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Anal glands(20 Posts)
Poor dog has revolting anal glands that need sorting for him at the vets every few months. He’s always had the problem and no suggested diets have helped.
He’s a 9 year old springer, fit and healthy weight.
He’s quite upset about his glands at the moment (and doesn’t smell very pleasant). I rang the vets today but they can’t do them as it’s a routine appointment. They’ll do it if he gets an abscess.
Any ideas about what I can do to help him?
By ‘upset’, I mean whimpering, worrying at his butt, tail between his legs, generally looking miserable. Eating, drinking and outdoor exercising happily. Poo as normal.
You can do it yourself (my cat has the same problem) if you are brave enough? If his pops are normal there's pretty much no other way I'm afraid.
My dog (also spaniel) has this problem. We can’t do it ourselves as one of the glands is deep set and doesn’t empty by external massaging. I had the same answer from my vet the first time I rang. Rang again and pointed out he was in distress and some pain, and how would I know if he has an internal abscess unless it burst. The vets then took him in and agreed he did need to be treated. I would phone your vet again or phone round vets in your area and see if any will treat him.
Same with him - the external way doesn’t work. I’ll ring again early next week. He’s not very happy (partly because I won’t cuddle him on the sofa!) and I think it’s bothering him a lot.
Poor dog (and poor you).
If the vet gives you DIY instructions, do it outside in old clothes... the first time out previous dog had his done the foul gunk shot right across the consulting room and onto the wall opposite. ... definitely not envy.
Fortunately the current dog doesn't suffer from this, it's no joke.
My dog has issues with this occasionally. My daughter is sensitive to smells and she always picks up on it before even my dog seems to! A few days later he will start chasing tail etc and then smells a bit more obvious.
Ours has improved loads by adding fibre to his diet in the form of Pro-fibre. He was going every six weeks, last time it was around ten weeks. He then needed doing in lockdown but my vets sorted it. They said if it's going to lead to pain and discomfort (which it will, they can't sort it themselves) then they'd rather do it now than wait for that.
I'd definitely try again and press the discomfort. If not another vet?
My dog has this issue. If massage is no good, can you try a warm ( not too hot!) compress - just a large cotton wool wad in warm salted water, and hold it against the anus for a couple of minutes.It may release impaction and let them drain. You may have to do it a couple of times a day. If it’s working the cotton wool will be stained and stinky.
I added protexin fibre to her diet and it has made a big difference, and I use Andrew wipes on her after a poo. She’s a lot sweeter smelling, and more comfortable now.
I'm sorry to hear about your little ones anal gland problem. I think I am experienced enough to give advice here as my JackChi Romanian rescue Rudi had the exact same problem when we first adopted him. We were taking him to the vets every four weeks or so to have them emptied which we all found very traumatic. This went on for over a year until we finally took the decision, with advice from our vet, to have them surgically removed. We had to search around for a specialist vet who had performed many of these operations as it is an extremely intricate and intrusive procedure. We were warned that there may be a small chance that Rudi could be incontinent afterwards which was scary.
The op went very well but it was an absolute nightmare afterwards - I'm not going to lie. When we collected Rudi after three or four days, he came home with all sorts of painkillers, relaxants and anti-anxiety drugs and it took a good few weeks for him to be pain free, even suffering with the worst constipation imaginable screaming in agony and had to have an enema. It makes me feel ill just thinking about that
Anyway, that was four years ago and he is right as rain. I'm not sure where in the UK you are based but we used a vet in Brighton - she was excellent, as were the other caring staff in the days Rudi had to remain at the clinic afterwards. All worth it in the end.
Do some research, talk to your vet and good luck. Happy for you to PM me if you need to ask anything.
Forgot to mention that we tried all sorts of other stuff/tips before resorting to surgery. Porridge to give Rudi more fibre, a pro-fibre stuff that we bought a ton of from Amazon. Special diets too but nothing worked and Rudi was very distressed with his poor little bottom
I'd be pushing this with my vet if I were you.
It's not a routine appointment if the dog is in pain and distress and what's to be gained by waiting until the poor animal develops an abscess? That just adds to his pain and your costs for treatment for something that can, at the moment, be done quickly and leave him feeling better immediately.
I think a lot of vets will vary as to what they consider constitutes an emergency.
I had to take my dog to the vets recently and expected it to be very quiet but it was very busy and as far as I could tell from other people's reasons for being there, they were definitely treating anything that was causing pain or distress to the animals. Could you find another vet who'd be willing to do it? Although, I'm not sure if they'd be willing treat a dog registered with another vet.
I've spoken to a couple of other dog people when I've been out for my walks who have found groomers working at the moment.
I know mobile groomers can work at the moment so it might be worthwhile to see if you can find a groomer to do it for you.
Horrible for you dog to be in pain like that. Bit like having a toothache I imagine.
Oh my goddddd I've just googled anal glands and I wish I hadn't! <not envy
I'm getting our first puppy in two weeks and now dreading this. Does it happen to all dogs?
No, just us lucky ones. 🤢 This is the first dog (Number 5 in my life) I’ve had who has a problem. Your puppy could be fine. It’s just something to keep an eye out for.
It’s an ongoing with DD14, thankfully nothing for a while since we’ve been feeding her frozen raw chicken wings. She loves them too.
My vet showed me how to do them with internal massage and Vaseline. Not charming, haven't tried it yet, but worked well for her. Slightly dreading the day...
@WhySeaEmm No it doesn't happen with all dogs. My dog is 9 years old and has never had this problem.
Any suggestions on what to feed a dog with anal gland problems? My 1yr cockapoo needs his doing every 4-6 weeks. He is definitely not "comfortable" at the moment but I don't think I'm brave enough to do it myself
My cockerpoo needs to have her anal glands emptied every few weeks - she had to have them emptied three times during lockdown. The vet wouldn’t do it but instructed me how too, not the most please take skill I’ve learnt during lockdown but I’ve got the hang of it now.
Ring the vet back and book a consult for a dog who's acting likes he's in pain. Mention the anal glands have been a problem before and you should be able to get in.
Standard expressions are off the cards as they are seen as non essential..so the receptionist is just doing her job by saying no to them.
But pain and potential infection should be able to be seen.it will likely be a vet consult not a nurse one.
My vet put ddog on a food called SciencePlus or something similar. It was a dry food. That's all ddog was allowed. Vet used to tell me off if I softened the food for her with water. Said she doesn't need it.