Have you noticed your pup scooting his behind across the floor? Does he seem to be straining when he tries to defecate? When we notice anything out of the ordinary about our pooch's behavior, we're naturally concerned.
If yours seems to be bothered by a sensitive rear end, you might wonder if hemorrhoids could be to blame. After all, this is a very real condition that can affect humans, leading to pronounced itchiness, pain, and general discomfort.
Can dogs get hemorrhoids? Could there be any other issues you need to check into? Today, we're taking a closer look at what might be going on, and how our products can help keep your four-legged pal comfortable.
1. What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen, irritated veins or blood vessels located in the rectum and lower anus.
Typically, they occur after periods of increased pressure in that region, which can occur if someone is chronically constipated and must strain when they use the bathroom. Hemorrhoids can be inside the anus (internal) or beneath the skin around the anus (external).
If you've ever experienced them as a human, you know that they can be extremely uncomfortable. While symptoms can vary, some of the most common ones include:
- Excessive itching around the anus
- Inflammation, irritation, and pain around the anus
- Swollen, hard lumps around the anus
- Bright red blood on your stool, toilet paper, or toilet bowl
Depending on their severity, hemorrhoids can range from mildly frustrating to totally debilitating. That's why you may be concerned if you notice your furry friend showing signs of them.
2. Can Dogs Get Hemorrhoids?
We know they can affect humans, but do dogs get hemorrhoids? The short answer is yes, your pup can suffer from this condition. However, it's not nearly as common in our canine companions as it is in adults.
Even when Fido seems to be having a difficult time using the bathroom, he's not excessively straining that region. However, this doesn't mean that dog hemorrhoids are completely out of the question. While the condition is rare, it can occur.
3. What Are the Signs of Hemorrhoids in Dogs?
If you suspect that your pup might be suffering from hemorrhoids, it's important to keep them as comfy as possible while you seek treatment.
Here are the most common hemorrhoids in dogs symptoms:
- Blood seeping from their rectum
- Blood in the stool
- Whimpers of pain or discomfort when sitting
- Dragging their rear end across the ground
- Licking and biting at their rear end
- Red or purple patches around their rectum
- A swollen, donut-shaped anus
- Avoiding defecation
Sometimes, the hemorrhoids may even be visibly present. When this is the case, you may notice swollen veins in the area.
What do dog hemorrhoids look like? They will usually be dark purple or reddish in color, and protruding in shape.
4. What Causes Doggy Hemorrhoids?
As a responsible pet parent, you want to do everything you can to prevent your best pal from feeling pain or discomfort in any way. When you know what causes hemorrhoids in dogs, you can do your part to help them avoid these behaviors.
Let's take a closer look at some of the most common factors that can make your dog more susceptible to this condition.
Did you know that if you have parents or siblings who've dealt with hemorrhoids, you're more likely to get them too? The same holds true for your pup! There are certain breeds that are more vulnerable to developing them than others, including Basset Hounds.
Senior dogs can be just as spry and active as their younger counterparts as long as they stay active and eat a healthy diet. However, you may notice that your pet's body becomes a little less flexible and more injury-prone as he gets older.
This gradual stiffening also happens to their digestive system. Over time, those muscle and ligaments can become tighter and more trained, which puts more pressure on the blood vessels near their anus. The extra pressure can cause hemorrhoids to form.
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Is your pup's diet filled with unhealthy foods? If so, this could be contributing to their hemorrhoids. To the best extent possible, try to add more fiber to their meals, while slowly and intentionally cutting back on the number of dairy products he consumes.
To relieve the strain and help your dog poop more easily, also encourage him to drink more water throughout the day. This is especially important if he spends most of his day outside.
Weight-related conditions like obesity can put more stress on all of your pup's body, including their digestive system. Left untreated, this can catalyze the development of hemorrhoids. This is one of the many reasons why it's important to help your pet stick to a healthy diet!
5. What Are the Different Kinds of Hemorrhoids?
As in humans, hemorrhoids can form on the inside or outside of your dog's anus.
5.1 Internal Hemorrhoids
When they're internal, you'll usually find them right below the lining of their rear end, inside their rectum. These hemorrhoids are often more painful and bigger than external ones, but they can be difficult to detect because they aren't visible. If your pup is showing signs of hemorrhoids but you don't see any, your veterinarian can perform an exam to determine if any exist internally.
5.2 External Hemorrhoids
On the other hand, external hemorrhoids are more evident and easier to spot. They're located directly under your pooch's skin, right outside their rectum. Their pain level can vary based on their size and location.
A ruptured hemorrhoid can bleed and become incredibly painful for your furry pal. If you notice any symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
5.3 Prolapsed Hemorrhoids
Prolapsed hemorrhoids in dogs can form when your pup has a difficult time using the bathroom. Some of the reasons this might be the case include:
- Intestinal worms
- Diahrrea and loose stool
This can cause your pup's rectal and anal lining to push out through their anus.
6. Are There Other Problems That Mimic Hemorrhoids?
Due to basic dog anatomy, your pup isn't too likely to suffer from regular or repeat hemorrhoids. Instead, there could be other issues going on that you need to know about. Let's review some other types of rear-end issues that your pet might be experiencing.
6.1 Irritated Anal Glands
By far, the most common issues that could affect your dog's bottom pertain to their anal glands. Your pup has two round sacs on its rear end, one on either side of its anus.
Similar to the scent glands of a skunk, these glands secrete an oily liquid that has a distinctly fishy smell. However, unlike a skunk, your pup can't spray from its anal glands when the sacs get too full.
Instead, they normally squeeze out that excess liquid when they poop. In addition, your pup might also release fluid from his anal glands when he's feeling nervous, anxious, or scared.
Most dogs, specifically large breeds, don't have any problems at all with their anal glands. However, the sacs can easily get clogged or plugged on smaller breeds. When this occurs, it's usually because the pup isn't able to empty his glands while defecating.
A few of the reasons why your pup might not be able to perform this step include:
- Chronic soft stool
- Seasonal or environmental allergies
- Poor muscle tone
- Lack of dietary fiber in their diet
Left untreated, impacted anal glands can become abscessed or infected over time. If you suspect that any of these issues might be making it difficult for your pup to poop as normal, reach out to your veterinarian.
6.2 Anal or Rectal Polyps
Polyps around your pooch's anus or rectum are relatively uncommon. These small growths of tissue are usually benign but are more likely to be cancerous as they grow in size.
6.3 Perianal Fistulas
Perianal fistulas are a type of chronic wound. They're formed when tunnel-like spaces grow along the skin that travels from the inside of the anus to the outside of the anus. Most of the time, they're characterized by a foul-smelling odor.
While this condition is most common in German Shepherd breeds, any dog over seven is naturally at a higher risk.
6.4 Anal or Rectal Masses
If you notice a mass around your dog's anus or rectum, it's important to schedule a vet visit. They can be benign or malignant, and surgery is required to remove any cancerous tissue.
If a veterinarian can remove the mass quickly, there's less of a chance that the cancer will spread to other parts of your pup's body.
6.5 Prolapsed Rectum
While very rare, a portion of your pet's rectum could protrude from its anus. This occurs most often in younger dogs and is attributed to straining too hard when pooping. It can also happen if your pup suffers from a serious case of diarrhea!
6.6 Perianal Hernia
In both dogs and humans, a hernia is an internal organ that has pushed through the muscle or tissue that contains it. A perianal one is located near the anus.
If you notice your pup's anus is swelling underneath or to the side, this could point to a perianal hernia. There are certain breeds that are more susceptible to this condition than others, including:
- Boston terriers
7. How Can I Help Soothe My Dog's Hemorrhoids?
We don't like to see our furbabies suffer. Once you've confirmed that your pet has hemorrhoids, there are a few different treatment options that can show you how to treat them in dogs at home.
What can you do for a dog with hemorrhoids?
If you're wondering how to cure dog hemorrhoids, there isn't a treatment that's 100% effective, 100% of the time. However, there are methods that work better than others. Let's review how to treat dog hemorrhoids effectively.
7.1 Check With Your Vet
First, the most important thing to do is visit a trusted vet at the first sign that your dog might have hemorrhoids. They'll take a close look at the irritated area and perform a quick blood test to understand what's going on.
7.2 Soothe Their Poops
As mentioned, hemorrhoids often form when a pup has to strain to defecate. If you've noticed that yours is having a difficult time going to the bathroom, consider incorporating our Dogtastic Digestive Support Pumpkin Dog Treats into their daily regimen.
Made without any heat, corn, salt, or soy, each treat also steers clear of synthetic preservatives and artificial flavors. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals, they're sure to help move things along.
7.3 At-Home Topical Treatment
If you're wondering how to get rid of dog hemorrhoids at home, there are two simple processes you can try.
This first is to soak a cotton ball in chilled witch hazel. Then, apply it to the irritated or infected area of your dog's bum, up to three times per day. Alternatively, you may also choose to add CBD oil to your pet's daily routine.
In our online shop, we offer a variety of CBD-infused topicals, such as a luxurious pet shampoo and a balm for your pup's paws and nose. If they've been clawing, scooting, or scratching on the floor, these formulas can offer soothing relief.
7.4 Dietary Adjustments
If your pooch is consuming dairy products and only intaking a small amount of fiber each day, these habits could lead to constipation.
When this is the case, it's time to make some adjustments. Add fiber-rich foods to your dog's meals and just say no to the cheese sticks, yogurt, and ice cream.
8. Say Goodbye to Hemorrhoids
Your pup is family, and you want to make sure he's as happy and healthy as possible. Can dogs get hemorrhoids? The answer is yes, but the issue is relatively uncommon.
Still, it can happen and it's important to be prepared.
If you suspect your dog might be suffering from internal or external hemorrhoids, reach out to your veterinarian today. In the meantime, check out some of our top sellers to discover more ways to optimize your pet's health and wellness.