Treatment of Canine Perianal Fistulas, or Infected Anal Glands
According to the American College of Veterinarian Surgeons (ACVS), perianal fistulas are tube-like formations inside the dog’s skin around the anal glands. They appear as two oozing pin-points, one on each side of the dog’s rectum. The best that can be said about it is a reoccurring chronic condition that releases a thickened liquid that is foul, putrid, odorous, ulcerating, described as sinus tracts in the perianal tissues with an unknown cause. Unfortunately, the breed of dog that is the most susceptible is the German Shepherd, even though other purebred or mixed breed dogs can also develop it, such as Setters or Retrievers.
Medical treatments for canine anal conditions
Treatments are usually placed at the end of the article, but since our readers may have a dog or know of a dog with this condition, and treatments are their main purpose of reading this article …. I will place the treatment section here. I had a reader request information on this particular disease, so I hope this article helps.
According to the VCA Hospitals, there are many traditional medical treatments for perianal fistulas as it is not a well-understood disease at this time.
- If the condition is considered mild, it can improve with medical treatment — but the improvement will not be permanent.
- Antibiotics are used, such as metronidazole.
- The most popular treatment is a combination treatment of ” cyclosporine” and “ketoconazole” for 16 to 20 weeks.
- For secondary bacterial infections, antimicrobials are prescribed and also topical tacrolimus (an immunosuppressive drug, trade names Prograf, Advagraf, Protopic) in many cases.
- Keep the anal area clipped with systematic and careful bathing.
Surgery can be used to remove infected tissue with/without simultaneously using cryotherapy. However, surgery as a treatment for canine perianal fistulas is considered high risk for potential complications, used only when traditional medical treatments repeatedly fail.
Another surgery is removal of the dog’s tail. According to ACVS, “Removal of the tail may allow better aeration and cleaning of the area, which will facilitate the healing of existing fistulas and also help decrease the recurrence rate.”
The ACVS states there is an 80% reoccurring rate of dogs with perenial fistulas, which is why many of the treatments are combined. The vet in charge of these treatments is a board-certified veterinary dermatologist.
Natural treatments for the canine perianal fistulas
— (from the Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care)
- Many cases have an autoimmune cause or an underlying allergy, so it may be wise to do a hypoallergenic food trial.
- Also used are oral anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressive drugs, such as prednisone, cyclosporine, and azathioprine.
- Dogs with this condition should change to a novel protein diet for 12 weeks.
- A novel protein diet is a diet selected that contains a new or “novel” protein and carbohydrate source, meaning that your dog has not eaten this protein source in the past.
- Naturally build up a dog’s immune system with Primalix Immune, (dogs that are on autoimmune disorder medication or have chronic arthritis cannot take this medication). It is also excellent for dogs with allergies.
- Keeping the anal glands exercised can be done with diet. The fiber in bran, fiber, grated raw vegetables, and psyllium husks.
- Keep any foods away that the dog is sensitive to, even in the slightest.
Herbal therapy for canine perianal fistulas
Herbal therapy for chronic anal conditions can be done by applying warm moist applications of hot chamomile, lavender, and calendula or red clover tea. Once the saturated cloth cools slightly, hold on the anal glands for three to five minutes with one hand while gently stroking and talking to your dog in order to relax him or her. Repeat this until the mixture is too cool to be if any use.
The treatment above is meant to loosen, soften and stimulate the impacted anal glands so they will flow on their own. Repeat this several times a day for however many days it takes to clear the glands out. After three days, if the glands are still impacted then gently “milk” the glands with slight pressure on both sides of the anus. Cover the abscessed area with gauze to catch the contents.
If the anal gland is abscessed, add several drops of grapefruit seed extract or tree tea oil to the above mixture.
Homeopathy for canine perianal fistulas
- Give Belladonna 6c, 1 pellet or tablet every four hours for three treatments.
- The next day, give the tissue salt Silica 6x every four hours all day (24 hours).
- For impacted anal glands, give Silica6x to your dog once a day for 10 days or more, or until the condition improves.
Color therapy for canine perianal fistulas
- If the abscess on the anal glands has not yet come to a head, use a green systemic front followed by indigo directly on the anal glands.
- To drain the abscess, use a few orange and yellow tonations.
- If a fever accompanies the condition, place the color magenta over the chest area along with a blue systemic front.
- If the abscess is beginning to drain, you can stimulate the draining and healing with a turquoise systemic front over the anal gland area followed by indigo.
A follow-up article on the Signs and Symptoms of Perianal Fistulas will be posted next Tuesday.
If you would like a pdf format of this article, please click HERE.