This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Anal furunculosis is a difficult condition to treat and successful use of a drug (cyclosporin) to treat cases may provideed a breakthrough in the medical management of this disorder.
Anal furunculosis is a debilitating disease which results in ulcers and sinuses in the skin around the anal region, and sometimes these can extend down the skin on the inside of the hind legs. The disease is particularly common in German Shepherd Dogs. The cause is unknown and a variety of treatments are used including conventional surgery and freezing (called cryosurgery). Successful treatment often requires repeat treatments and relapses are common.
In a paper (Griffiths L.G. et al Journal of Small Animal Practice (1999) 40; 569-572) the authors described how they have successfully treated 6 cases of anal furunculosis with the drug cyclosporin, at a dose rate of 7.5 mg/kg twice a day. Cyclosporin is a drug that suppresses the immune system. Signs of the disease disappeared within a week, the size of the skin lesions decreased by 50-90% and the skin stayed healed during 10-20 weeks of treatment. One case required cryosurgery to get healing of a small area of skin, and one case suffered a relapse 8 weeks after treatment was stopped. The number of patients in this study (6) was low, but nevertheless this does offer an alternative method of treatment.
There are also two other reports of the use of cyclosporin in combination with antibiotics to successfully treat furunculosis, but they reported recurrence of the disease in 10 out of 27 patients treated.
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Updated October 2013