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Dr. Briggs
Dr. Briggs, Multi-Species Vet
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 101
Experience:  16+ yrs private practice with many species
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My 3 year old great dane has had what appers to be anal bleeding

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My 3 year old great dane has had what appers to be anal bleeding for 3 weeks. The bleeding is not constant, only noticed a few times throughout the day. Normally, before this problem was noted, when he would "spray" he licks himself clean and the area marked; this is how I came to notice the bleeding, because he was licking himself 2-3 times per day instead of every now and then. I have also noticed a trickle of blood from his anus when he barks while walking him and also a small amount of blood when he defecates (not in the stool, but coating the outside). He is otherwise extremely healthy, has the same energy and no decrease in appetite. I took him to our vet when I first noted this and she said it was an impacted/abcessed anal gland that she treated and had him on antibiotics 3x daily for 1 week. She stated the bleedin was due to him irritating the area with all the licking. Problem cleared after treatment but has now returned 2 weeks later.
Sorry to hear about your dane's troubles; did he have a stool sample checked recently to this problem for parasites? Has he ever had a prior episode of this or anal gland problem? Is he a neutered or intact male? thx docB
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He has had a recent stool sample check for parasites and has never had this problem before. He is neutered.


He has another appointment Monday morning, but, I like to research and get a second opinion.

Excellent to have follow-up as that can really help your vet follow the change in the tissues over time & in response to a particular medication. Look up perianal fistulas...wan't to be sure we're talking about the same thing here (anal sacculitis) not separate there a visible lesion there in the perianal region? (ex. single or multiple open draining wounds, just red skin, totally normal just blood at the rectal opening?)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'll look up perianal fistulas visible lesion in the perianal region. The skin around the anal area is only red after he has licked himself for awhile, but, then returns to normal shortly thereafter. There is no swelling. and there is no blood (residual) visible at the rectal opening any time I check him (I just checked him again in a very well lit area outside), the blood just trickles out in small streams during these episodes when I exercise him (and only occasionally then, not each and every time), and signs of blood (bright red, not dark. and very coppery smelling) when he defecates on the outside of the stool, not the inside (it is like a slimey coating; very small amount). He is on a very good holistic diet (has always been) and gets additional digestive enzymes daily (nzymes). He does not have loose stools, urgency to go, or any problems with his bowels. He eats 3 small meals a day in order to avoid bloat and has done very well with this.
All excellent - sounds like you have his basic wellness care taken care of - as an aside, I'm doing two lap spay/gastropexies next Fri on 2 danes and may be something for you to look into - check links at bottom. Back to this problem, blood either coming up duct of an infected anal sac or (perhaps more likely) from an erosion/ulcuration on wall of colon. Has he had a good DRE (digital rectal exam) to feel for masses/polyps? Colonoscopy may be the diagnostic test of choice if it persists....docB

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