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Q&A: Why Is My Dog's Poop Still Bloody After Giardia Treatment?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

One effect of a giardia infection is a change in the puppy's gut biome. Here's what you can do to help.

One effect of a giardia infection is a change in the puppy's gut biome. Here's what you can do to help.

Why Is My Puppy Still Passing Blood After Giardia Treatment?

"My puppy is 4 months old, exactly. At 2 months, she was pooping bright-red blood and having diarrhea. The blood would drip out her bottom. She had Giardia and is now healed from that. She is still pooping bright blood but less of it, and fewer poops per day. She sometimes passes mucus and sometimes gelatinous little spots of blood.

We changed her turkey-and-rice diet to Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal but we're not seeing any change. The vet keeps saying the puppy is too young to have IBD, so what else could this be? She tests clear from giardia, coccidia and all worms. Also, the vet did a rectal exam and the pup is clear from bumps or anything obvious." Kelly

Giardia in Puppies

A study completed in 2020 revealed that one effect of a giardia infection is a change in the puppy's gut biome—the bacteria and other organisms that normally inhabit your dog's intestine. (1) Based on this information, it may be possible that the giardia infection, although cleared up, has caused a change in her intestine and it no longer has a coating of "good" bacteria protecting it from stomach acids and other irritants.

Feed Probiotics to Reestablish Good Gut Bacteria

You are on the right track feeding an intestinal diet, but I have one suggestion that may also be helpful. You can feed your puppy probiotics to reestablish the flora inside her intestine, which may help.

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There are many brands of those products available, but one that we are sure of—and that contains live Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus—is fresh yogurt. The yogurt must be natural, whole yogurt, not any of the products sold with fruit or any added sweeteners.

Consider Switching to a Hydrolized Protein Diet

If this does not work, you need to talk to your veterinarian about switching her to a diet with hydrolyzed protein. The diet your puppy is on at the moment contains chicken, and it is possible that your puppy has colitis and is sensitive to that.

Giardia infections sometimes cause problems for years, but they almost always clear up eventually. Best of luck with her.


  1. Berry ASF, Johnson K, Martins R, Sullivan MC, Farias Amorim C, Putre A, Scott A, Wang S, Lindsay B, Baldassano RN, Nolan TJ, Beiting DP. Natural Infection with Giardia Is Associated with Altered Community Structure of the Human and Canine Gut Microbiome. mSphere. 2020 Aug 5;5(4):e00670-20.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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