My pup Walden just turned 4 recently. For the majority of the first two years of his life, he was on a Nutro chicken food, then a Blue Buffalo duck food. Then he started having issues with acid reflux, throwing up bile almost every single day. The vet recommended Hills I/D, I switched to that, and for almost two years Walden’s issues we’re almost non-existent (bile thrown up once a week at max). Back in November, he had what I believe I’ve researched and understood as an HGE. He suddenly had started to not be able to control his pooping, and was vomiting and pooping everywhere constantly. The vet found inflammation in his intestines in the x-rays and put him on Fortiflora and Metronidazole for I believe 10 days. I’d never had him on the Metronidazole, so I started the Fortiflora and was trying to start the Metro a couple days later over the weekend so I would be home and could see how he reacted to it. Well the next day the presence of blood appeared in the vomit and poop and he was very weak, so I rushed him to the vet immediately and they gave him a shot of penicillin and fluids I believe. He immediately started getting better and I finished up the antibiotics and Fortiflora.
After finally somewhat getting over the fear it was going to happen again, this February I started trying to transition him to a Hill’s Science Diet with chicken and after just a couple days of transitioning, I came home after Walden had been acting normal for days and he’d pooped all over the house again, this time however the blood was immediately there. I knew it had to be the same issue (even though the vet never found out the original issue) so I rushed him back there. They, like me, assumed it was the same issue (although they said the food change triggered it which I say is BS because that didn’t explain November), so rather than hundreds of dollars in the same tests as last time that showed nothing, gave him the same treatment, along with a diet of purely chicken and rice until his poop started firming up. I noticed after a few days his poop was still extremely runny, so instead of waiting, I started moving him back to his normal food. Poops started getting a ton better after less than a day off the rice.
Once he recovered from that, in March I went into overdrive. I’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with my sweet boy. He’d been regurgitating his food every so often and just plain throwing it up a few other times, but otherwise seemed okay. I brought him into my vet (Thursday) before things got to the emergency point this time. I’d done my research beforehand and I was down to a few ideas, with IBD, a food allergy, or an ulcer being the top ideas. The vet agreed and figured the way he’d been acting, especially with his increased issues of throwing up bile (he couldn’t go more than 5 hours without food), that it seemed like an ulcer. She prescribed Sulcralfate and Prilosec, along with weekly vitamin B12 shots for 6 weeks then we could re-evaluate if those should continue or not. Walden got worse quicker than he got better within that next week. To a point that he wasn’t keeping his food down at all and throwing up way too much. I went to my vet clinic Saturday, my normal vet not being there. They said his anal glands looked infected but otherwise he looked fine. I asked if there was anything I could do to help. She suggested the I/D low fat and told me to “go ahead and just put him straight on it, it’s the same thing just lower fat”. Okay I’m no vet but I’m not an idiot, my dog is already extremely sick, I’m not adding an immediate transition to a completely different food (which by the way, did have completely different ingredients) that I don’t even think is going to work. Well they did nothing that day so I figured I’d keep him on his meds and pray he got better. Sunday rolled around and he was looking worse. He didn’t want to jump around like normal, refused to eat, was constantly throwing up, and I couldn’t stand it. I took him to the emergency vet and they did some blood tests and everything looked fairly normal, so I had the choice to have him stay overnight and see a specialist and get an ultrasound in the morning (almost $2k), or they could give him a shot of anti nausea medicine to get him through the night for me to get him into my normal vet the next day. I had already spent $1,500 since November at this point and my savings was almost gone, so I had to go with just the anti-nausea shot. After he had that, he did much better throughout the night, and acted fairly normal the next day. He slowly started to get back to normal but just couldn’t last very long without eating still (feeding routine was 8am, 1pm, 6pm, 11pm).
When he’s gotten the blood tests at the emergency vet, they had noticed some levels that pointed towards the possibility of Addison’s Disease. This in my mind would be awful, but also I knew it was manageable in most dogs and it would finally explain all his problems, especially after he’d acted so much peppier with a shot of cortisone the day before his test. Well, one expensive test later with my vet and unfortunately it came back negative.
My vet then referred me to a digestive specialist because that was really next steps, we’d exhausted a lot of things. The specialist was wonderful, but the options were a vitamin blood test and ultrasound, which was going to be almost $1k. At this point I’d spent my entire savings. And trust me, I’d go into debt if I knew I’d be finding a the answer, but I was so scared another test would go by and still nothing, with what I knew would have to be an endoscopy next, that there’s no way I could afford. The specialist was great and completely understood, and said really the top 2 things she thought it could be (which I agree still to this day) were a food allergy or IBD. We decided to treat it like a food allergy and she gave me Hills Z/D.
Well, great news, I started transitioning Walden to Z/D over the course of 2 weeks (after the HGE incident I wasn’t taking any chances of switching him over too quickly). He started acting better as soon as he started getting that Z/D in his food (even though it was still mixed with his old). I then started checking out the ingredients more in I/D and I presumed that the #1 ingredient of rice and the main protein of chicken were what was the issue more than likely, because I just had a feeling he was very allergic to rice and I’ve always thought he has a slight sensitivity to chicken. A couple days ago he was fully transitioned to Z/D and ever since then he’s been acting much better. No more getting sick throughout the nights, he’s able to lay on his back and not choke on acid reflux coming up, and not to mention he WANTS to eat his food for the first time in at least 2.5 years.
The only problem now is, I started noticing yesterday morning that his poop had a darkish mucus in it. I was worried it may be blood but chaulked it up to my overreacting. Well his second poop that day definitely had a presence of some sort of red mucus in it that looked like blood. It wasn’t much, normal pet parents probably wouldn’t of seen it, but I inspect Walden’s poops very carefully because of his past issues (I’m sure my neighbors are disgusted watching me carefully dig through 2-3 times a day). When I moved it around though, it definitely had more of just a mucus look than redness, just like a normal stomach irritation. He had only a little bit in his last night poop, but the same thing again in his morning poop today.
I plan on talking to my vet again tomorrow about next steps, but I wanted some advice as well. Could this be his anal glands still being infected and causing small bits of blood (and I mean they’re very small, almost unoticeable… And his poops aren’t overly soft to where I would think this was another HGE yet)? Or could this be just because of the transition to his new food and it will more than likely go away? He’s acting completely normal and eating/drinking great or I’d be rushing him off to the emergency vet obviously (I even called them yesterday and they agreed to just keep an eye out for any worsening symptoms for now).
Topic: Beagle Anal Glands
I have a beagle that I rescued a year ago. He was in really poor shape and since being with us his coat and body look great. He is soft and shiny :-). However, we are having problems with his anal glands being full. He does not scoot, but he has leaked and even when having him checked by the vet, they always say his glands are full, especially on the left side. (I mention that because the last two times they tell me, “his glands are full on the left and not the right”)
It seemed his poops have been formed, but not solid. I assume this is why he doesn’t express his glands well?
We talked to the vet about trying a higher fiber diet and if that doesn’t work, trying limited ingredient diets. He has been on the original wellness core since being with us. I tried switching him a couple of weeks ago to the Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy weight food and we are having the same issues. In fact, perhaps not quite as formed as he was on the CORE. We gradually changed him over to NV over a week and he’s been on the full NV diet for about 8 days now.
We also tried him on Glandex the fiber supplement for about 4 months and there really wasn’t any change. We are sort of wondering if it’s ingredient related.
I’m thinking maybe trying another high fiber, different protein diet to see if that helps and I wondered if there were some suggestions. I will admit, I’m afraid of TOTW, Earthborn, and some of the other foods on the DCM food list. NV is on the list, but I didn’t realize it until I bought it. I know nothing is proven, but Acana, TOTW, Earthborn are pretty high on that list too. I wouldn’t mind trying another wellness food since it’s not on the list if one is recommended for anal gland problems.
Any suggestions for another protein that may work for anal gland problems that’s higher in fiber? Or should we go straight to limited ingredients?
Thanks in advance!
Edited to add: it seems Wellness Core Lamb and Wellness Core Wild Game (6% fiber), Wellness core ocean (7% fiber). Are any of these better for digestion? for anal glands?
Topic: Anal Gland Problems
I adopted a mixed breed puppy about a year ago. She is a mix of German Shorthaired Pointer, Chocolate Lab and I think maybe Pit. Ever since we have had her, we have had issues with her glands. She does not really scoot. But she will be lying down and all of a sudden it squirts out on its own and stinks. I have been adding canned pumpkin, apple and canned green beans to her food. She is on ProPlan Puppy Shredded Chicken. Any suggestions. I have seen suggestions to get her on a probiotic supplement or even add bananas, pears and olive oil to her diet. Then I have seen posts about changing her dog food to something that is not chicken. Lots of information out there. Any suggestions?
Topic: Lipoma and odd Vet Exam
I’m pretty good with making sure that my dogs see the vet annually for general checks and to make sure their up to date with necessary vaccinations. I was due to go back towards the end of 2018, but it completely slipped my mind.
My 9.5 year old American Bulldog mix has 1 front bowed leg. He’s always had it and he walks and runs fine (he looks gimpy when walking, but it’s how he’s always been and it causes no discomfort). He’s also had issues with food and the environment around him, although we’ve never been able to pinpoint his exact sensitivities. I’m sure you can go back and see my many posts and responses related to his “excessive drooling” and allergies posts.
So I noticed the other day when he was laying on his side (with the bowed leg up) that there appeared to be a large lump behind the leg. I never noticed it or just attributed it to the structure of his frame with the odd leg. So I went back to some old pictures I had, and I didn’t see the lump.
Concerned, I contacted the vet’s office on Saturday to make an appointment to look at the leg, as well as have his annual exam. The receptionist asked what doctor I deal with there. I told her the name of the practice’s owner (Dr. B), who also was the one who I discussed his allergies with (which was something I wanted to ask him about while I was there since the drooling episodes persist at irregular intervals). The earliest appointment was Monday 5:30. I rushed out of work that afternoon, let my dogs out, put the one in the car (I left the other home alone for like the 2nd time ever in the 4 years that I’ve had her)
When I arrived at the vet, I could see other dogs in the lobby. My big guy is loud and disruptive when he sees other dogs that he wants to meet. So I called and told them I was outside to call me when the room was ready. Nearly 30 minutes pass (we walked laps around the building) before we’re ushered into the hottest room ever. The vet tech asks me why we’re here. I explain about the lump and that I want to have his annual exam, etc.
So then we wait even longer and my poor dog, recognizing where he is is now panting and barking and crying. So the door opens and this women walks in. Never met her before, but she certainly wasn’t the vet I booked the appointment with. One of her arms wasn’t through the armhole of her cardigan and instead stuck out of the bottom. So something was up with her. She introduced herself, asked what I was here for.
Now, I understand my dog can be intimidating at first glance. He’s 119 pounds and has a giant pit head. But I never interacted with a vet who wouldn’t approach my dog. Even after telling her he’s 1000% friendly (and mind you I was holding him next to me), she made sure to keep the metal exam table between her and us.
So a vet tech comes in to ‘hold the dog’. The doctor looks at the lump and tells me, without touching it, that it’s a lipoma. I say “are you sure”, then she hesitantly approaches and feels the lump for about 10 seconds and says yes. Then says it’s obviously hampering his movements. I tell her he’s always had the bowed leg and cued up a video on my phone from him running, jumping and playing with my other dog the day before. So she then says it’s not hampering him, but it should be removed. And unfortunately it’s so big that they probably shouldn’t do the surgery and should have a specialist come in to do it. Then she did said that he’s young enough to warrant doing it (like I was automatically going to say no because of the expense). I she knew me like the other vet did, then she would know the well being of my dog is my priority. I ask her to get me an estimate.
I then ask if we can do a needle aspiration to make sure it’s not cancer. Why would I put my dog through a surgery, only to find out it may be cancerous and then make him go through treatments? If it’s cancer, he might still have to have surgery, but maybe they could try other methods to shrink it or kill it first. She says we can “for peace of mind”. And then tells me 30 seconds later that needle aspirations on lumps are highly inaccurate. The sample they take might not have cancer, but it can still be there.
Peace of mind, indeed.
Then she tries to dissuade me from the procedure by saying it will be expensive (but specialized surgery isn’t?)
I tell her to go ahead and do it.
While they try to formulate the price, she sells me on their “wellness package” which includes standard blood labs, urine and stool labs and heartworm test. Other than her 10 seconds spent feeling the lump and listening to his heart with a stethoscope, she didn’t touch my dog. The vet tech felt my dog’s body for lumps. Found a hard one in his chest. Doctor edges closes and feels for 1 second…”not concerned”. I tell them he has a lot of little lumps on his belly along with a bunch of skin tags of various size and color. She wasn’t interested in seeing them.
I’ve had wellness exams every year. The vet normally checks my dog’s ears, mouth, teeth, runs his hands over the dog to looks for lumps or abnormalities, checks over his legs and makes sure his joints are ok, listens to his heart, listen to his lungs/respiration, asks me what he eats, asks about his energy level, talks about any sort of supplements he takes, sometimes takes his temperature and checks the anal glands.
But this lady had her tech do the most cursory exam feeling for lumps on his back and sides and that’s it.
So she leaves the room to get started with prepping for the needle aspiration. Time passes (so much time) and she pops her head in and says that Dr. B (the practice owner) has to be the one who does it because she just had shoulder surgery (thanks for finally telling me) and unfortunately he still has two other patients to see, so can I come back another time? I turn around and tell her that I work every day and I switched my schedule around to be there that day and not for nothing but my appointment was supposed to be with Dr. B in the first place. So she says that she hopes that I wasn’t disappointed in having her treat my dog (I should have said something, but I didn’t). But I made the point that had I had Dr. B like originally scheduled, I wouldn’t have had to wait for him to finish with other people in order to do this test because he would have done the exam and the test and finish with me before seeing anyone else.
I wound up waiting. My poor dog, already traumatized by the blood test puncture was panting and crying and barking. At first, I kept shushing him. But then I just let him bark it out, because maybe they’d be so sick of hearing him that they’d hurry up. Dr. B finally came in, did the needle aspiration and left. In and out in less than 5 minutes.
I had hoped that he was going to come in alone so I could give him a tell him how disappointed I was with the exam and the doctor. But she had come in with him and with the vet techs in the room holding the dog down, I didn’t want to speak in front of them.
It’s been 3 days and I’m still annoyed. I didn’t get to discuss the drooling episodes (she was not interested at all in discussing it since it happens so randomly and the Benedryl and Pepcid help manage it). Who knows if the other lumps are lipomas or something else? I wanted to discuss senior nutrition (but not with her at this point).
I didn’t want to say anything until all the lab tests were in. Everything was good (Cholesterol and Total Protein levels a bit high, but she wasn’t concerned) and the biopsy came back likely to be fatty deposit lipoma.
Anyone else have inadequate vet exams?
And yes, I could have made a separate appointment to do the wellness exam and focus this one on the lump. But my vet knows these visits aren’t cheap and always makes a point of asking if there’s anything else I want to address while I’m there so I don’t have to pay for another visit. This new vet couldn’t be bothered…how do you expect to go to work to thoroughly examine a pet when you only have the use of 1 arm?
Topic: Holistic Dog Food
I have been feeding my two working cocker spaniel for the last 7 years on a UK brand of Holistic muesli style dog food which you add hot water. It was recommended by a Crufts best in beard winner and could not ignore. My female cocker was only 3 years old at the time and suffered from bad breath and painful anal glands problems. Within days of changing to the recommended dog food, the bad breath disappeared and she has never suffered from anal glands issue she is now 10 years old. My other male cocker has the shiniest coat and pure white teeth beside being 12 years old now some people pass him off as a puppy LOL but its true.
Just a few months back the small dog food manufacturer was placed on the market for sale and could not resist making an inquiry which lead to my purchasing the business just a few weeks back.
I am now looking to grow the business and establish worldwide distributors in Europe, America, and Canada we have distributors in place in Japan and Ireland. If you are interested please contact me or find more information online at https://landofholisticpets.co.uk/
The good news is that my dog finally found a dog food he can tolerate: Natural Balance LID (both fish & sweet potato and duck & potato, haven’t tried any others). He’s been on this for more than six months now and his poop is a great consistency. However, in an ideal world, I’d like to move him over to another food for two main reasons: 1. Price! (yes, it’s not the most expensive, but it is more than I want to spend) and 2. Rating (only 3 stars on dog food advisor).
Here’s the challenge: every time I transition him to a new food, his stool goes soft. I do it EXTREMELY slowly, and yet every time I hit about half a cup per day, I have to stop because of his stool. That all leads to another problem, which is that he starts obsessively licking his butt, which I think means that his anal glands aren’t being expressed with the soft stools. So then I go back to Natural Balance for a few weeks and starts again with a new food. I was hoping to have him be on either the Costco Natural Domain or there regular dog food, but no such luck. I’ve tried lots and lots of different brands with no luck. The only one he seemed to do somewhat alright on was the American Journey LID salmon and sweet potato.
I’m hoping someone here can help me with a strategy for how to find the right food. I’ve tried shopping by protein (since he seems to be fine with at least fish and duck, thought probably with most others as well), by grain free, by things without legumes. Maybe I need to focus on fiber content? Or fat content? Or something I’m not thinking of altogether?
I was also wondering if I should just buy some psyllium husks to add into his food to make his poop harder?
And while I have lots of respect for folks who feed raw, that’s not a path we’ll be pursuing, so please give me other suggestions. Thanks so much!
My dog has a few issues the vet has been overwhelmingly unhelpful in resolving. I’m hoping a food change can resolve some of it. He’s had a constant issue with impacted anal glands, which is mostly solved by keeping him on food that’s 4.5-5% fiber. 5.5% and up is too high, making his feces completely unformed and his anal glad problem worse. 4% and below gives him solid formed feces, but they aren’t large enough to clear the glands. He also has a constant problem with one ear that bothers him intermittently, and there’s no apparent pattern to when or why it happens. The vet can’t see any signs of any kind of issue in the ear at all and no treatment has worked. Finally, he has constant dandruff and has recently acquired an itchy neck. Fish oil supplements don’t help.
Switching him off Beneful and on to 4Health helped his feces consistency a little, but the itchy skin and dandruff were horrid and the ear problems were still bad. Taste of the Wild greatly improved his skin over the last couple years, and certain formulas help keep the anal gland issues at bay. With his newly itchy neck, dandruff, and ear issues showing no improvement, it’s time to try another food. I’m only a very tight budget though with very little wiggle room and I can’t spend much over $2 per pound. $2.30 per pound is beyond pushing it, so I would not even go that high if possible. I’m having issues finding food that fits everything I need. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Topic: Anal gland issues
My medium golden mix, Lakita, just started having issues once she turned 3 years old.
– We moved from Virginia to Md (3 hour difference) and had recently changed her diet when it started happening.
– She was originally on Rachel Ray Just Six Lamb and was changed over to Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb when our other dog was having sensitive stomach issues.
– Lakita does not scoot, but she will lick and chew the area constantly and she “screams” when she poops. She is a bit of a drama queen, and tends to cry very loudly when she’s unhappy or overly happy (like a stereotypical husky). The vet exclaimed that she isn’t in pain, just discomfort and is loudly letting us know this – but I do think she’s in at least some pain.
– The vet has over one year preformed tests to determine that the issue is definitely her anal glands. They have never been infected, but are constantly full. Even after expressing, Lakita will still cry when she poops.
– Fiber supplements helped a little. I changed her back to her original Rachel Ray food plus the fiber supplement and it finally went away for about 4 – 6 months.
– After the supplement ran out and I was hoping she would normalize, she began having issues again. When I started giving the supplement to her, it didn’t help.
– We’ve had her glands expressed around 4 -5 times throughout the year until she began to feel better. When it came back we did it again, but it doesn’t seem to have an actual affect.
– It would seem to be seasonal since it basically when away on its own, but she never had the issue in Virginia just 3 hours away. And she has stayed in MD here in there with family sometimes for a couple weeks without issues.
I honestly think diet is the biggest factor and I’m thinking of switching to Grain Free food – but I’m a little nervous to do so with all the recalls lately. Does anyone have suggestions? Especially ones without recall history would be most appreciated.
I recently started my dog on a prescription diet (Hills ZD) for itching/chewing from allergies. He actually loves the food BUT I am noticing that he’s pooping an almost insane amount and the poop is pretty “soft and mushy” looking. He’s been on this food for a month and I am still noticing this. His anal glands have also been bothering him a lot since starting this. He’s constantly scooting despite getting them expressed. I feel like the food just isn’t really impressing me enough to want to keep paying such a pricey amount for it. My question is this…is there a better dry food that I could get him on that will help his glands release naturally while firming his stool up and that will also alleviate his itching? I had him on California Naturals Kangaroo but it’s really become quite hard to find and it didn’t seem to help that much with his symptoms. Any thoughts?
Adopted rescue (Molly) in May and feeding Acana Heritage with my other dog. In the last 3 months, her anal glands have been expressed twice. Her poop is formed but not really solid. I have tried psyllium, pumpkin, pure form, glandex and no real change in stool. Vet has found no medical reason why they need to be done manually. I am seeking a dog food recommendation that is grain free, bird free (no chicken, turkey, duck,etc.), not Acana or Origen. Has anyone had gland issues, made a diet change and found a food that has really worked for them? I have read, on this forum, some correlation between allergies, diet and glands. So, wondering if anyone had an allergy test to help determine best food to try? Thanks!
I have a 2 year old Chihuahua/Pug mix named Charlie. We’ve had him since he was about 9 weeks old and he’s always had a bit of a poo problem. At first we thought it was just terrible 2’s for the baby until he got older, and we moved him over to a crate. He kept having accidents in the crate and that’s when we thought, maybe it’s not potty training that’s the issue, maybe it’s the food. So we took him to the vet, around this time last year, and they said he was perfectly healthy, nothing was wrong and expressed his anal glands. He was okay for 3-4 months and the same problem happened. Went back to the vet, and nothing. After that we decided to take control of things, and he’s gone through SO many dog food brands from Royal Canin, Wellness, Solid Gold, Acana, Orijen, Sojos and Honest Kitchen.. and even home cooked, nothings worked. We took away broccoli because we think that’s one of the main things that causes his diarrhea, but it hasn’t helped much. We just lost our cat to HCM 2 months ago, which raked up quite a bill and we can’t afford to go to the vet again. He had diarrhea in his cage last night and a little poop/diarrhea this morning. He’s only had SOME kibble, water and rice thus far. Is there anything I can do to help him? I feel so bad for Charlie but I don’t know what to do. I don’t want him to keep having an upset stomach. He’s always lifting his bum in the air and I live in an apartment where I can’t let him be out whenever he would like.
****Sorry, please no rude comments about how I should be taking him to the vet. I tried asking Facebook forums and that’s all I got.. I know I should, but I can’t. I tried so hard to save my cat it nearly cost us all our savings.*****
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