Stormy was a friendly, happy Collie mix who lives with my friend in the old country.
He was 18 years old, and with the exception of an old spinal injury that would give him a hard time now and then when he overdid things, he is still plenty eager to chase bitches. In my old country, dogs rarely get fixed, and a smell of a doggy girl in heat can get his attention in spite of his gray hairs. Actually, being blonde, he doesn’t have that many of those.
Stormy started having some bleeds from his rectum
During the first vet visit, my friend was told Stormy was suffering from hemorrhoids. They came back with an ointment to put on that. A bump that would support that theory was sometimes apparent. It would sometimes show up, then disappear.
When my friend told me about what’s going on with Stormy, I thought it was strange–I haven’t yet heard of dog hemorrhoids.
Do dogs get hemorrhoids?
As I usually do, I went to look it up. The first reputable article I could find states the following:
Dogs don’t get hemorrhoids because the anatomy of their gastrointestinal system is different than human. For one, they walk around on four feet, and we walk around on two. Our lower GI system runs more vertical, predisposing us to problems with hemorrhoids, but dogs’ lower GI system runs horizontally, putting less pressure on the blood vessels in the rectum and anus.Dr. Wooten, DVM/petMD
So how is it then? Can dogs get hemorrhoids or not? And is that what Stormy has?
Some other articles cite that dog can indeed get hemorrhoids though it is quite rare. However, I have never heard of a dog having one, including a dog health group I run and those I follow.
There are things which are more likely such as anal gland problems, a prolapsed rectum, and anal tumors. I was not comfortable with the hemorrhoid diagnosis and found some articles in my native language for my friend to study.
I didn’t think it was anal gland abscess; those are quite easy to diagnose. So would be a prolapsed rectum.
I was glad when my friend got a second opinion.
I was not glad, though, when I found out what the proper diagnosis was–an anal tumor.
The thing didn’t seem to have been around for very long and until it started bleeding it didn’t seem to had been causing much trouble either.
Surgery could prolong Stormy’s life but removal isn’t curable. It would involve the removal of the tumor as well as affected lymph nodes, and radiation. Putting the little guy through all that at his age didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, and my friend doesn’t have the money to do all that anyway. In over half of animals diagnosed with anal gland tumors, the cancer is likely metastasized to nearby lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis.
The general outlook wasn’t the greatest, and the vet deemed it untreatable.
I recommended my friend try turmeric. There are some other holistic therapy options, but those are not available there.
Stormy hung in for a few more months. He gradually started having trouble pooping. Eventually, he was in pain and they set him free.
Not much take-home points here other than the advice not to assume your dog has hemorrhoids when you encounter such symptoms.
Difficulty Defecating in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Straining to Poop?