General information on Perianal Fistulas
Perianal fistulas are lesions that occur around the anus of the dog. These lesions are chronic and get progressively worse. When these lesions first appear, they do not look like lesions, but more like draining holes around the anus. Soon after, they form open sores and draining tracts that produce a very foul smelling discharge. In some cases, these lesions connect internally with the anal sacs. The cause of perianal fistulas is unknown.
Symptoms of Perianal Fistulas
Some of the symptoms of perianal fistulas may be lesions around the anus of the dog, foul smelling discharge from the lesions, pain, discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, blood in the stool, ulcers around the anus, chewing and licking the perianal area more frequently than normal, and scooting across the ground. Some other symptoms that may occur, but are less common may be loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and behavioral changes.
Treatments for Perianal Fistulas
The treatment for perianal fistulas is primarily surgery. Surgery is the most effective treatment for perianal fistulas and may even require amputating the tail of the dog. Cryosurgery, freezing the tissue, and laser surgery are also other highly effective forms of treatment. However, surgery may cause the dog to lose control over their bowel movements. There are non-surgical treatments as well, but perianal fistulas are extremely difficult to cure with medications; although, immune-mediating medications is a form of non-surgical treatment.
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