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high fiber recommendations for anal gland problems

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high fiber recommendations for anal gland problems
  • my poor 7 month poodle has been having anal gland issues. for the past 2 months or so, they have had to been expressed every 3 weeks or so at the vet.i had him expressed at the beginning of december, but over the holidays i noticed he was scooting a little bit when we were out of town. he didn't seem to scoot very often, maybe once a day, so i waited til we returned home to take him to the vet. i took him to the vet today, and it turns out his glands are now infected and was put on antibiotics (clavamox) for a week. the vet also suggested i put him on a high fiber diet, and gave me a can of hill's science diet prescription w/d food to try. he doesn't like it, he just spits it out. so i fed him his regular food tonight - innova puppy dry food. he's been on innova puppy mixed with a little bit of cooked turkey or hamburger for a couple months now. before innova, he was on canidae and castor & pollux organix (both dry and also mixed with turkey/burger), and didn't have any gland problems, but he was also much younger at the time. i stopped because he didn't seem crazy about either of them. he seems to like the taste of innova better, but his gland problems started right around the time he started innova. so what dry, premium food is high in fiber that would be good to try, that is also extra tasty for dogs? any other tips for keeping his glands problem free are much appreciated!
  • Hi, sorry to hear about the problems your little guy is having.  You may already know this, but anal gland problems are often allergy related, so you might take a look at the ingredients and compare the old food with the new.

    That being said, I also have a small dog with anal gland issues, so I can tell you what has worked for me personally.  I started feeding him pre-made raw medallions every so often (1-2 a day for a day or so, any time he starts showing symptoms of his glands filling up), and that has worked like a charm in helping him express them on his own.  The pre-made raw gives him very firm stools.  The brand I use is Nature's Variety, because I can get that locally.  BEFORE discovering that, I had tried adding fiber to his diet in the form of canned pumpkin and a couple other things that I can't remember now, but those did not help (for us).

    Good luck, hope you can get this under control.  Smile

    ETA:  I know that not everyone is comfortable feeding raw, so I hope others will come along with more suggestions for you. Wink

  • One of my poodles had anal gland problems at a very young age when I was feeding Innova.  He ended up in the emergency vet twice with anal gland ruptures.  Once I switched off Innova, no more gland issues.  (I switched to PetGuard, etc, just no more natura foods for him).  He's now living with a retired couple since he retired from the dog show game and has had no further gland issues.

     

    Good luck!

  • GypsyNBeau
    That being said, I also have a small dog with anal gland issues, so I can tell you what has worked for me personally.  I started feeding him pre-made raw medallions every so often (1-2 a day for a day or so, any time he starts showing symptoms of his glands filling up), and that has worked like a charm in helping him express them on his own. 

     

    I know this is a dumb question, but I would like to ask anyway.  How do you know if your little dog's glands have been expressed on his own?  Because my little boy has the same anal glands problem sometimes.  But I can't tell from his poops if he has expressed or not.  Thanks.

  • oylin

    GypsyNBeau
    That being said, I also have a small dog with anal gland issues, so I can tell you what has worked for me personally.  I started feeding him pre-made raw medallions every so often (1-2 a day for a day or so, any time he starts showing symptoms of his glands filling up), and that has worked like a charm in helping him express them on his own. 

     

    I know this is a dumb question, but I would like to ask anyway.  How do you know if your little dog's glands have been expressed on his own?  Because my little boy has the same anal glands problem sometimes.  But I can't tell from his poops if he has expressed or not.  Thanks.

    Well to be honest I can't tell from his poops either, all I know is that his licking/scooting behavior stops after I feed him the medallions for a day or two.  I have not had to have his glands manually expressed for well over a year, and he has not had any impactions or ruptures or anything either, so I assume it must be working.  :)

  •  

    I hope you can find something that works..... Do try the canned pumpkin......Its GREAT fiber :) and green beans are too but canned Pumpkin is the best... And that is PLAIN canned pumpkin :)

    My Westie girl had problems like your dog but she is 8 years old and she had problems on and off until last year we had no choice but to remove them. UGH... I was so scared to do it cause they can become incontinent if done wrong. Anyway... she was incontinent for a couple of months but not real bad... Just when she barked out flew a toostie roll.....

     I was even feeding raw at the time and it did nothing. No matter what I tried nothing worked... and she was on Clavamox for 3 weeks and it did nothing and another heavy duty antiboitic for weeks 3 and still the infection wouldn't clear but We got it clear enough to do surgery cause you don't want to operate on infected glands. I told my vet that I wasn't going to let them do the surgery that I was taking her to a speciality clinic. No hard feeling but I wanted the best.

     As for the W/D it high fiber alright. The trick I have found with my other Westie with digestive issues who is picky picky behond picky is I roll the canned W/D into small little meatballs and then roll it in something yummy like grated chicken. Otherwise he will have no part of it. I know how you feel about science diet.. I use to be the same way... But when a person has bought the best of the best and tried every food under that sun and still have major problems you begin to not be so negative about some foods cause your glad to find something that will work. So I put Louie back on W/D and he is doing great. It beats direaha and upset stomachs every single day cause that is what I was dealing with .....

     Best of luck......been there done that so many times I feel for ya.....again I hope you can find something that works. Don't let anyone talk you into sugery... that is a LAST Opition when you can't get the infection under control.

  • GypsyNBeau
    I started feeding him pre-made raw medallions every so often (1-2 a day for a day or so, any time he starts showing symptoms of his glands filling up), and that has worked like a charm in helping him express them on his own.  The pre-made raw gives him very firm stools.  The brand I use is Nature's Variety, because I can get that locally.  BEFORE discovering that, I had tried adding fiber to his diet in the form of canned pumpkin and a couple other things that I can't remember now, but those did not help

     

       Same here; the NV raw medallions helped when pumpkin and metamucil didn't.
     

  • oylin

    I know this is a dumb question, but I would like to ask anyway.  How do you know if your little dog's glands have been expressed on his own?  Because my little boy has the same anal glands problem sometimes.  But I can't tell from his poops if he has expressed or not.  Thanks.

     

     Hi,

    you can't really tell from the poops.

    And it's not a dumb question Big Smile  - I wish someone had explained all this to me when I first got my dogs!

    We have had 3 anal gland abscesses between 2 toy poodles ... so I'm now very vigilant (in a paranoid sort of way LOL) about checking the state of their glands every day. 

    This is what I do:

    Every time they have toileted, I dab a clean tissue firmly against the anus. If they have successfully expressed some anal gland fluid, I will usually see a spot on the tissue. It can be just clear fluid ... or it may be colored yellow/brown, depending on what exactly is in the glands.

    There is also a typical smell to anal gland fluid. If your dog has expressed some, you will notice a faint whiff of it on the tissue. Also, other dogs will be attracted hugely by this smell!

    It is also a good idea to feel for the anal glands regularly. If you're not sure how to locate them, best thing probably is for your vet to show you. But it's not difficult - they are located just below the anus, to either side. Roughly at 4 and 8 o'clock! If any 'gunk' has accumulated and is solidifying in there, you will be able to feel the anal glands - they'll feel like two hard little peas.

    If they remain solid/hard to the touch, and even increase in size over a period, then that is a signal (at least with my dogs) that they are having problems shifting 'gunk' out of the anal glands. I regard this as the first warning signal for the glands getting compacted. When that hapens, I take them to the vet straightaway to have them expressed safely.

    Hope that helps!
     

     

     


  •  Hi,

     Thank you very much for your great info.  My boy's poops are usually kind of soft.  I have fed him one meal of Natural Variety Raw Frozen and one meal of Wellness Core kibbles for few months, and I had tried adding canned pumpkin before as well.  But I still can not firm his poops up.  Maybe I will feed him more raw frozen to see if it will help.  I am going to start checking  his anus from the way I have learned from you.  Thanks again!
     

    FussyPoodles

    Every time they have toileted, I dab a clean tissue firmly against the anus. If they have successfully expressed some anal gland fluid, I will usually see a spot on the tissue. It can be just clear fluid ... or it may be colored yellow/brown, depending on what exactly is in the glands.

    There is also a typical smell to anal gland fluid. If your dog has expressed some, you will notice a faint whiff of it on the tissue. Also, other dogs will be attracted hugely by this smell!

  • oylin

     Hi,

     Thank you very much for your great info.  My boy's poops are usually kind of soft.  I have fed him one meal of Natural Variety Raw Frozen and one meal of Wellness Core kibbles for few months, and I had tried adding canned pumpkin before as well.  But I still can not firm his poops up.  Maybe I will feed him more raw frozen to see if it will help.  I am going to start checking  his anus from the way I have learned from you.  Thanks again!

     

     

    Hi Oylin,

    yes, the soft poops are the problem ... we've been battling this here as long as I can remember.
    My guys are mainly on home-cooked, so the problem is particularly obvious due to the moistness/softness of the food. 

    The tricky issue is working out which type of fiber is the one your dog does best on. There is soluble fiber, and insoluble, and then there's a range of plant foods that combine those two in various amounts. I've tried a whole range of fiber foods - from wheat bran to psyllium, pumpkin/squash to flaxseed.

    Here's what works best for my guys: Flaxseed! It's amazing stuff. I grind it myself (in the coffee grinder), so it's always really fresh, and I grind it really really fine.

    However, there's always a snag ... one of my dogs appears to be allergic to all grains and seeds. Bummer. :(
    So I'm now experimenting with apple pulp (i.e. I juice apples and keep the pulp), which seems to be working not too bad.

    Pumpkin is a funny vegetable: it can both loosen and firm the poop - every dog is different! With my dogs, pumpkin/squash causes soft poops - sounds like your guy is the same.
    But it's worth experimenting and trying different types of squash. I found there is one type - butternut squash - that actually seems to work reasonably well in terms of keeping poops well formed.

    The worst type of fiber, hands down, for my dogs is psyllium (like in Metamucil) - absolute nightmare of goopy poops, sticky like wallpaper glue! (Sorry about the detail LOL)

    I agree that raw food is one good option. My guys used to be on raw when they were younger, and although they did scoot a bit they never had serious anal gland problems. Although bones are technically not a 'fiber' food, they do help to keep stools really well formed. But unfortunately raw doesn't suit all dogs, and particularly dogs with sensitive GI tracts can run into problems.

    Wellness Core: a good kibble IMO, and it does contain some flaxseed - but: it contains Canola oil, and my dogs react to canola oil (any veg oil) with ... you guessed it: soft poops!
    So I recently bought the "Reduced Fat" version of Core. This contains no veg oil and the fiber content is 6.4% (i.e. quite high) - whereas the regular Core has only 2.7% (which is plenty for most dogs, but not for our guys).

    You could also try out other kibbles - if you haven't already, Canidae would be one option (if your dog is OK with rice and also alfalfa meal).
    My dogs don't like it much ... but it does produce very firm poops in my experience.

    The other food to try would be The Honest Kitchen dehydrated foods. Their formulas tend to have good amounts of flaxseed, and they do several grain-free ones. I have seen very good stools on the HK food.

    Hope that gives you some more ideas what to try. In a nutshell: Don't give up - keep trying different foods and fiber types! 

     

  • oylin
    Thank you very much for your great info.  My boy's poops are usually kind of soft.  I have fed him one meal of Natural Variety Raw Frozen and one meal of Wellness Core kibbles for few months, and I had tried adding canned pumpkin before as well.  But I still can not firm his poops up.  Maybe I will feed him more raw frozen to see if it will help.  I am going to start checking  his anus from the way I have learned from you.  Thanks again!

     

    I just want to add that I was doing the NV raw medallians with NO LUCK..... Now I know that when the dogs eat bones like chicken wings and necks then they get a much harder poop for SURE....but my vet scared me right out of that.... Long story.... Since I don't do raw anymore for many reasons not pretaining to this subject I went back to Natural Balance Duck and Potato and then I feed my Westie Louie the canned W/D ... .let me tell you.... you get the PERFECT FIRM hard stool with that food. Maybe you should try my suggest for awhile..... the best way it has worked for me is make little meat balls out of it ... put it on a plate and sprinkle something yummy like ground fine in a food process...either chicken or a meat of some kind..... then take those balls and roll it around that meat to cover the balls :) The trick has worked here.....

  • I had read on line that some people have had good luck feeding EVO and solving their anal gland problems. My dog was another that tended towards softer stools. Pumpkin did not firm them up enough. The EVO sure did. I've heard that a raw diet with plenty of bone can do the same thing. Maybe you need to feed the raw for a couple days straight to see if it works. If not you might try the EVO. I've always fed the EVO along with pumpking for my dogs, because one of them would get such hard poops that she would be constipated. I figure since it's a low fiber food it might be a good idea.

  •  Forgot to mention that giving probiotics can also sometimes help.
    Again, it's one of those things that can cut both ways: it'll either help get better formed stools, or make them soft. Trial and error is the only way to find out.

    I would recommend going straight to using a top quality, very concentrated Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic powder (has to be kept in fridge).

    Some people report success with using just plain acidophilus yoghurt - but my experience is only of stool softening.
    I give my guys probiotic powder, just dabbed on the tongue, at bedtime - and that seems to work well. It aids digestion by populating the digestive tract with friendly micro-bacteria.

    I re-read your original message and noticed that you add to the kibble "a little bit of cooked turkey or hamburger".
    While I think adding some fresh, cooked food to a dry diet is a good thing ... you need to remember that meat (also fish and eggs) has no fiber whatsoever. So, in effect, you are 'diluting' the percentage of fiber in the meal you are feeding. I would therefore suggest you add a fiber-rich source to the extra home-cooked meat: mix in some flaxseed and also add a vegetable (cooked soft and mashed thoroughly). My guys love broccoli - and it's good for them!

    When adding extra fiber in the form of veg or fruit or seeds, you're not just adding a fiber bulking agent ... you are enhancing the health of the gut flora.

    As to kibble: I see that you used to feed Canidae ... but it wasn't cough very popular. ;)
    Same story here, so I know what you mean.
    Terrierlover mentioned NB Duck &Potato, and I think that's another excellent one to try.

    Another approach mentioned is feeding a food - raw pre-mix or dry EVO - that is very very very high in calcium. With many dogs, this will produce very hard poops (the excess calcium being excreted). I just want to advise caution when trying this approach - with a robust healthy dog there is no great danger; but our poodle guys tend to be quite sensitive and ... well, I've been down that road and it's a bit risky IMHO.
    My girl had 2 AG abscesses, and the vet said that as a result the tissue around the glands is now scarred and not as flexible as it used to be. He advised to keep the poops not too hard because that puts strain on that whole area.

    The solution to AG problems is often more complex than just hardening up the stools. Firm poops are obviously desirable ... but not the be all and end all. From my experience, it's a combination of stool volume and firmness.
    If your dog is pooping quite hard and small stools, then it's quite possible that this may not be enough to express the glands properly. It needs a certain amount of bulk - that's where the fiber sources come in: vegies give good bulk, flaxseed dries and firms the poop etc.

    Ideally, the poops should be well-formed, firm and clean to pick up ... but not hard as chalk. Having the occasional softer poop in between is actually no bad thing. Today I saw an example of this - forgive me for going into such detail (I think I could write a book about anal glands and diet! LOL).

    My girl had her glands expressed last week at the vet's. However, there was still some hard residue in there that wouldn't shift and I got worried. Well ... clever girl: today she had a firm poop (no change with the AGs), and shortly after a second one that was soft. And guess which poop managed to finally clear the glands - yep, the second soft one.

    So I think for dogs with real chronic AG problems, it's a combination of factors. It can take quite some time to figure it all out.

    Oh ... and I got over being embarrassed at the rather big poops my guys sometimes produce. Cool 

  • Britta, you are very well-informed on the topic.  Although I was not the one who started the thread, I have appreciated reading your replies.

    P.S.  I would looove to see some pics of your poodles, if you feel like sharing any.  ;)

  • FussyPoodles
    I would recommend going straight to using a top quality, very concentrated Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic powder (has to be kept in fridge).

     

    What brand of Lactobacillus acidopilus probiotic powder would you recommend?  I'm adding 1/2 of recommended doses of the following to my boy's diets: Prozme, Solid Gold Seameal and Seacure (hydrolyzed white fish) for few months, not much help.

    Thank you!