This condition is almost exclusively seen in the German Shepherd, occasionally it does affect other breeds (Border Collie). The cause of this disease is not known but studies have shown that it is an auto-immune disease which may be related to food intolerance, colitis (most dogs affected will have a history of colitis) or reactions to bacteria on the skin and around the rectum.
Anal furunculosis has been linked to irritable bowel syndrome and is thought to be similar to Crohn’s disease in humans. A hypoallergenic diet is essential. The symptoms include ulceration and abscessation around the anus and anal glands, painful and ineffective straining during defecation and urination. The dog will also have difficulty passing faeces and will probably lick and bite the affected area.
The dogs will usually have a discharge and have a tendency for loose stools. The disease is debilitating for the dog causing obvious pain and is frustrating for the owner.
A pet parent with a dog suffering this condition should involve a diet that is:
• hypoallergenic (for fewer allergic reactions)
• highly digestible and low residue (no bulkers/fillers)
• low fat and free of all treats and extras