Anal Infection

anal infection

MyGermanShepherd Health ManualAnal Infection (Perianal Fistula, Anal Furunculosis) is a progressive disease describing the condition of a chronic lesion around the anus, triggered by pathogenic bacteria or fungi, but caused by a weakened immune system (to fight off those bacteria and fungi).

Note that Anal Infection is not the same as "anal gland" or "anal sac" problems, which describes the condition of an inflammation in or around the anal glands due to a lack of natural evacuation of accumulated toxins.

The anal glands are one of the body's "detox chambers" that occasionally naturally evacuate excessive toxin levels (those toxins that the body can expel, many it cannot). This is why it can only be considered foolish when ordinary allopathic vets recommend dog owners to pay them to remove the anal glands during surgery!

When the anal glands no longer can evacuate naturally - either because they have been foolishly surgically removed, or because of an avalanche of toxins in industrial pet "food", or because ill-advised dog owners manually express the glands - then this can cause an inflammation in the anal area that is different from the Anal Infections discussed here.

Anal Infections can form deep and draining ulcers that can make this condition painful and tough to heal. Conversely, the inflammation from excessive toxin build-up causes itching and is easy to heal:

Who Suffers Anal Infections

Unfortunately, German Shepherds are one of the main breeds to suffer Anal Infections (one study accounted for 84% of the dogs diagnosed). To some this seems to suggest that Anal Infections are an inherited defect.

However, the larger number of glands in the perianal area when compared to other breeds, and the way the tail is set and carried, both promote growth of bacteria and fungi. So indeed this may be the only reason for the increased incidence of Anal Infections among German Shepherds.

Primarily male German Shepherds are affected, and mostly between the age of 5 to 8 years.

While most GSDs easily cope with this greater pathogenic attack, ie they don't suffer Anal Infections, dogs with a particularly weak immune system can contract Anal Infections.

Warning Signs

  • frequent chewing or licking the perianal area
  • scooting the anal area over the ground
  • perianal ulcers or bleeding or red or black spots
  • foul-smelling discharge in the perianal area
  • pain when lifting the tail
  • clearly different potty routine
  • stool looks clearly different
  • lethargy
  • losing appetite
  • losing weight
  • change in behavior because of discomfort or pain

Preventing Anal Infections

The warm, moist area around the anus and under the tail make an excellent environment for bacteria and fungi to multiply up to the point of an Anal Infection if the immune system is too weak to fight off the pathogens.

As already mentioned above, only dogs with a weakened immune system will develop Anal Infections, while healthy dogs easily cope with an abundance of pathogenic attacks (else dogs wouldn't even exist today).

Again, a weak immune system is caused by:

Likely in this very order. So make sure you avoid all that, in order to prevent Anal Infections (and so much more).

In addition, avoid interfering with the function of the anal glands as one of the body's "detox chambers": Do not have them surgically removed, and do not manually express them. Either of that can lead to inflammation which then will attract many more bacteria and fungi and so can cause an Anal Infection too.

Once started, Anal Infections almost always lead to chronic conditions, not least because ordinary allopathic vets treat them wrongly:

So make sure you avoid ordinary allopathic vets as well.

Be aware that a well-nurtured and not intoxicated canine or human organism does not get sick easily, no matter how many pathogenic attacks the body has to resist!

Evolution made dogs even more resilient than people: historically the dog gene pool adapted/improved twice yearly, the human gene pool only once every 20+ years.

Other than that, if you worry too much that your dog might contract an Anal Infection, you may regularly cleanse the anus area with a wipe and strong antiseptic spray. But then make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with an antiseptic lotion before you attend to your dog's anus, and afterwards again.

Speaking of this, a funny note: We once had a Scottish neighbor, she said she wipes her dog's anus after every walk. But then she said she takes her dog in the bed. Thus, at least her strict anus cleansing regiment was a way to somewhat limit her own infection risk.

Treating Anal Infections

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Once an Anal Infection occurs, treatment may need to be repeated often, as with all chronic infections. Note that an infection can only become chronic if a bodily disorder facilitates repeated infection.

Thus real cure of Anal Infections requires that you cure the underlying disorder first. This disorder is the weakened immune system, weakened by one or more of the factors mentioned above.

If instead you choose to visit an ordinary allopathic vet, treatment of your dog's Anal Infection will follow their standard blanket treatment. That standard treatment typically looks like this:

  1. first visit: ineffective "broad-spectrum" antibiotics (CASH)
  2. second visit: immunosuppressive drugs like Cyclosporine or the steroid Prednisolone (More CASH)
  3. third visit: they recommend surgical removal of the anal glands! (Holiday CASH)

Now just see above again why each and every of these treatment attempts is foolish and harmful.

After you have addressed the underlying immune system disorder the way laid out above, your further home treatment should look like this:

  1. Spray antiseptic wound wash on a lint-free clean cloth and move from the outer yet seemingly unaffected areas to the inner clearly affected area in one straight line. Then use a new piece of cloth and repeat, now moving on a different imaginary straight line. Repeat until you've covered the 360 degrees around and towards the anus. The direction of the movements must be straight lines, towards the anus. And use a new piece of cloth each time. Both is critical! Do not spread the bacteria from the clearly more affected area to the yet seemingly unaffected areas!
  2. After this cleaning ritual, spray the antiseptic wound wash a final time directly around the dog's anus area. Leave to dry. Do steps 1 and 2 three times a day. This is critical for bactericidal and fungicidal efficacy!
  3. Continue this daily treatment until at least one full week after the infection seems to have resolved. Again this is critical!

As you may not use the same piece of cloth twice, you will need to use many pieces of lint-free cloth per cleansing session, hence a huge number of cloths over a three-week treatment period, yes.

After each session (three times a day), burn the bunch of cloths you used or dispose of them in a separate sealed bin bag. Do not wash and reuse or deposit them where a dog may nuzzle.

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after each treatment with an antiseptic lotion.

Dog owners who overlook any of the many above points tend to argue "nothing helps". But this does help if you precisely follow the suggested treatment, ie including that you address the underlying immune system disorder first.

The only exception where the above treatment plan would not work, and I do not know of any such case, is where:

  • the dog's immune system has been weakened so much that it cannot recover
  • and the particular bacteria or fungi on the dog's anus are chlorhexidine-gluconate resistant (the active ingredient in Synergy Lab's antiseptic).

Such resistance is unknown, hence why I can confidently say the above home treatment protocol does provide cure.

A final note: It should be obvious that a dog with an Anal Infection shouldn't be allowed on your bed or the couch. Unless you have just cleansed the anus area with a strong antiseptic spray, the dog's anus area will be populated with nasty bacteria all the time, not just during an Anal Infection.




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    My GSD has this anal disease and although we are trying to keep up with it I was wondering when is it time to consider putting him down. He's 9 yrs. old and I believe this is something that is draining us both financially and emotionally. I hate to see Bear so down yet How much is too much and is this something that Bear is struggling with. His love of life is gone. He's just laying around wanting to do nothing. He's whining all the time and I don't want him suffering. He is not eating much and doesn't like people around any more. he's usually in a corner somewhere wanting to be left alone. I would hate to see him bite someone. So what is your opinion?


      Oh Donna, that sounds not good at all. At 9yrs? I wonder what makes him feel so sad. Are you sure the anal infection is the only cause? Frankly I doubt it. Maybe the medication affects his mood, have you thought about it? What med do you give him? What do you feed him? Did the vet diagnose any underlying diseases (HD, MD, food allergy)?


        Tim, It certainly took me a while to answer back. One issue after another w my GSD Bear. The infection is called Perianal Fistula according to the vet and yes he had him on many antibiotics that will cost me about $250 month to refill. One of the pain meds made him sick so I discontinued that one.. and yes the vet suggested an anti allergy food. When I looked into that it was $114.00 a bag (18.5lb) The infection is growing and smells so bad. We clean him frequently and I did change his food to one that doesn't contain any corn. A friends dog had same issue and found he was allergic to his food. Bear is eating again but still need to deal w/ infection. I don't want to put him down yet so I am continually researching this so as to nurse him back to health. The summer is coming and so are many more bacterial health issues.. I am desperate to find help some where for Bear.. he's a pure Blk Shepherd and a beauty big strong and powerful but this stupid decease is eating him up. what a shame. If a person doesn't have lots of money they are put in a position to watch their dog slowly deteriorate and die ( according to the vet this WILL kil


      I recently discovered that the problems related to the German shepherd peri-anal glands (infections, ....) could successfully treated with the cream named OZONIA VET produced by an Italian company named INNOVARESE SRL and located in Reggio Emila , Italy.
      I have personally treated my GSD and results has been super fantastic (for him and for us).
      Please, if you know people with the same problems, please forward the name of the cream to them.
      My best regards
      Massimo De Santis
      [contact details deleted]


        Massimo, thank you for aiming to HELP.
        The only problem I see here is: No matter how great a cream it is, it is mere treatment of a SYMPTOM, it won't address the CAUSE.
        Which shows that you are into allopathic medicine, which has its limits in failing to CURE the CAUSE of a defect, disorder, or disease. We have a Periodical on that.

        Accrodingly, my own suggestion further above is the only viable approach to getting rid of this AND related problems for good. We have a Periodical on that as well.


        I have a german shepherd with what the vets say she has holes and pockets around her anal area, basically like boils, is this what ur dog got if so where would I get the cream u mentioned from and how much


    I'm going to get a GSD puppy, was focused on getting a female, but recently found a nice male puppy that I am considering. But after reading this anal infection article, I'm concerned. Should I go with a female and reduce the risk of a dog developing this serious problem? What percentage of GSD males get this disease?
    Thanks for all your great website information and articles!


      Virgel, for determining the gender of dog to adopt, one of the last points I would consider is Anal Infection. Eg the temperament of your chosen pup and of its parents is so much more important to align with your household/family/attitude/interests/exercise (and the adult dog's temperament may not reveal itself before age 2 years, hence if you can, look at the parents too).

      >What percentage of GSD males get this disease?
      Please see the figure above. BUT note that it almost entirely depends on your future dog's hygiene whether or not he will contract an anal infection. The other key factor is to strengthen the immune system, not to weaken it with antibiotics and corticosteroids (like millions of dog owners unknowingly do!).

      I am sure you will take care of your dog so well that you personally shouldn't worry about this subject. Okay?


    I am on the second round of antibiotics for my GSD. She exhibits no other symptoms and is 7 years old. You mention strengthening their immune system above. Can you elaborate? I hope to get this under some type of control soon, it is very disheartening, and would not want her to have other issues if we can avoid them. Thank you.


      Suzanne, topical antibiotics? Which?
      Antibiotics and Corticosteroids ruin the immune system, you probably know that, but see no other chance. Anal Infection indeed is extremely dogged, like I said above. Unfortunately I have no other remedies. If you come across anything better, pl let us know too.

      PS: I believe a big part is hereditary...


    We have an 8 year old female and thought this was the problem when we brought her to the vet he said that it is not a drainage or glad issue that he believes it is a tumor/mass. However she is sweet band happy...I think he is wrong and it is this issue as I had gotten bigger and smaller and has even been on the other side before. Now the big ball like area has three wart looking raised marks and there is is a new open lesion on the other side that has a bit of pus. I'd like to send you a picture if possible to see what you think as we love her and she is family and I want to do right and protect my wife and and daughter from loosing her if possible. Thank you


    I have had my beloved Baron for 7 yrs. About 6 months ago bright red blood started coming out wwheneverhe had a bowel movement! Alarmed, we rushed him to the Vet whose only recommendation was to put him on flagyl and to consistently keep him on the same food, Well after 4 days of the flagyl he started throwing up and refused to eat. I immediately took him off the meds and he recovered in 1 day. Except for the blood , he seems healthy and energetic. Even when he has a bowel movement he seems happy and shows no sign of pain or discomfort He is not lethargic at all and never throws up. I am at a I take him back to the vet or is there something that I can do for him that doesn't involve antibiotics. Thank you so much, Any advice will be greatly appreciated,


      OMG, when will "village vets" learn that antibiotics are NOT a blanket treatment for anything!

      At least you were wise to take him off that nonsense quickly, Loren. I am not sure though that your diagnosis is right, Anal Infection, because you don't mention rectal infection symptoms at all. It rather sounds like he may have worms, possibly hookworm. Details see here.

      Seek out a different vet! An educated vet! Also called holistic vet.


    Would a probiotic help with this anal problem?
    Also would probotics help with; vomiting
    Weepy eye (brown tear tracks)
    Probiotics purchase through a Vet.

    Thank you for your time.


      Probiotics don't help with AI, no. Only for flatulence, bloat, bad breath, digestion issues, diarrhea, vomiting, and (sometimes) urinary tract infections. Eg the Probiotics on our Dog Care Remedies page are good for all that (and no, you don't need to get them through a Vet, the linked one is better and only a fraction of the price at a vet).

      For AI I really don't know any better remedies than mentioned above. If you or anyone else ever come across a reliably effective AI treatment remedy, let us know. With reliably effective I mean: The chronic AI disappears permanently (temporarily successful treatment I know myself, and it's posted above).

      I would exercise a diligent hygiene schedule as above.


    my gsd is swollen near the anus how do I tell what has caused it and what it is


    For your education, worms aren't the only cause of bloody diarrhoea and you pointing them out to only consider this is very narrow minded and not in the best interests of the animal. Antibiotics can be an appropriate first choice of therapies especially Flagyl which will also treat Giardia as well as settling the gut lining down due to its anti-inflammatory action. Other first choice therapies would be to do faecal floats, culture and sensitivities but then the owner has to stump up this cost which is far more expensive than to question stuff on an internet forum and get a diagnosis for free. the only thing I agree with is to seek out an educated vet - this doesn't mean a holistic vet because holistic as an adjective is hopeless misappropriated and could just be someone spouting all natural cures - everything has its place but don't knock vets because we what we do is backed by evidence based medicine.


      For your education, I never said what you claim. Never make false statements here, just because you scim over texts you find. Anywhere.
      Always aim to STUDY first what you claim to know. Having passed veterinary exams (or not) is a comparatively low achievement.
      Your opinion on antibiotics and holistic would do well with some education too. We actually have Periodicals on all that, substantiated by the top dog experts in the world.
      I just looked, you are not in there, guess why.


    My GSD Zeus is 13 y/o as of 4-6-15. Never thought he would live this long since acquired a very serious case of peri anal fistulas when he was 6 y/o. My vet could not get it under control and sent us to a dermatologist ( Dr Senter at Bluepearl in Overland Park , Ks. ) He couldn't guarantee he could help him, but here we are 7 years later and Zeus' problem is in remission with 3 drugs cyclosporin, ketoconazole and metrodonazole. He doesn't take it daily anymore like he did in the beginning. I buy it at costco due to less expensive. He is a very happy guy and the joy of our lives! So glad we found Dr Senter! He is a very bright Dr. and specializes in this! He saved our boy! :)


      Hello coco,
      Do you give the medications once a day all at once or do spread the treatment throughout the day?


    hi i have read the comments above but still not 100% i have a german shepard cross rottweiler but am gonna have to take my girl to the vet i think :( she is almost 5 and smells bad her rear end is sore but i just originally put that down to she was an avid jumper when she was younger as she suffered separation anxiety quite bad clearing quite tall fences to come find us and also i heard rottweilers suffer hip problems ?? she has since calmed down from that and has started smelling so bad even after just bathed. she poos alot its not bloody or anything although slightly runny. today when i went outside there was this horrid smell of faeces and really liquidy brown stuff on the back verandah resembled muddy water :( it smelt so bad and she is so sad most of the time and she also suffers with dermatitis I'm so worried about our big girl :( this has been happening about a month now but the (supposed leaking or diarrhea ) hasnt happened before today :(


      Smells like Giardia. Discuss with the vet treatment with Panacur, Drontal, or Milbemax, and instead of the standard three day treatment I would give it on day 1, day 3, and day 7.


    I have a 4 year old female blk/tan that I love so much named Harley. We found she had a "blow out" at her 6 month check-up at the beginning of February. It was infected at the time and caused an extra hole. They put her on antibotics and steroids for about a month and it seemed to help. The infection went away and the hole got smaller. However, after the next two week check up, the hole was back to the original size. It was not infected, but will not close. They doubled the steroids and added another round of antibotics just to make sure the infection did not return. She also has Pannas, so her immune is low. She takes a compound drop in her eyes 3 times a day for that. They are not sure what treatment next, but I don't like the way the steroids have changed her temper and she is always panting and pacing. Is there something else that can help? Any suggestions would be welcomed!


      I feel like swimming against a very strong current.
      Every new visitor reports the same things that have been solved dozens of times already on the pages of this site.
      What magic will make people use SEARCH and then READ what's already there?

      Get the Dog Expert Interview Series so that you too understand why ANTIBIOTICS AND STEROIDS ARE THE WORST, MOST STUPID TREATMENT YOU CAN CHOOSE! You allowed the vet to RUIN your dog. :-(

      I am still swimming against a very strong current.


        Well thanks for the great advice and for being so kind. I didn't visit the site until after we started the process. Believe me, I will not pay you for your rudeness.


        You are not paying anything to anyone. Don't make things up. No one is rude here, spammers get deleted. Which word didn't you understand to come up with "rude"? Is beyond me.


    I have an 8.5 year old German Shepherd. She is the love of my life, I would do anything to stop her itching. First the Vet told me to change her food to all fish food, which I did and she was put on allergy medication which worked. The Vet checked her Anal Gland and all was fine there, she just licks her tail right below her poop hole. She is licking and licking it, so I know something is bothering her. I wash it and put some antiseptic spray on her, however it calms it down but then she continues to lick. The story on Heidi is, she lost her German Shorthair brother on June 7th 2015 of this year, she stop eating for almost 5 weeks, I couldn't get her to eat anything. Finally, as the Vet and I discussed it, he thought it could be the food I was feeding her she was relating to Buddy, so we switched, however the one I switched to was another one Buddy and Heidi ate together, so I had to change her diet altogether. She has been itching since he passed away and we purchased another German Shorthair puppy for her to be the boss to. She is doing well with the new puppy, however something isn't right so I hope I will be able to get her into the Vet tomorrow to have her checked out. She is a love, actually she is the 1/2 sister to the German Shepherd who played in the movie I Am Legend with Will Smith, the trainer kept her, her name is Abby. Heidi comes from a great breeder, so I know she has a great history. So, I understand all of you when you fear for your German Shepherd Dogs, but believe putting your dog down due to a allergy problem or an infection problem, is not the answer. An Anal Gland can be removed according to my Vet in the Bay Area when I lived there, they don't like to do it because it is expensive, but if pushed come to shove I would have it done if it meant Heidi would be comfortable for the rest of her life, if this is what the problem is. Also, Medical Insurance is great to have on a dog, I have it on Heidi and the Puppy was added to her policy as well. Thanks for listening. Carol Duffert


      "if this is what the problem is."
      It is not, Carol. And "An Anal Gland can be removed according to my Vet ..., they don’t like to do it because it is expensive". Vets LOVE to remove anal glands and do x-rays and anything else that is expensive. In what world are you livin'? Don't believe what they say, use common sense.

      So, common sense applied here gives this: While it could be a sudden anal gland issue, it highly likely is not. How does the area look? You didn't say it is red or inflamed or anything. That's what it would be, if it was an anal gland issue.

      If Heidi "She is the love of my life" then I cannot understand WHY you feed commercial food??
      Now that you have arrived at MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG of course you know by now that commercial "dog food" is NO dog food, it is artificially concocted residues from rendering plants. :idea:
      (There are limited exceptions but those are so limited it isn't worth talking about)

      Even my new puppy (to be honest) is not "the love of my life", yet I would NOT feed him commercial crap. He too gets only homemade fresh foods, OF COURSE. No need to ask or wonder. - I would only feed a dog commercial rendering plant crap if I hated the dog all the time. I don't.

      Needless to say, this dog has NO skin issues, no diseases, no disorders, no defects, no nada. Pure health. As it should be. As it will be, when you feed real foods.

      I took the time out (out of my lifetime), again. I trust this helps you. Pl do reply if not.


    I got my GSD this year and the shelter wouldn't tell me anything about him only that he had diarrhea and I believe he has the anal disease, and it looks bad, it's not worms, it looks like both sides are cut deep he is happy and eats, I went to the vet and same thing they said allergies and to use antibiotics, he constantly licks the area, I clean his rectum but he suffers alot, I feel like putting him down would be best but I know that they won't let me, he would play around for a But but then lay down and cry and lick his rectum. I know it sounds selfish to put him down but it's sad seeing him constantly thinking about it. What should I do?


    Had to put my male shepherd down three years ago. He had perinatal fistula, I had never heard of it after raising 7 shepherds. Have done a lot of research, immune system weak, dogs dont want to eat or go to the bathroom. They are in so much pain, sores extremely hard to heal, if they do, a miracle. Removal glands very hard on dogs, can cause dogs problems with releasing themselves. Do a lot of research, please, read what others have gone through. After two years of my Bud going through hell, I put him to rest. I tried 15 different dog foods, nothing helped. I now have two more shepherds having problems with their glands, and I am home cooking their food now. We will see. I pray for all of you and hope people remember when talking with you all about this horrible disease, to be kind, these are our children and we are their guardians, thank you


      "I tried 15 different dog foods, nothing helped." - Of course not. Had you done a bit of research on our site you would have saved all that money Becky.
      "immune system weak" - you don't need to do research for that though, it's common sense, isn't it?

      I have written so much about all that, makes no sense to repeat it now. Instead let's make it FUN as always:

      The more A, S, V, and CC you provide to your puppy, the more you have destroyed the immune system before (s)he's an adult dog, the sicker your dog will be permanently, the $$higher$$ your vet bills will be, and the $$emptier$$ your bank account will be!

      Good guessers first, what does this stand for? :-)


    I need to know what kind of homade recipes. My girl was just diagnosed with perianal fistula. After the doctors lack of concern and talking over my while I tried to ask questions, I decided to take her health into my own hands and go to a holistic vet. But I just need to know what I can start making now to get this disease under control until we meet with the new vet. Do you have any recipes?


      Addie, choosing a reputable holistic vet is a wise decision!
      As for "recipes", are you not subscribed to our Periodicals??


    No. I just happened across this site while looking for more information on pf. The vet just gave me some lousy sheet and didn't even tell me what kind of "special diet" to put her on. That's why I started searching the internet. But now that I know I will definitely subscribe to this site. Thank you.


    I have a 7 year old female German Shepherd who has bright red large blood clots coming from her rectal area and it looks like she has an open sore on the side of her rectum what could be the cause of this and what could I possibly do


      That does not sound like Anal Infection, but like sth in the gut or related intestines is wrong!
      I have a vague guess based on this vague description, and I'd urge you to take the dog to an ANIMAL HOSPITAL straight away!
      Then report back what they found, okay?


        Sorry it has taken so long for me to get back we took the dog to the vet he said it was caused by a food allergy he changed her food put her on antibiotics and steroids and a allergy pills well the blood stopped and has not returned but she still has the open would on the side of her rectum still st a loss cause the vet is at a loss I just want it to close it has not gotten bigger but I don't know what to do about it now if she was human and didn't like her rectum I could fix it but I'm willing to try anything at this point I was thinking about a hydro gel what do you think Tim and thank you for your help Penny


        Penny, "put her on antibiotics and steroids and a allergy pills" - had you read ANYTHING here you would know crystal clear why I so strongly advise AGAINST that. You are making things WORSE now. Far worse. Shocking for me. All my hard work here in vain. :cry:

        "but I don't know what to do about it" - how about READING here?! And following the advice. Damn, it's even free here! How **free** is your vet?


    My son had to have a 14 1/2 year old white g.s last july, she had the anal problem, he also has a black gs nale and he is 6 he now has the problem, my son does nit want him on antibiotics for a long time as ge found out it does not do there kidneys any good. My son went out and found a 2 year old female gs. That is to replace the white one he had, it looks like he might have to get another one because he wont gave just one.


      Your son is doing the right thing. Not just the kidneys suffer from antibiotics, all 12 body systems. Plus, antibiotics wouldn't help anyway. Pure placebo.


    I have a 5+ year old female gs, Annie. She is having the symptoms associated with the original post of this site. My wife brought her to the vet and showed him this discussion, along with the recommended antiseptic spray. His concern was that an ingredient in the spray was harmful to their feet. I'm not sure what the ingredient was but have you heard of this before with this spray?


      Linked is SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula. I, like SynergyLabs, am surprised to hear what you say he said, that the Veterinary Formula(!) was disapproved by your dog's vet - almost certainly the same vet who routinely prescribes antibiotics and steroids(!), correct?

      And who said you spray it on the dog's feet?

      I am sorry, I don't get it, what you're writing. Just tell me what your dog's vet WANTS to prescribe?


        Thanks for responding Tim. Right now Annie is on antibiotics and pretizone for two weeks. Our vet is researching a long term solution that we will discuss at our two week check up. I plan on going with the SynereyLabs solution, but will see what he comes up with. -- Thanks for this site, a great resource!!


        Ha! Remember? I wrote: "almost certainly the same vet who routinely prescribes antibiotics and steroids(!), correct?"

        And you reply: "Right now Annie is on antibiotics and pretizone for two weeks."

        Funny how well I know your vet without even knowing his name, hm?

        I just cannot understand, with all the advice here, and even for free, why on earth you go back to pay even more to such "vet" (who really should lose his practicing licence in a flash!). I would give a *hit on his "research", pah!

        Here's what you should be doing instead, for the benefit of your dog and your bank account: Find the right veterinarian!

        #4 in this one, he's of the sort of the right veterinarian. Only, you can't visit him.


    We live in a very rural area with limited options; however, our vet has been wonderful for our many dogs and cats past and present. We appreciate him and his services very much. With these limited options, that's why I have reached out to you. Again, thanks


      Apart from some places I have seen in India, I live here more rural than anyone of you. And yet, I wanted, and so I have found the right "local" veterinarian.

      A vet who routinely prescribes antibiotics and/or steroids should have no place near your heart. Only in jail. That's my personal opinion. Without having identified the CAUSE of a disease or disorder, NO genuine vet will prescribe antibiotics or steroids!
      a) because they harm all body systems, and b) because today most antibiotics are ineffective from the start!

      But of course, such "vet" doesn't even know that. Certainly he doesn't know the difference between disease and disorder either - and why this is crucial for the right treatment.


    does glandex work for this or is apoquel better


      Apoquel is a medicine, with harsh harmful effect on the immune system, and results ranging from aggression to cancer.
      Glandex is a food supplement.
      If only you feed natural homemade foods, like we always strongly recommend(!), you need neither. And so you save your dog's health and you save a lot of money.
      Thankful donations welcome here.


    My vet wants to remove my 5 year old ale GS's anal glands immediately. Poor pup has been on 2 bouts of antibiotics, is happy, eats well ( homemade food), never 'scoots', never licks or chews at any part of rear end, no blood from anal infection, below tail area is not red or raw, but 2 months ago did have anal gland infection. Seems ridiculous to me to want to do such surgery on a seemingly healthy young dog. Have done a lot of reading on the subject, just discovered your site today, & joined. The next step sounds like it should be a visit to an holistic vet. Is that what you would recommend? What is your opinion on removal of anal glands?


      Totally agree with you here "Seems ridiculous to me to want to do such surgery". Was it the same vet that prescribed "2 bouts of antibiotics"?

      As we see, time and again, even two bouts of antibiotics didn't help. No surprise here. Glad you are educated and don't agree to (and pay for) more of that, nor the surgery.

      It sounds like you noticed the condition early and it is mild? Then have you tried the suggested home treatment, and for how long, and what difference in symptoms did that make, both visually and behavior-wise?

      What does it look like now compared to what it looked like when that "vet" started his routine "treatment"? Any helpful observations?


    Actually, it is 3 bouts of antibiotics--last one was stronger version of the 2nd one.
    Am taking him to an holistic vet next week to get a second opinion re anal gland infection. Will write then.
    Must be quite a mild infection, as, as mentioned, he plays, eats, runs, etc. as if there is no problem.
    Tried home treatment--he doesn't like having his butt inspected, but who would after a vet sticking his hand in & squeezing! No bleeding, spotting, leakage noted. Will know more after alternate vet examination.


    perianal fistulas are causes by an over active immune system in the dog. The treatment is 150 mg of [deleted*] once daily for a 90 pound GSD usually concomitantly with 300 mg of [deleted*] daily. The cost is somewhere between 100 to 200 dollars per month plus the exams and blood work to be sure the liver is not being hurt by the drugs. The outcome is statistically good with almost all dogs responding to the treatment which is 2-4 months or more. If all goes well the drugs can be tapered and eventually replaced with a topical immune suppressant applied to the anus.
    Antibiotics do nothing to stop the fistulas from forming or becoming worse and many Vets don't know the proper treatment. Go to a Vet School's small animal hospital and see someone in the dermatology department..

    *deleted: Deleted upon Tim's review (see below). The lab meds promoted by Paul Lawrence exacerbate existing immune disorders (incl. Perianal fistulas!) and cause further immune disorders! To maintain the unique quality of help on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG we ask that everyone kindly refrains from promoting long-term sickness causing medicaments that are already being promoted plentiful elsewhere. Thank you.


      Hi Paul, here's again, in short, why "advice" like that above does not pass my review:
      Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant, Perianal fistula is an immune disorder. When you recommend to suppress the immune system (temporarily, while you give those drugs), you impair the immune system further and long-term, instead of healing it in the first place.
      That's exactly the reason why Anal Infections are almost always recurring (they are chronic) and why that allopathic standard treatment then causes further immune disorders, here incl. wide-spread allergies, kidney failure, liver failure, and cancer! Often years down the line, and thus ordinary allopathic vets cannot make the connection with the earlier drug treatment.
      So, nothing more foolish than that! Hence why we here (only we it seems) don't allow to further proliferate such dangerous "advice".

      Ketoconasole is a broad-spectrum antifungal drug with severe, long-term, and if not closely monitored even lethal impact on the treated dog. It is both unneccessary and inadequate, it cannot heal Anal Infections.


    Hate that word .. Anal Furunculosis .. my Boy started at the age of 7years .. Had cryosurgery .. 2 lots of other surgeries .. umpteen creams , tabs .. in the end my Vet .. said few weeks to live .. inside was a mess with fistula"s as well as outside .. Aptopica sent him weird . So pulled him off that med . Pred not so bad .. Trimmed his fur around bum area .. low hanging tail causes excess bacteria build up .. washed Him 2/3 times a day for nearly 4 years . Lactulose for the straining . Aloe Vera gel for back end . We did have another ointment from vets .. But gave him slippery elm daily
    .. put him on just brown rice and Quorn chicken bits .. for quite a few months ..His lesions started slowly healing . The vet was amazed
    .. My Boy lived till he was nearly 11 . Incontinence problem at the end through the night . Combined with chronic athritic condition . 2 weeks before he was 11 .. The same time my girl was going through DM .. she was put to sleep 3 weeks previous to my Boy..


    My GSD had (past tense) perianal fistulas. The vets didn't even know what what going on and one of them may have even brought on the condition sooner than it would have appeared. TAKE YOUR DOG TO A UNIVERSITY VET SCHOOL. I live in Philadelphia and Penn Vet school got rid of the fistulas within 2 months. The dog will be as a minimum on an immune suppressant ointment for life and perhaps some pills too, but there is no infection and he is a very happy fellow. The daily treatment is a lot to have to do, but if you love the dog you do it and he is in good health. Also it is not cheap in the beginning but is not outrageous as time goes on.


      "TAKE YOUR DOG TO A UNIVERSITY VET SCHOOL" - I agree if you mean university vet hospital staffed with experienced veterinarians, not if you are served by beginners - as often(?) happens to save cost.

      In fact you prove my point right away: "The dog will be as a minimum on an immune suppressant ointment for life and perhaps some pills too". - That is about the worst possible outcome for a dog (and the owner)! I am surprised you are "happy" with that?

      Why the worst? Simple: Unless the vet school's student or practitioner was educated on the cheap (ie nothing but allopathic doctrine), he will NEVER put a dog on "immunosuppressants for life"!! That is so exceptionally daft that I am lost for words. I can now only say: STUDY THIS, as often as you need, to despise that "vet school" you mentioned. You may want to pass it on to those students as well. I allow that.


    I have a German Shepherd girl named rio she had this horrible condition and was treated with steroids and all sort
    She now on atopica and has been for a year I'm now giving her 1 tablet every 3rd day I keep her area clean cut back her hair and apply aloe Vera once a week fingers crossed she is doing well and no problems but my question is she is due her booster but really concerned do I get it done or not I have heard that this is a factor in this condition and read lots of articles about this please please advise


      Kay, I did advise already, right above, and as for vaccination "booster" (tsss!) see here.
      I really don't care what you read elsewhere, I read elsewhere all that crap too, else I wouldn't know what causes dog owners to do so terrible things to their dogs.
      And so I would do exactly as described in detail above, hence why I wrote it like that. And you don't even have to settle a bill here... :-)

      You are doing things differently yet. And, most fundamentally, because of these five points.
      Ahh, how well it all fits in your case too, I am amazed myself! :mrgreen:


    Hii sir
    My 7 year old GSD is suffering the same problem.. We have been feeding him pedigree for years... But can we give him eggs, baked Potatoes, wheat roti or rice to strengthen his immune system? Please suggest some other vegetarian options.
    We have started giving him antibiotics.
    Please help... We are really worried about him


      "But can we give him ... to strengthen his immune system? ... We have started giving him antibiotics."

      What to feed??
      Seen the menu?
      > CARE > DOG FOOD

      As for Anal Infection, the solution is right above. It indeed is the SOLUTION.
      You may follow all that you find via the menu on this site: Everything is sound and proven to help.


    My German Shepherd got perianal fistulas about a yr and a half of age. Was first mistaken for ruptured anal glands. I have only heard of two options from vet, cyclosporine and another pill begins w a T? that I heard is old remedy and has bad side effects and can kill a dog. I tried to research, but there's so many diff opinions for treatment. I initially quit smoking cigs to afford her meds, but friend found a coupon, so I have been locked in at about $140 a month for prescription for a while, verse approximately $350. Was told she has to take it twice a day for rest of her life. There was hope that maybe I could eventually lessen dose, but I notice she can only miss a pill here n there or holes start to open back up. She is 3 yrs, 3months old now. Recently started lickn her paws, but vets feedback was dogs w this condition apt to gettn allergies. They have me tryn out allergy pills twice a day, which I think is overdoing it. I don't think it's helpn w her scratchn and licking. Read it may be yeast infection issue. Oh and they told me about surgery option for fistulas before, but it Didn't sound right to me to remove glands. Pills keep her pain free. I can pet her backside. The holes pretty much stay small. No ruptures since initial diagnosis. Before the fistulas, she started throwing up food. I switched from purina to eukanuba, to blue wilderness, n then under vets suggestion, Hills science diet for sensitive stomach, since her stomach seemed upset w other food. I'm concerned feedn her that. Im worried about nutrients she needs and I know I need to research more. I don't have issue w payn more for her food, just seems like so many dogfoods no matter how expensive, get bad feedback or she throws it up. What do you suggest food wise? Should I prepare her food myself, is there a better option to meds that actually work? Cause shes happy now. Shes not in pain, but I worry about long term effects of meds. I am worried about trying another route and makn her a guinea pig n it not workn, n then comn back to original treatment n bn screwed payn 350 instead of 140 for meds that are currently workn. She wasn't my girl at first. Someone decided they couldn't have two dogs, so I tk her .I researched how their anal area needs cleaned routinely/herbs are recommended / seeking out a holistic vet. Neither of my 2 vets mentioned that part. Meds/surgery were the only thing they talked about.


    I am new to this page. My 5 year old shepherd is being treated for an anal gland abscess ( antibiotics simplicef 200 mg). This is the first time he has ever been treated for anything with antibiotics. He is a fantastic guy... he will be sedated in two weeks so that a more thorough exam can be performed as vet fears it may be Perianal Fistula because she saw one hole during exam (he was not happy during this exam). I am very concerned. He does not have any problems; nor apparent pain when his bowels move and he continues to be consistent toileting and stool shows no signs of blood. I think, no I know, I need to change his store bought food. I am looking for home based/ home cooking meals for him (125lbs). He gets about 3 cups of kibble per day along with leftovers from our supper (meat/veggies/rice/potatoes). I understand there may be a link in the discussion that I missed.... Thank you in advance

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