View Full Version : More bran/fiber in diet?

11th January 2009, 06:52 PM
Hello All,

It's been a long time, since I have been online. Rio has been well except with the minor problem of anal glands. His MRI results and blood tests also came back before Christmas as negative so SM has now been ruled out with the scratching episodes he was having which we are all very happy about as he is only 2 years old and were desperately worried it was SM.

He was at the vets again on Thursday due to needing his glands emptied. I mentioned to the vet that we are only bringing him to the vets now really for a health check and the anal glands filling up every 7-8 weeks or so when he scoots alot in the house. The younger girl who is now his new Vet who seems to be very clued in on Cavaliers and asked what we fed him.

I said Burns, Chicken and Brown Rice kruckles mix and chappie meat (both flavours but he prefers the chicken :) )

She said certain treats could also make him have runny stools, and we still have to be careful when giving him specific treats that give him tummy upsets.

She mentioned we can give him some more fibre in his diet such as bran or flakes of all bran as long as it's a small amount and it could make the difference from the glands filling up so much.

I am wondering whether to start giving him bran as of tomorrow however I am unsure if I would need to buy a special bag from a health food site or we can give him bran flakes?

Could anyone advise?

Brian M
11th January 2009, 07:12 PM

I get my bran from Holland and Barrett and give them a teaspoon with every meal also the small sqr shredded wheat two of those each ,though unsure whether to increase either as all of them still occasionally scoot and need their glans emptied either at the vets or the groomers.

Brian M
11th January 2009, 07:17 PM
Hi again

I forgot to also say my three are also on Burns dry with a little bit of Burns tinned wet as a taster and a whole lot of green beans /broccoli/carrots as filler and Keepers Mix plus a squirt of Kronch salmon oil.

12th January 2009, 04:03 AM
My Charlie is nearly 11 months old. He starts to scoot every 6 to 8 weeks after having his glands emptied. He's on Eagle Pack Holistic Selects plus a tablespoon of canned pumpkin once a day. His stools are firm. I think we are just going to have to have his glands emptied every month and a half. It costs US$17 at our vets. I'm not ready to learn to do it myself yet!

12th January 2009, 07:28 PM
My Rosie and Ebony got the same problem. There Anal Glands need emptying every 6 weeks. Sometimes my breeder does it for me as I tried and failed. I feed them Bran and it doesn’t seem to make any difference. I was at the vet’s with Rosie this evening and I mentioned the problem about the anal glands to him and he said that if you have to empty the glands that often it could help if they pack it with Antibiotics. There is no surgery required but the dog would need sedating. I don’t like the idea but I don’t always want to ask my breeder and going to the vets with three dogs would cost me about £35 every month. Has anybody had this done?

12th January 2009, 09:21 PM
Hi All

Thanks for the info, well I tried feeding Rio a little bit of bran with his dinner and he came out with terrible gas (yuk!)

He never gets gas ! :O

How often do you all give your Cavs bran and how much ?

I am just curious as Rio goes through alot of tummy upsets.

Brian M,

I also forgot to say Rio has a cod liver oil tablet daily too in his evening meal and this seems to do wonders to his coat that was very lank and dry after he was neutered.

We asked about removal of glands if they became infected for example and the Vet told us that sometimes when they are removed this can cause fecal incontienence and lots of dogs revert back the way starting to have accidents in the house and sometimes is distressing for the owners thinking something is wrong.

We would only think on removal of the glands if they became infected and then really gave him problems.

12th January 2009, 09:31 PM
How often do you all give your Cavs bran and how much ?

My boys each get a medium-sized spoonful of canned pumpkin plus a 1/2 handful of flaked barley and a 1/2 handful of oat bran every morning and their stools are almost always firm. Miles (almost 2) had his glands emptied when he was much younger (@ 5 months old) and hasn't had them emptied since. He doesn't scoot. Truman (1 yr old) has never had them emptied and he doesn't scoot...hope that helps!

13th January 2009, 06:47 PM

I had a real problem with Leo's anal glands a few months ago. He ended up developing an abcess and needed surgery to have it drained! The vet put him on profibre which he has one small scoop everyday. It was expensive and Im really interested to know whether Branflakes will work just as good. PLease let me know if anyone finds they work and how much to give.


13th January 2009, 10:40 PM
Cod liver oil could well be the cause of the runny stools. You might try salmon oil and also try less than you are giving. There's a UK site that offers salmon oil in pump bottles for animals so you don't need a whole capsule.

On the scratching -- PSOM and the Chiari-like malformation -- the latter, most cavaliers have -- can each cause scratching as well. Also keep in mind that SM is progressive and if scratching is due to CM, a dog may be more prone to develop syrinxes later on. Hopefully he'll remain clear for syrinxes :xfngr: but unfortunately MRIs are only a snapshot in time and not a lifetime diagnosis for SM. Clare Rusbridge generally recommends trying a medication like frusemide or cimetidine to see if it helps with scratching if you suspect CM may be the cause.

Is your vet trying elimination diets to see if allergies might be causing the scratching, as well?

You can just use bran flakes. Ot try some cooked butternut squash or pumpkin -- about a dessertspoon per meal. There's lots of fibre in those and they alone often help runny stools. If you are feeding a range of treats the treats may also disagree with him -- I'd be very cautious on treats or try raw veggies instead.

Finally, groomers do anal glands generally as part of a groom.

19th January 2009, 08:06 PM
Hi Karlin

Just ready your reply...

Many Thanks for the info on the SM we have been reading up on it and Rio has hardly been scratching at all. He is around us quite alot during the day, so we tend to watch and were recording on a daily sheet as to how many times a day he was scratching, this has lessened to one or two scratches per day. The vet mentioned it could also be the fabric softener we could be using on his bed.

Since changing the fabric softener he has hardly itched at all :)

As for his food we started to give him just a handful of bran flakes in a small chinese bowl over the last couple of days or so mostly in the morning time so that when my Dad comes home he lets him out at lunchtime and there is no ickyness to his stools.

As for the salmon oil idea, I have just purchased some and will use it when I receive it through the post.

We tried butternut sqaush and pumpkin but he wasn't too fond of that (posh pup lol).

He does like green beans and brocoli. Only a little. He does enjoy a little bit of braeburn apples too.

Does this diet sound quite sufficient ?

19th January 2009, 09:29 PM
Shredded Wheat is great stuff to get fiber into the little doggies - my lot love it (even though it is so bland), and because it comes in both the big biscuits and the little bite size ones it is easy to control how much they get.The last time I was int he vet I talked it over with them and they said it is a perfect way to get it into them.

I think the diet you mentioned sound perfect, unfortunatly it can be a matter of trial and error to find what works for your own animal so it could take a while to find the perfect diet for your dog.

Karlin mentioned about your vet trying an elimination diet - this could show up something surprising that may be irritating your little one, perhaps give this a try for both scratching and anal gland problems.

Good luck :thmbsup: