Diet for a Dog With Perianal Fistula


A perianal fistula develops around the dog's anus. A fistula refers to a passage forming between two bodily items that, under normal circumstances, don't connect. The fistula starts draining pus, and in that sense it is similar to a chronic abscess. The condition is also referred to as anal furunculosis.

While any dog can suffer from a perianal fistula, the condition most often occurs in German shepherds. While a perianal fistula can result from various causes, including anal sac infection, food allergies or autoimmune disorders can trigger its appearance. That's why your vet may recommend a special diet as part of your dog's treatment.

Perianal Fistula Symptoms

Suspect the possibility of a perianal fistula if your dog starts:

  • Constantly licking his anal region.
  • Having defecation problems.
  • Experiencing diarrhea or constipation.
  • Yelping when defecating.

Blood and mucus in the feces is another sign of perianal fistula, as are small holes in the anal area.

Medical Treatment

Your vet likely will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, stool softeners and topical creams to treat your dog. Severely affected dogs may require surgery should the fistula not heal or to ease the animal's pain.

Dietary Changes

Your vet will recommend dietary changes to help your dog heal and to reduce the odds of the fistula recurring, which are quite high. She may suggest a novel protein diet, a food consisting of one primary ingredient your dog is unlikely to have eaten before. While not hypoallergenic per se, your dog should not have an allergic reaction since he has not previously consumed this protein. Canines require regular consumption of a particular protein before an allergy develops. Common novel protein diets consist of meats such as kangaroo, venison, rabbit or duck.


  • If your dog is supposed to eat a novel protein diet, that's it. No treats, table scraps or anything else. These can cause an allergic reaction and hinder the attempt to get the perianal fistula under control.

Another dietary choice is a hypoallergenic prescription diet, designed specifically for dogs with food allergies. The best types of hypoallergenic diets consist of hydrolyzed proteins, in which the protein involved are split into miniscule pieces, and the dog's immune system won't go into overdrive and launch an allergic reaction. No matter what type of food your dog ends up eating, it's likely he'll have to stay on a special diet for the rest of his life.


  • It's not enough simply to purchase a bag of hypoallergenic or a novel protein canine diet off the shelf. You must consult with your veterinarian to find the right food for your particular dog -- all of these single-protein or hypoallergenic diets are not alike.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What is a Rectal Fistula?

    Abnormal excretory issues can cause patients a large amount of discomfort--both physically and psychologically. But they need not suffer in silence. A...

  • Canine Immune-Mediated Diseases

    Immune-mediated is a term used to describe a situation in which the immune system attacks the body, causing a disease, infection or...

  • Fissure Wounds in Dogs

    Fissure wounds are long narrow cracks, usually in the skin. The most common fissure wounds in dogs are anal fissures, due to...

  • Perianal Fissures in Dogs

    Perianal fistulas (fissures) are pus-filled, tunnel-like lesions that can form in the anal cavity and spread to the skin area around the...

  • How to Select German Shepherd Pups

    The German shepherd dog breed was developed by a German cavalry officer in 1899. It was developed to be a working dog...

  • What are the Benefits of Spaying a Dog?

    Spaying your dog can help control local pet overpopulation and protect her from diseases such as breast cancer.

  • What Medications Are Given to Dogs With Anal Infections?

    Common medications for canine anal sac infections include antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, but dog with more serious conditions require other drugs.

  • Herbal Fistula Treatment

    An anal fistula is an inflamed abnormal tunnel between the skin and the anal canal. They typically start in a gland that...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make an Elevated Dog Feeder

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!