First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is In Pain When Pooping?

Defecating is normal and natural and is something that all mammals do. However, if your pet appears to be in pain or is crying out when pooping, this is not normal and if the problem continues, the dog should be checked by the vet as there could be a serious reason for the pain. Possible causes could be:

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Foreign object
  • Inflammation of the anal sac
  • Enlarged prostate

Symptoms like diarrhea and constipation can also make defecating a painful experience for your dog. If your dog is behaving normally otherwise, you will not have to rush them to the vet right away. However, if the problem continues for a long period of time with no improvement, you may want to bring them in for a checkup as a precaution. If your dog begins to vomit, becomes lethargic and refuses to eat, this is when they should be brought to the vet.

Book First Walk Free!

Why In Pain When Pooping Occurs in Dogs

Dogs who are brought to the vet and are having difficulty and showing pain pooping will most likely require a fecal sample to be given. When collecting a fecal sample, you will need at least a teaspoon of the stools. Try to get one that is under 24 hours old, as the fresher the better. Unless your or the vet suspect parasites, you should keep the sample refrigerated, but not frozen.

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

Dogs who develop hemorrhagic gastroenteritis will suddenly develop bloody diarrhea and begin vomiting. In most cases, the dog will appear to be healthy and will develop the symptoms suddenly. Dogs who are affected can also become depressed, have a painful abdomen, lethargy, fever and will experience a loss of appetite. If untreated, this illness can have fatal consequences. Exact reasons for this disease to develop are unknown, but food sensitivity and bacterial infections can be possible causes. Anxiety, hyperactivity and stress are thought to be contributing factors. Toy Poodles, Shetland Sheepdogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, King Charles Spaniels and Pekingese seem to develop this illness more commonly than others, although is not limited to these breeds.

Foreign Object

Some dogs who eat objects that are inedible and are not meant to be ingested can sometimes experience problems, like blockages. Objects like food wrappers, pebbles and bones are common sources of the problem. String and other similar objects should be of increased concern, as they can cause the lining of the abdomen to become inflamed, which leads to a dangerous condition called peritonitis. Pets who have eaten something that they shouldn’t and are experiencing issues because of it will show signs of tenderness in the abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, difficulty defecating, decreased appetite and changes in behavior.

Inflammation Of The Anal Sac

The anal sacs are part of the communication between dogs and other animals and are located beneath the skin on both sides of the dog’s anus. If these sacs become blocked, abscessed or inflamed, it can make pooping painful. If there is something wrong with your pet’s anal sacs, you may find your dog chewing and licking their behind or scooting across the ground on their bottom, along with possible swelling around the anus. Skin disorders, obesity and infections can be a contributing factor to problems with the anal glands. The pet’s diet, the position of the glands and any trauma that occurs to the glands may also trigger anal sac inflammation.

Enlarged Prostate

This condition is also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy. Dogs with an enlarged prostate can experience pain when defecating, as it can press against the rectum. Infection, tumors or, in the case of a dog who is not neutered, hormones, are possible reasons for an enlarged prostate. Dogs who have this defect will experience difficulty pooping, produce flat ribbon like stools, and have constipation and bloody urine. In the case of infection, the pet may drink more and therefore urinate more often. Male dogs who are sexually intact are of higher risk of developing BPH.

What to do if your Dog is In Pain When Pooping

Diagnosing hemorrhagic gastroenteritis may require a biopsy of the intestine, a complete blood count and biochemical analysis of the blood, urinalysis, clotting tests, ultrasounds or x-rays, fecal evaluations or examinations of the gastrointestinal tract using endoscopy. Treatment for hemorrhagic gastroenteritis will include antibiotics, changes in their diet, supplements and fluids. Gastrointestinal protectants and medications to prevent vomiting are usually given as well. Dogs will usually not be fed in the first 24 hours of treatment. 

After looking at the medical history, a physical examination and x-rays, your vet will be able to determine if there is an obstruction due to the ingestion of an object. Urine and blood tests can be used to rule out other possible causes. Regulating problems related to foreign objects will vary depending on what was eaten, the symptoms that your dog is experiencing and a physical examination. In most cases, surgery will be the treatment of choice. However, there is a possibility that the object will be able to pass on it’s own, although hospitalization could be required in order to observe the dog and the progress of the object by using radiographs. Ingestion of foreign objects should be dealt with as quickly as possible, as it can sometimes cut off the blood supply to some vital organs, which can make them die if left for a prolonged period of time. 

Problems with the anal sacs can be cured by expressing the sacs, using antibiotics or an antiseptic to flush them, or lancing them, which may require the dog to be put under anesthesia. Dogs with a prostate that is enlarged may need to have surgery, take antibiotics or be neutered. There are medications that can be used for dogs with an enlarged prostate that will temporarily shrink the gland and relieve discomfort. These medications, however, should be discussed with your veterinarian before application, as it can make your dog less fertile and can predispose them to other diseases like adrenal gland disorders and diabetes.

Prevention of In Pain When Pooping

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is difficult to prevent, as the cause is usually idiopathic. A good way to keep your dog healthy is to refrain from giving them unusual foods and avoid stressful situations. Do not let your pet eat anything that is indigestible and could cause a blockage. Keep small and dangerous objects out of their reach.

If your dog is experiencing issues with the anal glands often, you should try eliminating grains from their diet. Other changes like switching their source of protein to a novelty protein may help as well, as an allergic inflammatory response can occur if there are only one or two sources of protein. Feeding species appropriate diets or adding digestive enzymes and probiotics can also be beneficial. 

Keep your dog up to date with their parasite prevention medications and keep them on a high quality diet. To prevent bowel related issues, ensure that your dog gets a fecal check included in their annual exam. Problems caused by large prostates can be prevented by neutering your dog.

Cost of In Pain When Pooping

All of these diseases have different causes and therefore they will have varying costs for treatment. Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis will cost about $1100 to treat. Curing anal sac disorders will cost an average $500, and benign prostatic hypertrophy has an average expense amount of $700.

In Pain When Pooping Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Beagle mix
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms


my beagle mix just started yelping when he poops it is just when he start to poop he yelp then after that he will finish fine he plays and eats his meals i give him pumpkin with his dinner , he drinks little water through out the day

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Patterson, I'm not sure if he is having soft painful stools, hard painful stools, or has a problem with his colon or rectum that is causing this pain. It would be best to have him examined by a veterinarian, as they can perform a rectal exam and make sure that there are no abnormal growths, that his anal glands are okay, and determine the best course of action to regain normal bowel movements for him!

Add a comment to patterson's experience

Was this experience helpful?