Some of the most uncomfortable problems that our dogs have to deal with are diseases of the anus and rectum. While some of these ailments are inherited, others are often seen in older dogs. Early diagnosis is recommended; some conditions are easily treated while others may become chronic. It’s worthwhile knowing what ‘normal’ is for your dog, so that anything out of the ordinary will be spotted. High performance dogs and dogs with lumbar spine injuries may also have anal gland problems.
Natural Remedies for Rectum and Anus Issues
Anal gland problems are a signal that something is going wrong in the dog’s body.
- Processed pet food and treats can cause or exacerbate the problem. Eliminate grains, corn, potato, oatmeal, wheat, rice or soy.
- Don’t feed the same protein all of the time. Try something new, like rabbit or bison. Food allergies can cause chronic anal sac problems.
- Pumpkin and soft kibble are useful natural remedies.
- Omega 3 oils are often effective for reducing itching and inflammation.
- Strengthen rectal and abdominal muscles with regular exercise.
- It can be worthwhile to run a HairQ test which will show the dog’s endocrine balance, any mineral deficiencies or excess and the levels of arsenic, lead and mercury.
Anal and Rectum Ailments
Anal Sac Disease is the most common disease of the anal region. It is caused when the glands on either side of the tale become clogged or infected and produce dark, foul-smelling liquid. This is primarly a small breed problem.
Perianal Fistula Is usually seen in German Shephers, setters and retrievers, especially in dogs over 7 years old and who have skin problems. A weak immune system or low thyroid hormone levels are linked to this condition. Hair follicles and anal glands become contaminated by fecal material. The infection must be treated promptly to prevent it from spreading.
Perineal Hernia refers to a hernia near the anus, seen most often in 6-8 year old unneutered male dogs. Breeds most at risk are Boston Terriers, Boxers, Collies, Kelpies, Dachshunds, Old English Sheepdogs, Pekingese and Welsh Corgis. Diagnosis is done by a rectal examination.
Rectal and Anorectal Narrowing (Strictures) are caused by scar tissue resulting from injury, trauma or inflammation. German Shepherds, Beagles and Poodles are most prone to this problem.
Rectal Prolapse refers to rectal tissue protruding through the anal opening. The dog will strain when going to the bathroom. An incomplete rectal prolapse means that when the dog is passing a stool, some of the rectum’s lining is visible, but only for a few minutes.
Rectal Tears happen when a dog is injured or swallows a sharp object. This should be treated as soon as possible to avoid infection. The tear needs to be stitched closed.
Rectal Tumors are often treated with surgery, if the cancer has not spread. Symptoms are diarrhea, blood in the stool, pain when defecating and straining.
Early diagnosis is important since symptoms can be similar for both chronic but treatable conditions and for life-threatening ones. Changing the diet will often be necessary. If you have had success in treating your pet, please let us know.
Continue reading to learn which remedies helped Earth Clinic readers.