My dog has been suffering from anal bleeding, constipation and part of his rectum protruded. What is the cause and treatment?

Original Question: Dr. Greenway saw Jake (over a year ago, probably one of the last dogs he saw at the clinic) he prescribed Salazopyrine (500 mg tab, 6x a day) until the anal bleeding stopped or minimized. Giving less as we go. Jake is often constipated and we ended going back to 6 tabs a day. Today my wife said a bit of his insides were covered in blood and came out (his lining of his rectum?). It was about the size of a quarter. She pushed it back in. We will be giving him pumpkin to soften his stools. Any suggestions besides exploratory surgery? - Frank

My dog has been suffering from anal bleeding, constipation and part of his rectum protruded. What is the cause and treatment? Jul 16, 2018

Hi Frank,

Thanks for reaching out. I recall our visit very well. I remember that the treatment with Salazopyrine worked and I may have only seen you the one time. I’m glad it had a lasting success. That was a few years ago I believe.

Whenever our pets defecate, it is pretty common for tissue just beyond the anus to evert and poke out. It actually happens often to even normal dogs but most of the time pet parents don’t notice.

I’m certain that in Jake’s case it would be particularly frightening because with the condition he has, the tissue just inside the anus would have some inflammation and redness that would look dramatic. Also, the fact that the tissue is somewhat inflamed, you’ll see this happen easier because the tissue is thickened and will easily extend beyond the anus briefly. In short, the situation is not as bad as it looks. Yes, it’s disturbing to see, but it’s not a big concern. It doesn’t mean his intestine is going to completely evert. So you can feel somewhat calmed by that. However, it could be indicating that there is an issue we could and should address.

You said he has become constipated. This makes sense for what you’re seeing because it means he’ll have to push harder to pass stool and this can be causing the eversion of the tissue out of the anus. I recommend you pick up a stool softener and start adding it to the diet. Some people find it helpful to add canned pumpkin to soften stool, but many veterinary nutritionists don’t believe it really helps. You could pick up a stool softener even from a drug store, but I prefer you speak to your current veterinarian about an appropriate product and dose. Over the Internet and without being your primary veterinarian anymore, I can’t prescribe a drug and neither can I support or endorse a product as per my licensing restrictions. You could call your veterinarian and it’s possible they may advise you without even having to go for an appointment.

This plan can help but keep in mind that something more serious could be going on. The best thing to do would be to perform some diagnostics such as radiographs, blood work and a urinalysis to start. There could be another medical condition that has developed or there could be a more basic treatment, such as addressing it with diet alone. So I present that idea above, but I recommend you reassess first before implementing a treatment.

I hope this helps. All the best!

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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