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Does anyone have a dog with Perianal Fistula? Our female 6 year old GSD Renata seemed to get this about 5 months ago. At first the vet thought it was a ruptured anal gland and then determined that this was it when it didn't heal. She was on Eukenuba for years from the breeder and was in fine health. When we got her 16 months ago, we shortly after tried to switch her to a raw diet which our other 8 year old male shepherd Sam has been on for 7 years, and she didn't quite take to it. It seems like ever since then she has these allergies that the vet can't pinpoint is food related, environment related, etc. I should also note that it is when our male GSD moved with us from Canada to GA that he started having a lot of itching as well which apoquel seems to tame.


We only give her high quality kibble, having switched from a salmon based protein, to lamb limited ingredient. The vet suggested an HD diet (hydrologized protein) which doesn't seem like it will be the highest quality or nutrient rich and great long term.


She itches a lot, and apoquel has helped reduce her overall itching, but we're told that this won't help the fistula.


We don't want to go on Atopica which is $300 a month and doesn't have enough proven evidence to suggest that this will cure or greatly minimize it.


Does anyone have any recommendations? Thank you in advance!


https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/perianal-fistula-in-dogs
 

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I have a 13 year old male that was diagnosed about a year ago...he was prescribed an ointment which contains Tacrolimus which is a steroid.......the area around the anus is cleaned first with chlorhexidine wipes......then the ointment is applied...I wear medical gloves because of the steroid...apply once daily.... within 2 weeks the both of the small ulcerated areas had healed....we discussed my dogs diet when diagnosed but decided to do one thing at a time. Overtime the fistulas would return if I stopped the ointment ....next I went after his diet>



My dog (Beau) has always been a picky eater... we've battled for years trying to find a kibble he would consistently eat....turns out the grain free kibble I was feeding and Beau really loved the taste.....however being "grain free" it was causing a hard stool which was aggravating the anal fistulas.
He's now eating a salmon kibble which is NOT a grain free food mixed with cooked ground chicken, beef or turkey....a little canned pumpkin--sometimes canned dog food...sometimes canned chicken breast....I change things up each meal because he's picky.....about a month ago I started a stimulant free human stool softener (50 mg docusate sodium)....he's had no issues for a month.......simply put---his poop is softer....being a arthritic (spine and joints) senior it's not easy for him to get into and hold "the poop position"....overall much easier quicker and smoother for him...that's a short version of what has been a longer more difficult story.
 

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Just did some internet reading tacrolimus is NOT classified as a steroid....thinking back to the conversation with our vet he compared it to oral steroids like prednisone... except that nothing else in the body was affected like an oral steroid....since this was a topical applied to a specific area....somewhere in the conversation I assumed (incorrectly) it was a steroid....the potential cancer risk of this ointment was why I was told to wear medical gloves.....OP I just read you're from Canada...tacrolimus may not even be an approved drug there
 

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Take a look at adding The Honest Kitchen's Preference Base Mix to the raw diet that you're already using. You can feed it with cooked OR raw meat, of your choice. There's a few things about it that might possibly help in these situations:


-it produces ginormous, firm poop -- emptying problem-prone anal glands naturally better than anything I've ever tried (you'll at first do a double-take at the size of well-formed pile -- just realize it's by design)

-it contains some quercitin-filled produce, which *may* have an anti-inflammatory/anti-histimine effect inside the gut, calming things down (early research is encouraging, but it's still a "maybe")

-you can control the meat and add whatever novel protein suits your dog, so if you need to feed buffalo or nutria or something exotic, you can

Website: https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/dehydrated-grain-free-fruit-and-veggie-base-mix


I would also add a dose of Glandex to it. I've used it for years, and I think it's a good product. Website: https://www.glandex.com/pages/about-glandex

Other base mixes to look at include Dr. Harvey's (Veg-to-Bowl and Paradigm) and Sojo's (the cheapest option, with grain). The one bummer about THK is that it contains peas, which I hate in dog food, but at least it's designed to work with any kind of meat.
 

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I have a 13 year old male that was diagnosed about a year ago...he was prescribed an ointment which contains Tacrolimus which is a steroid.......the area around the anus is cleaned first with chlorhexidine wipes......then the ointment is applied...I wear medical gloves because of the steroid...apply once daily.... within 2 weeks the both of the small ulcerated areas had healed....we discussed my dogs diet when diagnosed but decided to do one thing at a time. Overtime the fistulas would return if I stopped the ointment ....next I went after his diet>
How do you keep him from licking it off?

(Slighly off topic - Perianal abscess- this remeinds me of when I worked in the ER of a small town hospital- perianal abscess cases always seemed to be from a nearby unincorporated area. I pointed this out to the charge nurse and he said I'M FROM CEDAR CREEK!)
 

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...the potential cancer risk of this ointment was why I was told to wear medical gloves.....OP I just read you're from Canada...tacrolimus may not even be an approved drug there

Tacrolimus is available in Canada. My SIL is using it for his GSD to prevent recurrence of her fistulas after a couple of years of oral meds. Previously Kenya was on Atopica plus Tacrolimus. He was told to wear gloves for the same reason as you.
 

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How do you keep him from licking it off?

(Slighly off topic - Perianal abscess- this remeinds me of when I worked in the ER of a small town hospital- perianal abscess cases always seemed to be from a nearby unincorporated area. I pointed this out to the charge nurse and he said I'M FROM CEDAR CREEK!)
I wondered about that myself.....of course the vet said if that became an issue use a cone......when the fistulas were present and visible he'd lick his butt like most would lick an open wound.....although Beau would flinch when I put the ointment on....I'm only guessing that there was something soothing in one of the ingredients....because he'd stop worrying the sores immediately....guess it's also possible something in the ointment may have numbing effect...but if that's true the vet didn't mention it.....overall in my dogs case amazing stuff.
 

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Have you asked the vet how deep these fistulas are? Does he have other immune issues? Some can be 12 inch long and come from deep inside. In that case the body has formed little canals to transport the pus to the outside. I hope your dog's are superficial and can be treated. My Wolfy Dog had them really bad and was in a lot of pain; screaming while pooping, not wanting to poop in anticipation of pain. He was only 1.5 years old and had regular immune problems in other ways.
 

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This might be a stupid idea, but it's just how my mind works....

Renata ate Eukanuba for most of her life with no issues. Granted, Eukanuba is not a high quality food. Yet, she had no health issues on the Eukanuba for close to 5 years. You stated that she never took to the raw diet and has consistently had problems with allergies.

Have you considered going back to the Eukanuba? Might be worth a try.
 

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My Zoya was recently diagnosed with perianal fistula. I adopted her at 5 years old May of 2018 , and the vet ran tests and told me he didnt know what was wrong with her $2000.00 later. I got fed up with that vet and the new vet diagnosed her in December. She on raw, tumeric,probiotics, vitamins, fish oils and anti-inflamatories. I also useuse Veterianary Formula antiseptic and antfungal spray for her rear.
 

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So sorry about your dog. Those fistulas are horrible. Our older dog developed one and we went with tacrolimus salve and prednisone for 4 months. It sort of worked, but the hole kept healing up from the outside and we had to repeatedly lance it to drain it. So it actually was trying to heal too quickly, I think.

We decided to do something completely off the wall and used sugardine twice a day. It something that we have used for years with livestock and it's really amazing how well it works. It's easy to make since it's just sugar (we used powdered sugar to get a smoother consistency) and Betadyne (provodone iodine) mixed together. It worked great! The vet was really impressed with the results and our dog completely healed.

I don't know if we were just lucky, and we haven't had an opportunity to try it on another dog. I hope we never do, but it definitely worked for us and we never needed to lance the spot again.

Best of luck with your dog.
 

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I would look for a dermatologist or veterinary teaching hospital to treat your dog, seems like you're getting wrong information. Nikki is treated at Texas A&M and a diet change was the first recommendation. Not sure which "high quality" kibble you're feeding but many of them are now causing DCM. Log into Facebook | Facebook

Nikki is being treated with Prednisone (only because we know she would stop eating on Atopica), Tacrolimus & MotaZol. Cleaning the area after she poops is important. Apoquel can also be used to treat fistuals without the side effects of Prednisone but it didn't work for us.

Here is a FB group that may help you a little with which treatments have helped different dogs: Perianal Fistula Awareness/Support by Sauver Des Chiens
 

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So sorry about your dog. Those fistulas are horrible. Our older dog developed one and we went with tacrolimus salve and prednisone for 4 months. It sort of worked, but the hole kept healing up from the outside and we had to repeatedly lance it to drain it. So it actually was trying to heal too quickly, I think.

We decided to do something completely off the wall and used sugardine twice a day. It something that we have used for years with livestock and it's really amazing how well it works. It's easy to make since it's just sugar (we used powdered sugar to get a smoother consistency) and Betadyne (provodone iodine) mixed together. It worked great! The vet was really impressed with the results and our dog completely healed.

I don't know if we were just lucky, and we haven't had an opportunity to try it on another dog. I hope we never do, but it definitely worked for us and we never needed to lance the spot again.

Best of luck with your dog.
That makes total sense, long time ago my vet told me the cats get abcesses because they fight with other cats , put sugar on the abcess and it will dry it out. Benydine heals as well. But what about the ones inside the rectum?
 

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I can't tell you how it works, but it certainly did for us. When the hole was big enough and we could do so without causing too much discomfort to the dog, we packed the sugardine into the hole to try to fill it up. Our dog was pretty stoic about it and he let us do anything with him, so that was a real plus.

We used a syringe, without the needle of course, to push the salve into the drainage hole. The healing seemed to come from inside to the outside so it never closed up before it was completely healed. Even the old scar tissue went away. Our vet was almost giddy when the saw how well it worked.
 

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I can't tell you how it works, but it certainly did for us. When the hole was big enough and we could do so without causing too much discomfort to the dog, we packed the sugardine into the hole to try to fill it up. Our dog was pretty stoic about it and he let us do anything with him, so that was a real plus.

We used a syringe, without the needle of course, to push the salve into the drainage hole. The healing seemed to come from inside to the outside so it never closed up before it was completely healed. Even the old scar tissue went away. Our vet was almost giddy when the saw how well it worked.
Right now she is fine but if she flares up I will try that, thanks for the advice.🐕🐾🐶
 

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I hope she stays fine. That would be great. But if not, I hope the sugardine works as well for her as it did for our dog.
 
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