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Rectal hyperpigmentation and thickening of the skin
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Rectal hyperpigmentation and thickening of the skin

My dog is a 10 year old pit bull mix.  He appears to be having a rectal issue.  Over the past few months his rectum has started to protrude, become blackish (not necrotic) and has become increasingly thick.  He is constantly scooting and licking at his rectum and making the problem worse.  He has had radiographs and bloodwork (CBC & Internal Organ Function) all returning within normal limits for all values.  His anal glands are normal and not impacted in any way.  Steroids are not an option because even the lowest dose causes increased aggression (not suitable for our family since we have a small child).  He has been on Purina EN for stomach issues for over 3 years now (he has terrible gas on other food).  This problem just started to develop so we are concerned.  Any imput or direction to look would be greatly appreciated.  
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234713_tn?1283530259
It could be anything from Atopy (allergies) to cancer.


Is he neutered?  If not neutering him may help.  Has the vet performed a rectal exam?

It is probably best to have a biopsy of the lesion performed, and also a colonoscopy.

Hyperpigmentation of the area could be caused by a yeast skin infection of the area also, so a culture and sensitivity, and skin scraping are also warrented.

Atopica may be a good choice of medication, since it usually does not have behavioral side effects.  There are also two excellent oral herbal formulas for itching:  Nettles formula, and a Chinese herbal formula called: San Ren Tang, both are available online.  They would be worth a try if you are not interested in having a biopsy, or other diagnostics performed.
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I am very interested in trying the oral herbs but am unsure of the dosage to use.  He is approx. 65 pounds.  I will also contact his vet to have the a biopsy done and to get a colonoscopy scheduled.  If you could post the dosage and frequency that would be great.  I really appreciate your help.  I will also look at trying the Atopica.  Thanks again.
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I want to add something here:  I adopted a dog (a few years ago) with this same problem. Because of other life threatening illnesses that needed to be addressed first, I took this one on, myself. The more I watched him, I realized that he had to strain to have a bowel movement. He seemed to be always constipated although his stool at times was soft. He was a walking skeleton when I got him, so I knew that nutrition was going to be a factor. I gave him fiber or canned pumpkin to get his bowels working while I waited for his food to help. When he pooped I wiped his bottom with a (Human) hemorrhoidal pad. I bought the no name brand. They are made with witch hazel and are very soothing. After that I applied & rotated an antibiotic ointment with Cortaid for the itch.  I eventually got the rectal tissue to go back down and back to normal color.  It took awhile!
I changed all my dogs to a grain free diet and it's amazing the difference it has made in their stool.  Even this guy that has never pooped normal!  It's perfect and so is his bottom!!!   :)    If your dog is only on EN because of gas, I would definately try a better quality food and see if this does the trick.  Hope this helps some.......Karla
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234713_tn?1283530259
If you get a liquid preperation of the Chinese herbs dosage would depend on the concentration.  Use a human dose and frequency.  The frequency is usually 2 or 3 times per day.  Tincture's tend to be stronger and are 30 to 40 drops 3 times per day.

Powders for your dogs size would be 2 tsp. twice daily.
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234713_tn?1283530259
Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
American Animal Hospital
Randolph, NJ
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