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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi I have a male German shepherd. He has never had a problem before. However he has recently (today) been licking his rear. His poops have been softer than normal, but still hard.

The only change in their diet was a new peanut butter for the kong yesterday. My other gsd is okay.

Any idea of what this could be?

I took some pictures of his area.
 

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Blocked or infected anal glands or food allergies. Best to have the vet check his anal glands. If they are blocked they would need to be expressed manually. Antibiotics would be needed if they are infected.
Food allergies can also cause issues with the GI tract that can present with irritation around the anus. Either way I would see the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Blocked or infected anal glands or food allergies. Best to have the vet check his anal glands. If they are blocked they would need to be expressed manually. Antibiotics would be needed if they are infected.
Food allergies can also cause issues with the GI tract that can present with irritation around the anus. Either way I would see the vet.
Awesome. Figured it was one of those. But our vet closed early today so I got anxious. Going tomorrow!
 

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Keep an eye on that anal area after the PB clears his system. His rectum and anus are inflamed. What you see is often the tip of the iceberg -- usually when you see that, the inflammation goes deep into the GI tract internally. The vet checks this by doing rectal exam. It's probably painful -- that's why he's licking. The exam may be painful for him too, if there's internal inflammation.

A "red butt" that looks like a stop sign can be a classic sign of a true food allergy -- anal glands filling up would be caused by the internal inflammation (they can't empty when there is so much inflammation surrounding them). A "true" food allergy often requires vet RX food (hydrolyzed protein) or a non-kibble alternative diet, but it's not an easy thing to figure out with your vet.

If after a week you still have a dog with this painful, itchy red butt, I would make an appointment to discuss food allergies. Before that appointment, research how to do an elimination diet to work on food allergies so that you can have your vet supervise it for you. It's hard, requires some self-discipline, and it's kind of expensive to do, but it improves the quality of life for these dogs a lot. In your case, it might have been as as simple as an allergy to peanut butter (in which case the inflammation should disappear and not return as long as you are very careful with treats). However, as he gets older, he might develop new allergies to things that had previously been okay...so stay alert.

You may have to deal with anal gland expression (and possible infection) as part of the journey -- it's not a "cause" but a "symptom" of the distress. Once things cool off inside, though, they calm down too. Some Glandex (supplement) added to the diet can help too -- it is a good product!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Keep an eye on that anal area after the PB clears his system. His rectum and anus are inflamed. What you see is often the tip of the iceberg -- usually when you see that, the inflammation goes deep into the GI tract internally. The vet checks this by doing rectal exam. It's probably painful -- that's why he's licking. The exam may be painful for him too, if there's internal inflammation.

A "red butt" that looks like a stop sign can be a classic sign of a true food allergy -- anal glands filling up would be caused by the internal inflammation (they can't empty when there is so much inflammation surrounding them). A "true" food allergy often requires vet RX food (hydrolyzed protein) or a non-kibble alternative diet, but it's not an easy thing to figure out with your vet.

If after a week you still have a dog with this painful, itchy red butt, I would make an appointment to discuss food allergies. Before that appointment, research how to do an elimination diet to work on food allergies so that you can have your vet supervise it for you. It's hard, requires some self-discipline, and it's kind of expensive to do, but it improves the quality of life for these dogs a lot. In your case, it might have been as as simple as an allergy to peanut butter (in which case the inflammation should disappear and not return as long as you are very careful with treats). However, as he gets older, he might develop new allergies to things that had previously been okay...so stay alert.

You may have to deal with anal gland expression (and possible infection) as part of the journey -- it's not a "cause" but a "symptom" of the distress. Once things cool off inside, though, they calm down too. Some Glandex (supplement) added to the diet can help too -- it is a good product!
Hi!

Well I took him to the vet yesterday. The poor guy had to be sedated. She expressed his one anal gland that was full-er. But she could not determine if this was the cause of anal glands, food allergy, parasite or fleas. She did a flea check with a paper towel and rubbing his fur. Nothing showed up. He does right on his tail have about 3 hives.

So regardless she sent me home with a spray for the redness and itchiness, I bought flea and Tick medication because why not be extra sure and I have another Shepherd.

I am so worried and paranoid. He still has not fully come out of the sedation. He is constantly in his crate. He keeps crying and he wont let me spray his bum or those few hives. So now I am worried because his personality is all off. Hopefully in time this changes. And hopefully I dont need to take him back for blood work for any parasites. Since he was extremely stressed with the vet visit yesterday.

Any thoughts?
 

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You NEED to get him used to being at the vet, or this is going to become an ongoing problem! Socializing a young dog doesn't just mean letting them have a free-for-all with other dogs: it means getting them used to all the things they are going to encounter in their lives, such as claw-clipping, grooming and vet examinations.

Once he's had a chance to recover from this visit, I strongly suggest you start taking him into the vet just to say 'hi', and get a couple of cookies from the receptionist, then step on the weigh scale. Once he realizes not all vet visits involve painful procedures, things will get a lot better. Avoiding this is just going to make the problem WORSE!

One of my dog had an anal gland that would fill up. I could tell it was a problem when she would start to lick her butt a lot. The vet showed me how to express it, and I'd do it myself. Eventually the problem just went away on its own! If the glands are not expressed, however, they can get badly infected, form abscesses and rupture. This will result in lifelong problems for the dog. So, please keep on top of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You NEED to get him used to being at the vet, or this is going to become an ongoing problem! Socializing a young dog doesn't just mean letting them have a free-for-all with other dogs: it means getting them used to all the things they are going to encounter in their lives, such as claw-clipping, grooming and vet examinations.

Once he's had a chance to recover from this visit, I strongly suggest you start taking him into the vet just to say 'hi', and get a couple of cookies from the receptionist, then step on the weigh scale. Once he realizes not all vet visits involve painful procedures, things will get a lot better. Avoiding this is just going to make the problem WORSE!

One of my dog had an anal gland that would fill up. I could tell it was a problem when she would start to lick her butt a lot. The vet showed me how to express it, and I'd do it myself. Eventually the problem just went away on its own! If the glands are not expressed, however, they can get badly infected, form abscesses and rupture. This will result in lifelong problems for the dog. So, please keep on top of this.
He is normally really good at the vet! Just yesterday seemed a bit too invasive and uncomfortable for him! We always make random vet visits.
 

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Good to know! Hopefully once the inflammation dies down, it will be easier to treat the problem.

My neighbour adopted a dog with chronic anal gland issues, that otherwise would have been PTS. She had to keep a cone on him nearly all the time to keep him from chewing on the area and making it worse. Eventually, it healed enough that she could take the cone off a longer and longer time. I moved away, so I don't know if she was ever able to get the anal area fully healed and leave the cone off for good.

Anyway, just wanted to show there's hope for even the worst cases!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you so much!

Just wanting my little guy back to his normal self!

And extremely curious to find out if it was allergies, anal glands or fleas. Since he has the few hives on his tail. But alas... cannot find fleas on him or my other shepherd.
 
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