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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30800
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a 3 year old German pointer just lately he has almost

Customer Question

I have a 3 year old German pointer just lately he has almost a discharge coming from his behind , its almost like a bitch on heat what could this be please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is Dr. Peter I am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is the discharge coming from the rectum or the skin next to the anal sphincter?
2- How long has this been going on?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This has been going on for about 5days.

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- Is the discharge coming from the rectum or the skin next to the anal sphincter?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I think so

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Where is the discharge coming from, two options:
1- The rectum?
2- The skin next to the anal sphincter?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Next to I think

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Can you take a look at his butt area and see if there is any swelling that has a discharge?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've looked can't see any swelling but there is a strange odour and he keeps wanting to lick it

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- Is the odor really strong and pugnant?
2- What color is the discharge?
3- Does he have diarrhea?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes strong and pugant, discharge bloody ,watery. No diarrhea

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Does the discharge come out when he is resting or only when having a bowel movement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I can smell it when he is resting and a little dripped from him yesterday when stood in front of me

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'll follow up for Dr. Peter for you. There are two considerations for what you've described. The most likely finding is an abscessed anal sac gland. Anal sac glands of dogs are similar to those of skunks but they're vestigial in dogs - they serve no purpose but do get in trouble from time to time. The exudate inside the gland can become impacted and unable to find its way out of the gland. Impacted glands may abscess and the abscess may fistulate - break its way through the skin and drain or simply drain through the duct that connects the gland to the anus. The discharge may be bloody (hemorrhagic) as you've noticed or consist of frank pus (purulent). Abscessed anal glands are addressed by first digitally emptying the gland(s), thoroughly flushing the affected gland(s) with an antimicrobial solution such as chlorhexidine and then packing the gland with an antibacterial ointment. Flushing and packing are performed with a curved tip syringe. A systemic antibiotic might be prescribed as well. Hugo's vet may be able to perform this procedure while Hugo stands quietly; if Hugo isn't happy with the vet's ministrations, he should be sedated first. One treatment may be all that's necessary. Occasionally a follow-up treatment a week later is necessary,

Perianal fistulation if far less common. This is a chronic inflammatory disease of the tissues surrounding the anus in the dog. The lesions are painful, ulcerative, with sometimes deep, draining tracts adjacent to the anus. The anus itself is not usually involved. German shepherds are by far the most common breed affected but any breed may be affected. Hugo's vet should be able to clarify whether an abscessed anal gland or perianal fistula is present.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.