Warning: This post may be a little graphic for weak stomachs.
Remember a few month’s ago I told you that I thought Louise had squatted on a rose-bush or something and cut her behind? She was on antibiotics and I thought it healed. Well the other day I noticed not only one cut but multiple and an abscess on her anus.
I am very upset to report that Louise has been diagnosed with Perianal Fistula Disease. This is a serious condition and I am very worried about her.
A perianal fistula is a severe lesion that develops around a dog’s anus. A fistula is an abnormal pathway from something inside the body to the surface of the body. “Perianal” simply means the area around the anus.
In perianal fistula disease, there is often more than one lesion. The result is chronic, persistent draining ulcers that are very painful for the dog.
Perianal fistula disease is also known as anal furunculosis.
The vet says that they are not sure but think this disease is auto-immune (it just is, she did not catch it from something or someone). There appears to be some genetic basis, especially in German Shepherds who are predisposed to this condition. Approximately 80% of the dogs affected are German Shepards and most are male. (Louise is neither a German Shepard nor male, but…)
From what I am reading, they use to think the problem was related to how the dog carried its tail and the presence of a type of sweat gland that produces a stinky oily sweat in the anal area (common in German Shepard). Some articles said that they cut off the dog’s tail to try to treat this – but that does not seem to be suggested today. (The Pet Health Library)
Lulu is being treated now with a heavy antibiotic, then we will move to a cyclosporine, and ultimately, if we have to, prednisone. This is not going away but maybe we can make it so unremarkable, it will not hurt her.
She is OK, but I am concerned about long term drug treatment on a 3 1/2 year old dog. I pray that we caught this early and she will respond well. Right now, I am just trying to keep her from the constant butt licking (and Sofie nosing her – which she never did until recently.)
Please light a candle that she does well on the treatment.
Have any of you ever had a dog with this problem and what have you done about it?