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Perianal Fistulas | German Shepherd

Perianal fistulas, quite common in the German Shepherd dog, is a chronic condition that cause painful lesions around the anus ad anal area of the dog, resulting in deep ulcers. The condition is also referred to as anal furunculosis. While the precise cause of the disease is not known for sure, it is believed to begin as the result of an inflammatory infection of the sebaceous – oil – or glands in the anal area. Abscesses are formed, only to be opened and drained. Unfortunately, the warm, moist area around a dog's anus is ripe breeding ground for a number of harmful bacteria. While dogs of all ages can be affected, the prime age range for risk is between 4 and 8 years of age in a German Shepherd dog. German Shepherd dogs account for over 80% of all dogs diagnosed with this condition.

Symptoms of perianal fistulas in your German Shepherd dog may include your German Shepherd dog chewing or licking the area around his or her anus. Your German Shepherd may also “scoot” across the floor as a means of scratching the irritated or infected area. You may also see a dog suffering from perianal fistulas suffer from either constipation or diarrhea, have bloody stool, suffer from incontinence, or exhibit signs of ulcers or a foul smell. Some dogs end up losing their appetite and thus losing weight as a result of this condition.

If you suspect that your German Shepherd dog is suffering from perianal fistulas, take him or her to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Medical and surgical routes alike are possible, and while the disease is painful, it is rarely fatal, although serious complications like incontinence can result. Mild conditions of the disease can be treated by clipping or shaving the German Shepherd's hair around the area and cleaning it with antiseptic solution and water. A more serious condition may require surgery, whereby the diseased tissues may be frozen, deadened, and removed.

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