View Full Version : Coco - Anal Glands Emergency Op

6th October 2012, 05:59 PM
We had a bit of a scare with Coco last night, her breathing became very laboured and I was concerned she was going into heart failure. Coco has a grade 5 heart murmur, her heart chords have already started to rupture.
We managed to get her to the vet before he closed.
The vet gave her furosemide in case fluid was building up in her lungs, even though he couldn't hear anything.

Coco has been behaving every strange today, sitting in an odd position and when I picked her up this evening to check her, she screamed.

Once again I got her straight down to the vet before he closed a few minutes ago.

Coco has an abscess in one of her anal glands which must me incredibly painful!

They have sedated her and going to flush it , hopeful she should be home in a few hours.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8322/8059900844_a6c85c6100.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32708555@N03/8059900844/)

6th October 2012, 06:06 PM
Poor little Coco...had this with 2 of mine in the past...

karen baker
6th October 2012, 08:02 PM
Oh my goodness!! poor little coco, she must have been in agony,hope she makes a speedy recovery , sending lots of hugs and kisses. Karen,Ruby and Sadie xxx

6th October 2012, 10:21 PM
Poor Coco, fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. So scary when they are unwell.

6th October 2012, 10:40 PM
Wishing Coco a speedy recovery. Lucky she has you to look out for her.

6th October 2012, 11:06 PM
I hope Coco will feel more comfortable again soon. She is lovely!

Sydneys Mom
7th October 2012, 12:28 AM
Hoping Coco is now home with you and feeling a lot better.

7th October 2012, 07:45 AM
Poor little girl....how incredibly painful for her; hope she is more comfy now and back home - best wishes from us xx

murphy's mum
7th October 2012, 09:11 AM
Aww, poor girl. I hope she's feeling better now.

7th October 2012, 09:47 AM
Poor little Coco, how is she feeling today?

7th October 2012, 10:20 AM
Poor little thing. We have had this with Leo and I know how awful it is for them.

Gentle hugs to you both :hug:

7th October 2012, 04:20 PM
These anal gland problems in Cavaliers cause so much discomfort for them, there
just does not seem and clear cut answers so stop them from filling up.

Poot little mite hope she recovers soon.


7th October 2012, 04:42 PM
Not good.
We have been to the emergency vet this afternoon to get some further pain relief. They gave her Vetergesic. I am also having to give her water with a syringe as she is dehydrating.
At this precise moment she is sleeping quietly for the first time since the ordeal started.

7th October 2012, 07:00 PM
Here's hoping that she has a good night ahead and that things settle down a bit xx

Margaret C
7th October 2012, 07:23 PM
Not good.
We have been to the emergency vet this afternoon to get some further pain relief. They gave her Vetergesic. I am also having to give her water with a syringe as she is dehydrating.
At this precise moment she is sleeping quietly for the first time since the ordeal started.

Poor little girl. The vetergesic should knock her out for a while and give time for the pain to subside a little. I think you both must be needing a good night's sleep.

7th October 2012, 09:26 PM
Coco is not any better at all. I have used a syringe to get some water into her. As soon as she takes a few steps she flops down and moans. Does anybody know if this is normal? I would have expected her to have improved a bit by now.

Sydneys Mom
7th October 2012, 10:43 PM
I'm so sorry that Coco is still not feeling well. Will continue to keep her in my thoughts and hope you start to see improvement soon.

7th October 2012, 11:54 PM
Poor little one. I'm sure she's a little confused as well. The taking a few steps and laying down could just be the pain meds. I know when I'm on a painkiller I feel pretty drunk (for a better word) and most do not make me tired. So I'm just a bit of a fool :) I hope that's all it is and she's feeling better soon.

8th October 2012, 04:43 PM
Poor little Coco, how is she today? I hope that the pain has started to subside and the glands are beginning to heal. My heart goes out to both of you. It's so hard when there seems to be very little you can do and why do they always get sick at the weekend when the regular vet isn't available?

Lady Hoop
8th October 2012, 09:45 PM
Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this. Is she doing better today? I agree that she is probably just a little taken aback by the whole fiasco and if you throw pain meds on top of it I'm sure she just feels all around lousy.

Our little one also has gland issues, I believe. Our vet said she had quite a bit for such a young age and to keep an eye out. It seems like we have to empty them a lot and she often tries to nip her butt and drag it every few weeks. Thankfully my husband has learned to empty them himself or we would be spending a pretty penny! Today when I got home from an errand she had her tail tucked between her legs, mildly shaking and didn't want to sit on her bottom...then scooted. Are these symptoms you noticed before she was in a lot of pain and had emergency surgery? These fur babies sure keep us on our toes!

9th October 2012, 08:12 PM
aw poor little coco hope she has a speedy recovery
sending coco kisses and cuddles from louie and his mum

13th October 2012, 10:55 PM
We have been on a roller coaster this week. Sorry this is so long.

Coco's heart is enlarged and the mitral valve is diseased. Last Friday her breathing became laboured and her heart rate had increased. The vet agreed something was going on, he was not sure but prescribed her a diuretic (frusemide) just in case there was any build up of fluid on her lungs even though he could not hear anything.

Saturday, I stayed home just in case, her behaviour was odd and she insisted on sleeping and resting on the stair case which is very odd!. I took her back to the vet, he went to take her temperature and realised she had a sever problem with her anal gland. Coco was sedated and they flushed it, she was given antibiotics and pain killers.

Sunday, Coco was floppy and refused to eat and drink, I took her to the emergency vet who was next to useless (another story) eventually the vet gave her an injection of vetergesic a safer pain killer to give to a dog with heart problems.

Monday, I stayed home from work and fed and watered Coco with a syringe, we had two visits to the vet with further vetergesic injections.

Tuesday, I stayed home, Coco was very floppy apparently this is because of the vetergesic. Coco stayed on the stair case, today she was crying under her breath, I was still feeding her with a syringe and spent all of my time with her, the vet re-examined her and decided her anal gland was still infected. Coco was sedated again, (I stayed with her this time) they flushed and packed the gland with antibiotics. I took her home and stayed up with her all night.

Wednesday, there was still not much improvement. Cocos resting heart rate through all of this was between 90 and 160! It was difficult to get her resting respiritory rate because her heart beat was making her whole body move, it was approximately 40. Before I went to bed I listened to her heart and lungs (with a stethoscope) I thought I heard crackling, I phoned the emergency vet and took her but they could not hear anything.

Thursday, I took Coco into Stone Lion at Wimbledon to see Dr. Rusbridge. I felt Coco was suffering too much. I asked Dr. Rusbridge to assess her pain and to see if Coco should be given her wings. Dr. Rusbridge felt Coco could possibly make a recovery with medication. At this stage Coco was also assessed by a Cardiologist who confirmed she had fluid on her lungs and was in heart failure.

Coco was given treatment and a plan. I left Stone Lion and was lucky enough to get an appointment with her cardiologist who has managed Coco's heart condition up to now. Coco had a heart scan, her heart had continued to enlarge but there was no further damage to the mitral valve. The cardiologist believed the pain and stress had pushed her into heart failure.

Coco's trauma with her anal glands triggered off sm pain, a pancreatic pain attack and caused her to go into heart failure.

I have also realised, the reason Coco has been sleeping on the stair case and on the floor by a wall in our bedroom (instead of all the lovely comfy things), to stop herself rolling onto her side. Coco has been sleeping on her tummy and could not breathe properly if she was on her side.

Coco is now on all the heart medication you would expect plus Lyrica (pregabalin) instead of Gabapentin.

This morning is the first time she has eaten without assistance, the last time she ate on her own was last Saturday.

Coco was 7.2 kgms at the start of this episode and is now only 6.3kgms. I have also learnt even though food is important, fluids are critical.

Molly Dougall and Dotty have had a history of anal gland issues which have settled down. When Coco's were checked they have never ever been an issue!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8322/8059900844_a6c85c6100.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32708555@N03/8059900844/)

Kate H
13th October 2012, 11:06 PM
Hi Tania

I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time with Coco - having nursed a Cavalier with heart failure myself, I know what hard work it is, and how distressing. I'm glad that she seems to be picking up and hope that she will continue to stabilise.

Take care of yourself as well, with all these night-time adventures!

Love from Kate, Aled and Oliver

14th October 2012, 04:37 PM
Tania, poor Coco and poor you! Thankfully anal glands at least are something that is relieved immediately by them draining the abscess (been there before...! Ugh!). It's funny -- some dogs seem to have lot of pain and some seem to go about their business right up to the (awful) bursting point. It's great that you got her in, it was spotted and could be all cleaned up -- she will feel so much better now for that at least... :) It can be so hard to spot these -- most of us don't check them visually all that regularly and they can come on very fast.

As a tip for anyone that finds a swollen anal gland -- you can gently put a comfortably warm (but not hot!) washcloth on the abscess just as you would with the same, or a boil, on a human. This helps the pain and also sometimes helps the abscess to actually open and drain. If the latter happens, the dog should still go to the vet as it will need antibiotics to prevent an infection and additional problems. :thmbsup: These tips are fully supported by my own vets. :)

PS If you are sitting with a dog on your lap as you gently press a warm cloth to its behind, you will marvel that this now seems normal whereas once it would have seemed impossibly crazy (in your pre-dog years... :lol:).

So many other things all at once too. :( You've done so much for her... and she is so pretty.

14th October 2012, 06:08 PM
Just wanted to add (as I missed the rest of this update initially :( ) -- I have a rescue dog with a neighbour who has lived three years with a high grade murmur now and the last 12-18 months with fluid on lungs and heart failure. She cannot do a whole lot now (just pops out for a toilet break a couple tmes a day; no walks but she likes a snuffle around) and is really finally in her last stages but my vet and I have given up predicting what will happen next (I look after most of her health and vet visits/costs for my elderly neighbour; he is housebound). I have at least three times wondered if it was her time; each time she has rebounded on a different range of meds. I thought she was in her final days last November! She remains so cheerful that none of us who care for her, feel she is ready to go anywhere quite yet. They can seem at the point when they go in but very different dogs a day later, on some new meds. My kind vet took a litre of fluid out of her as well, which helped. I have found moduret -- human old stayle heart med -- very helpful to her and a few days when she missed taking it she really was worse off so have no doubt it has been a significant help especially with keeping fluid buildup inher abdomen under control for quite some time until very very recently. She's now on prilactone (bounced her back after a recent slide), moduret, frusemide, vetmedin and fortekor. A lot of vets and even cardios do not really know of or consider moduret but I have seen it help significantly with belly fluids.

You just never know with these dogs. The most important thing is to be honest in assessments and watch for the time when they are really struggling and don't have many more good days than bad, or are too in distress on the bad days. We all dread watching for this, I know; and making that final call. :flwr:

You may well find she is quite a different girl as the meds kick in for her heart.

14th October 2012, 07:25 PM
I spent the day Fund Raising at the Dog Olympics, Hatfield House. Graham stayed and kept a close eye on Coco, who is much better today, she is eating and drinking which makes life a lot easier.
I would just mention, we have never had to empty her glands, they have not been a problem in the past, I was really taken my surprise.

It is one thing to have to deal with the pain as a result of anal glands issues, I feel upset and angry Coco has had to deal with all the devasting painful conditions so many
Cavaliers now suffer as a result of poor breeding standards.

A high percentage of Cavalier owners I met today had these very same health issues!

It has made me more determined than every to continue to raise awareness and help the researchers help these poor souls.

Thank you Karlin for your advice.

14th October 2012, 08:34 PM
Tania we need you as a great advocate for the breed and your dedication to going to events and meeting with cavalier owners. :) I think it is really important work. And yes it can be depressing to talk to vets and other cavalier owners and see just how broad a range of common issues there are for cavalier owners. So many with epilepsy, PSOM, SM, CM, heart problems, EFS, dry eye. A friend who homeboards small dogs, and mostly cavaliers, says only the cavaliers routinely come in with all sorts of medications -- the only ones she gets with epilepsy (several) and the vast majority with heart and eye problems, needing meds, are cavaliers. :(

Susie's (the rescue dog's) pills now cost near 200 euro a month for her heart problems. :eek:

The dogs deserve better lives than this.

I do get very angry seeing the same old breeders make public posts about their couple of long lived cavaliers and not mentioning the ones that have had SM and heart disease and died young or with pain. If the breed is to survive we need a lot more honesty and cooperative work towards addressing these problems. Pet owners are a critical piece in the effort -- much they can do to track incidence, support health focused breeders, inform vets and neurologists, make sure all owners know about the breed's health issues so fewer cavaliers go undiagnosed, fund raise, put pressure for change. :)

And hooray for Graham! Nice to have a trusty dog carer there. :D

14th October 2012, 09:20 PM
I do get very angry seeing the same old breeders make public posts about their couple of long lived cavaliers

I invite these people to spend a day at one of our fundraising events, they will see the impact these dogs are having in their words
Joe Public

If not, I invite them to spend a day at a veterinary neurology centre to watch the number of distraught owners coming and going all day long!

I also invite these people to donate their Cavaliers to the Collection Scheme, if these people truly care about the future of these dogs and are as healthy as they say, these dogs will be extremely valuable and RARE.

I help an owner who has a life threatening disease, her parents thought a Cavalier would be a perfect dog and would give this person a purpose and reason to live and get up every morning!
This poor girl is now terrified for this poor little dog who has suffered terrible sm pain!

Too many Cavalier are suffering, it is nothing more than cruel.

Kate H
14th October 2012, 09:38 PM
One of the things I find terrifying is how easily these diseases become the norm. It has happened with MVD - vets just casually say 'Of course all Cavaliers have heart problems' and yes, the medication has improved, but the disease could have been eradicated if breeders had really taken it seriously. And giving your dogs daily medication for CM/SM simply becomes routine, together with the occasional (if you are lucky) crisis - when we should be daily horrified and angry that this disease has been allowed to become so widespread. Our dogs shouldn't need to be drugged in order to lead something approaching a normal life.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

14th October 2012, 11:16 PM
One of the things I find terrifying is how easily these diseases become the norm. It has happened with MVD - vets just casually say 'Of course all Cavaliers have heart problems'

Yes I think about this all the time too and also vets who say 'all cavaliers are prima donnas, they all cry for attention, when they get injections' -- every single one of these ones that I know personally, is also totally dismissive of SM. :x

15th October 2012, 07:24 PM
Tania - my heart goes out to you and Coco - what a terrible time for you and the rest of your furry family. Thoughts, love and lick (from Oscar) are with you.


16th October 2012, 05:47 PM
We had a good day at the Dog Olympics, we raised just under 280 selling little bits and pieces. This money wil be put towards the The Cavalier Collection Scheme.
This is a temporary page, the website is currently under construction.


16th October 2012, 05:59 PM
I have been monitoring Coco closely, her heart rate is still higher than it should be. I can still hear a bit of fluid on her right lung. The cardiologist has asked me to increase her frusemide this afternoon and then again tomorrow morning. I will be taking her back on Thursday morning.

Coco has lost all her weight so she is now in a little Tee Shirt to keep warm and comfortable.

I was told that you can buy comfort tee shirts, has anyone ever heard of that?

These are two photos earlier this year and the last one was on taken on Sunday.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8056/8094264576_db1ec6f4b9.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32708555@N03/8094264576/)

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8464/8094261335_bac1799e89.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32708555@N03/8094261335/)

Sunday Night - Feeling Worn Out

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8189/8094264254_cb3eccf12b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32708555@N03/8094264254/)

karen baker
16th October 2012, 10:46 PM
I want to cuddle her!!!!!! Karen,Ruby and Sadie x

17th October 2012, 11:30 AM
Oh Tania, she looks so sad and tired doesn't she. She is so pretty. I hope that she starts to feel a bit better soon. I can't help you with the comfort tee shirt - not really sure what they are to be honest. Hope all goes well tomorrow with the Cardiologist, and well done on the fund raising at the weekend. xx

17th October 2012, 01:57 PM
i no coco is in the best hands she could have (her caring mum)
she's not looking her self but lets hope coco has a speedy recovery
sending coco kisses and cuddles from louie and his mum

Sydneys Mom
18th October 2012, 03:09 PM
Tania, is it the thunder shirts you're talking about?


How's Coco today. Hope a bit better. Those pictures are adorable. She's such a sweetheart.

18th October 2012, 04:03 PM
Just a warning on thundershirts -- a lot of positive-methods trainers strongly advise against these -- they say the dogs are more subdued because they are uncomfortable and even more scared in these compressing shirts. They say if you watch some of the videos with dogs in the shirts even in calm surroundings they tend to show a lot of anxious behaviour -- cowering, lip licking, looking away.

I've not used them so can't say from experience, but have asked a few trainers about them. They don't look all that tight to me. Actually you'd wonder -- would not just putting a dog coat on a dog help for fear in storms? Maybe the coat just calms because the dogs refocus on the thought that they will be going for a walk. None of mine (dogs or cats) are afraid of thunder/fireworks so have never tried any of these things.

Tania if you are looking for something better fitting, maybe opt for some babygrows (onesies)? They are soft and warm, fit nicely and you can cut off the bottom leg half. Also think just a smaller size dog T or sweatshirt should work?

18th October 2012, 04:11 PM
There's these little fleece lined sweatshirts too!


Sydneys Mom
18th October 2012, 04:19 PM
Just to clarify, I never had any experience with thunder shirts either. I've just heard about them. Karlin, you brought up some valid points about their use, so maybe a nice comfy fleece lined sweatshirt is better.

18th October 2012, 08:04 PM
Thank you for your advice, funnily enough Karen P recommended Urban Pups and I ordered her a little Tee with "Coco Chanel" written on it.

Coco did a huge faeces yesterday, it was very black and tar like. The vet is concerned it could contain blood. Coco has had big doses of antibiotics and I would like to wait for the next one before we do anything. It is a longtime coming, nothing happened yet!

Coco went to the cardiologist this morning, he confirmed the fluid was off her lungs. Her potassium levels are low, so has given her meds for this. Her kidney function and white cells are fine. The cardiologist seemed a bit grim about the future!

I will continue to monitor her closely and hope !

21st October 2012, 07:39 PM
Everything crossed for Coco

Lady Hoop
23rd October 2012, 02:07 AM
Poor CoCo. I hope things start looking up more and more each day. I will keep you and CoCo in my prayers.

11th November 2012, 05:04 PM
Tania - is there any update on how Coco is doing?