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Pimples around a dog's anus.

Species: Dog
Breed: Predominantly Rhodes
Age: 6-12 months
Hi. My name is Anna and I have a 7 month old, predominantly Rhodesian Ridgeback, female puppy. Recently, her rear end has become quite blotchy - it is pink and grey in splotches and seems to be a little dry (I would be quite happy to send a photo). There are puss-filled pimples on her anus and surrounding areas. She also seems to be losing hair on the base, underside of her tail. This condition does not seem to bother her. However, it doesn't look very nice and I am concerned for her health.

She recently visited the vet due to very itchy, inflamed skin and hair loss. The vet prescribed antibiotics and steroids (and recommended we remove the culprit plant) and her condition seemed to improve. There have been no other health concerns until this rear end business....

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi! I would love to see a picture! You can email pictures to *******@*********.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Hi Marie,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I have just uploaded the photos now and sent them to your email address.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the great pictures Anna. I have posted them here:

pimples on anus

pimples on anus

pimples on anus

I'm glad to hear that this is not bothersome to Ella!

There are a few things that can cause lesions like this. It is possible that she still has some skin infection. It may be that the previous course of antibiotics had it almost cleared up but she may have needed a longer course.

Sometimes when we have pimples around the anus it can be because of a food allergy. It is often difficult to know what food a dog is allergic to. You can ask your vet if a food allergy is a possibility. If so, they can prescribe a special hypoallergenic food. You will need to feed her this and nothing else, which means no treats! Then, if after a couple of months she is doing well you can gradually start to reintroduce some treats.

Some dogs will have an infection around the anus because of an infection in the anal sac (or gland). But from what I can see in the picture Ella doesn't seem to be inflamed in her anal sacs.

Another thing that can cause problems around the tail is an allergy to fleas. However, this is usually more prominent on the top of the tail rather than underneath.

Some dogs can get a serious problem around the anus called perianal fistulas, but what I can see in the picutres really doesn't look like that.

So, in summary, I can't say for sure what is going on but I think it's a good idea to ask your vet about the possibility of a food allergy.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

Thanks for the advice!

We didn't give Ella the full course of antibiotics when she had that skin reaction recently (stupidly, we didn't think how humans need the full course of antibiotics to fully eradicate the problem so dogs probably do too!).

My Dad is a doctor so I might ask him to write out a prescription for anitbiotics (the drug equivalent of what the vet prescribed) and this time ensure we give her the full course.

I didn't think to mention before but her ears are a little pink on the inside and her paws are quite pink between the toes(?) (I don't know what you would call them on a dog....!!). Could this all be related?

Do you think it could all be a result of not giving her the full course of antibiotics?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, having that knowledge of the ears being pink and her toes being pink then this really fits with allergies. Dogs will allergies tend to have itchy ears and feet. And then, when the bum is itchy as well I usually connect this with food allergy.

Regarding the antibiotics, your dad can't legally prescribe medicine for Ella without having a veterinary license so you may need to have your vet write another script for you.

Most skin infections in dogs need at least 2 weeks of antibiotics to clear up. Many need 4 or even 8 weeks!

It's possible that allergies caused her skin to be inflamed and then bacteria took advantage of that inflammation and caused an infection.

But, there may not actually be infection could all be due to allergies.

The steroids that she was on before would have helped with the allergies. If I have a dog who has food allergies but is not able to go on the special food (usually because the owners aren't going to stick to it) then sometimes I keep them on a low dose of steroids.

Ultimately though it is best to check back in with your vet. It may not even mean another visit. You can likely call in and explain the symptoms and the vet can decide whether they need to see Ella again or if they can just dispense more medicine for you.

Customer reply:

Thanks very much for all of your help, Marie! I feel so much better now after contacting you. I really appreciate that you didn't just give feedback using my descriptions but wanted to see photos too! Thanks for all of your advice! I have 'favourited' your site for any future problems!! Thanks again!!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome!

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.