What To Do When Your Dog Is Bleeding From The Butt


Corgi dog butt to represent "dog bleeding from butt"

Our furry friends are an integral part of our families, and their health is of the utmost importance. So whenever we see bleeding, we know something is wrong and needs to be addressed. 

A dog bleeding from butt areas–the anus, rectum, or anal glands–can be alarming for pet parents.Today we’ll explore causes, treatment options, and preventive measures.

Understanding rectal bleeding in dogs

When we talk about rectal bleeding in dogs, let’s start by understanding what this condition entails. Rectal bleeding refers to the presence of blood in a dog's feces or around the anal area. The blood may appear bright red, indicating a fresh bleed, or darker, suggesting older blood or a prolonged issue. Pet parents should regularly inspect their dog's stool and anal region during routine activities like grooming and bathing to catch any signs of bleeding.

There are many reasons why a dog might experience rectal bleeding, ranging from minor concerns to more severe health issues. Common causes include anal gland problems, where the glands near the rectum become impacted or infected, leading to discomfort and bleeding. 

Dietary issues or allergies can also contribute to gastrointestinal distress, resulting in blood in the feces. Parasitic infections or trauma, blood clotting abnormalities (inherited or disease-related), and toxic exposure (e.g., anticoagulant rodenticides) are other factors that can cause rectal bleeding in dogs.

Common causes of rectal bleeding in dogs

“Why is my dog’s butt bleeding?” There could be a number of causes, and every possibility warrants an evaluation from your veterinarian. 

Anal gland problems

Let's dive into one of the common culprits behind dog bleeding from anus: anal gland issues. These tiny glands, located near your dog's rectum, can become impacted or infected, leading to discomfort and bleeding. You might notice your dog scooting or licking excessively, or an unpleasant aroma emanating from your dog’s rear-end. These are all signs that their anal glands might be crying out for attention.

Dietary issues and allergies

Just like us, dogs can experience digestive issues. Poor diet choices or food allergies can result in digestive tract upset (reduced appetite, vomiting, and bowel movement abnormalities), and yes,  you guessed it––dog bleeding from rectum.

Pay attention to your dog's diet and provide them with quality nutrition and, if needed, dog fiber supplements to keep their digestive system in top-notch condition.

Parasitic infections

Unwanted guests like digestive tract parasites can wreak havoc on your dog's health, causing not only discomfort but also dogs bleeding from the anus

Regular veterinary check-ups and fecal parasite testing, as well as preventative home measures (cleaning up feces as soon as it is produced, preventing your dog from eating environmental materials and drinking unclean water, etc.) can help keep these pesky intruders at bay and ensure your dog's well-being.

Trauma or injury

In some cases, rectal bleeding in dogs can be indicative of more severe health issues such as tumors, gastrointestinal diseases (e.g., Inflammatory Bowel Disease), blood clotting disorders (Von Willebrand's Disease, Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, etc.), and toxic exposures. 

While these diseases are less common, don’t overlook persistent symptoms. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to catch potential problems early on.

Dog bleeding from butt or having anal glands expressed at the veterinary clinic

Treatment options

There are a variety of treatment options you can use at home to improve your dog’s symptoms or, if possible, prevent further rectal bleeding. But remember, the causes of canine anal bleeding all require evaluation and diagnosis from your veterinarian. Don’t begin any form of home treatment for rectal bleeding until your pet has been seen by a vet.

At-home treatment options

Now that we've explored the possible causes, let's discuss some at-home remedies for dog bleeding from butt. If the bleeding is mild and associated with anal gland problems, you can try expressing the anal glands gently. However, not knowing the technique can cause unnecessary pain and injury for your dog. If you think anal gland expression might be needed, consult your vet for guidance.

For dietary issues, consider adjusting your dog's diet to a high-quality, easily digestible option. Anal gland supplements with fiber, antioxidants, and probiotics can also be beneficial when used regularly. Introduce new foods gradually and monitor for any adverse reactions.

In the case of parasitic infections, your veterinarian may prescribe deworming medications, probiotics, and other supplements for digestive tract support. Follow their recommendations and ensure your dog receives regular preventive care to avoid future issues.

If your dog has experienced trauma or injury, clean the affected area gently and monitor for any signs of bleeding, bruising, or infection. Applying a pet-safe antiseptic or soothing topical spray can aid in the healing and treatment process.

When to visit a vet

While at-home care can be beneficial in some cases, it's important to recognize when it's time to seek professional help. If your dog's rectal bleeding persists, is severe, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, reduced appetite and water consumption, changes in behavior, or other signs of concern, it's time to visit your vet.

Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination, potentially including diagnostic tests, to pinpoint the underlying cause. Timely veterinary intervention can make a significant difference in your dog's recovery.

Prevention and long-term management

As the saying goes, "prevention is better than cure." When it comes to a dog bleeding from his butt, taking preventive measures can go a long way in ensuring your furry friend's well-being.

Regular vet check-ups

Schedule routine veterinary visits to monitor your dog's overall health and catch potential issues early. Your dog should have a physical exam by a veterinarian at least every 12 months.  Dogs that have ongoing illnesses or are on medications required to manage health problems should be examined more frequently.

Balanced diet

Provide your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet suitable for their age, size, and health status. Consult your vet for dietary recommendations.

Parasite prevention

Administer regular internal and external parasite prevention medications as advised by your veterinarian. This will help keep your dog free from unwanted parasites that can harm internal organs, ears, skin, and other body parts.

Supervise outdoor activities

Keep a watchful eye on your dog during outdoor activities to prevent accidents and injuries. While outside, you should also prevent your dog from eating environmental materials (leaves, dirt, plants, etc.) and drinking from unclean water sources.

Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity can contribute to various health issues, including anal gland problems. Ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise.

Being a pet parent comes with its responsibilities, and staying informed about your dog's health is crucial. If you ever find yourself asking, "why is my dog bleeding from his butt?" – don't hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian. They are your best ally in ensuring your furry friend leads a happy, healthy life.


This blog exists to provide general information and education about veterinary health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website, or in any linked materials is not intended as and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions, or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you suspect that your pet has a medical concern, you should consult with your veterinary health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website, or in any linked materials.