Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Do Dogs Get Hemorrhoids? Pray for Stormy

Stormy is a friendly, happy Collie mix who lives with my friend in the old country.

He is 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.

A few weeks ago, he started having some bleeds from his rectum. 

During the first vet visit, my friend was told Stormy was suffering from hemorrhoids and came back with an ointment to put on that. A bump that would support that theory was sometimes apparent.

When my friend told me about what's going on with Stormy, I thought it was strange that 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:

"Fortunately for dogs, they don’t get hemorrhoids because the anatomy of their gastrointestinal system is different than humans. 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, involves removal of the tumor as well as affected lymph nodes, and radiation would likely be needed. Putting the little guy through all that at his age doesn'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 isn't the greatest, and the vet deemed it untreatable.

I recommended my friend try turmeric, as she might as well. There are some other holistic therapy options, but those are not available there.

Not a whole lot left for my friend to do other than pray, which she is doing and I'd like my readers to join in prayer with her.

Not much take-home points here other than the advice not to assume your dog has hemorrhoids when you encounter such symptoms.

Let's, please, pray for Stormy.

Further reading:
Can Dogs Get Hemorrhoids?
Signs of Anal Gland Cancer to Be Aware of in Your Pet

Do you have a story to share?
Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did your dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you.

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

An award-winning guide to better understanding what your dog is telling you about their health, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, is available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Adoption Monday: Rusev, Rottweiler Mix, New Milford, CT

Rusev is a sweet older gentleman who came to us from another rescue in West Virginia.

Rusev is very sensitive and just wants someone to snuggle with! This guy is so fun and easy going, as well as being a HUGE foodie!

Rusev is looking for someone who will buy him sunglasses and take him for a stroll down the street, could that be you?

Rusev is neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations. He is a special-needs baby.


The Animal Welfare Society of New Milford is an independent, non-profit, non-destroy organization founded in 1965. Our mission is to aid and find loving homes for abandoned and abused cats and dogs in New Milford, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Roxbury and Washington, Connecticut.

We maintain our own shelter housing 80 cats and 20 dogs (and the occasional rabbit) and place approximately 350 animals each year.

The shelter is supported by the generosity of private individuals and local businesses, dues from our annual Membership Drive and special fundraising events held throughout the year. If you are interested in donating or purchasing an item from our shelter wishlist, please visit the you can help page of our website.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Dog Safety, Otitis, Hearing Loss, and more ...

Common Household Items Hazardous to Dogs

Dr. Karen Becker/Mercola Healthy Pets

I do believe that in the wild, animals know what is dangerous and what is safe. The biggest hazards come from civilization. And if you think that your home is a perfectly safe environment for your dog, you might need to think twice. Dr. Becker's article provides a room-by-room blueprint to poison-proofing your home.

10 Everyday Activities That Can Land Your Dog in the Vet or ER

Dr. Jason Nicholas/PreventiveVet

I bet that some of the things on Dr. Nicholas' list will come to you as a surprise.  No, these are not common sense, unfortunately, else they wouldn't be landing dogs in the ER or worse. For example, do you know that everyday dogs die from suffocation? Yes, sadly, dogs suffocate in snack bags every day. Did you know that a purse or backpack can contain deadly hazards to your dog?

While I don't agree that you should never share any of your food with your dog, I do agree that it is important to be discerning. It is one thing to share a piece of turkey breast and another to share the pan full of drippings.

If you're going to share food with your dog, know what is toxic to them and what can cause serious illness, such as pancreatitis. The foods we share with our dog(s) include lean meats, fish, veggies and some safe dairy products such as plain yogurt.

Otitis in Dogs: Navigating the "Ear-rie Canal"

Dr. Julie Buzby/Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips

First I'd like to stress that the meaning of the word otitis is inflammation of the ear. The reasons behind inflammation can be allergies, parasites, a bacterial infection, a fungal infection, a foreign body,  even systemic issues. Figuring out your dog has otitis is only half, or more likely one third, of the work.

You should know that the common cause of otitis in dogs are allergies. An infection might follow secondary to that.

So while the symptoms are quite straight-forward, a proper diagnosis might not be. That is also why self-diagnosing and self-selecting a treatment for your dog is not the best plan.

Learn more about otitis in Dr. Julie's article.

3 Diseases that Owners Can Diagnose Better than the Vet

Karen Louis/VetChick

If your dog has a problem, you gotta see a vet. Period. You might even need to see more than one if they are unable to come up with a proper diagnosis. Believe me, that happens often enough.

So could there be any diseases that you could diagnose better than a vet? You quite can tell whether there is something wrong better than a vet because your dog might not exhibit any signs while in the clinic. You might also know that things that might sound normal to a vet are not normal for your dog in one way or another.

Dr. Louis lists three diseases which are difficult for a vet to diagnose; hearing loss, dementia, phobias, and anxiety. Your role in discovering that something might be wrong with your dog cannot be overstated. You are your dog's advocate and the first line of defense.

Note: Not everything that might look like your dog is losing their hearing, for example, might be due to hearing loss. If your dog doesn't respond to a command, it might be because they didn't hear it can have pain issues behind it. If your dog doesn't come running at the sound of a can opener, it might be because they didn't hear it or because they feel nauseous and are not interested in eating. Dogs to pay close attention to sounds around them. I can tell you that Cookie can hear and responds to the sounds of socks being put on! If she didn't, I'd be asking whether she didn't hear, didn't care or couldn't respond.

You need to look at everything in context. But the bottom line is that you do know your dog better than anybody and if you feel that something is off, something is off. You're in the unique position to detect such things.

Whether your dog is losing their hearing or has another reason for not responding, it is important to get to the bottom of it. And realize that even a "simple" hearing loss can have serious causes such as an infection, inflammation, trauma, and nerve issues.

Same applies when you suspect dementia, phobias or anxiety.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Teeth Chattering

I have to admit when I first read about this, I was as surprised as you most likely will be.

Could teeth chattering signal a medical problem?

Believe it or not, it can. This comes to show the importance of assessing things in context. It's the context and circumstance that make the difference most of the time.

The only time I have ever seen a dog chatter their teeth was when we took Jasmine to pick her new housemate from a little. JD's father was quite smitten by Jasmine and his teeth were chattering up the storm. It would seem that he liked her a bit.

Are you cold or just happy to see me?

Emotional arousal can be a perfectly benign reason behind teeth chattering. It doesn't need such a major reason such as meeting the queen bitch of the universe, Jasmine. A dog can get this excited over a frisbee or a favorite meal as well. Both positive and negative excitement/stress can cause teeth-chattering.

Just as with humans, dogs can chatter their teeth when they're cold or have a fever.

But there is one reason you'd likely not think of in a million years.

The most common cause of teeth chattering in dogs is oral pain.

"Teeth chattering is such a common symptom of oral pain, Fink says, that some dogs will chatter their teeth even when they’re under anesthesia." ~Dr. Fink, Cornell University

How about that? There is not one specific oral problem which would have this as a hallmark symptom. The pain can be from a tooth fracture, tooth resorption, or enamel loss ...

Not as unexpectedly, teeth chattering can be a neurological problem.

Tremors or focal seizures can result in teeth chattering. A slower motion, what looks as if your dog is chewing a gum, can arise in late stages of distemper infection.

Do you see now how important context is?

Further reading:
Dogs and Teeth Chattering: What You Need to Know

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is an award-winning guide to help you better understand what your dog is telling you about their health and how to best advocate for them. 

Learn how to see and how to think about changes in your dog’s appearance, habits, and behavior. Some signs that might not trigger your concern can be important indicators that your dog needs to see a veterinarian right away. Other symptoms, while hard to miss, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping, are easy to spot but can have a laundry list of potential causes, some of them serious or even life-threatening. 

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is a dog health advocacy guide 101. It covers a variety of common symptoms, including when each of them might be an emergency. 

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog has won the following awards:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

All Is Well in Noel(ville)

A muscle injury in a dog as active as Cookie and the terrain being as it were was no surprise. Considering the number of times she slipped, stumbled or broke through the deep, crusty snow, it's a miracle she wasn't getting hurt on a daily basis. Most of the time it wasn't even her crazy self's fault.

Exploring with daddy.

It turns out it's been two years since Cookies last set of back-to-back injuries.

I hate it every time my dog gets hurt or sick but making it two years injury-free with Cookie is actually quite amazing. When I realized that it made me feel a bit better about it. I've been working toward no more injuries ever but, given the circumstances, two years is an accomplishment. The terrain is rough, and Cookie is enthusiastic. And yes, that's an understatement.

My biggest concern was there could be more to it than merely hurt muscle.

Were the knees getting weak again? Was it a compensation injury? You'd be surprised how often the injury you see is a fallout of one you did not.

Sometimes, and in our case really for the first time, things are actually simple;  new thing for me, and I am grateful to be able to have that luxury for once. For both of our sakes, Cookie's and mine.

Since the terrain has not improved and Cookie didn't become a subdued dog, she was stuck going for walks with daddy only. With daddy, going out is serious business. With mommy, it's all fun and games, and she is much more likely to lose her mind with excitement.

At her last physiotherapy session, Cookie's gait looked even and smooth, and the muscles in the affected areas were happy and relaxed. I myself am not seeing any more issues.

We managed to get that muscle to heal.

Taking it easy, physical therapy and some laser therapy did the trick.

That is great news for Cookie as she can start going out with mommy again. And for me, because I really missed our outings. Now I just wish the ground improved; the snow either got hard enough to safely walk on top of it or melt away.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking Too Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection 
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology  
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was" 
Living with an Incontinent Dog 
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet 
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process 
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone  
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy, and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury 
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog 
Cookie's New Injury Update 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies 
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly? 
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update 
Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks 
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy 
Cookie's Lumpectomy Update 
Using Pressure Pads to Evaluate Lameness in Dogs: My Observations
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: What Supplements Am I Using?
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: Restricted Activity and Weight Management
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear: Update
Has Your Dog's Physical Therapist Taken Dog Training Classes? 
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear Update and Considering the Future
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate (CCL/ACL) Tear and Leg Circumference
Cookie's Wellness Exam
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: What Do You Use for Tick Prevention?
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: The Verdict Is In (for Now)
Cookie's Annual Heartworm and Tick-Borne Diseases Test
One Yelp, No Yelp. But Two?
One Yelp, No Yelp - Update
Cookie's Rabies Booster
Is Your Dog Struggling with Weight in spite of Diet and Exercise? Cookie Is Hypothyroid (Part I)
What Does the Thyroid Do? Cookie is Hypothyroid (Part II)
Thyroid Replacement Therapy: Cookie is Hypothyroid (Part III)
Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP) for Partial Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Tears: Would I Do It Again?
Thyroid Replacement Therapy Re-Check: Cookie Is Hypothyroid (Part IV)
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: Tick Tag Results Evaluation
Cookie's Fur Analysis
Cookie's Fur Analysis: Lithium
You Don't Always Have to See a Limp
It Never Rains ... Though Rain Did Have a Lot to Do with It

Do you have a story to share?
Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did your dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you.

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

An award-winning guide to better understanding what your dog is telling you about their health, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, is available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.