Proctitis in Dogs

Proctitis is a condition that develops when the pet’s rectum gets inflamed. The rectum is a part of the dog’s large intestine and it’s this area of the intestine that is connected to the anus. Rectal inflammation can occur due to different factors. Since the symptoms of proctitis are similar to other digestive disorders the vet will have to perform various tests to confirm the condition.

Causes of Proctitis

One of the most common causes of proctitis is colitis. Since the colon is also a part of the large intestine, inflammation of the colon that spreads to the rectum results in proctitis. Apart from this, dogs suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, allergic reactions and intestinal parasite infections like whipworms and tapeworms develop proctitis.

Tumors in the large intestine can lead to swelling and internal inflammation of the rectum. These tumors could either be malignant in nature or benign. Malignant tumors should be diagnosed promptly as this increases the dog’s chance of survival.

Symptoms of Proctitis in Dogs Include:

  • Constipation
  • Dog strains to pass stools
  • Bloody stools
  • The dog licks the anus frequently
  • Pet cries out while defecating 
  • Diarrhea

Diagnosis of Proctitis in Dogs

The vet will carry out a physical examination of the entire body, particularly the rectal area. Additional diagnostic tests like a complete blood count test, urine analysis and a fecal flotation test will also be performed. In order to rule out the presence of tumors, the vet will perform X-rays of the abdominal cavity and an ultrasound.

Biopsies may also be performed to identify the presence of malignant cells in the rectum.

Treatment of Proctitis in Dogs

If the cause of the rectal inflammation is associated with parasite infections, the vet will have to administer certain adulticides to kill the worms. Conversely, if the dog is suffering from a tumor, the vet will have to surgically remove it if it’s easily accessible. If the tumor is malignant, the dog will require chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The main aim of the treatment is to cure the underlying problem that’s present. Once the underlying health condition is taken care of, the rectal inflammation will subside.

Tips for Pet Owners

The ailing pet should be given a diet that’s easy to digest. The vet may even ask you to feed your pet a prescription diet. Make sure that the diet contains a good source of fiber. All medications should be prescribed on time and if the dog experiences any side effects, discuss them with the vet.

In order to keep proctitis at bay in healthy pets, make sure you avoid feeding your dog any food that contains additives or preservatives. Also give your pet plenty of exercise and take measures to prevent your dog from contracting intestinal parasite infections.

Pets suffering from proctitis require follow up vet checks. If you give your pet the right diet and follow the vet’s instructions, you can keep the inflammation under control provided that it’s not associated with cancer.