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My 9yo male who has some chronic health problems, including epilepsy, seems to have an issue with his anal glands ...

He has NEVER had problems with his anal glands before, ever. But several weeks ago I decided to change his diet due to his seizures becoming out of control lately. He was doing very well on a low protein home cooked recipe but his stools were becoming more soft/mushy. A few days ago he began to express his anal glands, constantly licking the area, butt scooting, etc. The other night he was doing this and yelped, began to worry at the area for about a half hour, didn't want me to touch him. Thought nothing of it because he has had intermittent episodes of Beagle pain syndrome since he was a pup. But this afternoon I was walking him and got a good look @ his backside. He has a small yet gaping hole on the side of his anus!!! My first thought when I examined him was maybe the anal gland ruptured? I have actually seen a dog with this before. We retired her a few months ago, she was returned but was being fed a canned food which I continued. Her stools were ultra mushy & frequent. Within 24 hrs of being back, she developed this same thing, only hers appeared infected. I figured at the time this was just a hot spot, as she had two already. So I flushed it out & put her on antibiotics. Took about 2 weeks, but it healed.

This seems to be too coincidental that now my own dog has this same type of wound in the exact same area. So I am thinking maybe his anal glands ruptured? I have never even heard of this happening but it seems like something that is possible for the type of wound he has. Has anyone ever heard of this happening to a dog or seen what it looks like? How is it generally treated? BTW, have posted a pic of the area - sorry but graphic ...

 

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Could be Perianal Fistula...

I'm dealing with the same thing with Chazz. From everything I've read, it's most common in German Shepherds but other breeds have been known to suffer from it.

I would get him to a vet quickly. Treatment is costly but from everything I've read and seen so far (It was only April 7th that Chazz was diagnosed) it can be effective.

Chazz is being treated with Pred, Cephalexin and Protopic ointment, which seems to be the most common protocol.

Here's some information I've found on PF.

This is the yahoo group which has lots of information

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/PF-L/

Another site with an abundance of information

http://members.tripod.com/~perianal-fistulas/MainIndex.html

Good Luck
 

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That looks like it could very easily be a ruptured anal gland. I have seen a few and they look similar to your picture. Does he get his glands expressed often or does he express them himself? Has he ever had problems expressing them? Soft mushy stools would not be putting enough pressure on the area to express them normally, so a ruptured one is very possible. How is the other one?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone for the links & advice!

He has defintiely been having intermittent digestive issues these past 2 weeks. Stools will be firm & infrequent one day, then copious and very loose the next. The past few days he has not been having diarrhea but was going very often - you could say his food was going straight through him with the amount of stool he was passing. So there was definitely straining that could have led up to this. Otherwise, I am scratching my head, because he has never so much as needed his anal glands expressed. Even when his groomer has done his nails, his anal sacs have always been empty. This sort of came out of the blue ... The other one seems full now, but I have switched him back to his old kibble & stools are vastly improved.

I have been looking up perenial fistulas and can't rule that out based on the descriptions. Do you know if it only occurs on the anus or can it occur in other areas?

Thanks for all the help. I've been flushing out the area with the same solution I used on the other dog. Hers took a few weeks to completely clear up but his at least looks like the tissue is very healthy and not infected. Hopefully it will stay that way ... Poor old man, lol. Always something with this dog :(
 

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Thanks everyone for the links & advice!

He has defintiely been having intermittent digestive issues these past 2 weeks. Stools will be firm & infrequent one day, then copious and very loose the next. The past few days he has not been having diarrhea but was going very often - you could say his food was going straight through him with the amount of stool he was passing. So there was definitely straining that could have led up to this. Otherwise, I am scratching my head, because he has never so much as needed his anal glands expressed. Even when his groomer has done his nails, his anal sacs have always been empty. This sort of came out of the blue ... The other one seems full now, but I have switched him back to his old kibble & stools are vastly improved.

I have been looking up perenial fistulas and can't rule that out based on the descriptions. Do you know if it only occurs on the anus or can it occur in other areas?

Thanks for all the help. I've been flushing out the area with the same solution I used on the other dog. Hers took a few weeks to completely clear up but his at least looks like the tissue is very healthy and not infected. Hopefully it will stay that way ... Poor old man, lol. Always something with this dog :(

Chazz is 9 and has never had a problem with his anal glands, ever. Talk about out of the blue.....

As far as I know, these only occur at the anal sac area and nowhere else. It can however be something that comes from the inside out, which means the colon could/would be affected, if I'm reading the information correctly.

Diet is also a big part of the treatment for PF and a hypoallergenic diet, usually fish based is highly recommended.

The changes in his stool might be something you want to look into further, as I understand that, if this is PF, bowel incontinence can occur due to the nerves in the area being involved.

I would be interested in knowing what solution you are using to clean out the area.
 

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As far as I know, these only occur at the anal sac area and nowhere else. It can however be something that comes from the inside out, which means the colon could/would be affected, if I'm reading the information correctly.

Diet is also a big part of the treatment for PF and a hypoallergenic diet, usually fish based is highly recommended.

The changes in his stool might be something you want to look into further, as I understand that, if this is PF, bowel incontinence can occur due to the nerves in the area being involved.

I would be interested in knowing what solution you are using to clean out the area.


Hmmm, it does sound suspiciously like a fistula, then. I know they're quite common in GSDs but have never heard of them in Beagles ... But a very strange coincidence that two dogs here in a matter of months develop the same exact thing. I have not noticed any bowel incontinance at all, or a need to go more frequently. He's going much less, maybe 2x daily since I switched him back to kibble. Stool was still soft today, but a drastic improvement from what it had been, and MUCH less of it! Whatever this turns out to be I have a feeling the straining from all the loose poo was to blame :(

I've been cleaning the area with both mild soapy water & an electrolyzed water spray, Pet Solution RX. Have been using this for years, it literally has dozens of uses - can be applied in the mouth, eyes, mucous membranes, burns, etc. I actually used it on myself for a wicked spider bite last year ... Am also giving him 250 mg of amoxi but always have cephalexin on hand for emergencies. Don't think it will come to that because as ugly as it is, the tissue does appear very healthy & seems to be healing without infection, thankfully.
 

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I am not a vet nor do I play one on TV but the symptoms and progress of the symptoms you've described sound like a classic full, impacted, infected anal gland that then ruptured.

The soft stools mean the anal glands cannot empty properly, they become full, the dog scoots and licks trying to get them to empty and instead they become clogged, they become infected (oh so common with anal glands that won't empty given their location), the infection (pus) builds and then the anal gland abcesses.

Another thought that entered my head is anal gland issues often go along with allergies, just like ear infections. Could the change in food be causing an allergic reaction?
 

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^^^^^ That could very well be, with the allergy/anal gland connection. The other dog who had this was not in the greatest shape when she was returned & was taken off the canned food after a few days due to either allergic reactions to it or just a very bad imbalance. It was loaded with dyes, so I am inclined to think allergy/food reaction. I've never known the 9yo to have allergies but he is sensitive to food, it affects him badly if he eats anything that doesn't agree with his system - i.e. his seizures are 99% food related. Very interesting. I definitely appreciate the suggestion, as we're trying to avoid this from ever happening again in the future.

BTW, tho, it's healing very rapidly, about 80% closed up already, very healthy tissue coming in :)
 

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Yep, that looks just like the ruptured anal glands I've seen. Keep it clean, it should heal nicely...No expert, just "been there, done that".
 

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Our previous dog had severe anal gland problems that made me feel bad just to look at her back end. The vet put her on a high fiber food that fixed the problem and saved us all the aggravation of having to have the glands removed
 
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