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Thread: cavalier anal gland problems

  1. #1
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    Smile cavalier anal gland problems

    I have a king charles cavalier aged 5, and she has had permanent problems with her glands. Two infectionous cyst and several gland excretions by the vet. Do all cavvies suffer with this and if so what do you all do to alleviate the problem other than an op. Vet said best option for her, but I dont feel riight about operating on her as cavvies are prone to heart problems also.

  2. #2
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    HI and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your Cavalier's problems with her anal glands. Yes this is a common problem with the breed, but it can often be improved with additions to the diet. Many people find Psyllium husk helpful, add one heaped 5ml teaspoon to your dog's bowl, and around 65ml warm water, leave to stand for a few minutes. it turns to a gel which you can stir into their food, most seem to eat it quite happily. You do need to ensure you put the water with it as otherwise it can cause some problems. Other people use oat or wheat bran, again about 5ml teaspoon with a little water. These are all available from health food shops or online.

    Try to avoid the surgery if at all possible, depending on the skill of the surgeon, there is unfortunately a risk of faecal incontinence [poo ] which is extremely unpleasant for the dog and their carers. Many Cavaliers have their glands emptied regularly either by a vet or groomer. The vet can teach you to do this yourself at home.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
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  3. #3
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    I'd agree with Nicki's advice and your own wariness. Having anal glands emptied (expressed) regularly is not necessarily a problem -- many people do this and many small dogs need this done. Often groomers do it as a matter of course on grooming appointments. Two infections in a five year old wouldn't seem enough to me to opt for surgery at this point. Usually this is recommended when there are few other options and the dog is regularly in distress. I'd try roughage in the diet coupled with regular expression of the anal glands by the vet or a groomer -- maybe every two months?

    Note as well that any extra weight on a dog increases the likelihood f recurring anal gland problems. Most cavaliers I see day to day are at best, somewhat overweight... right on up to really obese! It may well be -- given that the breed has a propensity to weight gain -- that this is what causes the breed generally to have so many anal gland problems... Being even slightly overweight also puts extra strain on the heart, so if your cavalier is a bit overweight, I'd focus on getting her to a trim healthy weight. Often owners think a dog is it when it actually isn't as trim as they believe so it's good to have that checked next vet visit.

    By the way unless she already has a heart murmur, she won't be at any higher risk during surgery than any other dog in similar health. Usually a murmur has to be fairly advanced before it is considered an actual risk in surgery.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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  5. #4
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    I would second what both Nicki and Karlin have said. Anal gland infections are usually the result of anal glands not having been emptied regularly. If you can't learn to do it yourself, it's much cheaper to ask your vet or groomer to do it every three months or so than to pay for probably unnecessary surgery! And it is major surgery, not just snipping out a little gland, so there is a recovery period as well as possible long-term consequences. Add bran to the diet, empty the glands regularly and there should be no need for more drastic treatment.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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    I would not opt for surgery. I add flax seeds (from health food store) into the dogs food a few times a week to aid in emptying the anal glands. Works like a charm.

  7. #6
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    My Leo has an ongoing problem with anal glands.....he's had abscesses in the past. I add Oatbran to his meal and its really helped...plus watching for signs of problems...scooting etc....

    Mel
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

  8. #7
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    I agree ... my vet taught me how to express her glands internally as they couldn't be expressed externally. She (vet) is not a fan surgery unless absolutely necessary. If you learn to do this, you can give your little one immediate relief and it's no big deal to do. However, I would recommend you ask your vet how to do it and have her give you feedback as you complete the process.

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    Before you decide on surgery, I think you should consider the seriousness of the problem. My cavaliers had their anal glands removed, and if you haven't already found it: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/b...-surgery-diary
    This went smoothly, but I would only do it again, if there was a severe problem. Today, they are only scooting over the floor, if they really need to go outside, and they haven't had any side effects at all. But, don't do it just because it is an option.
    Charlotte & Christian
    Molly & Éowyn & Khaleesi

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