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Severe anal gland problems - please help
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Severe anal gland problems - please help

hi, I have a 9 year old Beagle. For a few years now he has had an anal gland problem, where they can't express themselves so I have to constantly take him to the vet. The vet put him on anti-biotics one time because the glands had ruptured, also the vet prescribed a cream to apply 3 times a day on his "anal fissure".

It finally got better and now a few months later, I noticed a small cut in the area. I had left over cream so I kept applying that. Then today I was playing with him, and all of a sudden he let out a yelp, started shaking, and he growled when I tried to get near him. Then blood started pouring out of his anus area. I cleaned it with warm water and noticed the cuts became large hollow holes. It looks so painful. I had even changed his food to prescription science diet, which the vet recommended. I've spent all of my savings trying to get my dog better, I don't know what is wrong with him.

I'm going to go to the vet tomorrow. The vet charges a 50 dollar fee just to look at the dog. Is this going to be a continuing problem? Is there anyway, I can get help for him without going further in debt?

Thank you.
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974371_tn?1364538460
This is obviously a chronic problem for  your dog and sounds like and infection that has now  lead to infection and extremely painful abscesses.  This, unfortunately, probably has to be checked by your Vet, may need to lanced and/or flushed. Sometimes, the only way to resolve this chronic problem is surgery to remove the glands.  One thing that *may* be causing this problem is lack of enough fiber in your dog's diet.
Sorry.  hope you get it checked because that is very painful for the dog and he may need pain meds also.  In the mean time, if he will let you, you may try applying some warm compresses.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your response, you were right it was infected and abscesses have developed. My vet is treating with anti-biotics $ doing expressions (I cant do them, he growls at me if I try to touch his behind.

So I asked my Vet if we could just do the surgery, my dog is constantly in pain and I seriously can't afford to go back and forth every 2 weeks for anal gland issues. The vet suggests holding off on surgery for now.

The other issue is food. My dog has a very sensitive stomach, so he's on a special science diet food from the vet. I pay so much for the food, but I feel like his stool is not firm enough and that's what's causin this. The vet was quick to say, anal gland problems are not related to food.

I'm so confused, I don't want to resort to surgury if I can simply change food. The thing is I tried to switch him to a more holistic, byproduct free food that I would at Pets mart and it did not sit well with my dog at all. I talked to my vet about that food, she said she never heard of it and that most people are mistaken with the holistic approach. She said dogs need certain levels of vitamins/minerals and she feeds her dog science diet to meet those needs.

I'm so confused, should I just push for surgery, What kind of food should I look into? he's 9 and even if he eats anything out of the ordinary (raw chicken, bones) he gets diarrhea/ vomiting for a week.
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462827_tn?1333172552
Hi Amber.....I agree w/ Margot...It sounds as if these have abcessed and ruptured......This is extremely painful for your dog....

I think you need to look into having them removed permanently, although there is the risk of fecal incontinence....I'm not sure I would allow this Vet to do the surgery, though....Ask him/her how many times they have performed it and what the success rate is....

The reason I say this is because the problem was not handled correctly in the first place....

Once the problem started, your dog needed an Anal Gland Infusion...They go in an put Antibiotics & Steroids in the glands themselves....This provides incredible relief....Oral antibiotics will do nothing at this stage.....Usually twice (Over a period of time) will take care of the problem.....Oral Antibiotics MUST be used for abcesses.....

Any dog with this disease needs to have their sacs manually expressed every 4 weeks like clockwork....A groomer will do it for $5....You don't have to go to the Vet every time and pay their fees....

Food & nutrition plays a big part here & Science Diet is #1 (A joke) & #2 (Has no nutrition in it!).
If your dogs stools are soft from all the grains & unfit leftover particles in the food, you need to go with a grain free food. What did you feed before the Vet ridiculously sold you that Crap?
The trick is to get the stools hard so they push on the glands to get them to empty on their own......Fiber will bulk up the stools and make them larger which achieves the same effect....You can purchase oat or wheat bran from the grocery store on the cereal isle...

Fresh food fibers work well, too.  Green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes to name a few...Plus, they are healthy!

I have a dog as you describe, but I have never let her go long enough to rupture.... I personally have had the most luck in solving this with a prepackage Raw Food Diet...The reason is the fresh meat, veggies & bone make the stools very hard.....She can now go 3 months without needing them expressed....We are making progress...

Hope your Vet will be able to make your guy comfortable tomorrow....He must really be hurting....I bet he won't even try to poop will he? Ouch! That can be dangerous by itself....

Good luck and give us an update on him when you can.......Karla



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Thanks misfits, vet didnt mention anything about anal gland infusion, not even an injection antibiotic. I just got oral antibiotics, but looking at my dog today, there is constantly pus coming out of the cuts. I don't know how quick these meds will help.

I'm going to call around tomorrow to vets and ask for quotes on the Anal gland removal surgery.

One question I have for you, where do you get these prepackaged raw food diet from? Do dogs do well on these diets in the long-term? (Live longer/healthier as compared to science diet type of food).

I have a Pets Mart and Pet valu in the area.
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1436598_tn?1332900133
Hi!

I'm really late to this discussion but I had a dog that developed chronic anal gland issues much like yours.  I totally agree with Karla, gland infusions were the only way we got any lasting relief.  We never had the surgery due to the fact that she was already fairly elderly when the problem developed.  It took a few cycles of infusions/oral antibiotic combos but we did get it under control and for the last year of her life she did not have any recurrences.

And yes, Science Diet is a joke.  Vets get huge discounts and financial incentives from the company so they tend to put it above other foods.  

Good luck!

~~ dgg
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974371_tn?1364538460
I don't know why your Vet has your dog on Science Diet but Karla is right!!!!  I'd be looking for a new Vet, that's for sure.
Aside from that, there are a lot of good foods out there and, even though they may be a bit pricey, you can probably handle the cost for one dog.  See if one of the stores carries the Natural Balance foods. I've been feeding my Grey the fish and sweet potato.  Some of the big chain stores don't carry these foods. If you have a local pet shop in the area, you might try there.  They sell canned also.  What you can do too is add the veggies.  I've often added green beans (canned or frozen-thawed) but make sure you get the low sodium. Another additive you can use is Bran Buds. Yes, the cereal.  Put some of that in with the dog's food daily and that will add fiber.
Hope you can get this resolved.
And, Karla is right too, a groomer (probably at PetsMart) will do the anal expression for you.
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462827_tn?1333172552
Hi Amber...The better foods can be purchased at Pet Speciality Stores, not chain centers....As far as Petsmart, the only food IMO that they sell that's decent is BLUE....It use to be called Blue Buffalo, but know they call it Blue...You want the Wilderness Blend as it's grain free, their other formulas aren't...I'm not familiar with Pet Value, sorry...

Speciality stores are usually small and family owned....There should be some in your town....

Here's some foods to look for:  Nature's Variety (Prairie Line) is grain free, they also offer frozen raw, canned & dehydrated Raw....Natural Balance, Orijen, Taste of the Wild, or Wellness Core.....There are others....

Links to evaluate foods:

DogfoodAnalysis.com
Dogfoodscoop.com
Petfoodratings.net
DogfoodAdvisor.com
Dogfoodchat.com

Any of these links will educate you on how to choose a wholesome food....You can rate Science Diet at any of these, also.....They will explain why Science Diet is about as Healthy as a $5 bag of bird seed.....And the Vet is charging you what?  
Good luck, Karla

P.S. You DO still need to see your Vet with your dog's newest abcesses....They will not heal on their own....Although the cream will help, he needs Oral Antibiotics to heal from the inside, too.....Let us know what happens......
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974371_tn?1364538460
I came back to revisit this discussion. I was just on my Greyhound boards and there is a discussion going on about anal glands and removal.  I know the surgery is painful and can take the need for extra care afterwards. I guess The dog can lose sphincter control and drop stools without notice, which makes sense.  Not good.
One poster said they had a dog with chronic problems and she started using Missing Link (supplement) and the problems resolved.  I can't attest to this but hey, I'd give it a try.
Here is the site   http://www.missinglinkproducts.com/

I knew breeders that used it as a supplement years ago but I wonder if it would really help with the anal gland issues.  
Just FYI
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