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What is Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum?

Having chronic inflammation of the rectal area and perineum (perianal fistula) can be an excruciating disorder for your dog. If your dog has perianal fistula, the area around your dog’s anus will become inflamed and sore, may have lesions that can become infected, and can cause incontinence in some dogs. Experts have not found a clear cause of this painful disorder, but is seen most often in certain breeds and dogs older than seven years old. Some studies have also shown that it is more prevalent in male dogs that have not yet been neutered. You may notice a foul smelling liquid from your dog’s anus, leaving spots on the floor or furniture, wherever your dog sits. This liquid is actually from your dog’s anal glands, which are used to leave his scent for identification. You should call your veterinarian if you see these foul liquid stains or if your dog is licking and biting that area more than usual. If left untreated, perianal fistulas will cause more pain and eventually will block the anus so your dog cannot defecate. This is a medical emergency and you must take your dog to the veterinarian or animal hospital.

Chronic inflammation of the rectum and perineum (perianal fistula) causes a bad-smelling and swollen area of the tissues around the anus, called the anal glands. This area may have sores and ulcers, which are painful and can cause infections. This disorder is most often seen in the Golden and Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, English Sheepdog, Border Collie, Bulldog, Spaniels, and Irish Setter. However, it can affect any breed of dog, both male and female, usually those over seven years old.

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Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $4,000

Average Cost

$1,600

Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum in Dogs

  • Scooting rear end on the floor
  • Licking and biting the affected area
  • Matted hair around the anus
  • Ulcers and swelling in the anal area 
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty defecating
  • Straining to defecate when there is no stool (tenesmus)
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bad smelling discharge from anus
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Causes of Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum in Dogs

The real cause of perianal fistulas is still not clear, but many experts suspect it to be an autoimmune disease. Although perianal fistulas can happen in any dog, male or female, at any age, some say it is more prevalent in dogs who carry their tails low and those that have a wide and sloping tail. Studies show that perianal fistulas are most common in older dogs (older than seven years old) and certain breeds, such as:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • English Sheepdog
  • Border Collie
  • Irish Setter
  • English Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Brittany Springer Spaniel
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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Diagnosis of Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum in Dogs

The first thing your veterinarian will do is talk with you about your dog’s medical history. He will need to know every illness your dog has had, how the illness was treated, any changes in personality or changes in food. Your veterinarian will then do a complete and thorough physical examination of your dog, including taking his temperature, listening to his heartbeat, and blood pressure. Some of the tests he will be performing are:

  • Rectal examination
  • Stool sample
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine specific gravity
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood glucose (test for diabetes)
  • Blood chemical panel (test for high calcium, urea, phosphate, potassium, creatinine)
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Digital radiology (x-rays) of abdomen to check for obstructions or hernias
  • Aspiration cytology (cell or tissue sample test)

The veterinarian may also need a biopsy of the area to rule out other disorders.

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Treatment of Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum in Dogs

The veterinarian will treat your dog depending on the severity of the inflammation and whether there are other complications, such as infection. In the past, the most common treatment for perianal fistula was surgical ablation or fistula deroofing, but these have had more negative results than positive. The side effects of surgery are anal incontinence and recurrence of the fistula. Since then experts have discovered that certain autoimmune drugs work excellent for clearing up the fistula. The veterinarian will probably give your dog Cyclosporine or Prednisone first. If these are not successful, the veterinarian will most often try Azathioprine. A topical medication like Tacrolimus may also be prescribed.

The veterinarian may also prescribe a special diet of protein that your dog has not had before to see if this may help clear up the problem. Sometimes dogs become allergic to foods that they have been eating for a long time. For example, your dog has been eating beef and pork; your veterinarian may prescribe a diet of fish and lamb.

The only reason the veterinarian will suggest surgery is if the condition is severe or if the medication does not help clear up the problem.

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Recovery of Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum in Dogs

With the medication, your veterinarian will want to monitor your dog’s progress with many follow-up visits. It is essential for the health of your dog to keep all your appointments and to follow your veterinarian’s instructions.

If your dog has surgery, you will have to clean the area daily and apply medicated lotion to prevent infection and other complications. With prompt treatment, your dog has an excellent prognosis.

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Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $4,000

Average Cost

$1,600

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Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Pit Bull

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My almost 2 year old pit bull started rubbing her butt on the floor. We got her anal glands popped acouple months back and they told us they weren’t really filled . So I checked her out and her poor bum is irritated at this point and she has a small red bump on her bum as well. Not sure if it’s an emergency or just a cyst of some kind that will go away

Feb. 12, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Maureen M. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello, The scouting on the floor may have inflamed the sensitive skin around the perineum. If it's painful, the bump may be infected. It's not an emergency but I would still advise you to have the vet take a look and may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory cream and some antibiotics if she suspects an infection. Good luck

Feb. 12, 2021

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Labrabull

dog-age-icon

Seven Months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Anal Swelling

Swollen rectum with no discharge

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is common for puppies to have parasites that can cause him anal irritation. If this is something that is not improving and that you are noticing as a problem, it would be best to have your puppy seen by a veterinarian, as they can analyze a fecal sample for parasites, and can do a rectal exam if needed to see what might be going on. I hope that all goes well and that your puppy is better soon.

Oct. 6, 2020

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poodle/australian shepherd

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Anus And Red/Muddy Looking Anus Area

What is causing my dog's inflammation in this area?

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is okay. If they are still having any problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 20, 2020

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Mini Yorkshire terrier

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12.5 Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nodule On Bottom. No Whining Or Crying-

There is this swollen module on her backside. She is not appearing to be in pain- but it looks horrible

July 20, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear that your dog is having issues. This mass could be very serious. If it is getting larger, it would be best for your vet to look at this area. Many times this mass needs to be removed. Your vet would be able to give you an estimate of this procedure and if it needs to be removed. I hope that your dog's mass gets taken care of soon.

July 20, 2020

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Ringo

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Labrador Retriever

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14 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Pus Around His Anus

I have a 14 year old lab that has had this for months now! It was treated at the vets, then when it came back they just ordered more antibiotics! This time it didn't do anything. They offered more antibiotics but I want him to be seen! I'm taking him in on Monday and hope there's something they can do because I KNOW he's suffering! He either paces and pants or sleeps. He also has started going in the house, literally minutes after coming in! We just had to put down his littermate brother this spring and he hasn't been the same since...I don't know if this has anything to do with it but it seems his problems started then.

Sept. 15, 2018

Ringo's Owner

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Tucker

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French Bulldog

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Blood In Stool

I have a french bulldog/Boston Terrier mix that is about six years old. He has had a wide range of problems including allergies, eye problems, and bowel problems. It took us a while to figure out the allergies but once we did he was a happy healthy pup on a diet of white fish and sweet potato for a long while. About a year ago he started having blood in his stool and then had an anal sac rupture. He had meds for that and is cleared up quite quickly but the blood in the stool continued. He had several rounds of different meds including antibiotics and those for parasites but that didn't work. We then tried the Z/D diet to see if it was a food sensitivity but that didn't work and only resulted in soft but still relatively formed stools that he didn't have before. So he had a doggy colonoscopy and they determine no cancer or anything but that he had inflammation of the anus. He has now been on Prednisone for more than two weeks along with some herbs for pain with no improvement at all. The side effects of Pred are already starting to show. He has no other symptoms at all...no vomit or diarrhea, no scooting or anything like that and is generally happy and super playful. He has normal bowel movements though he does strain a little....unless he does a lot of running then he might have a softer stool. I am not sure where to go from here....the bleeding is generally mild and he has no other symptoms so it makes it hard to want to consider any type of surgery. I did read that it is more common in male dogs that aren't neutered and my doggo still has his boys in tact so I am wondering if having him neutered would provide any relief at his ripe old age of 6 going on 7??? He is a chewer so I worried that he ate something that cut him down there but I would think that would have been found in the colonoscopy. I don't mind taking care of him and I will wipe his little bloody booty till the end of time but hope he isn't feeling too much pain and of course would love to get it resolved. Any other suggests would be much appreciated!

Chronic Inflammation of the Rectum or Perineum Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $4,000

Average Cost

$1,600

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