Do Dogs Get Hemorrhoids? Stormy’s Anal Gland Cancer

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.

Do Dogs Get Hemorrhoids? Stormy's Anal Gland Cancer

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.

Related articles:
Difficulty Defecating in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Straining to Poop?

Categories: Anal tumorsConditionsReal-life Stories

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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