Q: My dog has had diarrhea containing blood and mucous for the past few days. What should I do?
A: Diarrhea with blood and/or mucous is very common in dogs. It means that the diarrhea is originating from the colon. The causes of this are numerous but some of the more common reasons include dietary indiscretion, intestinal parasitism, viral/bacterial enteritis, stress, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer. If your dog is still energetic, has a good appetite and otherwise seems to be himself, then you may want to try adding some fibre to his food for a couple of days to see if this helps return the stool to normal. Fibre supplementation can be accomplished by adding high fibre cereal, canned pumpkin or powdered fibre laxatives. If he is not eating or drinking, is lethargic, vomiting, or if the diarrhea has been persisting despite adding fibre to his diet then it is time for a trip to the vet. It is a good idea to bring along a stool sample if possible.