Perianal Fistula in Dogs
Perianal fistula is a disorder in which the anus, rectum, and perineal regions of a dog or cat are inflamed and irritated. This disorder is often painful for the animal, as well as progressive.
Dogs and cats are both susceptible to perianal fistulas. If you would like to learn more about how this disorder affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Some of the common symptoms can include:
- Weight loss
- Inability to control the bowels (fecal incontinence)
- Ulcerations in the perianal region
The causes of the inflammation have yet to be clearly defined. The medical condition occurs in all breeds and is not more prone in either gender, but it can be found commonly in male dogs that have not been neutered.
Dogs with a broad tail base, or those that carry it low, are thought to have inflammation in the perianal region because it has less ventilation. There is also a higher incidence of this type of inflammation in dogs that have sweat glands in the region.
Blood tests usually show normal results, so veterinarians often look for inflammation, swelling, infection, and any signs of bacteria in the dog's perianal region. In more serious cases, a biopsy of the area will be performed.