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Does my Dog Have a Hemorrhoid?

January 25, 2011
black and tan American Pitt Bull Terrier mix

Look at that gigantic smile!

Harley, the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) Mix, Can’t Stop Bleeding from the Butt

“Doc, I think my dog has a hemorrhoid,” said Harley’s mom.

Okay, every veterinarian has heard those words at one point or another in their career. Thing is, dogs don’t sit around on their bums all day. Hence, no hemorrhoids. So, as soon as a pet parent leads with those choice words, the veterinarian starts thinking:

  • Is it a blocked, ruptured anal sac?

    lump under dog's tail treated as abscess

    Ruptured anal sac in a Bichon Frise

  • Is it bloody diarrhea?
  • Is it a scraped lump or skin bump?
  • (Older dog) Is it cancer?

Harley was only 2 years old.  The odds of cancer were none to almost none.  Eating well, looking happy as can be (see picture above!)  The guy just did not look sick.

Then the APBT stood up.  A splash of blood decorated the stainless steel under his tuckus.

Whoa,” thought Doc Truli, “that does look like a mean problem.”

“Let’s have a look,” said Doc Truli.

No cuts or scrapes, no bulges or swelling of impacted anal sacs .  No diarrhea or loose stool.  A trickle of fresh blood, like a tiny crooked little stream extended from the edge of his anus down the short tan fur on his behind.  Doc Truli gloved up for the rectal examination.

“Aha!”

Look what popped out of the rectal lining:

bright red 6mm multi-lobulated polyp sticks out from 1 cm into the dog's rectal lining

Red rectal polyp sticks out from the mucosal lining of this dog's rectum

close up of the red rectal polyp

Close up of the red rectal polyp

Harley wasn’t too bothered by the polyp. He thought the humans were being a little melodramatic. His smiled and panted and watched us talk. Doc Truli is convinced he was hoping we were talking about the weather.

“We’ll schedule surgery for tomorrow morning,” said Doc Truli.

“How will he heal?” asked Harley’s mom.

Surgery and Post-Op Recovery After Rectal Polyp Surgery

“The good news is: most dogs do not even feel any different.  The rectal polyp is removed, some stitches are placed.  There is a slight chance of infection, but a much, much lower chance than you would guess considering the anatomical location of the stitches,” said Doc Truli.

Post Operative Instructions for Canine Rectal Polyp Surgery

  • Do not obsess.
  • Do not lift your dog’s tail to check every ten seconds.
  • Do not change the diet.
  • Do give whatever antibiotics and painkillers your veterinarian prescribes.
  • Your dog would probably be fine without the meds.
  • Give them anyway just to be safe.
  • Enjoy your solved problem.

Harley’s Big Surgery Day

The next morning, a miserable dog walked into the animal hospital.  His back arched and he dragged his hind end while copious amounts of blood dripped on the floor.  He probably felt like he had “ants in his pants.”

“Thank you, Doc Truli, for booking the surgery so quickly.  He seemed basically fine until last night.  But now he’s chewing on the polyp and making it bleed all over the house,” said Harley’s mom.

Surgery and Recovery

Surgery went smoothly.  The polyp, luckily, had a narrow stalk base to it.  The small base meant a small incision.  A few stitches.  Then the bleeding stopped.  Just to be absolutely sure, we sent the polyp for histopathological analysis at the laboratory.

The results showed a benign rectal polyp, completely removed.  Episode over!  Harley made a full recovery.  He never even bled after the surgery.  What a wonderful problem to have!

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. Mezmeriah Rivera permalink
    June 26, 2014 12:03 am

    Dear Harley’s mom, I would like to know how much this procedure costs because my dog has one. I just wanted to ask so we can take him in right away!!! Thank you, very much.

    • June 26, 2014 9:01 pm

      A surgery like will vary considerably depending on the exact location in the rectum. For example, Harley’s office call was $40 (standard for the part of the US he lives in). The surgery cost $600.

  2. rachel permalink
    June 10, 2013 8:33 pm

    My chihuahua is 10 years old and has a hemmoriod like protrusion from his anus. He bites and drags his bottom often. Any help will be appreciated greatly!

    • June 11, 2013 10:05 pm

      Dear Rachel,
      What did your veterinarian say?

  3. DEVIKA permalink
    June 4, 2013 10:22 am

    My three month labrador is having a red thing coming out of his anus sometimes. What actually is it? Is it serious?

    • June 4, 2013 9:54 pm

      Dekiva-
      Your puppy needs to see the vet.
      1) check the “red thing”
      2) prime time for vaccines
      3) prime time for intestinal worms
      4) your vet can give you tons of advice to keep your puppy happy
      Please schedule an appointment ASAP.
      -Doc Truli

  4. Melissa permalink
    May 25, 2013 11:28 pm

    I think this is what my 4 year old Pit has! He acts normal but something comes popping out while and after pooping with the dribble of blood and its gone later. I’ve been to 2 different vets for this and they wanted to do $700 in tests from ursine to x rays! That’s more than 2 weeks my pay!! I love him to death so I was determined to find out what this was without wasting money knowing it wasn’t an internal problem but a rectal problem. I am making an appointment for the vet ASAP, but this has been going on for close to two months, with a vet visit once each month when it persisted. how much time do I have before it becomes an emergency? I don’t plan on waiting as long as I can. I hate those people, but I work Monday through Saturday from 9 to 7 so I have to request time off. Hopefully I can get him in this Moday or Tuesday with my boyfriends help but if I can’t get an appointment it could be as long as a week or two. Any advice is appreciated. I tend to overreact and don’t want my stress of not knowing to continue to rub off on him. Thank you!!

    • May 26, 2013 5:44 pm

      Dear Melissa,
      Some vets are open on Sunday. (Usually in the US, the Banfield hospitals are, you know, the ones at Petsmart)
      So check every vet in your area before you lose a day’s pay by taking off work. Also, when it is “popped out,” get a picture of it or video. That can cinch the diagnosis for the vet you go to. I cannot tell you if it is an emergency or urgent or not, without a diagnosis. But, good luck. Keep your camera handy for when and if you see it again.

      -Doc Truli

      • Melissa permalink
        May 26, 2013 10:07 pm

        I did just take a video an have been to Banfield and am not a fan. Unfortunately I’m not the only pet owner who feels this way. I have spoken to some neighbors and they gave me a doctor who is persistent about diagnosing and treating. The last two were in and out seemingly without a care as to what it actually was but gave me 20 things it could be.. None of which resembled this description or anything near it.
        I don’t mind missing a days pay or paying a bit extra for a vet who really cares and I hope others have had better luck with Banfield than myself. Thank you for the quick reply and suggestions. I will get him in as soon as possible and I did get a video but his stool has gone soft and green furthering my worrying so if I can’t get him in to her tomorrow or Tuesday I will go to the next available vet.

      • May 26, 2013 10:49 pm

        Melissa-
        Good for you! A thorough, caring, talented doctor is worth the time and money. You are correct! I hope you get a solution soon.
        -Doc Truli

      • Melissa permalink
        May 29, 2013 12:02 pm

        I wanted to say thank you so much for this page! We took Bosko in yesterday and I mentioned this to the vet, showed him the video and with a third rectal exam (my poor boy seems to be getting used to them) he was able to find and feel what I was talking about. We are looking into scope surgery to make sure there aren’t more. He does not think they are cancerous and that Bosko will be just fine either way. I feel a thousand times better and I owe it to you!! My last question is whether surgery is necessary and if they will return. The vet gave us his opinion but I’m looking for a second one just to be safe. Have you heard or seen any dogs that did not get surgery get through this?

      • May 31, 2013 9:43 pm

        It is rare in my experience. We did surgery because it kept bleeding and the dog was uncomfortable with the blood. Plus, we have it tested to be sure it wasn’t cancer. I do not know hat you can expect without surgery. Except more bleeding, for sure.

        -Doc Truli

  5. diana housley permalink
    December 3, 2012 9:04 pm

    I have a 13 year old miniture daschund when he was 5 he got injured. Took to a vet he said ruptured disk advised dog hospital. Was working with another vet told him what 1st vet suggested. He told me it. Was common in daschunds to do swimming therapy. Oh by the way he was unable to walk. Well did therapy it worked he walks. But the other day had him in car he started messing . Noticed beside his anus started to swell fast like a balloon then ruptured

    • December 4, 2012 10:10 pm

      So…you went to the vet….and he had a ruptured anal sac?

  6. Paul Kanyer permalink
    May 26, 2012 5:46 pm

    Please..How much was it to be removed…..
    Thanks.

    • June 3, 2012 10:31 am

      Dear Paul,
      Another commenter already asked this on this post. Prices vary considerably between cities, states, and countries. I believe a surgery such as this one should cost approximately one week’s pay for your area.

  7. Ollie Whitehead permalink
    April 23, 2012 9:36 am

    So what was the cost of the surgery and the meds?

    • April 29, 2012 4:22 pm

      Costs are impossible to give meaning across states and countries. Also, doctors vary in their quality and worth (frankly). I would say, a good week’s pay for an entry-level job in your area would be fair for the level of knowledge, expertise, equipment and follow-up the surgery might require.

      (I do not mean to be vague about costs in order to “close ranks” and justify whatever your veterinarian wants to charge. It just really varies so much from region to region that my posting a price on the internet is meaningless and could only serve to distress you if the number is out of line with what you think your vet should charge. There is an element of trust when you seek the help of a surgeon. There is no “blue book” for veterinary care!)

      -Doc Truli

  8. Curious permalink
    December 27, 2011 12:33 am

    One side of my dogs rectum is black she struggles trying. To use it but she pees for a very long time every 3 minutes she eats but she doesn’t gain any weight she is happy as she can be but I don’t kno what’s wrong with her can u please help me

    • December 27, 2011 8:50 pm

      Seriously? If you think something is wrong with your dog, seek a veterinarian in your geographic area who can examine her for you.
      That’s my help.
      -Doc

  9. kathe permalink
    December 14, 2011 12:43 am

    did it come on suddenly & did he cry when he passed the blood? my dog has a fowl smell & is bleeding from her rectum, bright red blood! she’s very uncomfortable! i’m so afraid it’s worse than what it is but am hoping it’s from bacon her daddy fed her & then after she poooed & threw up i like a dummy gave her half asprin & pepto bismo together…………….now am scared! don’t have a lot of money to take her to vet am praying really hard for her even have every body i know praying for her! but if it keeps up i will have to go in debt to find out cause i love her so very much ! she’s the only dog that we’ve ever had and i can’t stand her not being well….did i mention she’s a 4 year old shih/apso mix? cutest dog in the whole wide world ~<3 k

    • December 18, 2011 9:48 am

      Doggie rectal polyps usually do not hurt and they do not cry.

      A bacon meal for a little shihapso can cause pancreatitis, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, terrible bad colitis. She really could use a veterinarian and come prescription medicine to help keep her from getting worse.

      The aspirin and the pepto both can cause bleeding stomach ulcers in dogs, so not the wisest choice, like you mentioned.

      I hope you can take her to a vet. If you go fast, she might get better with an injection and some medicine. If you wait, she might need Intravenous fluids and tests and medicine- which would be far more expensive.

      Good luck,
      Doc Truli

  10. Frank permalink
    April 19, 2011 7:14 am

    Thank You.. That is the Med he is on… I will call the vet today

  11. Mimi permalink
    March 17, 2011 10:36 am

    Hi!!! I just wanted to thank you SO much for posting this!!! My dog was 3 years old (she’s now 5) when I first noticed a little spot of blood on her stool. I took her in for examination after examination and my vet could not discover what was wrong with her. I even got a second opinion from another vet and all sorts of tests done and still no one could discover what was wrong with her. I changed her diet, put her on antibiotics, prayed it would go away… and the blood kept coming. After countless tests, the one vet actually told me that there are some people and animals who have this problem in life for unexplained reasons and are as healthy as can be. I tried to convince myself that she was okay bc she was still acting healthy and happy! I still knew there HAD to of been a reason there was blood that would sometimes trickle down the end of her anus. FINALLY… last week I took her out and noticed more blood than usual. I was determined to get to the bottom of this. I spent all night on the computer Googling different blogs, articles and images that could match up with what my dog was experiencing. I read an article on rectal polyps and googled an image of one and sure enough the image of your dog’s rectal polyp popped up and I thought to myself… “THIS IS IT!! THIS IS WHAT MY DOG HAS!!!” It was late at night so I knew by the time I would take my dog to the vet in the morning that the polyp wouldn’t show as much so I decided to take a couple pictures of it. Sure enough, I went to the vet first thing in the morning and her polyp was nowhere to be found but luckily I had taken pictures of it. The doctors took one look at the pictures and said, “Yup, that is definitely a rectal polyp.” Her appointment was yesterday for the removal of it. The surgery went well and now I’m just waiting on the lab results from it. I just wanted to thank you SO much for posting this blog along with the pictures of your dog’s rectal polyp. It put my two years of unanswered questions and stress behind me!! Thanks again!! :)

    • March 20, 2011 10:11 am

      Dear Mimi,
      That’s a fantastic, inspirational story, just like VirtuaVet is all about! Taking the picture at home because you knew the polyp would not be so obvious in the morning was a genius idea. But even more than that, persisting and insisting that there must be an answer is what life is all about. Now your dog doesn’t have to feel that trickling, itching, uncomfortable feeling, all because you kept looking for an answer, even when everyone told you it was “nothing!” Good job, Mimi! Your dog is one lucky dog to have you!
      Yours,
      Doc Truli

      • Frank permalink
        April 17, 2011 7:22 pm

        My Dog was just Diagnosed with bladder cancer.. It is not really affecting him at all.. from what I can tell. the way I found it was bloody urine. I brought him to the vet and they gave him a scan and they saw the masses. He is almost 14 yrs old . but in great shape. After a lot of diliberating we decided NOT to go with surgery. If they open him up and there are masses all over they will put him to sleep. He is not bothered so they recommended a medication.

        Since the meds he has not urinated blood which is great..

        however around the same time I started noticing a little blood on baby wipes when i clean him.. ( otherwise he would drag his but on the floor ) .. I didnt notice what looks like an ingrown hair. but its on his rectum were there is no hair. it kind of looks like a pimple waiting to pop and looks like this maybe were the blood is coming from.. It doesnt look a severe as the pics you took at all. Its only 1 bump.. but i dont know if there is anything internal..

        I see blood when he poops and if i take him for long walks i see it on his anus.
        I feel like the baby wipes maybe making it worse, but if i dont clean it there will be blood in the house.

        It doesnt seem to be bothering him at all.

        sometimes the blood looks dry and blackish looking, almost like its scabbing.. other times its fresh red looking. coming out of his anus..

        Should I be puting something like hemmroid cream on it ?
        is this only curried by surgery ?

        Im wondering if I bring him in they tell me its more cancer..

        I just cant see at almost 14 even though he is in great shape putting him through surgeries//

        Any suggestions ???

      • April 18, 2011 6:59 am

        Dear Frank,

        Take him to your vet for a check-up. Take a fresh stool sample as well. A common side-effect of the most common bladder cancer medicine, called Piroxicam in the United States, is gastrointestinal bleeding. Usually, I put patients on a medicine called Cytotec, a prostaglandin analog, to protect the gastrointestinal tract from ulceration, at the same time as I prescribe Piroxicam. (You understand I am guessing this is your situation.)

        Your red bump may be a “red herring,” and you need to be making regular visits to your veterinarian for follow-up guidance regarding the cancer care & treatment. You are in charge and information from your veterinarian can only help. You do not have to approve any surgeries you feel in your heart are wrong for your dog!

        Yours,
        Doc Truli

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