A hemorrhoid is defined as a swollen vein in the lower rectum. They can be external or internal and often go away on their own with the proper diet and lifestyle changes.
Many mammals like humans, horses, and monkeys can get hemorrhoids, but are dogs one of them? This article will answer all your questions about dog hemorrhoids and explore the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention of this uncommon dog disease.
Can Dogs Get Hemorrhoids?
So can dogs get hemorrhoids? Yes, but the answer isn’t quite so simple. Dog hemorrhoids or dog piles have often been debated for veterinarians, with two very distinct sides.
Some veterinarians believe dogs can’t get hemorrhoids as their digestive tracts are in a more optimal horizontal position due to them walking on four legs instead of two. They claim there isn’t enough pressure in a horizontal digestive system to cause hemorrhoids, and owners likely mistake other conditions of the perianal region as dog hemorrhoids.
Other vets think that the true cause of hemorrhoids is straining to defecate. As dogs experience strain when constipated or suffering from other digestive tract issues, they are also susceptible to hemorrhoids.
Thankfully, hemorrhoids are exceptionally rare in dogs, and if you suspect your dog has hemorrhoids, it is likely to be some other disease with similar signs and symptoms.
Problems Mistaken for Hemorrhoids in Dogs
As mentioned earlier, many medical conditions of the perianal area are commonly mistaken by dog owners as hemorrhoids due to the prevalence of the disease in humans.
It is essential to understand that our dogs’ bodies are very different from ours and don’t always face the same challenges. In light of this, it is necessary to know about the problems whose symptoms most closely resemble that of dog hemorrhoids and take them into account before diagnosing hemorrhoids.
The common signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids in dogs are bleeding from the rectum, pain, straining, discomfort, and scooting across the ground on its rear. These symptoms are also seen in:
A condition in which hard, dry stool collects in a dog’s colon or rectum leads to anal gland problems like hindering the emptying of the glands. The symptoms of fecal impaction include defecating less often, straining to defecate, weight loss, and pain while defecating.
Anal Vasculitis or Infection
Inflammation or infection of dog anal glands is a painful condition that can lead to fluid buildup in the anal sac. Its symptoms include frequent licking of the anus, scooting on the ground, straining, pain, and leaking a foul-smelling fluid.
An anal abscess is an infection of the anal sacs that makes them painful, swollen, red, or purple in color and is often accompanied by a fever. Other symptoms include scooting, sitting down suddenly, foul smell, and nibbling or licking the anus.
Rectal prolapse is when a fragment of a dog’s rectum protrudes through its anus in the form of a tube of pink tissue. A dog suffering from a prolapsed rectum will also scoot on its rear, bleed from the anus, and have diarrhea.
A perianal fistula is a painful opening in the tissue around a dog’s anus that can bleed and become infected. Its symptoms are excessive licking, straining, constipation, and anorexia.