What is melena in dogs?

Dogs, our precious furry friends, are loyal and loving companions. They have their quirks and oddities that make them unique personalities. But when something goes wrong with their health, it’s not always easy to tell what’s happening or how we can help. One such issue is melena in dogs.

Definition of Melena

Now before you start panicking for no reason let me explain what melena actually means: dark sticky feces full of blood – because nothing says fun like a topic involving your dog’s poop! You did sign up for this article willingly right?


The first symptom that you will notice if your dog has melana will be the appearance of their stool – The stickier and darker the stool gets the more serious the problem. Other symptoms that may occur include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Abdominal pain

If any 3 or more signs appear simultaneously then consult a vet ASAP.


Now coming to why bloody stools could happen; there are many causes which includes infections but also some serious ailments like cancer or gastric ulcerations (both canine favourite`s). Some other reasons could be as follows:

Reasons Description
Infections Bacterial/Parasitic potential infection
Haemorrhages Liver/Cancer related
Medicines/poisons Side effects from medication exposure
Food Allergies Worm-infested food sources

All these causes could lead to irritation within digestive tract leading to bleeding.

Oh-so-common Canine Scenario leading to melana

Let us turn our attention towards one factor — dietary changes–which often ends in unpleasant consequences.,because really what do most dogs love more than leftover ‘human’ food ? Prone to eating anything and everything they can get their paws on, homemade meals or dog-food that’s different from the usual may cause digestive problems leading to melena. Other than that, other reasons could be hazardous foods like bones which are edible but have a tendency to break into sharp pieces causing internal bleedings.


If you notice these symptoms in your furry friend(s) then it’s better first off not to panic:
– First of all, Check when were their last vaccines/or if there any had allergic reactions after vaccinations?
– Secondly, check if the medication currently given has any possible side effects?

All good here? Then next step would be consulting a vet immediately regarding an examination that includes:

  1. Physical exam: Once the stool sample is taken for testing this helps rule out gastroenteritis.
  2. Blood tests also aid in detecting infections/cancer
  3. Endoscopy/X-rays/CT Scan/Internal Imaging techniques used detect ulcers within the stomach or intestines


Once diagnosed via any tests/examination its time to move towards treatment:
Medication prescribed according to diagnosis; common medications consist of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Surgery might be required depending upon what is detected during examinations ¯\(ツ)/¯ always need some arm twisting action!
In extreme cases where Dogs refuse food oral tube feeding necessitates hospitalization
Encouraging plenty of rest!

Ahoy! Prevention

Preventing an ailment is always preferred over curing one (honestly isn’t it easier?). Some ideas include:

  • No table scraps should ever go directly through your Dog’s mouth
  • Feed only high-quality dog food and ensure freshness,i.e., no dilapidated baggies/faded expiration dates
  • Evaluate vaccine records regularly – just Good practice my dear readers!


In conclusion dogs poop health is of utmost priority when diagnosing a health problem, as unpleasant it may seem. We must ensure that pet parents are vigilant to detect changes in appearance/ frequency of their dog’s poop (yes really) and visit vets immediately for treatment afterwards. Per prevention; Even though we do our best at times things pop out from nowhere leading to serious problems, so just buck-up my furry friends,(that means both 4-legged & less than 4 legged ahoy there fellow hooman beings!).

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