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Anal gland problems
MissShapesMissStakes · 25/09/2019 23:56
My 15 month old mini poodle seems to be one of those dogs that has anal gland issues. He’s had them emptied at the vets twice. Not for a while though.
But then tonight he started going really odd. He was panting; circling madly, kept sitting down suddenly, was shaking and kept walking fast with his tail between his legs and his bottom sloped down. He was staring at the lights and corners of the room. He did go out for a poo (normal). And then came in looking happier for twenty mins before it started again.
We took him to the out of hours vets and came back a couple of hours ago.
While we were there the vet examined him all over. And said his anal glands were the size of a malteaser (should be lentil sized). So she took him off to have them expressed. He came back looking shocked but tail up and wagging when he saw us.
Problem is he is still acting oddly. Like he’s been spooked. He’s not coming for his usual snuggle, is being really clingy and still keeps sitting down lots.
Is he just freaked out, tired (but finding it hard to relax) and a bit sore? I’m assuming the vet and nurse would have noticed if he had an infection or something around there. I’m worried now that I suggested his anal glands but it means something has been missed.
I think maybe we need to try to give him a normal night and then if he’s still like it in the morning I will phone our own vet (had to use the out of hours one, rather than our own).
Not sure what I’m asking really. Does all that sound ok?
dinello · 26/09/2019 00:04
Probably a bit unsettled by what happened and sore. See how he goes tonight, but get him checked by his regular vet. Hope everything goes okay tonight!
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 00:11
Thank you for looking at the anal gland post at midnight!
Thanks. He’s settled downstairs and hasn’t barked so hoping he just needs a good sleep. Will definitely phone our usual vet tomorrow anyway as maybe we need to go in and talk about the issue long term. There were no signs this time. The last few time I could smell him () and he was scooting about and chasing his tail. Poor boy must have been uncomfortable for a while. He’s such a good boy and is usually so happy, waggy and playful.
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 09:36
He’s definitely better than he was but is still having a few minutes occasionally where he looks really spooked and just wants to sit or lie down. So taking him to our vet later this morning. Hopefully it’s just settling down.
Wolfiefan · 26/09/2019 09:37
Would changing his food help the problem?
Solitarycaddis · 26/09/2019 09:42
If there was no smell this time it could be something unrelated to anal glands. Tbh that sounds like classic "fear" behaviour. Was it about to storm or thunder near you last night? Any lightening? Or he could smell or hear something that we can't? Traffic vibration? Could he have eaten something unusual and now have abdominal pain? You are doing the right thing taking him back to the vets. I hope he's ok.
ScreamingValenta · 26/09/2019 09:46
My dog (not a poodle though) had anal gland problems when he was young but they settled down after he was 2. We were told he could have them removed if it continued to be an issue - might be something to ask your vet about if they are causing him serious discomfort.
Soubriquet · 26/09/2019 09:51
My two have anal gland problems
I have to empty them myself at least once a month.
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 10:04
That’s what I’m worried about - that the anal glands were an issue but not THE issue, or that he’s eaten something (he is a dustbin!).
But he has done a normal looking poo and he’s most definitely not off his food at the moment.
I know someone else who sorts the anal glands themselves. I’m definitely willing to pay someone else to do that regularly if it’s needed. The smell is like something I’ve never smelt before!
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 10:07
Solitary - he is definitely looking scared/spooked at times. The lights and top corners of the room seem to be taking his interest more than anything. And he’s stuck to my side. He’s usually so bouncy and happy. He didn’t even chase the pigeon on our garden this morning.
No thunder or anything that I have noticed to scare him. He is a bit of a wimp though.
Soubriquet · 26/09/2019 10:10
Oh it does stink
Like a metallic fishy sort of smell...
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 10:13
Exactly how I described it to dh.
Solitarycaddis · 26/09/2019 10:17
Does he have a high prey drive? If so, does he get enough exercise and mental stimulation? The reason I ask is that some "reactive/nervy" dogs can get fixated on lights and shadows and need lots of redirecting away from them on to more positive activities to cure them of it. It's the equivalent of humans (no offence intended) developing mh conditions such as OCD or agoraphobia. One dog I know became very afraid of shadows of wooden beams causing stripes on a shiny floor. It took a long time to get him over it because it was ingrained, so worth catching early if it is that and not a health issue ifyswim!
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 10:24
Solitary that’s really interesting!
Yes he has a high prey drive. We do lots of ball chasing where dh also hides from him and races round the garden with him. He adores that game.
He also loves to chase the torch light. One of his favourite games too.
When he was about 6 months he became scared of the light shades on the ceiling and would bark at them. We would touch them to show him it was fine and then slowly lift him to smell them and he would calm down then. That died out over summer as they were on a lot less.
Maybe the time of the year and us having the lights on more - especially yesterday as it was a really gloomy day.
Thanks so much.
We are hoping to get a 1-2-1 session with a trainer that we’ve had a few times before (just to replace puppy classes) as we wanted to improve his lead walking so I will also talk to her about that.
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 10:26
Oh - also he refused to have a walk yesterday as it was raining so much. (Literally had to drag him down the road, then he basically ran home - usually he has a long walk in the woods off lead).
We do make sure we do some training and tricks every day, and hide his food around to do some sniffing. But we could certainly do more.
Wolfiefan · 26/09/2019 10:41
I wouldn’t encourage chasing light. You might end up with shadow chasing behaviour and that’s hard to break.
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 11:04
Is there a good place to look for ideas of games to exercise his prey drive?
Wolfiefan · 26/09/2019 12:11
I avoid that! I have a sighthound who lives with cats. Better to google brain games.
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 12:51
Back from the vets. Had a good all over check. She said his glands are a bit swollen so he’s probably uncomfortable. Has some anti inflammatory pain killers for a few days.
Also had to visit the pet shop next door of course so he’s cheered up a lot.
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 12:59
Also the vet recommended a glade plug in for dogs - will have a look for those.
Soubriquet · 26/09/2019 14:43
You mean adaptil?
Glade plug in for dogs
MissShapesMissStakes · 26/09/2019 16:50
sounds more like it!
Not sure about it though. Might leave him a few days while his meds work and see if he settles anyway.
Theoscargoesto · 27/09/2019 15:36
I hope you have sorted it out, @MissShapesMissStakes. It's always worrying when they aren't quite themselves, I find.
Mine (now 18 months) has also had anal gland issues: they don't seem to get impacted but they do get full more often than expected, and she has had to have them emptied at the vet as well. The vet suggested bulking out her stools and that certainly helps, so she has some veg, or a bit of all bran, in her food morning and night.
I have learnt to express them myself (it's a horrid, smelly job, though, like squeezing a spot, satisfying when you get it right!).
autumness · 28/09/2019 08:23
Both my little poodles x's have this problem and the behaviour your describing is exactly like mine did
She looked like she was terrified of something. Running around with her tail down. Almost like she was running away from herself ! Full anal glands are apparently super uncomfortable and I would imagine her behaviour after would be due to her being sore.
After my dogs get theirs expressed when we get home I use a luke warm flannel and just gently press against the area to soothe it a bit and this seems to help.
Not sure why your vet took your dog away from you to do the expression tho. In all the years we've been going to the vets (usually needed doing every 4/5 weeks) they always did it there and then whilst I was in the room
Maybe if you could be there next time it would be less traumatic
Hope your doggo is feeling more settled now x
GreenItWas · 28/09/2019 08:31
The problem with anal glands is the more they are expressed the more they need expressing as they lose their tone. Not saying you should leave them unexpressed obviously but I advise you get someone to show you how to do it as it will cost you an eyewatering sum over the years if he is only 15 months. It's easy once you get the hang of it. I had to do it for my old girl every two weeks without fail. It used to drive her nuts and would come to me and look around at her butt. I bought a bulk order of latex gloves.
Wear safety glasses and keep your mouth shut though
It is possible to surgically remove them.
MissShapesMissStakes · 28/09/2019 09:54
Green and Theo - you are braver than me! I have a feeling I can add to the monthly fee I pay for flea and worming so that it includes unlimited nurse appointments for anal gland issues and other things. I might look into that as it might be slightly cheaper, depending on how often it’s needed. I’m definitely happy to pay for someone else to make sure they keep their mouth shut while squeezing his anal glands
I took him to our own vets the day after and she said often they take them away for it as it’s so smelly it makes their room smell awful for the rest of the day.
He was definitely more comfortable with it when a nurse did it at our vets and I held onto him too. But also they weren’t as full as last time at the out of hours vets.
Our vet has said she wouldn’t do it regularly for now and to just keep a close eye on him. Just that I really didn’t notice any of the signs this time until he was really uncomfortable. Last time he had the smell, was scooting and straining too.
This time it went straight to all the behaviours you mention yours do autumn so that makes me feel better about it. Initially I thought he had eaten something he shouldn’t have as he was panting, unsettled, shaking etc.
I’ve started giving him some bran flakes with his breakfast. And he adores carrots and green beans so always has a few at tea time, which apparently bulks his poo and helps his anal glands work properly.
In 15 months he’s only had it done three times. So I’m hoping it’s something that doesn’t need to be done regularly. 🤞
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