Can Dogs Get Hemorrhoids?
Published: March 24, 2023
Summary: Hemorrhoids – commonly known as “piles” – are uncomfortable, but can dogs get hemorrhoids? Learn about dog piles and potential canine treatment routes in the blog...
A hemorrhoid – for a human – is when the veins in the anus and lower rectum become irritated and swollen. They develop under the skin and are usually caused by chronic constipation – where straining to pass stool has been required. In people, hemorrhoids are incredibly uncomfortable and they can itch. Sometimes they can lead to bloody stools too.
But can dogs get piles? And if so, what are the signs?
No, dogs cannot get piles. When a dog is constipated, they don’t experience any extra pressure on the veins in that area that can cause them because their body is horizontal; not vertical like a human’s is.
However, if your pup is dragging their rear across the floor, straining to poop, their anus or rectum is swollen or red, they’re scratching or licking the area excessively, there’s blood or pus in their stool or around their anus, or they’re holding their tail in an unusual position, it could indicate a rectal issue.
So, now we know hemorrhoids shouldn’t be an issue for canines, what could your dog’s rectal issue be?
The most likely issue causing your dog's rectal discomfort is a clogged or infected anal gland, particularly if your dog is a small breed or if they’re overweight. Your pup, like every other canine, has two oval-shaped anal glands in their rear end. When a dog poops, these glands release a pungent, unique liquid that’s designed to tell other dogs who the poop belongs to (that’s why they usually love to sniff it!) When these sacs become clogged or are experiencing an infection, they need to be seen by a vet who will diagnose and treat any damage or simply help unclog them for your pooch.
Other conditions that could be causing your dog rectal issues include rectal or anal polyps, tumors, perianal fistulas (most commonly seen in German Shepherds), perianal hernias (Boxers, Dachshunds, Pekingese, and Boston Terriers are the breeds most prone to these) or a prolapsed rectum, but this is very rare.
All of these conditions, including clogged anal glands, require professional veterinary attention so if you spot any signs (mentioned above) that your dog is experiencing rectal or anal discomfort, book them an appointment pronto.
Author Gibeault, Stephanie MSc, CPDT “Can Dogs Get Hemorrhoids?” American Kennel Club, Oct 12. 2022 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-dogs-get-hemorrhoids/