How to Treat Dog Hemorrhoids and How CBD Can Help
Have you found something on your dog's butt and wondered, "can dogs get hemorrhoids?" They're not the norm. In fact, vets don't seem to be in agreement about whether they're real or not. What most pet owners think are hemorrhoids are other problems such as tumors or blocked anal sacs.
Whatever the cause, pain, bumps, irritation, and distress while going to the bathroom can be an upsetting experience for the dog and the pet owner.
It can be a relief to you to know what to do if your dog shows signs of having hemorrhoids or something that seems like hemorrhoids. Read on to learn more about these symptoms and how CBD oil can help.
How to Treat Dog Hemorrhoids: The Debate Over Dog Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels in the area of the rectum and anus that have swollen.
Some vets say they don't get them, that the dog's body is not set up like ours is, with a vertical digestive system, for the blood pressure to build there.
Dr. Debra Primovic said that most of the time when pet owners come to her afraid their dog has hemorrhoids, the dog really has a problem with their anal sacs.
Dr. Sarah Wooten stated that they don't develop hemorrhoids, to look to their anal sacs, tumors, or a prolapsed rectum instead.
Dr. Marc at Broadway Veterinary Clinic in Boise said they can get hemorrhoids as a secondary symptom from another intestinal illness.
Whether the truth is they can't get them at all or they can get them just not as a condition themselves is a question you'll have to take up with your vet.
Diseases and Conditions that Resemble Dog Hemorrhoids
Dog hemorrhoids cause:
- itching around the anus
- pain when defecating
- pain when sitting
- unprompted pain
- swelling around the anus
- a lump in the rectum or anus
- bleeding from the anus during defecation or not, with or without pain
Should you see symptoms like this in your dog, you may suspect hemorrhoids.
There may be blood when they poo or blood on their butt.
Because they experience discomfort or pain when they go, they may act odd when they poo or hesitate to poo.
They may lay or sit in odd positions to avoid pressure on their butt.
They may scoot to alleviate itching.
Conditions That Resemble Dog Hemorrhoids
Anal Sac issues
Dogs have two anal sacs around the sides of their anus that produce scents. It's why they sniff each other's butts.
These glands were designed for dogs to mark their territory and they are supposed to be regularly expressed, naturally, when the dog goes poo, or manually. If that can't happen for some reason, the dog can develop serious problems.
You may see how a disease involving these sacs could easily have symptoms we know of as hemorrhoids.
It can be even more confusing because digestive issues like diarrhea and straining to go poo can impact the anal sac's functioning, further making the problem appear to be dog hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of anal sac disease include:
- inflammation around the anus
- a potential abscess around the anus
- licking the site
- pain when defecating
- pain any time
- a rupture causing blood and pus to come out
Dogs can experience a rectal prolapse, which causes a temporary or permanent protrusion from the anus that can look like hemorrhoids. It may only stick out before or during their defecation or it may be out all the time.
The partial prolapse requires medical treatment in about a day. Full prolapse, where part of it sticks out all the time is a medical emergency.
Rectal prolapse in dogs is often associated with straining to go poo or pee, so again, this reminds us of hemorrhoids. They can also get it after giving birth.
The prolapse itself should not be painful, but they may lick at it.
It will start out pink, but as the condition worsens and circulation degrades, it will begin to turn darker in color.
Diagnosing Symptoms of Dog Hemorrhoids or Similar Conditions
If your dog displays any of the symptoms listed above, you should take the situation very seriously and get them to the vet promptly.
Bleeding is always serious, you don't want them to struggle going poo, you don't want them to be in pain, and they may get an infection. Also, what is causing these symptoms may be life-threatening in itself.
How to Prevent and Treat Dog Hemorrhoids and Similar Conditions
If a dog is having digestive issues, a diet higher in fiber may make them more regular, helping with any condition they have that is aggravated by either straining or weak stools. Hemorrhoids, blocked anal sacs, and rectal prolapse fall into this group.
You could buy them higher fiber foods, add foods, like pumpkin, that are high in fiber to their diet, and speak to your vet about their diet in detail.
Water is also an important part of good digestion and therefore, regular, healthy stools. Make sure they've always got clean water available.
Make sure your dog is getting regular exercise. It's better for their overall health, and it promotes better digestion, lessening their chances of developing one of these conditions.
It is also important to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can cause things back there to not work as they should and for there to be pressure on the anal glands.
Anal Gland Expression
It is not clear whether regular, manual anal gland expression by a person is beneficial. Groomers often do it, particularly for small dogs, but it could be possible for unnatural manipulation to cause a problem rather than fix it. If your dog has no history of an anal gland problem, you could ask your groomer not to do this.
If your groomer is doing this and suspects a problem with your dog's anal glands, they may suggest that you take them to a vet.
Treating rectal prolapse
Partial prolapses can be treated by pushing the rectum back in place and using a suture to make it stay. It will take about 48 hours for that to heal.
If that doesn't work, or the prolapse is obviously too severe, they will have to perform surgery.
Treating anal sac disease
The vet will usually try to drain the anal sacs first. If the dog keeps having a problem, they may surgically remove their anal glands.
Other treatments depend on the cause of the problem. For instance, a parasite, digestive problem, or a tumor will require treatment to rectify those problems before effective treatment of the prolapse, anal sac disease, or potential hemorrhoid can occur.
How CBD Oil Can Help with Dog Hemorrhoids and Similar Conditions
Scientists have discovered that we have an endocannabinoid system that produces its own cannabinoids and triggers cannabinoid receptors attached to many crucial bodily organs. This means our bodies are regulated by cannabinoids. Just like people have known for some time that we require a certain level of chemicals in our brains, serotonin, dopamine, etc., to be healthy and happy, we need cannabinoids. And the balance can be thrown off. External cannabinoids work much like the cannabinoids our bodies produce so it can give them a little jump start if they aren't working properly, or if we need more to help with a problem.
CBD oil has been lauded as helping to:
- alleviate pain
- reduce inflammation
- lower stress
- maintain a healthy appetite
- provide a subtle energy boost
- add a little bit of fiber
This means if something is causing your dog to have poor digestion or not get enough exercise, CBD oil may possibly ease or eliminate that so they can regain their health.
It can also help with the pain they may be experiencing from the condition itself and be an additional source of fiber to help with their digestion while recovering.
Using CBD Oil
CBD oil comes in several forms to make it easy for your dog to take it and to address different needs.
You can choose from
- oil tinctures
- extract concentrates
CBD Oil tinctures are cannabidiol mixed with a carrier oil and often a flavoring. This makes tinctures one of the easiest and most enjoyable methods of taking CBD oil. It comes with a dropper or sprayer so it can be delivered straight to the dog's mouth or in their food. Tinctures are one of the most controllable CBD oil products, meaning you can easily get very specific doses and you can vary the doses. You just measure out the drops or sprays.
Extract concentrates are just cannabidiol. They're thick and have no flavoring, but they contain no ingredients that you might feel like worrying about and they're the most cost-effective option. They also offer great variability and control over doses. You just measure the beads that come out. If your dog doesn't like the taste, you will have to mask it.
CBD Capsules skip the taste issue altogether. Dogs that have no problem taking pills will just gobble this down. There isn't much control over dose though. You give a capsule of a certain dose and if they need more, you give a second one for a double dose.
CBD Dog Treats are the most fun. They're treats, after all. You can buy them in crunchy and soft versions to match your dog's treat preference. Like capsules, they have limited dose options, but they're great if you can't get CBD oil in your dog any other way or you want to replace their regular treats with these CBD oil treats.
Topicals for dogs are often lotions or creams that help with localized or external issues. For instance, if your dog is leery of exercise because they have joint pain, you can use a topical CBD product to ease their discomfort.
Cannabidiol tastes like hemp, which many people and dogs don't like. If the product you purchase isn't flavored and your dog doesn't want to take it, you can mask it in foods that have a strong flavor.
Dosing CBD Oil
CBD Treats and CBD Oil often come in specific doses for the size of the dog, and you'll choose between small, medium, or large dog options.
When finding your dog's specific dose for their ailment, it is recommended to research what scientists, vets, and pet owners have to say about what dose appears to be effective for the ailment.
You might also discuss CBD dosages with your vet to get a personalized dose for them. This is particularly important for very small, large, young, old, or sick dogs.
Start with the lowest recommended dose and work up. This is why control and varying is so beneficial. You want to start low because some ailments actually respond better to lower doses and because it is easier to work up than down.
Go slowly. If you can wait four weeks before changing the dose, that's best. Cannabidiol begins working immediately, but the full effects may not be apparent for a few weeks. If you change the dose too frequently, you may never see what one individual dose actually did. If the situation is too critical to wait, try to wait 2 to 4 days or have another treatment as well to carry them through until the full effects can be seen.
Risks Associated with CBD Oil
There aren't many risks with CBD oil. That's why it's becoming so popular. Traditional medications are often harsh and risky. Pet owners may not like this, or the dog may not be able to endure the treatment and be left with little to no help.
There has been no evidence that a dog can overdose on CBD oil, but in exceptionally large quantities, CBD oil can cause sedation, loss of appetite, or diarrhea. You don't want those things, particularly for a dog with hemorrhoid-like symptoms. Keeping the dose low and discussing dosing for dogs with special needs will prevent this.
The vet should be told your dog is taking CBD oil if they are currently on a medication or before the vet performs any treatments or prescribes any medications. CBD oil impacts the way the liver absorbs medications, and doses may need to be altered to work as intended.
CBD oil has not been approved by the FDA. The science is still so new regarding it that it hasn't been tried as heavily as traditional medications have. Yes, those medications often have scary side effects and risks, but vets understand the benefits and risks much better than they do something new like CBD oil.
They have a pretty good idea of what to expect and what to tell you to expect. CBD oil is best for dogs who are taking a traditional medication but are in danger of having to stop taking the medication because the side effects are so bad or for dogs who have been deemed unable to take a traditional medication. It's kind of experimental still.
CBD oil can be a life-changer for your dog, sometimes helping dogs seem like their old selves again, but it is important to know that there is no guarantee. You should also have a backup plan should it prove ineffective.
Purchasing CBD Oil
There are some things you should be aware of when purchasing CBD oil.
CBD isolate versus Full-spectrum
CBD isolate is just cannabidiol while full-spectrum cannabidiol contains other cannabinoids, terpenes, and nutrients from the hemp plant. Full-spectrum is actually the most popular option as people feel they'll get more benefits. Some people swear CBD isolate works best.
The choice is really up to you. If you're trying to invest in an all around CBD oil product that contains multiple cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural by-products that will be full-spectrum. This helps in creating an entourage effect. If that lets you down, you should try CBD isolate before giving up on CBD oil altogether.
Not all CBD oil manufacturers are reputable. It's a tragic fact, but one you have to know about before venturing into the world of CBD. Some "CBD oil manufacturers" sell products with poor quality cannabidiol, less cannabidiol than promised, or none.
Thankfully, reputable CBD oil manufacturers supply you with third-party lab test results for each of their products, so you have a guarantee about what's in your product. Make sure you check their website for them and read them.
Look for a CBD oil manufacturer who says they use the CO2 extraction as it is the safest and purest option.
A reputable CBD oil manufacturer will tell you where they acquired their hemp or CBD oil. Some grow the hemp themselves, some purchase it from others, some purchase just the cannabidiol. Whichever of these is the case, they should tell you where the hemp was grown so you can be sure it came from a country with safe regulations.
The fewer ingredients, the better. You need to be able to ensure that there is nothing unnecessary, unsafe, or potentially allergenic in the product. Most CBD oil manufacturers boast that their products are natural, but it is also possible to get all organic CBD oil products.
You can begin your journey into the world of CBD oil products with Innovet because we meet and exceed all of these qualifications.
Innovations from Innovet
At Innovet, we supply CBD oil products for pets with hard-to-treat ailments. We understand that some pets have individual needs not met by traditional medications or current CBD oil products. If this is the case with your dog, please let us know so we can try to come up with a product for them.
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.
Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.
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The Innovet Team