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As your German Shepherd Dog tries to eliminate, you notice he is straining. You can tell that by looking at how distressed and uncomfortable he is when eliminating. Sometimes he has constipation or diarrhea. When he manages to defecate, his feces come out with blood or mucus. Your dog clearly suffers from a perianal fistula. Don’t panic though as there are treatment solutions for the condition. In this post, we will go over some home remedies you can consider.
What Is Perianal Fistula?
Also called anus furunculosis, perianal fistula features tube-like formations that develop deep in the tissues surrounding a canine’s anus. They start as tiny holes in the skin then deepen and widen over time.
While most purebred dogs suffer from the condition, German shepherds are more predisposed than all other breeds. It has everything to do with the positioning of their tails. If you look closely at a GSD dog, his tail is located very low between his hipbones and thus covers the anus. This can be a trigger for the disease. Perianal fistula causes a great deal of pain and discomfort in the dog if not treated.
Surgical intervention has long since been the treatment of choice for perianal fistula. However, these days there are home remedies that can alleviate the problem. These include the following:
1. Make Dietary Changes
Some cases of perianal fistula unfortunately are caused by allergies. Allergic reactions or autoimmune responses can stem from the dog’s diet. To know whether the dog is allergic to his normal foods or not, make changes in his diet.
Often, your vet will recommend feeding your dog a novel protein to see if the issue will go away. In simple terms, novel proteins are those derived from a less common animal. Ideally, the common sources of protein for dogs include beef, chicken, turkey, goat, and pork. While all these sources are very good for your dog, he could be having an allergic reaction to one or two of them. Look for novel proteins such as kangaroo, ostrich, venison, rabbit, quail, bison, and duck and offer them to the dog.
2. Herbal Therapy
Herbal therapy can do wonders when it comes to canine anal conditions. The idea behind this is to soften and loosens anal glands so they can exit on their own. The treatment can be done by applying warm or hot essential oils such as lavender, red clover tea, chamomile, or calendula.
Dip a cloth in the oil, wait for it to cool slightly, and then hold it against the anal gland for 3-5 minutes. Talk to your dog as you do this to calm him down. Do this until the mixture cools down. Repeat the entire process a number of times a day over a period of 12 weeks or until the problem goes away.
Related Post: Which Essential Oils are Toxic to Dogs?
3. Hygiene Therapy
Hygiene is key when managing and treating perianal fistula. For true healing to take place, the anal area needs to stay dry and clean. That cannot happen if the hygiene is poor in the first place.
Clip the perianal region then clean with a chemical restraint to reduce purulent exudate, remove intralesional hair, purge necrotic tissue, and minimize pain. In addition, apply a dash of baby powder on the area to absorb moisture and limit regional relative humidity.
4. Exercise The Glands
The perianal glands sometimes need exercise to perform as they should. The best way to exercise them is to administer the right diet. Besides switching to a novel protein diet, also contemplate adding fiber and raw vegetables to flex the anal muscles. Fiber is especially really good. It is vital to keeping a healthy gut.
Letting your dog chomp on fiber foods can help him avoid issues of the gastrointestinal system including irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and alleviate perianal fistula. Some of the best fiber-rich foods include plain pumpkin (avoid the one with spices), grated carrots, and bran.
5. Use Supplements
Here’s another great remedy for perianal fistulas. Supplements add nutrients that foods may not have. Things like probiotics replenish good bacteria lost in the perineum area. Digestive enzymes also help combat allergies and digestion issues. To fight infection and support immunity, use natural supplements with antimicrobial properties. Finally, sources of omega-3 acids like fish oil reduce inflammation and make elimination much more bearable.
6. Immunosuppressive Therapy
A study done to find out treatment options for perianal fistula in dogs revealed that immunosuppressants or immunomodulators can heal lesions in 90% of dogs. When applied twice per day, your dog has a chance to be free from anal furunculosis. To sweeten the deal even better, there were no reported side effects in any of the patients. Topical Tacrolimus is one of the best in the market and it is the one used in the study. Apply on the area twice a day using a gloved and watch out for changes over the next few weeks.
7. Apply Topical Antibiotics
The anal gland area is susceptible to infections due to its close contact with the anus. If your dog suffers from perianal fistula, applying an antibiotic ointment after baths will keep infections at bay.
Pick a dog-safe ointment because the likelihood of your dog licking it is very high. It should be safe to apply to a ruptured gland that is already releasing pus. To discourage your pup from licking the ointment, consider using an Elizabeth collar around the neck. You can also offer a distraction like taking him out for a walk.
Can A Perianal Fistula Heal On Its Own?
Perianal fistula requires treatment as it cannot heal on its own. As a matter of fact, if left untreated, the fistula tract may develop cancer cells. Fortunately, most cases resolve after a few weeks of treatment. You only need to be patient and brave the entire process. It can be quite uncomfortable and painful for your dog, so it is easy to give and go the surgical route. However, try these natural remedies before you expose your dog to invasive procedures.
Which Ointment Is Best For Fistula?
According to a 2018 research published on the NCBI website, the best ointment in Tacrolimus. The topical immunosuppressive was applied twice per day on ten dogs over a period of 16 weeks. 90% of the dogs improved greatly with 50% of them experiencing full healing. Its efficacy has been proven to be true. If you are looking for a potent and effective topical ointment for perianal fistula, this one fits the bill.
Anus Furunculosis is a dog owners’ nightmare. No one prepares you for the horror of watching your dog experience intense pain and discomfort. Luckily, you can do something about it right at home. Refer to any of the perianal fistula dog home remedy on our list when you are lost on what to do.