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View Full Version : Anal glands - how often



sarahso
4th February 2011, 10:33 AM
Baxter has just recovered from a abcess due to his anal glands, he had to have 2 weeks of anti biotics but thankfuly is much better now.

when he went for his 3rd check up on Monday they told me to take him back every 8 weeks to have his glands emptied by the vets, as this is obviously a problem for him.

is every 8 weeks right, the previous vet last saturday told me to take him every 4 weeks.

also, he was scooting last night and still nibbles at his tail. but when they checked him they said it was fine? oh and they did on the last two visits empty them again, which i thought it would be unusual only 3 weeks apart to get anything else out? or is this normal?

Kate H
4th February 2011, 12:07 PM
Of course dogs vary as to how prone they are to anal gland problems, but I've found that prevention is better than cure - which means roughage to keep the glands in good working order. Both mine have had no problems since I put them onto Burns food (lamb or fish and rice) and very rarely need their glands emptied. They also get plenty of roughage in the shape of raw vegetables, including a big chunk of carrot as their bedtime treat, a raw chicken wing once a week (their Sunday breakfast treat), an occasional bone, and I even include the eggshells crunched up when they have their twice-weekly raw egg on their food! Seems to work, anyway.

If you know anyone who is experienced with Cavaliers and knows how to empty the glands, get them to show you how to do it. It isn't difficult, and having the vet do it very frequently is going to be expensive! Of course, if there is any sign of infection you will need to go to the vet.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Wagtails
4th February 2011, 04:36 PM
I too am a big fan of Burns food. Before I changed to it, I was taking my dogs about every 2 months to have glands emptied, which is quite expensive when you've got 3! Now it's usually about every 4 months or so - and sometimes even that is mainly precautionary.

Prevention is DEFINITELY better than cure, so it's worth making some effort in my opinion.

Hope Baxter continus ro recover well and you get into a good routine.

Ddavis
5th February 2011, 07:12 AM
My previous Cavalier, Caleb, twice had an absses. The vet suggested putting Digestive Bran in with his food and this certainly seemed to help.

Now Digestive Bran has become part of the diet for all my Cavaliers! They never get the 'runs' (only Megan but that was due to stomach acid after being sick during an MRI scan) and being 'stiffer' makes it so much easier to shovel up! :lpy:

sarahso
5th February 2011, 09:07 PM
i think i will change them to the burns.. and see if that helps, or try the digestive bran, porridge oats were sugested but i have so far only found the soft flaky type! he is on kibble type food, harringtons at the moment, but they are very small pieces.


unfortunately Baxter is having problems again tonight, so will be back at the vets tomorrow, his right side of his bottom looks swollen and he is frantically trying to mess, luckily we still have his collar and have popped that on him. but i think maybe the infection hasnt cleared properly? poor thing.

Rubysmum
8th February 2011, 10:18 PM
poor baxter , sorry to hear things arent better yet. ruby had the same and has also just finished a 2 week course of antibiotics too. at the last check up last week the vet checked her glands and got some stuff out she said was like concrete :(:( ruby nearly shot to the ceiling it really hurt, and the vet said she will have to go back every couple of months. shes already on burns food so not sure what else to do .. one more thing to worry about. its such a shame when theyre suffering..hope baxter gets well quickly :luv:

Tania
8th February 2011, 10:34 PM
I echo the advice above. I have three dogs all had this problem, their diet is natural with plenty of vegetables etc. I add bran to their food, (not breakfast cereal) it has solved the problem with two of them but one still has to have them emptied. My vet recommends every 4 weeks, which seems to be about right any longer they become impacted which of course is very painful. Even though adding more fibre to their diet can solve the problem for many, some it doesn't, so it will mean keeping a close eye and regular emptying. :(

sarahso
9th February 2011, 05:18 PM
baxter does have another abcess, he went back to the vets last sunday, it seems to be higher up than the last one, all his right side is swollen and very very sore, he is on another 2 week corse of antibiotics, and then he has to go back.. but the swelling seems worse than sunday and i dont even know if this is normal and expected whilst on the antibiotis?

will keep you all updated on how he is

Tania
9th February 2011, 09:43 PM
If he is getting worse, I would take him back to the vets as soon as possible.

Wagtails
10th February 2011, 10:29 AM
Did you see the vet again, Sarah? How is Baxter today - more comfortable I hope :wggle:

sarahso
10th February 2011, 11:17 PM
Sorry, just logged on to update.

we took Baxter back to the vets last night, i was really not happy with how things looked.

im quite confused to be honest, it is an abcess and they have changed his antibiotics to a different type (he was given some sunday changed last night) and also given pain relief. thats his fourth course of antibiotics in 4 weeks.

they said that until the abcess has gone they cant do anything, they said his anal gland had ruptured causing this? but when i asked if this was a 2nd abcess or the first come back he said it could be a secondary where the first one had left nasty stuff inside and flared up or a second one.

they said once cleared up & infection free if another abcess comes back then after that had cleared they would sugest removing his glands, but they also said that there is quite a risk with him being so small of him becoming incontinent.. to be honest i dont care il cope with anything as long as he isnt in pain, its awful watching him.

he is a little brighter.. but to be honest not much, it was all of his right side of his bottom that was swollen, then last night it was actually his little starr its so swollen, so his bottom is protruding sort of.. i cant explain it properly, but even his tail wont lay flat its still as swollen today though he is a little more comfortable on pain relief.

the vets said they cant do anything at all untill the abcess is cleared up.

Zumie05
11th February 2011, 12:05 AM
I was a groomer for 3 years and we always emptied the glands if the owner requested it. There are two ways anal glands can be emptied, externally (which is what we did) and internally, which is usually what the vets do. The external method is actually quite simple, and I am now the one in my family who does everyone's dogs' glands when needed...in the bathtub of course. It really is not hard once you get the technique down. Worst part is the smell!

Try having your local groomer do the glands for you and it will cost A LOT less! Internal expression is only needed if the glands are impacted or compacted...cant remember the term..but where the liquid is more of a thick sludge.

Some dogs need it done every month or two, and I do believe diet has a lot to do with how the anal gland liquid builds up.

GoodDoggie
11th February 2011, 06:07 PM
used to have to get them done quite regularly every 3 months,so got the vet to show me how to do them myself,it really isnt that dificult once you get the knack of it.

murphy's mum
12th February 2011, 02:44 PM
Really sorry to hear Baxter is having so much trouble. We get our two's emptied after 8 or 9 weeks.

Seeing how much trouble he's having, getting them removed many end up your best option unfortunately. We discussed it with our head vet as Murphy has scarring on one of his glands, which makes it quite sore to empty his. We were also advised of a slight risk of becoming incontinent, but he said in all the cases he has had not one of the dogs became incontinent.

I hope he gets better soon :flwr:

sarahso
15th February 2011, 12:04 AM
I wish my vets were as positive about the op!
Our vet Also told us not to do them ourselves as he is obviously going to have problems, i will however see how he goes and ask the groomer to do them and see how he is. i don't want him ever te have to go through this again poor mite!

Baxter is much better now with only a little swelling. thankfully! he has to go back when he finishes his anti biotics for a check up but I'm hoping worst is over!
He still isn't 100% but i just hope it all continues to settle down!

Thanks all for your help and support! I'm a worrier at best of times and its great to share with like minded!

i will post pics of them all soon! x

Rubysmum
16th February 2011, 01:18 PM
glad hes a bit better. im taking ruby back to the vet at 5 . shes been ok but then yesterday she was a bit droopy - just not her usual self . then she started tucking her tail in while walking. then in the night she came down twice to try and poo in the garden , doing 2 small runny ones sorry if tmi! this morning she was a bit sick just once.. but just now has done a very slimey bloody stool in the garden . it seems to have made her feel a bit better she fallen into a comfortable sleep. but what i thought was her glands playing up again loooks like its something else :(:( shes not long finished a 2 week course of anti biotics too aarrgghhhh its never ending but i hate seeing them poorly x

Tania
16th February 2011, 01:45 PM
I found this discussion on another forum, the last post is very interesting......the most important point:- The Surgical removal of anal glands - should only be considered as a last resort - and only if the dog has had repeated abscesses or chronic problems. You would be wise to ensure the vet doing the surgery is experienced (it is a delicate operation)

http://www.pugvillage.com/forum/pug-health-care/14342-anal-glands.html


I also found this aritcle, the last paragraph describes a flushing out process which might be worth trying before surgery!

http://www.barkbytes.com/medical/med0029.htm


Hope this helps a little.


Hope Ruby gets on ok at the vets this afternoon.

meljoy
16th February 2011, 02:06 PM
Sorry your going through this. Leo has been scooting like mad since yesterday, so much so he's made his little boy bits really red:yikes
Ive got an appointment with the vet at 3pm today. He's had an abcess before so Im hoping it's not another one again.

love2driveinct
16th February 2011, 03:13 PM
So glad to see my pup isn't the only one who has this issue, it seems rather common with Cavaliers. We haven't had an infection yet, but they've expressed multiple times at the vet and yes, it's getting costly.

Anyone know of a brand of digestive bran that you can find in the U.S.? I'd like to try some of that, although I'm not sure how easy it would be to add to his food when he gets all of it in his kongs... :rolleyes:

Those of you who feed carrots -- how do you do it? Do you cut them up? Can they be choking hazards for dogs like they are for people (and horses)?

meljoy
16th February 2011, 03:58 PM
Just back from the vet. Poor Leo has an infection in his glands :(
2 weeks worth of antibiotics now and then back for another check up.

Brian M
16th February 2011, 04:06 PM
Hello Mel

Poor Leo I do so hope he gets better soon ,its not at all nice for them poor lad.:(

Kate H
16th February 2011, 04:06 PM
Carrots: my two share a carrot between them at bedtime. Oliver has the thick top end - about 1.5 inches and just gnaws it whole. Aled had never met a carrot and started with his narrower bottom end cut into small chunks but now manages it whole. Neither of them seem to have a choking problem, but as with all bigger treats, I would never leave the dogs unattended with them - I don't directly supervise them but leave doors open so that I can hear if there's a problem.

Oliver and Aled also like parsnips and broccoli stem to gnaw.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

meljoy
16th February 2011, 05:27 PM
Hello Mel

Poor Leo I do so hope he gets better soon ,its not at all nice for them poor lad.:(


Thanks Brian,
The vet tried to express the gland....I dont know who was more traumatised afterwards....the vet, Leo or me:sl*p:

Rubysmum
16th February 2011, 06:46 PM
poor leo .. how awful they have to go through things like this :(..im just back and ruby has colitis - she dripped blood on the waiting room floor as i held her waiting to pay :yikes:yikes it was shocking . i think it was because she has diarreahh (sp) then the vet expressed her glands and said there was some stuff in it already .. poor think shes so sorry for herself but has had an anti sickness shot and now 5 days of antibiotics to take . hate this feeling when theyre not well :( get well soon all our poorly babies x

meljoy
16th February 2011, 09:01 PM
poor leo .. how awful they have to go through things like this :(..im just back and ruby has colitis - she dripped blood on the waiting room floor as i held her waiting to pay :yikes:yikes it was shocking . i think it was because she has diarreahh (sp) then the vet expressed her glands and said there was some stuff in it already .. poor think shes so sorry for herself but has had an anti sickness shot and now 5 days of antibiotics to take . hate this feeling when theyre not well :( get well soon all our poorly babies x

Oh no poor Ruby. Here's hoping she feels better soon. You're right its horrible when they're so poorly.

Tania
16th February 2011, 09:13 PM
poor leo .. how awful they have to go through things like this :(..im just back and ruby has colitis - she dripped blood on the waiting room floor as i held her waiting to pay :yikes:yikes it was shocking . i think it was because she has diarreahh (sp) then the vet expressed her glands and said there was some stuff in it already .. poor think shes so sorry for herself but has had an anti sickness shot and now 5 days of antibiotics to take . hate this feeling when theyre not well :( get well soon all our poorly babies x

Poor Ruby, how has the vet suggested you deal with the colitis long term?

Rubysmum
16th February 2011, 09:26 PM
Poor Ruby, how has the vet suggested you deal with the colitis long term?

she didnt :shock:.. she just gave her 5 days worth of antibiotics . the thing is shes just finished a 2 week course for an anal gland abcess ,and i read today while trawling the internet that this can kill off the good bacteria in the gut and CAUSE colitis .I did say this to the vet but she thinks its more of a dietary thing. shes already on burns mini bites though and i dont give treats , only a bit of apple carrot etc now and then. however i have been walking to my mums in the mornings as shes not been well and she almost always gives ruby a bit of cooked chicken.. i dont encourage it but you know what mums are like . from now on though its strictly burns and hopefully that will solve the problem . rang mum earlier and shes promised no sneaking her anything either. :thmbsup: good luck to all our lovely pets x

Tania
16th February 2011, 09:36 PM
Found this in the archives which might help. Karlin has posted on this so it will be good advice.


http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-36078.html

Rubysmum
17th February 2011, 12:01 PM
Found this in the archives which might help. Karlin has posted on this so it will be good advice.


http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-36078.html

thank you tania -will have a read of that - ruby is eating a few burns mini bites from my hand at the moment -hopefully on the mend cl*p

sarahso
20th February 2011, 11:19 PM
Poor things.. leo & ruby!

i hope that they are both feeling better. . its so awful to see them going through it.

a vet nurse i was on an akita wlak with today told me bout the flushing.. Baxter has another weeks of antibiotics, the swelling has really gone down, bright as a button for a couple of days and yesterday started scooting and going for his tail again. it just doesnt seem to be clearing

meljoy
21st February 2011, 04:22 PM
Hi Sarah,

Poor Baxter, it's frustrating when you think they're getting there then it seems you're back to square one :(
Leo too has another week of antibiotics and seems his oldself today but Im not convinced he wont need them "flushed" out next week. he needed this last time and they gave him a light anaestetic.
I didnt ask too many questions but the vet told me she was glad she was wearing goggles :grnyuk:

sarahso
21st February 2011, 09:54 PM
poor little man..

im going to look into this flushing, as i would rather if suitable they tried this before removing his anal glands!

it just seems to be not going away completely, i rang the vets today and they told me it really wasnt worth taking him in until he has finished his antibiotics as they can not do any more.. unless of course he gets worse or can not toilette.

our house is like a vet pharmacy at the minute! thors bad again and is back on quadroople steroids.. baxter and his antibiotics and my poor princess freya on her incontinence meds! there is only poppy anything like half healthy! :lpy: