There is a lot of confusion around the question can dogs get hemorrhoids. It stems from the fact the term is used to poorly describe some conditions in dogs.
Indeed, the quadrupedal morphology of man’s best friend is effectively protecting him against this disorder. However, any abnormality in your dog’s anus should alert you, because if it is probably not hemorrhoids, it could be a sign of a more serious health problem.
Today, I suggest we take a closer look at dog hemorrhoids and, above all, the more serious pathologies they are often confused with.
What are hemorrhoids?
A hemorrhoid is a swollen blood vessel located in the anus. This is typically a bipedal problem and walking upright and the upright position of the digestive system are highly predisposed to the occurrence of this disorder.
Even if the dog, as a quadruped, is readily immune to hemorrhoids, it seems that the condition can be developed under some rare conditions. It is however a phenomenon little described in the veterinary literature, which seems really exceptional.
Contrary to humans, the occurrence of hemorrhoids in dogs would never be spontaneous, but rather secondary to another problem that could disrupt the blood flow in the rectum of the dog.
Note that hemorrhoids can be both internal and external but, of course, we can only observe them with the naked eye in the second case.
In fact, in the vast majority of cases, a dog suspected of suffering from hemorrhoids is actually plagued by a completely different problem.
Can dogs get hemorrhoids? Don’t confuse the condition with other ailment
Our four-legged companions are, in fact, affected by a good number of ailments of the anal area resulting in blisters that layman dog owners quite naturally, but wrongly, associate with hemorrhoids.
However, if hemorrhoids in humans are generally benign, the disorders which can affect the anal zone of the dog can be much more severe.
This is particularly true if the owner neglects to treat the affected area.
Disorders commonly confused with dog hemorrhoids
As mentioned above, while hemorrhoids are extremely rare in dogs, other much more common pathologies can be easily confused with this condition.
Inflammation of the anal sacs
Inflammation of the anal sacs is a very common disorder in our dog friends, which can result in swelling of the animal’s anal glands that can easily be mistaken for hemorrhoids.
The anal glands, or anal sacs, since this is their medical name, are small pockets located on either side of the dog’s anus, respectively at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock, if we consider the orifice of his whole as a clock.
Each of these two small bags contains a strong fragrant substance, the fragrance, color and consistency of which vary according to the mood, amongst others, of the animal.
When defecating, the dog disperses the contents of the anal glands on his stool, an operation that allows him to leave a message to any congeners who cross his droppings in their path.
Many ailments, more or less serious, can impact on these small glands, which are of utmost importance to the dog, even if the owner may be put off by the idea of leaning into them.
Obstruction, inflammation, abscess, infection, fistulas or tumors, many of these disorders can cause deformity of the anal sacs, which makes your dog’s hindquarters appear swollen and bloated, quite similar to a rectum plagued with hemorrhoids.
Most often, inflammation of the anal sacs is very painful and the dog has a tendency to rub his hindquarters on the ground and to lick himself intensively in an attempt to alleviate his pain, which often gives him pretty bad breath.
Perianal tumor in dogs
A perianal tumor in dogs is relatively common, more so than hemorrhoids. Since it involves an area that the dog owner does not often look into, the condition is often diagnosed late, making the animal’s prognosis darker.
Tumors take the form of more or less large masses, sometimes with inflamed appearance, the protuberance and location of which are variable.
The most common tumor of the perianal area in dogs is perianal adenoma, a benign mass in the majority of cases, which develops mainly under the influence of male hormones (androgens).
Can dogs get hemorrhoids? Dog anal prolapse looks quite similar
The anal prolapse is a protrusion of the inner tissues of the anus to the outside of the dog’s body. It should not be confused with the more serious rectal prolapse, in which the rectum escapes through the dog’s anus.
If rectal prolapse can rarely be mistaken for hemorrhoids, anal prolapse can easily be.
In this case, red and swollen mucous membranes appear in the area around the anus and are easily perceived to be hemorrhoids.
Treatment and prognosis of hemorrhoids in dogs
Do not automatically think that your dog is suffering from hemorrhoids when you observe abnormal swelling and/or irritation in his rectum. The condition being very exceptional, it is very likely that your dog is suffering from everything except that.
An inflammation of anal glands is highly more likely as well as a tumor in the perianal region or, more rarely, a prolapse anal.
Only a veterinarian can diagnose the disease your dog is really suffering from and implement appropriate treatment.
Depending on the nature of the real pathology causing your dog’s ailments, the therapy adopted by the vet may be medicinal or surgical, or even both.
Can dogs get hemorrhoids? Similar conditions are generally benign
In the vast majority of cases, conditions that can be mistaken for hemorrhoids in dogs are benign and the dog’s recovery prognosis is good.
Despite the mild nature of most perianal ailments in dogs, it remains essential not to leave a disorder around the anal area of your dog untreated.
Your dog can have an infection of the anal glands, a frequent and complicated condition in dogs. It can cause your dog a lot of pain and result in irreversible damage leading to fecal incontinence,
Can dogs get hemorrhoids? Frequently Asked Questions
What is the medical opinion on dog hemorrhoids?
The existence of hemorrhoidal pathologies in dogs is not totally excluded, but this type of disorder is very little described in the veterinary literature.
In addition, it is generally accepted that hemorrhoids are rather a disorder which concerns bipeds, because of their center of gravity and the vertical position of their digestive tract.
So it’s a good idea to assume that any abnormality in your dog’s perianal area is most likely due to something other than hemorrhoids and deserves the attention of a veterinarian.
How to treat dog hemorrhoids?
It is highly unlikely that a dog will suffer from hemorrhoids, but many conditions of the perianal area can easily be confused with them.
Their treatment will depend on their nature, which only a veterinarian can identify. If you notice an abnormality in the anal area in your dog, it is therefore highly recommended to take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What are the causes of hemorrhoids in dogs?
Hemorrhoids only very exceptionally occur in dogs and are poorly described in the medical science literature.
However, many other diseases can cause symptoms that suggest to the owner that his dog is suffering from hemorrhoids. To give your dog the best chances to heal it is important to react quickly if you observe an anomaly in his hindquarters.
Hemorrhoids or not, there is a good chance your dog is suffering from a condition requiring veterinary care quickly, even if it is benign.
Understanding the Dog Gastrointestinal System
A dog’s gastrointestinal system is responsible for processing food. While small objects may pass through the digestive tract without problem, larger objects can block the passage and cause vomiting. This condition can be painful and debilitating, particularly if the foreign object is in the middle of the intestine. It can also be life-threatening if it ruptures the gut wall.
Inflammatory bowel disease
If you have noticed a change in your dog’s bowel habits, it could be due to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If your pup suffers from IBD, a vet can prescribe an effective treatment that will help your pet feel better. While the condition is not curable, it is very manageable. The best treatment options depend on your dog’s overall condition, the severity of the inflammation, and your preferences.
Dog gastric ulcers are an extremely painful condition and can affect the digestive tract of your dog. Treatment for this condition is typically based on diet and antacids. In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend that your dog receive antibiotics.
cPLI levels were higher in dogs with neoplasms than in healthy dogs with a normal pancreas. In dogs with moderate or severe acute pancreatitis, cPLI levels were higher in half of the dogs than in the controls. A high cPLI level indicates a serious pancreatic disease.
Parvovirus is an illness in dogs that causes severe problems in the gastrointestinal tract. This virus infects the small intestine, destroying the epithelial cells that help absorb nutrients from food and protect the intestines from bacterial invasion and fluid loss. When the virus invades the intestinal lining, it can cause diarrhea and vomiting, and can lead to dehydration and septic shock. In some cases, the disease can even lead to death.
Diets for dogs with gastric ulcers
Diets for dogs with gastric ulcer should be bland and centered on carbohydrates, which the body uses to produce glucose for energy. White rice, which is a bland carbohydrate, is an ideal food for dogs with ulcers. It should be cooked according to package instructions, without any seasonings. If rice is too bland for your dog, you can add nonfat, low-sodium chicken or beef bullion, which will be much tastier for your dog.
Treatment for IBD
Treatment for IBD in dogs involves changing a dog’s diet to help reduce the inflammation. The medication can be a lifelong regimen, or it can be reduced over time. If left untreated, it can lead to PLE and death. However, in the majority of cases, this condition is manageable and can be cured without surgery.