Hematochezia is a medical term used to describe a condition which has presence of bright red blood in stool or bright red stained feces resulting from bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract; the colon and rectum.
Hematochezia can be a single episode or if repeated (a few times), could be a sign of underlying condition. Bleeding can be caused by an injury, wounds, anal sac disease, blockage, severe constipation, infections, Cancer, diarrhea, lumps and tumors.
Hematochezia should not be confused with Melena. Melena refers to black tarry feces resulting from upper gastrointestinal bleeding consisting of old and digested blood.
If you observe this sign more than once, please contact your veterinarian immediately. This could be an emergency. Hematochezia in younger pets is mostly because of parasitic infections, If seen in older pets its because of cancer.
Hematochezia is caused by:
› Bacterial infections such as Salmonellosis
› Fungal infections such as Coccidiosis
› Parasitic infections such as Hookworms, Whipworms
› Food allergy resulting from intestinal reactions such as human foods
› Reactions to known drugs and medications and overdoses
› Trauma, wounds and injury from sharp bones, bites, objects
› Diseases such as Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Colitis (inflammation of the large bowel)Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), Proctitis (Inflammation of the rectum)
› Kidney and Liver diseases
› Diarrhea (loose stools)
› Constipation & Obstipation
› Clotting disorders
› Diseases which involve anus, rectum
› Viral infections such as Feline Panleukopenia (FPL)
Clinical Signs & Symptoms
Common symptoms seen are:
› Bright red stool
› Polydipsia and Polyuria (excessive drinking and urinating)
› weight Loss
› Anorexia (Loss of Appetite)
› Pyrexia (Fever)
› Diarrhea (Loose stools)
› Dyschezia (Painful defecation)
› Swelling around anus
Veterinarians will require a complete history of your cat which includes medical history, vaccination records, existing health concerns, current and previous medications, onset of symptoms, diet and exercise routine and any information which can help in establishing a correct diagnosis. Diagnosis is done with a combination of tests. These include:
› Physical examination
› Complete Blood Count (CBC)
› Biochemical profile
› Abdominal Radiograph (X-rays)
› Abdominal Ultrasound
› Electrolyte Panel test
› Colonoscopy test
› Coagulation Test
› IV Fluids (in severe cases)
› Fluid therapy (in-case of severe dehydration)
› If any medications are causing constipation, this will have to be either › discontinued or replaced (as directed by your vet)
› De-worming drugs (for parasitic infections)
› Antibiotic medications
› Anti-inflammatory medications
› Removal of any and all foreign body such as hair, bone, leaves, sticks, sand (if present)
Hematochezia is a clinical sign resulting from wounds, injury, infections, diseases and conditions.
You have to administer and monitor all prescribed medicines and home procedures as directed by your veterinarian. If you observe any behavioral changes or if the condition does not improve, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
› Provide a stress-free environment for your pet. Keep water and food bowls within reach, introduce exercise and physical activity, keep away from noise and any kind of commotion. Do not travel with pets.
› Dietary changes as directed by your veterinarian.
› If you observe frequent signs in feces, notify your veterinarian. Further tests and changes in medications may be advised.