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perianal fistulas - scared for skye #19142
03/14/10 04:31 AM
03/14/10 04:31 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,939
Ohio
PositiveDog Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
PositiveDog  Offline OP
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Ohio
As part of the GSD boards for some time, I have always made it a point to read the posts in the health sections daily. That's why Skye was diagnosed very early with an eye specialist when she developed pannus.

Pannus is fairly easily managed with Skye - ointment in her eye once or twice day depending on the brightness of the light or snow.

This time, Skye may not be so lucky. I already know almost 100% in my brain, but not in my heart, that she has perianal fistulas.

First it was just excessive licking for no known reason - not even red looking. Then she did look a little red, then the area all around her anus became very swollen. I am talking probably a half an inch or more high all around.

But hey - nothing else, right? And the swelling went down. Home free?

Yesterday she had sort of red spots and 'weeping' and today it is worse. I was hoping to take her this Friday when I am off work to MedVet in Columbus where the specialists are. I don't think I can wait that long.

I will contact them in the morning to see if I can get her in earlier.

I hope I am wrong.

Poor Skye - she is a rescue and poorly bred, but such a sweet wonderful dog. She visits kids in the library and people at mental health group sessions. She demos obedience classes for me and is a steady calm dog in every situation (except for having to bark back all those animals into TV so they don't get me.)

Lisa - thank you for the words of wisdom and hope on my PM last week. I don't think we are going to be lucky on this one.

Sorry this is so long - I am so sad and scared and feel so helpless. Our dogs don't deserve things like this.


Bonnie

With approval of my friends:

SamCat, 03/2011
Bennie the 12 1/2% GSD 02/2013

Seiko, Solo, Sophie, Skye and Buddy - bridge dogs who taught me so much
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: PositiveDog] #19152
03/14/10 04:38 AM
03/14/10 04:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,436
Massachusetts
Braverhund Offline
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Braverhund  Offline
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Massachusetts
Oh, Bonnie.. I know this is scary. Skye and you both deserve the very best, so may your suspicions not be true on this one! When will you have her examined? It may also be that she began a lick-lick-lick cycle, and the skin there is swollen and inflamed, and you can get weepiness with irritated skin. She may also have impacted glands (though I know you would know to look for anal gland issues too). I am hoping that this is NOT fistulas. If it is, the yahoo groups and PF forums may offer iseas and support. Lisa will surely weigh in and add her advice! I will be sending positiv, healing e thoughts and vibes for Skye, and really hope for an encouraging update!


Patti
Frauchen von:

Grimm van den Heuvel, "Donnerpratzen"
Smokey The TeddyLion, DLH purrbuddy

Dir gehört mein Herz
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: PositiveDog] #19154
03/14/10 04:40 AM
03/14/10 04:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 19,487
Northern CA
MaxaLisa Offline

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MaxaLisa  Offline

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Northern CA
teary I'm so sorry Bonnie hugging My heart aches to read this post.

For now, soaking in warm compress soaked in Epsom salt water will help her feel better.

Many vets are not up on the most recent research. Some dogs (like Max), don't fall in line with the most recent research.

The first step, recommended in nearly all cases, is for a change to a single (novel) protein, single carb/starch food, no corn, no wheat.

This is so not what I wanted to read hugging

edit: just read Patti's post - maybe it's the glands????? maybe we can hold out hope for that...is it in the same general area as the pic Lauri posted in her thread?

Last edited by MaxaLisa; 03/14/10 04:43 AM.

MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: PositiveDog] #19162
03/14/10 04:46 AM
03/14/10 04:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 56
California
Doggonefool Offline
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Doggonefool  Offline
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Posts: 56
California
I am so sorry to read about the difficulties that you are having with Skye. The education that we find on this board, especially in the health section, are both a comfort and a worry. I find that the more that I learn, the more that I worry. But the more that I know, the quicker and better I am able to recognize and help.

Our dogs, our pets, are everything to us. Wishing you nothing but the best for your.


Carol
Ranger 9yo BSD
River 2 yo GSD
Jukka & Loki 2 yo Alaskan Husky sibs
***Rainbow Bridge - Whimsey, Sparkie, Draco, Smokie, Blondie, Muffie***
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: MaxaLisa] #19166
03/14/10 04:53 AM
03/14/10 04:53 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 98
Northern Virginia
Elmos Mom Offline
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Elmos Mom  Offline
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Posts: 98
Northern Virginia
Bonnie, you're right. Our dogs don't deserve some of the things they go through. Skye sounds like an absolute sweetheart. The poor baby. It's difficult because they can't tell us their symptoms so we're relying on their queues and symptoms to figure out how serious something may be.

Please let us know what the vet says tomorrow. Sending lots of good thoughts.

Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: MaxaLisa] #19169
03/14/10 04:57 AM
03/14/10 04:57 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,939
Ohio
PositiveDog Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
PositiveDog  Offline OP
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Ohio
I don't believe it is the glands (but that would be wonderful) - I have been through that with my late german shorthair some years ago. Hers often had had to be cared for at the vets and one time did get impacted. This just does not look the same.

On a good note, because both Buddy and Skye have had an itchy winter, I put the dogs on Orijen 6 fish, which is, of course grain free. I was hoping for better coats and (for Buddy) fewer hot spots.

I am glad after what I have read here and other places. They have been on it less than a week. Their prior food was also grain free (CORE) but not single protein.

I chose Orijen 6 Fish over CORE Ocean because Orijen does not use Ethoxyquin as in USA fish.

Hopefully, this will be a good start if Skye is diagnosed.

Thank you for your fast responses. You are both so great to help us.

I will get epsom salt in the morning and begin using compresses.


Bonnie

With approval of my friends:

SamCat, 03/2011
Bennie the 12 1/2% GSD 02/2013

Seiko, Solo, Sophie, Skye and Buddy - bridge dogs who taught me so much
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: PositiveDog] #19172
03/14/10 05:00 AM
03/14/10 05:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 19,487
Northern CA
MaxaLisa Offline

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MaxaLisa  Offline

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Northern CA
Max's almost closed with antibiotics. I will hope that Skye is one of the lucky ones.

Other than the pannus, are there other issues? Food allergies (can she tolerate beef?), anything else?


MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: MaxaLisa] #19183
03/14/10 05:13 AM
03/14/10 05:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,939
Ohio
PositiveDog Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
PositiveDog  Offline OP
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Ohio
It's been a long time since she had a beef based food. She was on EVO for a long time which is chicken and then I changed to CORE (still chicken.)

She has allergies to dust mites and mold. No food allergies turned up on her HESKA tests.


Bonnie

With approval of my friends:

SamCat, 03/2011
Bennie the 12 1/2% GSD 02/2013

Seiko, Solo, Sophie, Skye and Buddy - bridge dogs who taught me so much
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: PositiveDog] #19193
03/14/10 05:30 AM
03/14/10 05:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 19,487
Northern CA
MaxaLisa Offline

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MaxaLisa  Offline

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Northern CA
It is thought that fistulas are related to a condition similar to Crohn's disease, which is what is true in people. In people, they operate. If your vet, any vet, talks about a surgical solution to a PF, time to walk out the door.

Back to my train of thought....I believe that fistulas are related to chronic inflammation. There is a genetic component for most, but not all cases. In some dogs, the inflammation is of an autoimmune nature and these dogs respond to the serious immune suppressive drugs (prednisone, cyclosporine, etc.), in others, like I suspect is true for my Max, it is due to chronic immune malfunction triggered by a chronic infection (in his case, from most likely a tick) and these dogs better respond to things like antibiotics, antifungals. I believe that Max's pannus meds contributed to suppressing his immune function. What are you using to control Skye's eyes?

I have a supplement that I really like for immune system inflammation that does not boost the immune system, it has saved Indy's life many times over. It is beef based, so Max can't take it, which is very frustrating. It might be something worth considering if this turns out to be a fistula. After about three days on it, Max starts chewing his paws to pieces, but for those three days, his eyes sure get better.

I am hopeful about the herb mix that I have started him on, originally recommended by Patti. It's too soon for you to decide what you want to do, you'll want to figure out a first step in conjunction with your vet, but there are things to try....a frequent first step is antibiotics, with metronidazole (we use tylan, Max stumbles on metro).

Until you get an appointment and a plan of action, using some Desitin zinc based ointment can help. For some, it's a huge lifesaver. If there is pain, some on the list use aspirin or apply orajel to the site. I started with the ointment, and then changed to the Burt's Bees version which is their diaper rash version. I went to Walmart and got their Large boxer shorts and put them on backwards (the tail fits through the hole), using a safety bobby pin for infants so that he doesn't lick the area.

The good news is that it can be managed, it's not a death sentence, and you are not alone hugging

Last edited by MaxaLisa; 03/14/10 05:35 AM.

MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: MaxaLisa] #19207
03/14/10 06:38 AM
03/14/10 06:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,939
Ohio
PositiveDog Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
PositiveDog  Offline OP
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Posts: 4,939
Ohio
Thank you, Lisa. I will add the Desitin zinc based ointment to my shopping list.

Skye takes cyclosporine for her eyes.

I have also read about the surgery and don't see it as an option - glad to hear you hear you say that. But - a surgery site did have some of the best pictures I have seen. From beginning stages to chronic.

Graphic warning to others. Figure 5 which is supposed to be mild looks worse than Skye does right now.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/17836754/Perianal-sinus-A-medical-disease

I am glad to hear the Desitin is OK - I am sure that she would not be licking if it was not painful and she seems sad and quiet.

Although - not quiet enough that it kept her from wanting to play toss the stuffed fishy in the middle of the night.

Speaking of the middle of the night - it is late and I need to stop worrying for a few hours. Off to sleep.


Bonnie

With approval of my friends:

SamCat, 03/2011
Bennie the 12 1/2% GSD 02/2013

Seiko, Solo, Sophie, Skye and Buddy - bridge dogs who taught me so much
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: PositiveDog] #19217
03/14/10 09:52 AM
03/14/10 09:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,746
SE Wisconsin
FurKids Offline
Pooh-Bah
FurKids  Offline
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SE Wisconsin
The photo looks horrible, very painful is my thought. I know you hope like heck that you are wrong and I hope you are, too. Please let us know how it goes after your vet visit.


Deb • Nissa & Gracie
Forever in My Heart • Riley, Hannah, Damien, Katy, Crocket, Kayla, Gypsy, Toby and Cookie
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: FurKids] #19301
03/14/10 06:51 PM
03/14/10 06:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,436
Massachusetts
Braverhund Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Braverhund  Offline
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Massachusetts
I'm just popping in again to offer words of encouragement and support for you and Skye, and to let you know that I continue to send positive, healing energy for Skye. I know just how scary the idea of PFs is. I went through it with my last senior dog. May this turn out to be something different, and more easily manageable than you suspect.
You and Skye together have brought so much joy to those who are ailing. May Skye's diagnosis and treatment be much better than you anticipate. Sending positive vibes for a smooth recovery and much better condition for her back end. Positive energy is on the way!


Patti
Frauchen von:

Grimm van den Heuvel, "Donnerpratzen"
Smokey The TeddyLion, DLH purrbuddy

Dir gehört mein Herz
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: Braverhund] #19310
03/14/10 07:04 PM
03/14/10 07:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,748
Buffalo
BowWowMeow Offline
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Buffalo
Hi Bonnie,

I don't have any advice but do want to offer you lots of support and a big hug! I hope it is something else but if it is pf then I hope you get it under control quickly! hugging


Ruth

Rafi, the german malaroo, age 9.5ish
http://www.dogster.com/dogs/693238

Varda & Gio (the crazy cattens)
...............
Warming my heart:
Queen Cleopatra
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Kai
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Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: BowWowMeow] #19318
03/14/10 07:15 PM
03/14/10 07:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 991
Michigan
Ruthie Offline
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Ruthie  Offline
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Michigan
hugging

Sending good thoughts your way. I went though this with my Gator.


Amy
Bison (Indo Vom Triton) CGC
Grizzly vom Buchonia
RIP- Moose, Gator, Bear

My Dog/God blog
Reflections on my Dog
Re: perianal fistulas - scared for skye [Re: BowWowMeow] #19321
03/14/10 07:19 PM
03/14/10 07:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 19,487
Northern CA
MaxaLisa Offline

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MaxaLisa  Offline

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Northern CA
G'morning Bonnie, just checking in. How are you two this morning?

I have no idea if the cyclosporin is implicated in this at all. For Max it is, doesn't seem to be true for other dogs, but I was curious.

That surgical paper is kinda old, 1998, and from a surgical perspective, so there are some things in there that are not right.

She'll key off a lot of your attitude too, so remember to play with that fishy!!


MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/
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