So some of you may remember that Lily was having some anal gland/allergy issues a few months back. (More info here: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/anal-glandfood-allergy-issues-tmi-warning/)
Anyway, we decided to put her on Acana Pork and Butternut Squash as her elimination diet. The infection came back a few weeks into the diet, so she was on Metronidazole for another 20 days.
We also got her tested for environmental allergies, and she does have some pollen allergies, (mostly 2/6) so we have been wiping off her paws when she comes inside. She also sometimes eats grass, despite our best intentions to not allow it, so that could be contributing. The vets are still convinced that food allergies are playing a part here though. Once off the Metronidazole, she still seemed to be doing okay, and wasn’t scooting any more.
We decided to introduce beef, (she hasn’t had much beef) so we have been feeding her THK Love for the past 2 weeks. Yesterday morning she started scooting again. She had also had some times of scratching her ear, though it wasn’t really an ongoing thing. Today we took her to the vet, and they said the infection had come back, and that she also had a minor ear infection. They proscribed more Metronidazole, and also drops for her ears. The vet suggested Cultural, a probiotic, and also trying the elimination diet again. She was suggesting prescription diets (this is a different vet from last time,) but I said I didn’t really want to do that except as a last resort. I asked her about an anal gland supplement such as Glandex, and she said she hadn’t heard of it but that we could send her the ingredients. I looked at it and it has beef in it, so maybe not. I’m really not thrilled with all the antibiotics, and I would like to look into other options. At this point our options are:
1. Try the probiotic and see if it helps.
2. Try another novel protein diet.
3. Try an anal gland supplement. (Ideas?)
4. Try a prescription diet.
5. Regular expression of the anal glands.
6. Managing environmental allergies. (shots or meds.)
7. The vet mentioned surgery to remove the anal glands as the absolute last resort.
Ideas anyone? We have also been giving her pumpkin with her food, with seems to help with digestion, but not really with the anal gland issues. Thanks!
Hi, you just need to find that right diet, join this Face Book group https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogallergyinternationalgroup/ look in the files there’s so many limited ingredient foods also Salvia & Hair Testing kits “Glacier Peak Holistic” test for 100+ Environment allergies & 200+ food for $85….
I would not remove anal glands, once you work out what foods she is intolerant too & avoid, the bum surfing & ear infections will stop, I was feeding pumkin, I have just stopped, I found the pumkin was making Patch itch & bum surf, I’m feeding Quinoa at the moment + tin salmon spring water + a gluten dairy, sugar free fish kibble …… look in the files there is so much information & a lot of experienced people who have dealt with food sensitivities/intolerances, environment allergies.. Patch is seeing a Naturopath Jacqueline Rudan Tuesday & is going on a raw diet + Enzymes + natural meds to help with the gut & nausea, his vet also put Patch back on the Metronidazole/Amoxicillin again for 3 weeks, so I’ve had enough at least the bum scooting has stopped when I stopped the pumkin but the nausea & eating grass hasn’t stopped… also look at DigestaVite Plus 100g Patch will be starting a small dose when it comes. http://www.naturalanimalsolutions.com.au/skin-allergies.html
“Regular expression of the anal glands”.
Very important if you have a dog that is prone to anal gland impaction. It only takes a second, Youtube has excellent “how to” videos, just type in “how to express dog anal glands” in their search engine. Ask your vet how often? I have had dogs that needed to be checked at least once a week, sometimes more often.
This problem is common in some small breeds, has something to do with their anatomy, also obesity and sedentary lifestyle can be factors.
“Managing environmental allergies. (shots or meds.)”
It doesn’t have to be shots or meds, however, a dermatologist can come up with specific treatments, different from the regular vet…. that may help your dog immensely.
I would be leary of any saliva kits or any mail-in test that doesn’t require a physical examination by a veterinarian https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/nutriscan-results-suggestions/
“Try a prescription diet”.
As far as diet goes. you want to avoid foods that will cause the dog to have loose or too soft stools, increase the chance of getting clogged up in a vulnerable dog.
“The vet mentioned surgery to remove the anal glands as the absolute last resort”.
This has been effective and has helped many dogs….when all else has failed. The dog no longer has to deal with discomfort and chronic infection.
I don’t know if you’ve seen this link, it’s Peter Dobias. He suggests some specific supplements for anal gland issues. It might be a help. I have a foster that has those problems, but only intermittently. The interesting thing is when we had to put her on a round of antibiotics for her allergies, the anal gland issue flaired up and went from no apparent problem to abcess within a few days. Fish seems to be her allergy. We have her on NV Limited Ingredient diets and so far turkey and rabbit have been successful. Here’s the link:
Thanks everyone for the replies!
I find it interesting that in the article that C4D provided, it says that regular expression of the anal glands can make problems worse because they will then will fill up faster. Has anyone else heard of this?
@susan Thanks for the info! I unfortunately can’t access the group because I don’t have a Facebook account, but thanks for the information about the pumpkin.
@LM Thanks! What kind of other treatments could a dermatologist provide?
@c4d Great article, thanks! I will look into some of the supplements they mentioned.
As for the elimination diet, here are the foods I’m considering:
•NVI LID Rabbit formula
•Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Venison*
•PureVita Bison formula
*Yes, I know this is not a high-quality food. I am considering it because it is the only food I can find that uses Venison as the sole animal protein.
Any opinions on these, or suggestions for other foods? Thanks!
“I find it interesting that in the article that C4D provided, it says that regular expression of the anal glands can make problems worse because they will then will fill up faster. Has anyone else heard of this?”
Yes I have. I worked in a grooming salon where anal gland expression was part of the groom/bath service. My grooming salon manager told me that if you don’t need to express the anal glands because you haven’t seen “scooting” or other symptoms of impacted glands it’s best not to start, because when they defacate they should naturally release the anal glands.
I’ve never done my dogs glands. Haven’t had a problem yet, however he is only a year old. The older dogs that used to come to the grooming salon where the ones where I noticed the most problems with their anal glands. One was so bad that I could feel how hard the sacs were when I went to express them per the owners request that nothing came out. I recommended an internal extraction at the vet’s office.
“it says that regular expression of the anal glands can make problems worse because they will then will fill up faster. Has anyone else heard of this”?
I don’t believe this is true, years ago when I did not know how to routinely express my dogs anal glands, I was at the vets office several times a year for treatment.
Once I learned how to do it myself, I never needed the vets expertise for these issues again. The trick is to catch it before it builds up, just a quick squirt here and there.
Once they are dragging their behind on the floor, you already have an impaction, once it becomes infected the vet has to take care of it and antibiotics may be indicated.
As far as what treatments the dermatologist has to offer, that would depend on his findings after testing and examination.
For example if the dog has environmental allergies and immunotherapy was recommended, this is the most natural way to go, the shots (also available sublingual) are not medication.
My dog is doing so well after 2 years, she may be able to be tapered off….she will see her specialist next week, we only go once a year.
PS: Not all dogs have these anal gland issues, tends to be more common with small breeds….out of about 7 dogs 2 of mine had this problem, but I think I have avoided potential problems by routine expression on vulnerable dogs.
Of course, check with your vet first, the easiest time to do it is when you are giving the dog a bath.
Hi here’s just a few Limited Ingredients foods in the “Dog Allergy International groups” files that may work for dogs with food sensitivities… also when on a limited ingredient diet no other foods are given, nothing, no treats, no peanut butter to give meds nothing just their limited ingredient diet for 3 months, then if dog is doing real well then add a new ingredient & see if there is any reaction with new food..
Petcurean GO Sensitivity limited ingredients Venison.. Michele Dixson from Petcurean is in group & helps dogs with allergies..
Farmina Vet Life Hypoallergenic Fish & Potato
Performatrin Ultra Limited ingredients
Lily’s Kitchen Recovery recipe wet food limited ingredients
Canidae Grain Free Dry & Wet
Rayne Maintenace Diets
Addiction Nutri-RX Allergy HS
Natural Balance limited ingredient Dry& Wet
Zignature limited ingredient formulas
Merrick limited ingredient Dry & Wet
California Natural Hypoallergenic limited ingredients dry & wet
Thanks Susan! I will look at these! One of them is called “Lily’s Kitchen” lol.
For some dogs, regular expression of the anal glands causes inflammation, which can cause the glands to become impacted due to swelling in the opening to the gland. That’s why it is not recommended to express them if it is not needed. Feeding the dog something to bulk up the stool expresses the anal glands in the most natural and least irritating way, from the inside.
There are more ingredients in THK Love that Lily could be reacting to than just the beef. Hopefully, you can find a LID food that she does well on and start adding ingredients one at a time to figure out what she is reacting to. While I don’t like Hill’s and the like, they are an easy way to start an elimination diet.
I am just sharing my experience, having owned dogs for decades, and what has worked for my dogs, under the instruction of a veterinarian.
I imagine many people might be squeamish about expressing canine anal glands, or not know what they are doing. In that case they could cause harm. Therefore they should listen to what their vet advises.
Some folks bring their dog in routinely to be checked by the vet tech.
@BCnut Yeah. The problem with any elimination diet, even the prescription ones, is that the dog could react to ANY ingredient in it. I guess we just have to keep trying.
@LM I might be a little squeamish, but I could probably manage. However, I doubt I’d be able to get Lily to tolerate it, because she hates having it done. We do get her groomed every 6ish at her vet’s office, and so the tech could express them then if we decide to go that route. I want to keep trying with the elimination diet and probiotics first though.
I remembered someone posted this Dr. Becker article a while back, might be something helpful.
That is super interesting losul, thanks! It sounds like I would want to avoid regular expression of the anal glands, if possible.
I have no experience in anal gland issues but have you tried a wet diet (canned, dehydrated or raw)? Just curious if that would help.
We’ve been adding a wet food topper and water to Lily’s food for a while, and we were doing an all-wet diet (THK) the last few weeks, but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. Thanks for the suggestion though.
Quotes from the article that the OP found helpful (link provided by another poster in a previous post) http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2009/12/23/your-pets-anal-glands.aspx
Allergies can Also Irritate Your Pet’s Anal Glands
If your pet is sensitive to ragweeds, grasses, pollens, molds or other allergens in their environment, this can be a problem for their anal glands. All it takes is your pet sitting down outside for those allergens to transfer to the anus and cause overwhelming itching.
So your dog may start to scoot, itch, become red and irritated, and even chew at its rectum, which can create the anal gland problem. So if you’ve got an allergenic pet, addressing the root cause of the allergies is a great way to secondarily address the anal gland problem.
Anal Glands can Also be in the Wrong Spot
Some animals have anal glands that are placed deep and low inside of the rectum. In this case, even though there is healthy stool being passed out of the rectum, there’s not enough pressure to the wayward anal glands to effectively empty their contents during a bowel movement. Very rarely in those situations, those animals have to have anal gland expression performed because they’re not capable of doing it on their own.
Yup, I saw her say that in the video and found it interesting. I was also thinking that maybe her ingesting pollen, from eating grass or licking her paws after being outside, could cause anal gland issues. The vet thinks this is plausible, but there are still some food allergy issues involved.
I think we are going to go with Petcurean GO Sensitivity+Shine Limited Ingredients Venison formula. Thanks Susan for suggesting this!
- This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Dog_Obsessed.
Most kibble has potato, my dog with environmental allergies and food sensitivities does best on Nutrisca salmon (no potato, no grains) as a base combined with homemade.
Since receiving treatment for her allergies from a specialist, she has gradually been able to tolerate and enjoy cooked chicken, beef, eggs, fish…
I check her anal glands weekly, but there is nothing there!
Hope this helps someone 🙂
Thanks for the idea. Lily was actually on grain-free, potato-free kibble for quite a while, so I don’t think potatoes are the issue (though I guess they could be one of them.)
I couldn’t find anywhere around here that carries the GO venison, and Chewy says that that item may take up to a week for delivery, so it looks like we might not be going with that food. My next choice was NVI LID Rabbit, so even though we can’t find anywhere that carries that either, we might go with that one and order it from Chewy.
Dog Obsessed. I have also read, heard, and been told that anal glands should not be expressed on a regular basis and, in fact, if you take your dogs to groomers the groomers should be told not to express their anal glands. You can find many many articles from learned doctors on the subject. They should also not be removed unless, of course, in cases of tumors or cancer. I’m sure that’s not Lily’s problems or your vet would already be aware of it.
I’ve tried to read thoroughly the posts here on this never and if I missed it I’m sorry for asking but….did you mention anywhere what the consistency is of Lily’s poops? In almost every case that is the reason for anal issues and scooting. Either their poops are not hard enough to push through and squeeze out the scent through the anal glands along with the poop or the scooting is due to a diet intolerance/sensitivity or allergy and their butt is itchy and they scoot to scratch or lick it because it’s itchy or burning in feel to them.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Dori.
My dog saw her allergy specialist (dermatologist) today. He said her skin looks beautiful and to continue doing whatever I have been doing. She only needs ASIT about once a month….but will keep an eye out for symptoms.
I strongly encourage anyone that has a dog that has environmental allergies to see a specialist, well worth the cost of initial testing, imo
Good luck finding the perfect dog food, the closest I found was Nutrisca salmon and chickpea, but she now enjoys a variety of foods added to it!
No anal gland issues, no ear infections, no scratching. YAY!
Just thought I’d chime in again. We didn’t have the anal gland issue until the antibiotics & a run of diarrhea. Now that we changed her diet all is well. I do feed a bit of pumpkin for fiber & add kefir as a probiotic daily. BC is right, if the stool is too soft or small it won’t squeeze the gland to empty it. I’m glad losul included Dr Becker’s link.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by C4D.
If symptoms have been going on for more than 1 year/4 seasons and have not responded to diet changes, baths, and the variety of other remedies recommended by the regular vet and well meaning posters.
It is no longer considered to be an acute condition. But, therefore a chronic condition.
That should be a factor in how the pet owner proceeds…imo
@Dori Her stools are okay right now, and have never really been too bad. Sometimes they’ve been a little loose, or she’s been straining a bit, but for the most part they’ve been good.
@LM She’s had the problem with discolored fluid since we had her (8.5 months), but she mostly just started scooting in February.
D. O. I would find a food for Lily that would harden up her stool a bit more. My three dogs stools are just this side of what one would consider hard and they don’t have anal gland problems. Their stools are not completely ash like but towards that. Don’t go to the extreme that they are constipated, just almost, they need that to be able to empty their anal glands.
Good suggestion! Unfortunately, the line between “firm stool” and “constipated” for Lily is very fine. Last week, for example, she was straining a bit in the morning but had nice, firm, poops later in the day. The balance is pretty hard to strike with her. I am hoping that if we can get her allergies minimized (both food and environmental) then she will have more consistent stool.
my dog has anal gland issues but she now seems to scoot her bottom even when they aren’t full. I’ve taken to vet to express with daily scooting & there is nothing there.
I have no idea what the issue could be. any ideas?
Hi Karen, my boy gets an itchy bum, he suffers from itchy skin, so sometimes he bum surfs on the carpet, I get a cream called Sudocrem its for Nappy Rash, Dermatitis, Eczema sold in the baby section of supermarket or chemist, I put a bit on his bum & around his tail area.. The Sudocrem seems to stop his itch & bum surfing, Patches vet was expressing his anal glands, then when he was doing firmer poos, he didn’t need his anal glands express no more, when he poos they get expressed naturally now I see clear fluid running down his bum…… another thing I started doing was wiping his bum after every poo with those Huggie Baby wipes Aloe & Cucumber….apply a soothing cream & see how she goes, it could be habit now..
Hi karen m,
It sounds like “itchy butt syndrome” as my vet calls it. It could be habit or it could be from a food allergy. Do you rotate foods and protein sources at all?
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