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Discussion Starter #1
Last Sunday I noticed that my boy was licking his rear end non stop for like a hour so I took him to the vet as he was due for his second Flu shot anyway. Well it turns out that his anal glands needed to be expressed and that he basically licked himself raw. We also wanted to get the 4DX tests done because we have seen multiple ticks on him. Well I got a call Sunday night from the vet and she said that he showed a low positive for Anaplasmosis. She wanted to send in the blood to confirm and to find out how positive he was so that she can figure out what treatment if any was necessary. The problem we are still having is that he is still licking himself alot and the area is now pink and there was a little blood on his anus. what should we do to clean it and stop him from licking it? he was put on Metronidazole for 1 week.
 

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I wonder if the flu shot has anything to do with it. Why are you giving him flu vaccines? Could be suppressing his immune system. I would get him on a good probiotic/digestive enzyme and give it to him mid day when he isn't getting his met dose. Vitamin C will help support the immune system and his diet may help him to express his anal glands naturally. What are you feeding?
 

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The only thing that I could think of to stop him would be either a cone or possibly a hydrocortizone spray (I know they have them at PetSmart). Good luck with your boy!
 

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I'd say put a cone on him also....
 

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Tractor supply carries them too.
 

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I would buy a bottle of dermaplast from your grocery store and spray his tush area liberally 3x a day, definitely will need to cone him, and change his diet. If he keeps licking like that he's going to get a bacterial infection so the cone is a must until it scabs over. My lab had chronic anal gland issues and a grain free diet has solved the issue. I know it is pricier in the short run but once those vet bills add up from repeated anal gland expressions and antibiotics you'll save yourself a lot of money and time, and him constant discomfort by just switching his diet.

As for the ticks what are you using to prevent him from being bitten? We live in a high tick area and I've only plucked one off of my lab ever in 8 years. I would get some preventative and start now:)
 

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It sounds like he has a perianal fistula, the beginnings of it. If this is the case, then you won't want to go with the standard treatment because of the tick disease. The metro might help the fistula, you will be combining that with doxycycline for the tick stuff.

Anaplasmosa - the 4dx *cannot* distinguish between high and low positive, it is either positive or negative. When vets say it's a *low* positive, they are misunderstanding the test.

Anaplasmosa can be fatal if left untreated, and it can take months (sometimes years) to get to that point. To try to avoid that state, aggressive treatment *now*.

I would recommend a full blood panel to look at liver, kidney, and blood/platelet counts.

Flu vaccine - none of that anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies and anwers.
He has been on Frontline Plus since he was old enough for it.
The vet did send out for a complete Blood analysis and we are still waiting for the results. The 4DX was done at the office and she said that the Anaplasma Titer only slightly changed color leading her to believe that it was a low positive.

As far as diet well he has been a very picky eater since Birth.
We had him on Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy until he would not eat that anymore, and then switched him to the Royal Canin LBP.
We noticed that he was very itchy for a while and tried to switch him again to something without Corn, Wheat or Soy. We first tried Wellness Large Breed Puppy (He does not like it at all) so we started mixing in some other kibbles a little at a time (Orijen LBP and Solid Gold Wolf Cub)
Right now he is eating a mixture of the three but will usually not eat breakfast. We have been adding a little canned food to the mix just to get him to eat. The other problem is he has had loose stools for about a month or so which is why I think he needed to have the Anal Glands Expressed. Any other food suggestions?

Can I use Bactine on him until tomorrow?
 

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Definitely get a cone for him so he can't reach his butt area. I use Vetericyn for all types of wounds on my dog, my horse and myself. If you can, get yourself a bottle. It won't sting.

As for food...definitely go with a grain free one in case he is allergic to the grains/corns, etc in the food. My GSD is picky, has a sensitive tummy, and doesn't tolerate chicken products in her food or treats. I switched her to Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato. There are a lot of really good grain free foods....just keep trying until you find one that appeals to your dog.
 

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The 4DX was done at the office and she said that the Anaplasma Titer only slightly changed color leading her to believe that it was a low positive.
There is no such thing. The snap does not measure "quantity". Negative or positive, that's it. It is not a titer measurement. Again, this shows that your vet misunderstands the reading the Snap. In fact, the Snap isn't that sensitive for Anaplasmosa (better for Lyme), so it's even harder to tell.


For the food, find a single protein, single carb, limited ingredient food. Perianal fistulas are a chronic disease, though they can be triggered by anal gland disease. Many vets do not know how to treat them. It is possible that the fistula will start clearing up with a food change and once treatment for the anaplasmosa has begun. With a fistula, there is *much more* damage on the inside than you are seeing on the outside.
 

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LisaT is the tick expert on this list so please take her advice very seriously. The fistula can also be quite serious so please have that checked out too.

I would stop all vaccines immediately as they can wreak havoc on the immune system. I would think about changing vets--I've never heard of a vet recommending a flu shot!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I understand that Lisa T. is the Tick expert. What a Title:D I am going to try to get him in today for the licking and see what they can do. Last weekend they sprayed some sort of anti-inflamatory spray and that seemed to help for a couple of days. I will get another cone for him today as well. Maybe I misunderstood the vet when she said it came back as a low positive for the Anaplasmosis, but I am pretty sure that is what she said. Anyway that is why they chose to do a full blood panel to find out what is going on. As I understand it Lisa has recommended agressive treatment for this disease which is 400mg of Doxy twice a day for a month. The vet did say that this was the treatment.
Most of the Vets in this area seem to push the Canine Infuenza Vaccine.
My mother uses a different Vet and they push it as well. Maybe it is a geographical thing?
 

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Yes, 400 mg twice a day is the aggressive dose for an 80 olb dog. Kudos to your vet for that! However, I would treat a completely asymptomatic dog for 6 weeks. With symptoms, lokkin' at 3 months.

With the fistula, I would think that you might also be dealing with Babesia - may or may not be true.

In the link in my sig, there is also info on fistulas.

Your vet probably did say low positive - many vets do.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just got back from the Vet
He does not have a Fistula it is just red from him licking so he was put on Cephalexin for 3x Daily for this problem along with Animax Cream and a Cone.

His Lab Results all came back completely negative so she thinks that he may have been exposed to Anaplasmosis but it is out of his system and feels that at this time we should not treat for it.

Thanks for all of the info provided.
 

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Good luck with your dog.

Btw, my dog had a deep hole in his anal region and the vet said it wasn't a fistula. (Stupid vet.)

I would suggest running blood counts every 6 months or so and keep a watch (spreadsheet) on blood counts and platelets. Your dog might be lucky, or it might take a couple years before there is a near fatal drop in counts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Good luck with your dog.

Btw, my dog had a deep hole in his anal region and the vet said it wasn't a fistula. (Stupid vet.)

I would suggest running blood counts every 6 months or so and keep a watch (spreadsheet) on blood counts and platelets. Your dog might be lucky, or it might take a couple years before there is a near fatal drop in counts.
Thank you for all of your info, it is greatly appreciated. We do trust our Vet and they are very well respected in the industry. I hope that we are making the right call. She also stated that we should put him on a different food with one source of protein that he has not been exposed to yet (Fish, Duck, etc..) I am going to do some research on foods today.
 

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If you dog has not had fish yet....I've seen alot of people with perianal fistula issues use Wellness fish and sweet potatoe with great results.
(I know you said it's not fistula's...but in case it's a precursor to this issue?)
 

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Thank you for all of your info, it is greatly appreciated. We do trust our Vet and they are very well respected in the industry. I hope that we are making the right call. She also stated that we should put him on a different food with one source of protein that he has not been exposed to yet (Fish, Duck, etc..) I am going to do some research on foods today.
my big boy is having the same issue with his glands, only that he's not licking his butt, and i took him a week and a half ago or so to the vet to express them and had him for ten days on baytril and prednisone and it has not gotten any better! i started giving him metamucil as per vet's recomendation! im actually gonna take him to the vet again tomorrow because today i noticed a couple of big drops on the floor which looked like coffee lol which turned out to be out of his butt glands so im not liking what im seeing and want to make sure he's not getting the fistula! i've had him on Royal Canin for the past 2 and a half years and has not had any problems, he's 3yrs and 1mo! im gonna ask the vet tomorrow about the food! my breeder sent me this link for more info http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/20603.htm&word=infected,anal,glands
 
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