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Anal impaction in a dog question

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  • Anal impaction in a dog question

    i'm not sure if this is okay to post here since it's not about a horse...does the fact that i have two horses count? Anyway, if it's allowed, i was wondering if any of you has had experience with anal glands in dogs. my female jrt might have this issue but i'm not sure. i took her to the emergency vet because she was acting "off". they thought it might be her back and sent us on our way with meds and said to crate her for 6-8 weeks. it's been almost a week of crating and she's going into a depression. i let her out tonight and just watched her. she did alot of scooting (she's been doing this but not as much as she did tonight) and trying to lick back by her tail. every so often she will give off a smelly odor but other than that, nothing really. any advice?

  • #2
    My dog has never had an impaction, but she does need to have her anal glands expressed regularly. If your vet is open on Saturday morning, you might take her in and see if just having them expressed would clear up the issue. It could be something more serious requiring antibiotics or farther treatment, so it's worth taking her in and letting them have a look I would think.
    I hope she starts feeling better and doesn't end up needing the crate rest.


    • #3
      I posted on your other thread. I'd just I haven't seen a dog or cat depressed from anal gland impaction, I'd be gentle with touching, picking her up etc in case it's something else. Call your vet back and ask him to clarify it again.


      • #4
        My male jack russell terrorist has had a couple of boughts of anal gland issues. The first time, he acted like he wasn't feeling himself, which alerted me that something wasn't quite right.

        By the time we saw the carpet shuffle, it was too late. His butt literally exploded in my hand as I lifted him up. We went immediately to the emergency vet, and he had his anal glands repaired, and emptied, plus a heavy round of antibiotics. Poor thing felt like crap.

        We saw similar signs, just not as severe - and again headed straight to our vet to have his anal glands emptied.

        If your vet or any reputable vet is available, take her to them immediately. My vet also said some very good groomers are able to empty them also. I think the breed for the most part, are all big BRAVE dogs.... by the time they are telling you that they are hurt - its quite serious.

        Good luck and let us know how it goes!


        • #5
          One of our rescues is a purebred Lab.. when he scoots on the carpet well, it just defies description. On top of that when they are bothering him, he licks his butt and then has disgusting breath too.

          What we were advised to do (and it works!), is to take him into the vet every 4 weeks and have the glands expressed. He's uncomfortable for a half day but life is so much better for him with regular expression.

          Years ago, we had a dog whose glands were so bad that they had to tranq her, express the glands and then they injected steriods and antibiotics into them followed by oral antibiotics.. it was rough going for a week or so but she did recover and subsequently, she made regular trips to the vet for expression.

          Hope all goes well for your girl.
          Last edited by palominomom; Jul. 21, 2012, 06:46 AM. Reason: change guy to girl


          • #6
            We've dealt with impaction issues with my first dog (now deceased) around the time he turned 11 or 12 I think.

            Symptoms were licking and scooting....and the vet found that one of his glands was impacted and infected. It required antibiotic infusion a couple of times to fully clear it up.

            After that, the vet had us add bran to his food, to help bulk up his stool and force the glands to express themselves when he pooped. It worked great, and the only other time we had an issue was when we ran out.

            Dogs shouldn't need their glands expressed at the groomers or vet - they should work normally. (Obviously if they are defective that is another story). I feel like once you start expressing them forcefully you are likely to prevent them from working properly on their own....so I would talk to your vet about this. If you can't manage to get them to express normally, then obviously you have to do it another way, but I would avoid getting into that routine unless you have to. I would avoid having a groomer do it and stick with your vet if you must have them expressed.

            What food are you feeding?


            • #7
              Anal Glands

              In a perfect world, the dog should have a firm enough stool that triggers the anal glands to express themselves as the stool passes through the anus.

              I have had great success using bran or canned pumpkin (not pumplkin pie filling) - a big tablespoon on top of each meal usually does it. Consistency is the key. Every meal, every day.


              • #8
                You need a followup with your regular vet. Im suprised the emerg vet didnt mention this to you. If signs are not improving, off to her regular vet she should go! Best of luck, and hope its just the anal glands!!

                Some dogs regardless of what you feed them have anal gland issues. Anal gland adenocarcinomas are high on the list for certain breeds (JRT's included) and this has nothing to do with the expression of them, generally the anal gland turns into a cancerous tumor. NOT trying to scare you, its not super common but it does happen so following up with your regular vet for a full workup would be a good idea. Also, if it is a back problem and your dog isnt walking normally yet there are other options to persue before she becomes paralyzed. Best of luck, and I hope its just a simple lack of expression thats bothering her!


                • #9
                  S1969 wrote
                  Dogs shouldn't need their glands expressed at the groomers or vet - they should work normally. (Obviously if they are defective that is another story). I feel like once you start expressing them forcefully you are likely to prevent them from working properly on their own....so I would talk to your vet about this.
                  Oh, I absolutely agree that if a dog's anal glands are working normally, then I would leave them alone. If a dog is scooting and licking, then I would take them to the vet to have the vet take a look and see what he or she thinks. Once they are full and bothering the dog, then they might need to be expressed.
                  I have one dog with anal gland issues. Before starting expressing them regularly, my vet and I tried other options (diet, digestion supplements, etc.). Nothing seemed to make a difference in the anal glands. If the dog were younger, I'd probably have them removed, but having them regularly expressed is working okay.


                  • #10
                    I wish that our one dog's problem could be alleviated by adding pumpkin or bran, however, according to the two vets we had examine him, his anal glands have some sort of deformity or a similar situation. They have difficulty manually expressing them as it is. We adopted this dog at the age of 6, he was a mess when we got him, but the routine that our vets have set out for his condition is working and so far, he's not impacted or infected.