For humans, this is a common condition, where there are swollen blood vessels in the anus or the lower rectum from increased blood flow to the area. The effects range from slight discomfort, to severe pain, and the swelling can be either internal or protruding externally.
An important question is whether dogs can get hemorrhoids? This can and does affects dogs. Their anatomy – specifically the gastrointestinal system, is quite different to humans.
Since we’re bipedal (walking on two feet), the lower part of our GI system is more vertical, which predisposes us to the condition. However, dogs, walking on all fours, very rarely have this problem.
Their lower GI system is positioned horizontally, and as such there is less pressure put on the blood vessels that are in the rectum or dogs anus.
Signs That Your Dog Has Hemorrhoids
Understandably, because something is rare doesn’t equate to dogs being unable to develop hemorrhoids. They may be caused by increased pressure, poor diet or genetics. Here, there are two key signs that you should watch out for: bloody stools, and the dog’s rectal area itching – which you will notice when he licks or incessantly scratches it.
German shepherds, poodles, and all other breeds of dogs can be affected.
Behavioral issues may also point to it, especially when you see your pooch dragging his butt across the floor, or against rough and sharp objects in the vicinity in a bid to relieve the itch and pain that he is experiencing.
Since the swollen blood vessels are close to the skin – and also sensitive, they easily burst. This is what leads to blood showing up in the dog’s feces. It’s important that you schedule a visit with the vet if you see these signs.
Common Issues That Are Mistaken For Hemorrhoids
While your furry friend won’t likely get hemorrhoids, there are still problems that can affect their lower GI parts, including their rectum and anus. These include:
Also referred to as rectal prolapse, it is difficult to miss. Here, the internal parts of the pet’s anus and rectum will be protruding outwards from the anus’ opening. It can be a partial prolapse, which reverses after the dog defecates – though you should still see the vet since it should not be left untreated.
Alternatively, it can be a complete prolapse, where the internal tissue will protrude persistently. Dogs with this condition will keep straining when defecating. It is caused by any of a myriad of issues, ranging from urinary disorders, the dog getting infected by intestinal parasites, or the effects of chronic constipation.
Anal gland problems
There are two scent glands located in the anus. They normally secrete liquid substances, but there are dogs that will have trouble with this. Here, issues with the anal sacs prevent them from properly expressing the glands.
For instance, it can happen after the dog has battled a strong bout of diarrhea. It leads to the glands filling to capacity, then getting inflamed and infected. Abscess or rupture can result, with anal sac liquid and pus draining out.
These are not common. Adenocarcinoma – cancer of the anal glad, is seen with the growth of a rectal mass. In addition, the affected animal may be finding it difficult to defecate, have anorexia, polydipsia – where there’s excessive thirst, and the pet will seem to be lethargic.
This condition is usually associated with hormonal imbalances, and has also been linked to the animal having hypercalcemia. A biopsy of the mass is needed to confirm the condition.
Treating Hemorrhoids In Dogs
One of the popular modes recommended for treating hemorrhoids is witch hazel. Here, place the hemorrhoids in the refrigerator for some time, then dap a cotton ball in it, and apply it directly to the affected area. Cold temperature and witch hazel combo helps with constricting the blood vessels.
You can repeat this around three times a day. When it comes to the diet, increase the amount of fiber content, in order to improve digestion. You should steer clear of dairy, stopping to include it in your pet’s diet until the condition has subsided.
Some pet owners looking into alternative treatment for the hemorrhoids are turning to cannabidiol. This CBD oil is extracted from hemp and cannabis, and they aim to take advantage of the soothing properties of marijuana.
While they may claim that the CBD oil works for the condition, it has not received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration and neither are there dosage guidelines that have been provided.
You should also ensure that your pet drinks plenty of water, and gets lots of exercise. These will help with the bowel movements of your furry friend, aiding in the healing process and averting health conditions.
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