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Dog gland question

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I didn't want to post this in the health board since it's about a dog, but I guess it could happen to cats, so please move if needed!

OK, I'm researching this on behalf of my mom's good friend, Joy. She has a male English Setter, Wilson, who's about 5 or 6 years old (he was a rescue). A little while back, her groomer noticed his anal glands needed to be expressed and Joy had noticed that Wilson had been licking his bum more than "normal" so the groomer seemed to have found the problem... well the groomer and the vet have expressed them a few times and it seems like almost a chronic problem for him... is the vet missing something that could be causing the frequent blockage? Is there anything Joy can do or give to Wilson to help alleviate the problem so she doesn't have to keep taking him to have the glands expressed? Right now, Joy is on unemployment after being unfairly fired from her job (long story, she's fighting it) so having to go to the groomer/vet often just to have this done isn't really an option... oh and she does keep him cut pretty short, so he doesn't have like a problem with matted hair anywhere on him... he's also not having any problems doing his business... I believe she feeds him a dry diet but I don't know what brand of food

Any advice would be great! Or if anyone could point me somewhere that I could get some help on the issue, that'd be awesome too... I used to work at a vet and understand like what expressing the glands is and the general concept of how, but I never had to do it myself and don't feel comfortable trying it without professional supervision/guidance... thanks in advance!
post #2 of 22
Well, with big dogs the anal glands are usually expressed while defecating. Perhaps if she gives him some more moisture in his diet (canned food) it may help him express them. Also, she doesn't need to take the dog to the vet to have them expressed. Its quite easy to do yourself, just throw on a pair of rubber gloves (the surgical kind) and squeeze! Oh, and this should be done out in the yard, anal glands are messy.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
Well, with big dogs the anal glands are usually expressed while defecating. Perhaps if she gives him some more moisture in his diet (canned food) it may help him express them. Also, she doesn't need to take the dog to the vet to have them expressed. Its quite easy to do yourself, just throw on a pair of rubber gloves (the surgical kind) and squeeze! Oh, and this should be done out in the yard, anal glands are messy.
Yeah, I know most times big dogs don't have problems with this (I have a black lab) which is why it kind of confused me... I'll suggest she maybe start mixing in some wet food with his dry... I'm sure she wouldn't be comfortable expressing them herself haha, and she lives in a condo, so she doesn't have a yard - I definitely know how messy it gets!
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok, my mom informed me that she talked to Joy today and she had to take Wilson into the vet because his glands were really bad.... not only did they have to be expressed but they're infected and he's on antibiotics... also, my mom thinks he does get wet food too... any other ideas? It's got to be uncomfortable for him, wish I knew something to tell her...
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I posted this problem on another pet forum I'm apart of, and someone there suggested first trying to increase his fiber intake and if that doesn't help, discussing removal of the glands with her vet.... thoughts on that?
post #6 of 22
GRADUAL fiber increase... again maybe try pumpkin , most dogs like that
post #7 of 22
This is weird, or coincidence, because my best friends Dashund who is 4 yrs
old and a minature, just started having the same problem, the first time his were infected, and antibiotics. We thought now why didn't anyone tell her about this problem before now? I had never heard of it! that was only about a month ago maybe a month and 1/2. She has already taken him back again to be expressed! I know the vet suggested the surgery, which on him the cost was going to be 150.00 small dog, in a small town in texas! if this persists, the surgery would be the cheapiest option, instead of all the mini visits. which are quite painful! unless the alternative of doing it yourself doesn't bother you!
Monique
post #8 of 22
My dog was having anal gland issues...not severe enough to be manually expressed, but to the point where she was expressing them at very bad moments! (when she was excited...usually during car rides ) Her food has virtually no fillers and her body was utilizing it well so her that stools were too small to express the glands while defecating. We add a heaping tablespoon of canned pumpkin to her supper and now her stools have bulked up and we have not had a problem since. She is a 105 lbs Newfoundland, btw.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input!

I will suggest she try adding some pumpkin to his food and see if that helps the problem (what kind of pumpkin is she going to be looking for? The pumpkin pie filler or...? Can it be found just at the grocery store?)... And this is kind of a dumb question, but I forget haha - is the pumpkin the fiber source? Thanks again for your help! I will also let her know about the possibility of removal and suggest she bring it up next time they're at the vet and see what he thinks about it
post #10 of 22
Yup, pumpkin is fiber.
And get the 100% pumpkin. DO NOT get the pumpkin pie filler. They should be close to each other on the store shelf, just tell her to double check that it is the 100% stuff.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was just at the food store for weekly shopping and for the heck of it looked at the pumpkin... I found some that's just pumpkin and not pie filler so I grabbed a can for her since I'll be going over there anyway within the next few days... also, I shared with my mom what I found out here and she told me that Joy has discussed the removal with her vet and it is definitely an option if this problem persists - hopefully the pumpkin helps though!
post #12 of 22
Yep, try the pumpkin. It *should* help. I express my pug's glands (from the outside) myself. My pug has terrible food allergies and I've noticed that when she eats things that make her allergies act up, her anal glands fill much more quickly. Maybe your friend's dog has developed some type of allergy? Could be food, or it could be environmental.

After the infection is cleared up, if the dog still has problems with it's anal glands, your Mom's friend could ask the vet to show her how to express them from the outside. Expressing them from the outside is much safer if you are going to do it yourself. Also, here is a diagram and a tutorial of how to express them from the outside....... if she isn't too queasy with that sort of thing.

This link has instructions.......http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_anal_sacs.html

and this one is a video demo.......http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8...ics-glands.htm
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou's Mom View Post
if she isn't too queasy with that sort of thing.

This link has instructions.......http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_anal_sacs.html

and this one is a video demo.......http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8...ics-glands.htm
Haha, I think she might be too quesy for that... but I may be able to help her if she really needs it, I've witnessed it but never had to do it myself, that's why I haven't stepped up already to do it lol

Never thought of allergies... do you know what it is that your dog is allergic to? Might give me a place to start/ingredients to look for in his current diet
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
Haha, I think she might be too quesy for that... but I may be able to help her if she really needs it, I've witnessed it but never had to do it myself, that's why I haven't stepped up already to do it lol

Never thought of allergies... do you know what it is that your dog is allergic to? Might give me a place to start/ingredients to look for in his current diet
You should start by getting a good GRAIN FREE food. Dogs should be on grain free food anyways. (cats should too) Also, alot of dogs have problems with soy, chicken, lamb, and beef. Of course the food should have NO BY PRODUCTS, or TALLOW. Here is how to find out if your dog food is a good food. It is actually a grading system... http://www.oes.org/page2/9674~Grade_Your_Dog_Food.html

When Maddie's allergies flare up, her anal glands fill, she scoots alot on the floor, she itches terribly, and she gets constant ear infections. Eventually her ears will actually swell closed. My neighbors dog has allergies, and the only symptoms he shows are his anal glands filling up. All dogs are different, and allergies can show themselves in different ways.

My pug Maddie is allergic to ALL grains, but wheat and corn are the worst. She is also sensitive to chicken, beef, rabbit, venison, and recently, kangaroo. Right now she is eating Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream formula.....
http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com...anine_formula/
She also has problems with soy. We found out what she is allergic to by eliminating things one by one from her diet. It took over a year to figure it all out. She seems to well on one food for several months, and after awhile she will suddenly start up with her allergy symptoms. I don't know why this happens, but it just does.

Maddie has been on the Taste of the Wild for the past 6 months, and she is doing great on it, so hopefully we won't have to switch food for a good long while. The other food that she did pretty well on is Addiction Wild Kangaroo and Apple. http://www.addictionfoods.com/usa/prod_dog_kangaroo.php Unfotunately she started itching after about 4 months with that one, but if she starts having problems with her current food, I will probably switch her over to the Addiction and see how she does with it once more.

If Maddie can't handle the Addiction, my next step will be raw tripe for at least two months. I work with a wonderful lady locally in my hometown that owns a high end pet food store. She is very knowledgable when it comes to food allergies. She has been able to help me with Maddie's allergy problems, when three other vets couldn't get things figured out. She told me that if you put a dog on raw tripe for several months, it will "clean out their system", and alot of times foods that they developed allergies to and couldn't handle anymore, will work once again. I don't know if it's true, but she has been right about everything else, so that is what I will do if Maddie starts having problems again.

The crummy thing about a dog with allergies is that they can only have their kibble, and whatever treats that are hypoallergenic. (Maddie eats dr. foster and smiths allergy biscuits) No people food at all. But at least it keeps my pug slim and trim.


ETA.... a friend of mine sent me a list of some of the foods that have been graded. I'm going to post it so you don't have to do all that counting and adding up- it's a pain to do with every food. Alot of the foods that Maddie has been on have not been graded, but I've done the math myself and they come out as A+'s across the board.

>Alpo Prime Cuts - Score 81 C
>Artemis Large/Medium Breed Puppy - Score 114 A+
>Authority Harvest Baked - Score 116 A+
>Authority Harvest Baked Less Active - Score 93 B
>Beowulf Back to Basics - Score 101 A+
>Bil-Jac Select - Score 68 F
>Blackwood 3000 Lamb and Rice - Score 83 C
>Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice - Score 106 A+
>Burns Chicken and Brown Rice - Score 107 A+
>Canidae - Score 112A+
>Chicken Soup Senior - Score 115 A+
>Diamond Maintenance - Score 64 F
>Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice - Score 92 B
>Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula - Score 99 A
>Diamond Performance - Score 85 C
>Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium - Score 122 A+
>Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Venison & Brown Rice - Score 106 A+
>Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato - Score 106 A+
>EaglePack Holistic - Score 102 A+
>Eukanuba Adult - Score 81 C
>Eukanuba Puppy - Score 79 C
>Flint River Senior - Score 101 A+
>Foundations - Score 106 A+
>Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold - Score 93 B
>Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium - Score 73 D
>Innova Dog - Score 114 A+ ** (This is what I use) ** Sylvia
>Innova Evo - Score 114 A+
>Innova Large Breed Puppy - Score 122 A+
>Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, & Vegetables - Score 110 A+
>Member's Mark Chicken and Rice - Score 84 C
>Merrick Wilderness Blend - Score 127 A+
>Nature's Recipe - Score 100 A
>Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Venison & Rice - Score 116 A+
>Nature's Variety Raw Instinct - Score 122 A+
>Nutra Nuggets Super Premium Lamb Meal and Rice - Score 81C
>Nutrience Junior Medium Breed Puppy - Score 101 A+
>Nutrisource Lamb and Rice - Score 87 B
>Nutro Max Adult - Score 93 B
>Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice - Score 98 A
>Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy - Score 87B
>Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Wheat Free - Score 86 B
>Nutro Natural Choice Senior - Score 95 A
>Nutro Ultra Adult - Score 104 A+
>Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice - Score 23 F
>Premium Edge Chicken, Rice & Vegetables Adult dry - Score 109 A+
>Pro Nature Puppy - Score 80 C
>Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach - Score 94 A
>Purina Beniful - Score 17 F
>Purina Dog - Score 62 F
>Purina Come-n-Get It - Score 16 F
>Purina One Large Breed Puppy - Score 62 F
>Royal Canin Boxer - Score 103 A+
>Royal Canin Bulldog - Score 100 A+
>Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult - Score 106 A+
>Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ - Score 63 F
>Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies - Score 69 F
>Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice - Score 97 A
>Solid Gold - Score 99 A
>Summit - Score 99 A
>Timberwolf Organics Wild & Natural Dry - Score 120 A+
>Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken - Score 110 A+
>Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold - Score 97 A


Boy this is a long post!
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all the info!

I'm not sure what food he's on, but I'm sure it's nothing "fancy"... and, not to sound um mean or ignorant, but if your puggie is allergic to all grains and most meats (at least that's what I gathered there, am I right?), what exactly is in her food? lol

I kind of think Wilson's food is probably full of grain... Joy however is on quite a restricted budget (on unemployment for the moment), do you have any suggestions for "Good" or "better" food that is not way expensive? I believe he is about 70 pounds and I know she feeds him scheduled meals (not free fed) and I think they're about a cup of dry kibble a piece and then I think he also gets wet... basically, I guess, what's the "best" food she could get at like petco or petsmart (I know those aren't really the "best" foods out there, I'm just trying to consider her current financial situation... she has no family or kids so getting rid of Wilson is not an option, she's not like living in a box on the street or anything, but she needs to watch her money for the moment until she can find a new job)

Thanks again for all your help! I really appreciate it!
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
Wow, thanks for all the info!

I'm not sure what food he's on, but I'm sure it's nothing "fancy"... and, not to sound um mean or ignorant, but if your puggie is allergic to all grains and most meats (at least that's what I gathered there, am I right?), what exactly is in her food? lol

I kind of think Wilson's food is probably full of grain... Joy however is on quite a restricted budget (on unemployment for the moment), do you have any suggestions for "Good" or "better" food that is not way expensive? I believe he is about 70 pounds and I know she feeds him scheduled meals (not free fed) and I think they're about a cup of dry kibble a piece and then I think he also gets wet... basically, I guess, what's the "best" food she could get at like petco or petsmart (I know those aren't really the "best" foods out there, I'm just trying to consider her current financial situation... she has no family or kids so getting rid of Wilson is not an option, she's not like living in a box on the street or anything, but she needs to watch her money for the moment until she can find a new job)

Thanks again for all your help! I really appreciate it!
The food that she's on right now has these ingedients:

Ingredients
Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, canola oil, salmon meal, smoked salmon, potato fiber, natural flavor, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.


As far as meat, we think she is more"sensitive" than allergic. If she is constantly on the same meat for a period of time, eventually she will start having problems. If she gets these meats in small doses, she seems to be ok.

I'm not sure about prices, I know that the food that Maddie is on right now runs about $40 for a 30 pound bag. But Maddie only eats 1/4 cup twice per day, a total of half a cup per day. So it's not very expensive for us since she eats such a small amount. Pugs gain weight VERY easily, that's why she gets that amount. I'm sure that it would get very expensive feeding a larger dog some of these foods. I guess my advice would be to find a food store that carries the better brands and just do a price comparison. I was totally lost until I found this lady in my town. I wish I knew more about prices, but I don't.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
That list was REALLY helpful!

I noticed that Nature's Recipe is on there and scored quite well - I know for a fact that is available at petco (we get the wet of it for my dog in the winter) so that could be a great option for her!

Thanks again for all your help!
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
That list was REALLY helpful!

I noticed that Nature's Recipe is on there and scored quite well - I know for a fact that is available at petco (we get the wet of it for my dog in the winter) so that could be a great option for her!

Thanks again for all your help!
You are very welcome!
post #19 of 22
I would not jump at the surgery for removing the anal glands.

The surgery can result in trauma to the anal sphincter, resulting in leakage. Or, if any of the tissue remains, it can still produce anal sac fluid and interfere with the healing - and resulting in a second surgery. Of the two, the leakage is the one that will have a negative impact on the dog's quality of life and that of its owners.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by carwashcats View Post
This is weird, or coincidence, because my best friends Dashund who is 4 yrs
old and a minature, just started having the same problem, the first time his were infected, and antibiotics. We thought now why didn't anyone tell her about this problem before now? I had never heard of it! that was only about a month ago maybe a month and 1/2. She has already taken him back again to be expressed! I know the vet suggested the surgery, which on him the cost was going to be 150.00 small dog, in a small town in texas! if this persists, the surgery would be the cheapiest option, instead of all the mini visits. which are quite painful! unless the alternative of doing it yourself doesn't bother you!
Monique
Removal of the anal glands should be an absolute LAST RESORT. It should ONLY be done if the animal is constantly getting infections, or if they constantly get impacted causing the animal pain. Anal gland removal is a VERY painful surgery, and there can be all sorts of complications. Plus, if an animal does have allergies, they may come out in different ways if the glands are removed.

My SIL had to have her cat's glands removed because they constantly got infected and impacted. The vet told her that he wouldn't normally even consider doing it, but because she kept having these horrible infections and would have to get the anal glands packed nearly every month, he didn't really have another choice. The recovery was long and hard for her kitty. Since the cat's glands were removed, she now has all sorts of skin problems. The vet said that her skin is bad now because that is how her body is dealing with allergies. Before the surgery, her allergies were coming out and making her anal glands fill up. Normally the glands just express themselves, or sometimes we have to help them by expressing the glands for them. For some reason her kitty just kept having problems with her's and it just went from bad to worse, resulting in that surgery. My SIL is sorry that she had it done, but like I said, there really wasn't a choice. We still haven't been able to figure out what exactly it is that her kitty is allergic to.

Since her kitty's glands were removed, she now has to be bathed in a special medicated shampoo every two weeks to keep her horrible flakey dander under control. The cat's skin has also become very sensitive to touch, and her poor kitty cries sometimes if you are stroking her because her skin is constantly sore. Her skin is now oily too- she didn't have ANY of these problems before the surgery.

It is much easier on an animal to keep getting their glands expressed than to go through a painful surgery like that.

My pug's anal glands fill when her allergies are bothering her. It's really no big deal to just express them myself when needed. It is really easy to do too. It only takes a couple of seconds. I would never get the surgery unless I had no other choice- I wouldn't want to deal with the other problems that could crop up just because it's a hassle to express anal glands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
I would not jump at the surgery for removing the anal glands.

The surgery can result in trauma to the anal sphincter, resulting in leakage. Or, if any of the tissue remains, it can still produce anal sac fluid and interfere with the healing - and resulting in a second surgery. Of the two, the leakage is the one that will have a negative impact on the dog's quality of life and that of its owners.
I TOTALLY agree with this. I belong to several dog forums and I've read about this happening before.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Gland removal is the last resort - she and the vet agree to that... it's just that this isn't the first time his glands have become painfully infected... so I'm suggesting the alternatives to her first and we'll see if the problem gets any better
post #22 of 22
If for some reason the pupper doesn't like pumpkin (I'd be surprised if that was the case), but you could look into Benefiber or Metamucil.
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