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Anal Gland Expression

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Anal Gland Expression
  • Going to start off by apologizing for what will likely end up being a somewhat disgusting post.   

    I expressed Cooper's anal glands this evening (our vet showed us how to do this about a year ago) and noticed something a bit different: the secretion that came out of one of his glands was much thicker than usual. 

    He hasn't been showing any of the usual signs that his rear is bothering him (no scooting, excessive licking etc). In fact, I wouldn't have known that he needed his glands done except that he left a smelly spot on my couch earlier today (yuck!)

    Wondering if I should be concerned regarding this change. The fact that he is behaving normally and not paying extra attention to the area leads me to believe that I shouldn't be, but being the worrier that I am, I wanted to get some opinions.

    Thanks in advance for information/advice!

  • I've seen it be anything from almost gaseous to a thick gritty paste.  Same dog, different times. 

    I don't usually wait for signs -- I do it when I bathe them.  (with a lot of apologies and treats)  But typically they'd rather have ME do it that a vet with bigger hands.  Some dogs need it, some don't.  It's funny -- it's Billy I can do ANYTHING to .. but nope - it's Luna who winds up needing it.

  • So I shouldn't be alarmed if there is a bit of a change then? Secretion was thicker and a little yellowish in color (forgot to mention this earlier). It's usually brownish and watery. Gland wasn't overflowing. On the full side, but no more so than usual.

    Like I said, he's behaving normally and doesn't seem bothered in any way back there. 

    DH worried that change could indicate that an infection is brewing. I'll keep an eye on him for the next couple of days and call the vet if he begins to show signs of any discomfort. 

    Callie, how often do you express your dog's glands? We have to do Cooper's about every 4 weeks. He's on a schedule now - nearly four weeks to the day and he starts scooting/licking/leaving smelly spots all over the house. Anyway, just wondering if you had to do express your dog's glands as frequently.

  • I've read about this before but have always forgotten to ask: do some dogs just never need this done?  Ems has never had it done, and she's five...neither has Tessa, and she's twelve!  No vet has ever mentioned it, and it hasn't seemed to be a problem for either of them.... 

  • Some dogs need it, some don't.

    Consider yourself lucky if your two don't have issues. While it's simple enough to express the gland by hand, it is not the most pleasant of tasks! 

  • GraniasBard

    I've read about this before but have always forgotten to ask: do some dogs just never need this done?  Ems has never had it done, and she's five...neither has Tessa, and she's twelve!  No vet has ever mentioned it, and it hasn't seemed to be a problem for either of them.... 

     

    Most of the time, larger dogs glands express normally as they defecate.  It is often the smaller dogs that seem to need manual expression.  However, for some reason, Golden Retrievers are one large breed that seems to need it way more often than the others.  If your dog never scoots his/her butt, and the stools are normal, there's no odor, discharge or redness/swelling around the anus, then it is likely that you are lucky!  My hound and my Aussies never need the squeeze - poor Fergie (Yorkie) always does. 

  • 2DogsMom

    So I shouldn't be alarmed if there is a bit of a change then? Secretion was thicker and a little yellowish in color (forgot to mention this earlier). It's usually brownish and watery. Gland wasn't overflowing. On the full side, but no more so than usual.

    The yellow if it was a pus kind of yellow might concern me so keep an eye on it.

    Once a month is kinda typical - it depends on the dog truly, really.  I usually try to do it on a schedule where I express it just PRIOR to them being bothered.

  • My dog has anal gland problems and his housemate has absolutely none.  This is the first dog I've dealt with that had problems, before him, I didn't even know what an anal gland was!  Since starting him on daily doses of arabinogalactan powder, he has only needed to be expressed once (and he was with my son, I'm not sure it really needed it).  The stuff works wonders!  When he was having more frequent problems, the vet tech told me infected glands tend to secrete brightly colored fluid and non-infected fluid looks like runny poo.  I'd keep an eye on it.  I never got good at doing the expression myself, hats off to you!

  • If you feed more roughage, it should improve.  It is the need for fiber that helps to completely clean out the colon and not leaving residual waste liquids pooling causing itchy discomfort. 

    look up what arabinogalactan powder actually is!  My dogs love their snack time which is usually a carrot stick or apple, seeds removed of course!  Or sometimes celery. 

  •  Uhm, not sure what your point is, the arabinogalactans come from larch tree extract.  I did research it and when I found that they give it to HUMAN cancer patients to stimulate their immune system, I figured I'd give it a try.  My dog gets LOADS of fiber in the form of pureed veggies and added psyllium husks.  The vets and I feel it is a combination of anatomy and immune system with him since his glands are located more internally and even with firm stools don't appear to empty completely and he's very allergic to alot of food items, so the thought is that his "glands" in alot of his body are overactive because of his allergy reactions to things.  Since being introduced to my vet's practice, this powder has helped several dogs who had responded to nothing else for their anal glands, had numerous infections and ruptures and were facing surgery.

    Works for us.  Simple fiber helps others, to each his own. 

    http://www.xpressnet.com/bhealthy/Arabinogalactans.html 

  • spiritdogs

    Most of the time, larger dogs glands express normally as they defecate.  It is often the smaller dogs that seem to need manual expression.  However, for some reason,

    Correct, it seems it only happens in the smaller breeds and for a some of the smaller breeds, they never have to be expressed.  I have had to express my foster yellow lab 3 times at the beginning of his stay with me.  I thought it was caused by a combination of diet and stress.

     

     

  • BCMixs

     Uhm, not sure what your point is, the arabinogalactans come from larch tree extract.  I did research it and when I found that they give it to HUMAN cancer patients to stimulate their immune system, I figured I'd give it a try.  My dog gets LOADS of fiber in the form of pureed veggies and added psyllium husks.  The vets and I feel it is a combination of anatomy and immune system with him since his glands are located more internally and even with firm stools don't appear to empty completely and he's very allergic to alot of food items, so the thought is that his "glands" in alot of his body are overactive because of his allergy reactions to things.  Since being introduced to my vet's practice, this powder has helped several dogs who had responded to nothing else for their anal glands, had numerous infections and ruptures and were facing surgery.

    Works for us.  Simple fiber helps others, to each his own. 

    http://www.xpressnet.com/bhealthy/Arabinogalactans.html 

     

    That is interesting.  Not trying to judge what you do, just offering what has been working very well here. One of my dogs has had terrible allergic issues when first had her. Once we stopped purchasing dog food and started cooking, allergies have completely ceased.  We do feed one cup of Wellness brand (in am) or other good food that has limited grains and things that are apparently detrimental to dog alimentary health. All of the rest is home prepared. The fiber in addition that I give is for them to chew up and create another wave of nice crunch roughage that helps to keep em clear. 

    Of course when you need a script, for intestinal inflammatory issues or allergies or whatever your specifac dog's issue is, that is excellent to seek a vets advice. and use that script.  Anything else may cause more pain and discomfort for a pet such as this.

    Glad to hear you are  having success!  

    editing in:

    [<b>edited by:</b> dogslife at 9:16 AM (GMT -5) on Mon, Jan 21 2008]
    http://www.xpressnet.com/bhealthy/Arabinogalactans.html

    Just looked at this, apparently there are other preparations with a less pure preparations w/ extract.  It seems like it is mainly for cancer patients with liver issues? And also for autoimmune issues?  Very interesting.  Wonder where &quot;larch trees&quot; are from?

  •  I think larch trees are northern trees.  My anally challenged Big Smile allergic dog is also on an almost 100% raw/homecooked diet.  He gets 1 cup of Hill's z/d with hydrolyzed proteins once a day and raw the rest of the time.  Some days I try to go w/o the kibble completely and do salmon/jack mackeral/sardines or beef and veggies.  The only grains would be in the z/d (haven't inspected the label lately) and it has helped to increase natural foods for him.  Anything with feathers gets him reacting, and I'm just not comfy feeding pork raw at this point, so our protein sources are somewhat limited.  He's also allergic to seasonal mold (which we have alot of here in VA) and gets ear infections during the moldy season.  I'm hoping when that rolls around again, the arabinogalactan has helped boost his immune system enough that those won't recur either.

    FWIW, I have academic access to a medical school's library, that's where I found the cancer info.  They've given the powder to cancer patients without liver issues as well, it boosts certain killer cells that help fight the tumor.  I just linked to something that would be available without fee and lists the references that can be explored for more detailed info (if you wanted to pay or have access some other way). 

  • Coop loves carrots, so I'll stick with feeding those. I haven't tried apples yet - do I leave the skin on when I feed them to him or do I need to peel it first? Our vet also recommended adding a little All Bran cereal to his food. We gave it a shot, but Coop wasn't having it. Don't blame him - I'm not a huge fan of that cereal either.
  • I've fed bits of apple with the skin on while I'm preparing the dogs' pureed veggies and fruits.  But, invariably, I'll see it again, almost whole, if you know what I mean.  Same with the carrots, if I give them a baby carrot to nosh on, it's pretty much in the same condition when it comes out the other end.  Stick out tongue   I guess that would make for a nice clean colon though! 

    You might try soaking the All Bran in some low-sodium beef broth to make it more appealing.  My boys like almost anything if its floating in beef broth!  The WalMart store brand is the lowest in sodium that I've found, which is weird.  It's even lower than the Swanson Low Sodium.