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What You Need to Know About Polyps and Your Dog

 by jaime on 08 Aug 2014 |
4 Comment(s)
When you make the decision to welcome a dog into your home, that choice comes with responsibilities beyond simply feeding and walking your new pet. Dogs have health needs just the same as you do, but they cannot communicate with words when they are not feeling well. This means that you have the responsibility to watch out for their health and be aware of warning signs that your pet is not in good shape.
One of the most important things you can do as an owner is make physical contact with your pet each day. Petting your dog, playing with it, and taking a few minutes to run your hands along its body will help you watch for warning signs of possible disease. Maintaining a physical connection to your dog can, for example, help you detect lumps (polyps) when they are newly formed.
What are polyps?
The term "polyps" is a generic word used to describe lumps that appear on your dog's body. These lumps are often benign and harmless and are caused by a number of factors. It is important to make note of them because polyps can be a sign of a more serious condition. Polyps most frequently appear on a dog's ear, though it is not uncommon for dogs to develop polyps in their bladder, colon, and rectal area as well.
Given the areas of the body that can be affected by polyps, not all of these lumps will be noticeable without a visit to the veterinarian.
Signs to look out for
Polyps in your dog's ears are the easiest to spot because they are visible, as opposed to bladder and colon polyps. In the case of ear polyps, the lump itself is not harmful to your dog's health. However, if the polyp does affect the normal function of your dog's ear it can lead to other problems such as discomfort and/or infection.
In the case of vestibular polyps, which affect the ear, nose, and throat region, you may not notice the lump itself. However, you can identify the problem through other symptoms. Excessive drooling, rolling around, tilting of the head, and even falling down are all signs of distress in your dog. Vestibular polyps are most common among young puppies and older dogs.
Reacting to polyps
When you notice a polyp on your dog, the best thing you can do is make note of its current size, shape, and color. If you notice a change in any of these factors, you should take your dog to the veterinarian's office for a thorough exam. Polyps that do not change size or color, but instead persist for long periods of time, may also warrant a visit to the vet. If nothing else, a visit will give you peace of mind and ensure that your dog is in fact healthy.
Preventing serious conditions from developing in your dog can best be achieved through routine veterinary visits. There is no way for owners to detect the existence of bladder, colon, and rectal polyps, which means your dog could be suffering from a serious condition for months before you notice. Remember, when you do encounter polyps on your dog many of them are benign. The best course of action is vigilance. Track the polyps as suggested above and consult your vet if you notice changes.

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Gayle Pfister - Comment
Gayle Pfister31 Oct 2017Reply
We have a 13 year old boarder collie who has a severe problem to poo due to possible polyps. She has been on opening medication for months and no improvement. She still strains to poo yet eats well shows no sign of being ill. The vet says it is not possible to operate and her condition due to not cleaning her bowel is possible there is further problems and there need to be put down. Is there anything other than surgery to help our dog rather than putting her down?
gail - Comment
gail06 Feb 2018Reply
Wart is the treatment for polyps if they are on the gums of your dog and are growing over a bottom front tooth
Nicole - Comment
Nicole29 Oct 2018Reply
See an internist. Your dog does not need to be put down for polyps! Mine had hers removed during a colonoscopy that was poking out of her anus when she pooped. She is doing much better now but still has a little blood and mucus in her stool.
eleanor crawford - Comment
eleanor crawford09 Mar 2022Reply
My border collie Ralph is 5 years old and has anal gland issues regularly visits the vet just yesterday and after an examination was told he has a polys or a mass in rectum would one considered doing surgery
Lisette - Comment
Lisette09 Mar 2022Reply
Yes same thing here with my 5 year old English bulldog Machi. Just visited the vet today and told me the same thing. She will need surgery, I forgot to ask if removed with surgery will it ever come back. I’ll have to call first thing Monday to set and appointment and see how much it will cost

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