Monday, December 19, 2016

Holistic Treatment for Perianal Fistulas in Dogs

Perianal fistulas, or anal furunculosis, is a condition in dogs that causes painful, ulcerated tracts or tunnels around the anus. They can be deep and may extend inward, causing discomfort and inflammation. Dogs with perianal fistulas often experience symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness, discharge, and difficulty or discomfort during bowel movements.

Perianal fistulas can be a chronic and recurring condition, affecting certain breeds more commonly, such as German Shepherds, Irish Setters, Boxers, and Bulldogs. When the condition is mild you may not notice there is a problem, but as it continues to progress watch for signs of your pet straining to defecate, having blood in their feces, and a decrease in appetite. You might also notice that they excessively lick their tail and hindquarters, often leading to infection with chronic draining ulcers that can be very painful.

The exact cause is not fully understood, but several factors are believed to contribute to their development:

  • Immune system dysfunction - An abnormal immune response is thought to play a significant role in the development of perianal fistulas. Dogs with compromised immune systems or autoimmune disorders may be more susceptible to this condition.
  • Chronic inflammation - Chronic inflammation of the perianal region, often due to underlying conditions such as allergies, infections, or anal sac disease, can contribute to the development of fistulas.
  • Infections -Secondary bacterial or fungal infections in the perianal area can worsen the condition and contribute to the formation of fistulas.
  • Dietary factors - Some research has suggested a potential link between diet and perianal fistulas. Specific dietary components or sensitivities may trigger or exacerbate the condition in susceptible individuals.
  • Environmental factors - Environmental factors, such as exposure to certain irritants or allergens, may contribute to the development or progression of perianal fistulas.

Treatment For Perianal Fistulas In Dogs

Perianal fistulas can be challenging to manage and require a comprehensive approach. Treatment often involves a combination of medications, dietary adjustments, and natural supplements.  

  • Treatment with medications (oral and topical) to clear up the infection.

  • Diet Changes -A hypoallergenic, novel protein diet may help support your dog's overall health and immune system. Some pet owners have reported improvement in perianal fistula symptoms by avoiding common allergens or inflammatory ingredients. Common allergens for dogs may include grains, beef, and chicken. Artificial additives and preservatives can contribute to inflammation. Using a natural, minimally processed diet with fiber in the form of vegetables and pumpkin can help.
  • Clipping of the perianal region to increase ventilation along with cleaning the area.

Supplements For Perianal Fistulas in Dogs

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oil or flaxseed oil, have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation associated with perianal fistulas.
  • Probiotics - Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help support digestive health and promote a balanced immune system. They may assist in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, potentially reducing inflammation and improving immune function.  Power Probiotic for Petsreplenishes good bacteria reducing the possibility of infection.
  • Plant Sterols: Plant sterols have been studied for potential health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects and immune modulation.  By balancing the immune response and reducing inflammation, plant sterols may help alleviate symptoms associated with PLE and lymphangiectasia. Immune Harmony contains natural plant sterols to help modulate and balance your dog's immune response.
  • Herbal Remedies - Some herbal remedies, such as quercetin and olive leaf extract have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Topical application of silver spray may also help provide relief and promote healing.  AllerEaze and Olive Leaf Extract help reduce your dog's histamine response and fight infection.
  • Hemp Extract – Hemp extract has been studied for its potential therapeutic properties, including anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. These properties may offer some benefits for dogs with perianal fistulas by reducing inflammation and discomfort associated with the condition.  Happy Paws Drops contains 550mg of full spectrum hemp extract in an unflavored all-natural coconut oil base. Each 1oz bottle 100% organic. Made in the USA.

If you suspect your dog may have perianal fistulas, it is important to consult with a veterinarian who can provide a proper diagnosis, determine the underlying causes, and develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your dog's specific needs.