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I'm not sure how many of you have ever had issues with your dogs' anal glands (since I learned recently that it's more common in small breeds), but one of Ozzy's ruptured yesterday.

I noticed on Monday Ozzy was acting a bit off, but didn't think too much about it. I thought it might have been because of when he smacked against one of the jumps at flyball practice.

When I came home on Tuesday, he jumped up in my arms when I got home from work and I started snuggling him and rough-housing with him like usual, and he screamed. I put him down and started feeling his back end, seeing if his legs/knees/hips/stomach/etc. hurt. Eventually I found out it was his butt - on the side of his anus, it was very swollen, but I thought I'd wait it out and see what happened with it. Wednesday morning, I checked it and the swelling had gone down significantly. (Almost completely).
I checked it again before I went to work and it still looked fine; after I came home, I put him in the tub and was getting ready to clean his back end up. As I started washing him up, I looked at it again and it had ruptured. I immediately called the vet and took him in.

They said the cause was that the fluid in the sac that had ruptured was really thick and it couldn't excrete on its own, so it got backed up and blew. :(
The vet told me that if I bring him in regularly for them to express his glands, then that should keep this from happening again, but that seems like it'll get expensive. Obviously if that's what I need to do, then I'll do it, but if there's any other alternative, I'd like to know. (Because of course I got the neuter spiel from the vet, and I don't want to deal with that every time I take him in).
I have to take Ozzy back in 10 days for a follow-up, so I'll ask her then.
I asked about taking him to the groomer to have them express his glands, but she said they only express them internally and it needs to be done internally to be sure all the fluid is excreted. :/

Does anyone else have any advice on how to prevent this? I have noticed that he has soft poops pretty often, but it's not like diarrhea. I read that that could cause it. Could adding a little bit of pumpkin help?

Meanwhile, the poor guy has to wear a cone of shame AND diapers. And of course, Mommy didn't pay attention to the kind of diapers she got for her little man, so I accidentally grabbed him designer diapers for little GIRLS. So they're pink with either plaid or polka dots.... Poor guy. LOL As sad as the situation is, I can't help but laugh at him.

 

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My oldest (non GSD) has had this twice. I was told by my vet that it was more common in small breeds, but someone here pointed out that is not true. Firmer poop is the answer. The first time mine had it, she had to have a procedure to drain it, the second time(2.5 years later) I caught it in time and antibiotics did the trick. The first time I didn't even notice it, someone asked me how many holes she had in her butt:confused: She never showed any signs of pain or discomfort, she just was licking her butt, which she never does.
 

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It's super common for our clinic to see dogs that have difficulty expressing their anal glands, yeah. Firm poop can help but it doesn't always. Allergies can aggravate it. Dogs will express them when they're super excited, terrified, or assertive. Good news is... you can express them yourself at home. Grab a pair of gloves and ask your vet to show you how. There's an external method (incomplete but useful for the squeamish) and an internal method (complete but... well, intimate). Some dogs with expression issues need their glands attended to every two weeks and others may only need it once or twice in their lives. Some dogs have normal contents, a dark liquid, and others have thick pasty infected material, even silty material. Most owners never even know they exist because their dog never has trouble.
If your dog has severe recurring issues they can be removed, but I know our vets don't usually recommend that. Just consistent expressions and some hemorrhoid cream, some malotic for the rupture itself and (as your dog so fantastically models) the Cone of Shame.

I have a 25lb mutt that has to have his emptied every 3-4 weeks and he has firm, normal stools two to three times a day. I have three shepherds that have never had issues and a 'doodle who needs it once in a blue moon.
 

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Poor Ozzy. Hes such a sweet looking little guy. My husbands beagle went through this when she was younger, but it was because he was not feeding her very good at all. Once he actually started feeding her dog food it stopped happening. I know thats not the issue with yours but yeah its sad to see them hurting. OZZY :wub:
 

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Poor Ozzy:( One of my shepherds blew a gland, not fun and painful:(

Honestly, I think continually expressing them does more damage than anything. I would shave up the area keep it clean & dry, apply some desitin to it (baby diaper rash creme)

If he has continuous problems with them, get them removed, find a good board certified surgeon to do it. Been there done that, no problems..
 

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Poor Ozzy :( And what did your mom do to you putting pink diapers on your bottom...that picture is too much.

Nikki has to get her anal glands emptied regular too, we just had it done yesterday :( She started having problems as a puppy and they got infected once. We can only guess that her anal glands are not in the right spot and that there is not enough pressure during a BM to empty them.

We have to get it done every 2-3 weeks on average and it does get expensive. I asked the vet tech to show me how to do it but that day her glands where empty and I didn't actually get to do it (I had gloves on and everything :laugh:)

Would you vet be willing to show you how? We talked about surgery but with Nikki's other issues we are trying to avoid it. He said we would have to get them removed if they continued to get infected but it's been 2.5 yrs and not problems as long as I get them expressed regular.

I can tell when Nikki's are bothering her, did little Ozzy not show any signs of discomfort?

Vets and Groomers, Be Aware of Pet Anal Gland Problems

Michaela
 

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Handsome guys wear pink very well.:wub:
 

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Ask the vet to show you how. I was watching the vet do an internal expression of one of my dogs last week. It didn't look difficult, but you'll need gloves. :)
 

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My vet told me to add probiotics for anal gland health.
Poor little guy looks miserable. :(
 

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Super common in little dogs at my clinic too. If you can get away with bringing him in once a month to have them expressed, that's what I would do. I don't think that would really cause any more damage than allowing them to rupture will. I know plenty of cats and dogs who recover from abscessed/ruptured anal glands completely and very quickly with antibiotics and regular anal gland expressions. Pumpkin could help with firming his stool which may in turn help him express his glands on his own when he goes to the bathroom. It can't hurt to try! Hope he heals quickly.
 

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Firm up the stools and learn how to express the glands yourself.

For firming up the stools - pumpkin does help but you really shouldn't use a patch (giving pumpkin is a patch) to fix a continuing problem. I would take a serious look at his diet. Better kibble might help. Giving a RMB once or twice a week might help.

As for expressing the glands - it's rather easy (but SMELLY). My Cocker, Tazer, had issues (yes, even on raw) and I had to empty his about once a month.

I would position him so his body was between my legs with the butt facing AWAY and not into the wind!! Lift the tail, put your thumb and forefinger on opposite sides of the tail, right behind the anus then squeeze and push forward. That should get the anal juice (ugh) to come shooting out if it's full.

Be sure to aim that butt away from anything you DON'T want totally stinkified!

Since your guy has lots of fluffy fur in that area you might want to put some pants or a diaper on him before you do it - just to keep that area from getting juiced. :(

Ask your vet or tech to show you how to do it once Ozzy is healed.
 

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Poor Ozzy!!!
 

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I would position him so his body was between my legs with the butt facing AWAY and not into the wind!! Lift the tail, put your thumb and forefinger on opposite sides of the tail, right behind the anus then squeeze and push forward. That should get the anal juice (ugh) to come shooting out if it's full.
"Push forward", like towards you..or away from you?
 

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Scarlett just had her first bout of infected anal gland. We added pumpkin, but I agree...we need to look at her diet to get more fiber in there.

SO, we feed Blue Buffalo Lamb and Brown Rice now...as for KIBBLE, what would you (forum gurus) recommend. Going raw is not an option. I am open to add veg or other fresh ingredients, but the base diet will need to be kibble.

We had a GSD/Husky cross who had HORRIBLE issues with her anal glands. ONE vet said "you know, you can do this yourself."

I said, "Um yeah, I'll pay YOU whatever you want to do it." There are just some procedures that I cannot bring myself to perform. :p

(Didn't mean to hijack the thread...I am going through the 21 day round of antibiotics at this very moment...)
 

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There is a surgery to remove the anal glands. Honestly, if he continues to have problems, that's what I would do if it were my dog. It's basically the same surgery as descenting a ferret.

But in the meantime, you can express the anal sacs yourself. Have the vet show you how. You can do an internal expression on your own dog, but groomers can only do an external expression on other people's dogs. Nonetheless, if your groomer can empty them even halfway every 6 weeks or so, that may be enough to keep it under control if you don't want to deal with doing it yourself. It's a messy, stinky business and the odor permeates. If you choose to express his anal sacs yourself, do it while he's in the bathtub or outside. Rubbing alcohol or anything containing it will cut the odor, but if you do it during a bath, you can just use shampoo. But keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol handy if the stuff gets on your skin or clothes. The other day I got some in my hair... good times.
 

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"Push forward", like towards you..or away from you?
Forward, like toward the dog's head.

When the anal sacs are full, you can sometimes see it. It's just a slight bulging on either side of the anus. When you put your thumb and forefinger there, you may be able to feel something round and firm under the skin, it can be the size of a pea, up to a the size of a marble--if the latter, be verrrry careful because the contents are under pressure and it may be tender.

With your fingers, try to get "under" the swelling and then squeeze with constant, gentle but firm pressure. It's sort of like popping a zit. Keep the dog's tail DOWN when you're actually squeezing, otherwise the anal gland secretion can squirt out like a firehose and hit you in the face. Sometimes the stuff will be brown and watery, sometimes sort of blackish and grainy, and sometimes thick and colored like peanut butter, but it smells awful no matter what!

Sorry for the frank grossness, but I do this every day. Yay me. :)
 

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Forward, like toward the dog's head.

When the anal sacs are full, you can sometimes see it. It's just a slight bulging on either side of the anus. When you put your thumb and forefinger there, you may be able to feel something round and firm under the skin, it can be the size of a pea, up to a the size of a marble--if the latter, be verrrry careful because the contents are under pressure and it may be tender.

With your fingers, try to get "under" the swelling and then squeeze with constant, gentle but firm pressure. It's sort of like popping a zit. Keep the dog's tail DOWN when you're actually squeezing, otherwise the anal gland secretion can squirt out like a firehose and hit you in the face. Sometimes the stuff will be brown and watery, sometimes sort of blackish and grainy, and sometimes thick and colored like peanut butter, but it smells awful no matter what!

Sorry for the frank grossness, but I do this every day. Yay me. :)
:eek:
Ohhellno!
 

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How can you tell if it's something you should be concerned with? Would the dog be sore and/or you'd see the slight bulging?
 

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The dog would be licking or scooting, and the anus would be swollen.

How can you tell if it's something you should be concerned with? Would the dog be sore and/or you'd see the slight bulging?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wouldn't mind doing it myself. I'd just need to get some gloves, a splash-mask, and a haz-mat suit. LOL
I've smelled the anal secretion before, so I know how lovely it smells....

When I take Ozzy in for his checkup, I'll ask the vet if she'd be willing to show me how to do it at home.

He's on EVO right now, which is grain free, low carbs, but if I have to switch him to a diet higher in carbs or with grains for the sake of his anal gland health, then so be it! I'd rather him have a healthy bum! Because like I mentioned before, he does have soft stools. (Quite often). Not liquid, but not very firm either. I don't doubt that contributed to it. Poor guy.

It kills me that his little butt hurts right now. :(
I have to restrict his activity, so no fetch for a bit. He is driving me BONKERS.
 
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