View Full Version : Anal gland abscess

17th December 2009, 06:48 PM
I'm so upset! Two nights ago, Quincy started to scoot his bottom (something he doesn't normally do), and was acting very distressed. This was right before we were going to bed. We woke up yesterday to find blood all over the kitchen floor, but Quincy was now acting fine. I called the vet as soon as they opened, but they told me they couldn't see him until today, because they only had one vet in the office and 3 other emergencies. I brought him to Banfield at Petsmart, and they showed me that he had a huge abscess, bigger than a golf ball. I was told it was very serious and needed to be taken care of immediately. They had to sedate him to drain it, etc. He's on antibiotics for 10 days, painkillers for 4 days. He's really not himself at all today, just sleeping and whimpering once in a while, and leaking - yuck!

I can't believe that he didn't act distressed until right before that huge thing burst open! Poor little guy! He must have an incredible tolerance for pain.

The vet told me that I should have his glands checked monthly for a while, to see how quickly they fill up. If they need to be drained too frequently, I may need to have them removed. Does this sound right? They also told me not to clean the area, because he's on an antibiotic, so that takes care of it. Does this make sense?

It was very upsetting having to have this all done by a vet that I knew nothing about. And I'm upset with my own vet for seeming to not care that my dog was bleeding from his rear!

Any tips on ways to possibly prevent this from happening again? I've heard that bran helps - how much and can I just use bran cereal (All Bran)?

17th December 2009, 10:00 PM
So sorry to hear about Quincy's problems (and yours re the vet) but this is quite a common problem with Cavaliers.

If you type "anal gland abscess" into the Search box on the orange/brown bar at the top of the Forum and ask to "Show threads" you will find very many previous posts with similar stories and lots of advice.

Do hope Quincy feels better soon - I get my vet to clear out all my girls' glands about every 6-8 weeks. Better safe than sorry in my view :thmbsup:

17th December 2009, 10:18 PM
Have they put drainage tubes in ? (looks like little paper quills) If so you may need to gently give them 1/4 turn am and pm to stop them sticking just for the next day or so. Just get some warm salty water and drip it across the wound with cotton wool. Dont touch the area, just drip the warm salty water across it.

Our Bobby just had an anal gland abcess drained again last week (2nd time) :eek:, so we are seriously considering removing them in the new year. Dont beat yourself up about it, they happen with little or no warning !! Just make sure he doesnt lick the area, but I'm assuming a buster collar will sort that out.

Your vet doesnt sound like someone you'd trust in an emergency :(, I'd probably ask around for recommendations, maybe someone on this board might help with that?

Quincey will be as good as new in a few days.Best wishes.

18th December 2009, 12:25 AM
Where are you located in NJ?

I can recommend our vet to you whole heartedly if you are near Edgewater. They have extended hours and a team of vets that consult with each other on difficult cases. They also have never turned me away. Sometimes I have had to drop off Lucky to be seen between appointments, but the vet has always called me and thoroughly explained everything to me when that happened.

I hope that Quincy will be fine. So sorry this happened to you and even sorrier that your vet wasn't there for you.

18th December 2009, 12:32 AM
I have no experience with this but just wanted to send a hug, it sounds pretty distressing. :hug:

18th December 2009, 01:37 AM
Thanks everyone for your support! There are no drainage tubes in place, so I really don't have to do anything but just wait and hope it heals OK.

Lani, I'm in Essex County, so Edgewater is too far for me. My current vet is in West Orange. I asked two friends for their vet recommendations, and they both use one in Livingston - one is very happy there, and one is looking elsewhere because of a bad experience. I'm going to ask a few more friends, and hopefully come up with someone good who is also convenient for me.

Quincy is so out of it. Other than eating like normal, all he wants to do is sleep. I hate seeing him this way. I hope he's a little better tomorrow.

18th December 2009, 08:34 AM
"are seriously considering removing them in the new year. "

There is a thread started by Brian on the 18th November "Question Please" there is a lot of advice regarding anal gland removal. I am not an expert but
from what I have read it is not a decision to be taken lightly.
We give Molly and Dougall Pro-Fibre, it has solved the problem with Molly but not Dougall.
It must have given you such a fright seeing blood! I hope Quincy settles down and recovers well.

18th December 2009, 11:29 AM
Any tips on ways to possibly prevent this from happening again? I've heard that bran helps - how much and can I just use bran cereal (All Bran)?

Don't use cereal bran it contains sugars and calories. What you want is the rough bran than rabbits get. We also used it for a bran mash for the horses. Health food shops sell it over here as well as horse feed stockists.
I use 1-2 teaspoonsful per day in their meal, if you feed a dry kibble you may need to dampen it a little as the bran is very dry too.

It really does work and firms up their poos so that the glands express themselves each time the dog toilets thus preventing a build up of fluid in the sac and the chance of another abscess.

All the best,


18th December 2009, 10:59 PM
Please don't feel bad that you didn't notice. This has happened to a lot of us. I was at an agility trial with Gem when I noticed her anal gland was huge, red and raw. She actually ran two events and Qd with a second place finish in one of the events before I realized what was going on. She seemed a little "flat" and just not herself and when I saw her licking her bottom, I investigated to find her gland was huge. You think you felt bad....can you imagine how I felt! I immediately called my vet, took down all my agility set up (which is a ton of stuff) and rushed to the vet's. She had to have her gland packed and she was on pain killers and antibiotics for a while. We haven't had a problem since....(knock on wood).

I hope Quincy has a speedy recovery. These little Cavaliers are tough little dogs! I do check their bottoms regularly now.

19th December 2009, 02:46 PM
Quincy seems to be back to himself today! His rear end looks just lovely! All shaved, and the spot that ruptured has scabbed over nicely, but wow, it was quite large! I feel so much better knowing that I'm not the only one who didn't know my baby had a problem.

I started him on pumpkin last night, 1 tsp with dinner. I think I read that here somewhere, so thank you. I just want to do whatever I can to try to avoid this again.