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Old 08-26-2014, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anal Gland Expression

So today we brought Brutus in due to a problem with anal leakage. The vet expressed his gland. She came in to tell us shortly that the gland had been so infected that blood was rushing in to the gland to help fight off infections. He was put on Clavomax and an anti inflammatory. We are hoping that the infection will be gone by next week. The doctor told us if the infection isn't gone or better by the time we go in next week they would have to sedate him and flush it out with antibiotics. Has anyone else had to go through this before ? I am nervous that the infection won't go away and he will have to be sedated.
--- We also noticed some bumps on his chest. The vet shaved his chest where they were but couldn't tell if they were bug bites or something else. Sunday he started off with 2 now there is 3 of them. She scraped the scab part off of them and they look like bumps the size of a a pencil eraser. She told us if those weren't healed and gone by next week we would have to do a Biopsy. I am a nervous wreck. HELP PLEASE.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, have had two gsd's with anal gland issues. The first one sounds like yours, kept treating infection which wouldn't go away. Finally the glands were removed surgically because the infection cause perianal fistula's. With that, my advice is, if the infection can't be cleared up completely, I would highly consider removing the glands (by a board certified surgeon who is experienced in this area).

I hope your vet shaved up the area as well, and advised you to keep it clean.

No idea what the bumps could be, hope they can figure that out. Hope he feels better, anal gland issues can be quite uncomfortable as well as painful
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post
Hope he feels better, anal gland issues can be quite uncomfortable as well as painful
As well as quite painful to the nose (yours, not the dog's), I must add! I had a female years ago who needed her glands expressed about every couple months, although they never became infected. I did learn to do it myself, but you need a strong stomach, especially for a big dog!

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Old 08-27-2014, 12:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My vet has a theory that the anal gland problems (and licking) in GSDs often have food allergy component. He also thinks fistulas may have an allergy component early on too. The allergic reaction in the GI system may have a domino effect leading eventually to the gland problems.

We shifted to a Limited Ingredient Diet (on our second 10-week trial), and it's definitely better, but not solved. Canned pumpkin added has also helped (about a T. per meal)--extra fiber to help the glands clear.

We may at some point try the hydrolized protein RX diet...but we're not there yet. We have at least one more protein rotation to try.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Personally, I am of the club of, if it is that bad of an infection, then may as well just have them removed. I find it interesting that they have to sedate him in order to infuse the anal glands. We very often infuse them with medication with the patient awake and standing on the table. It isn't super hard to do as long as the patient at least sits mostly still lol. I tried infusing my golden's twice before I said, well that didn't work, take em out!

Thankfully I would with a board certified surgeon who had a dog with anal gland issues before and his response when I asked him about it, was take them out. The other surgeon said to try infusing. His response was that the second surgeon had never lived with a dog who needed them expressed regularly, otherwise he'd feel different lol.

I am surprised that they're jumping to a biopsy so quick on the skin. There's different things that could be tried before that. Different shampoos, medications, even maybe something different with food. Checking what you clean the area your dog has been laying in. Things like that. o.o If they were firm masses, that's one thing but little bumps that could simply be a kind of hive? I dunno myself.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh! To add too, when I got the biopsy report back on Myles's anal glands, there was actually something that said that dogs with atopic dermatitis often have inflammation in their glands. So there is a component to it with allergies, though it may not just be food ones either. Myles has environmental allergies rather than food, like my female shepherd does. Just a little something to add in!
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The late Barker the Elder had her anal glands expressed often - until I brought it to the vet's attention. He then injected her glands with antibiotic. One injection did it. She never needed help expressing them again.
May your experience be as, oh, rewarding...
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My first one they tried infusing the glands, didn't work, but I do hope it does for yours.

And yes, Colie, glad your vet 'thinks' that way, most now, feel treating is better than removing. From what I've seen/experienced, dogs that end up with PF's if they are 'true PF disease, usually have other issues, allergies, ibd, sibo, epi etc...The ones that get PF's as a result of anal gland issues are much easier to treat, either topically or removal because it's a 'gland' issue without no underlying issues.. Both of mine had gland issues so I never considered them to have 'true' PF disease..Pf's were the result of those bad glands.
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