Start with 1/4 tbsp mixed in 1/4 cup broth or water and give 2-3 times a day to help soothe the inflamed digestive tract.
- Teas: Teas such as marshmallow, fennel, and chamomile can help soothe the digestive tract and reduce inflammation. You can add these teas to your pet’s water or mix them with their food. Teas are very safe and starting with 1/4 cup of tea for a small dog/cat, 1/2 cup for medium sized dog and 1 cup for large dogs is a great starting amount. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to get organic, safe teas for you and your pets.
- Coptis Teapills: Coptis teapills are a traditional Chinese herbal remedy that can help treat diarrhea in pets. You can give your pet one tea pill per 10 pounds of body weight for 5-10 days at most, depending on the severity of their symptoms. This is a very cooling remedy and is meant only to be used short term.
For more supportive remedies, make sure to read our blog on Tips For Dogs With Sensitive Gut Health.
It is important to note that while these home remedies can be effective in treating mild cases of bloody diarrhea in pets, they should not be used as a substitute for veterinary care. If your pet is experiencing severe symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or large amounts of blood in the stool, you should seek veterinary care immediately.
Preventing Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats
Preventing bloody diarrhea in pets involves several key steps:
- Gradual Diet Changes: When introducing new foods to your pet’s diet, make sure to do so gradually. Sudden changes in diet can cause digestive upset and lead to diarrhea, especially if transitioning from a kibble diet to raw food. If you’re not sure what foods are best, make sure to grab our free guide Simple Guide To Improve Your Pet’s Food.
- Supervise playtime: Supervising your pet during play can help prevent them from swallowing foreign objects such as bones, toys, or hairballs, especially if introducing new foods, toys, or bones.
- Stress Management: Managing your pet’s stress levels can help prevent stress colitis. This can include providing them with a safe and comfortable environment, regular exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation.
- Supporting overall health: By following our five pillars of health, you can optimize the foundations that lead to a healthy pet for life. If you have a pet who has a sensitive GI tract, you’ll want to learn more about how to support and heal a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.
Bloody diarrhea in pets can be a concerning and uncomfortable condition. However, with proper home care and veterinary attention when necessary, most cases can be resolved quickly and effectively. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian before trying any home remedies or making any changes to your pet’s diet or medication.
By taking preventative measures such as gradual diet changes, stress management, and optimizing the five pillars of health, you can help prevent future occurrences of bloody diarrhea in your furry friend. With a little bit of care and attention, you can help keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come.
Need Additional Holistic Veterinary Support?
If you are looking for additional support and guidance in caring for your pet’s health, consider reaching out to a holistic veterinarian. Holistic veterinarians take a whole-body approach to pet health, considering not only physical symptoms but also emotional and environmental factors that may be affecting your pet’s well-being.
If you are interested in learning more about holistic pet care, our Healthy Holistic Pet For Life Blueprint may be a helpful resource for you. This comprehensive program provides step-by-step guidance on how to support your pet’s health naturally, using a combination of nutrition, supplements, herbs, and lifestyle modifications with the support and mentorship of Dr. Katie Woodley, a holistic veterinarian, through a private, supportive community and weekly Q&A’s.
The Healthy Holistic Pet For Life Blueprint includes:
- A step-by-step guide to healing the root cause of your pet’s health condition following our Five Pillars of Health frameworks
- Guidance on selecting high-quality supplements and herbs to support your pet’s health for maintaining optimal health and/or healing disease
- Strategies for managing common pet health issues such as allergies, arthritis, and digestive problems
- Tips for creating a pet-friendly and toxin-free home environment while safely supporting detoxification
- Guidance on using energy healing techniques to support your pet’s emotional and mental well-being
- And much more!
If you are interested in learning more about our Healthy Holistic Pet For Life Blueprint, make sure to watch our free masterclass or apply for an interview to learn if this program is what you’re looking for to take your pet’s care to the next level. We are here to support you in providing the best possible care for your furry friend.
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*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. The information contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com is strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. Please consult your veterinarian for medical advice for your own pets. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Links in the blog are typically affiliate links that let you help support us.