Haematochezia is defined as the passing of fresh blood in the stools, and is a commonly encountered problem in dogs and, more rarely, in cats seen in first-opinion veterinary practice. This clinical sign causes anxiety to owners and can also indicate a more severe underlying disease, although this is often benign. Thorough history taking is key to narrowing down an extensive list of differential diagnoses; this should include dietary exposure and a thorough clinical examination, including digital rectal examination. This article gives guidelines on the approach to haematochezia as well as on the diagnosis and treatment of the most commonly encountered conditions for which it is a clinical sign.
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