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Dr. Tad
Dr. Tad, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 353
Experience:  10 years as a small animal and emergency veterinarian
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Hello, My Yorkie has a condition where his anus is swollen

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My Yorkie has a condition where his anus is swollen and a bit distended and he sometimes labors and loses a few drops of blood when he defecates. The tip of his penis also shows a little swollen tissue. One vet told me this is not uncommon to the breed and that he may outgrow it. He is six now and has had this condition for more than two years. We have treated it with antibiotic ointment. What steps would you take, if any, to improve his condition?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Tad replied 6 years ago.
Hi there!

Sorry to hear about your little guy. I have a few questions for you.

Does the outside of the anus look abnormal (red, irritated, etc)?
The dog strains to defecate? Is this all the time? Is there mucous in the stools too?
What kind of diet do you feed?
You have treated the anus with triple antibiotic ointment? Has it caused improvement?

Dr. Tad
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes the anus shows a little red on the outside. He doesn't strain badly and is regular. It doesn't always show blood when he poops, just once in a while. There's no mucous and his stools are firm and look healthy. I write because this morning he was worse than usual and lost several drops of blood. He eats the Duck and Potato formula from Natural Balance and that's all, a mix of the canned and kibble types. The ointment hasn't really changed his condition.
Expert:  Dr. Tad replied 6 years ago.
The duck and potato is a good idea as the problem you are seeing could be as a result of a food allergy. Do the symptoms occur year round or do they seem to be somewhat seasonal?

Have you tried any other medications? Do you seen any other skin problems (biting feet, ear infections, etc) What are of the country do you live in?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The symptoms have been year-round for almost three year. A few months ago I saw some slight improvement and hoped he was outgrowing it. He was on antibiotics a while back but that didn't help. No other skin problems to report - he seems super healthy other than this condition
Expert:  Dr. Tad replied 6 years ago.
Some of the symptoms you are seeing can definitely be consistent with a food allergy (skin problems which would include the penis and anal area). Because it is a year round problem, food allergies are more likely than environemental allergies depending on where you live (you didn't answer that question). You are currently using a hypoallergenic diet. You may consider trying a different type (kangaroo and oat, hills z/d, etc).

Some of the other symptoms could be secondary to colitis. Colitis is inflammation of the colon, rectum, etc. The symptoms include soft stool, blood or mucous in the stools, straining, small amounts and increased frequency, urgency, etc. Not all dogs show all of the symptoms. It is hard to tell (especially without me seeing the dog) if the blood is just from the anal area or if it is actually from the rectum and comes out when the dog defecates or strains to defecate. Anal gland issues would be another potential issue. There are other medications which it doesn't sound like you have tried which may help this condition (such as metronidazole, etc).

I am not saying your veterinarian has done anything wrong. It sounds like a frustrating condition, however, it doesn't sound like the current treatment plan is causing it to resolve. I would consider a second opinion or telling your veterinarian you would like to be more aggressive in looking for an underlying cause.

LEt me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Dr. Tad
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm in the San Francisco area. He doesn't show the symptoms of colitis that you mention ( his feces are healthy looking and not too frequent) and the bleeding seems to come from visible but slight tearing in the anal tissues. Is metronidazole available over the counter? Is this a steroid? What other medications would actively reduce swelling in that area?
Expert:  Dr. Tad replied 6 years ago.
Metronidazole is not available over the counter. It is an antibiotic, but it is commonly used in these situations because it is an antiinflammatory in the large intestine or colon.

If there is a slight tearing in the anal area, that could be causing the symptoms (not colitis). Tearing of the anus is not very common in dogs. I wonder if there is an anatomic problem which predisposes your dog to this (anal opening too small, etc). If so, there may be some surgical options available though the potential complications would need to be taken into account prior to electing to do anything that aggressive.

Medications to reduce swelling in the area would include steroids or non steroidal anti inflammatory medications. These are available by prescription as well and would need to be discussed with your veterinarian.

Unfortuantely, it is hard to give you too many concrete answers without personally seeing your dog and the condition. Please let me know if you have more questions.
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