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I am posting an update on both dogs.
I sought a second opinion from another vet. Molly has been on a prescription diet for about 3 months. Her poops are well formed now and the last two times her anal glands were checked they did not need to be expressed. My next steps are to keep her on for another month and then move her to a novel protein and limited ingredient diet food. I plan to try Zignature Kangaroo. I am hopeful the trend will continue on a food more balanced. The prescription diet did confirm she is able to express on her own and the more solid poops likely helped with that process. I have read about the deficiencies in the prescription diets…it is not a long term plan so please refrain from beating me up about it. I started her on a prebiotic when I changed her food.
I switched her from Pure Vita to Fromm Four Star Nutritionals (with grain). She is pooping about 1/3 of what she was on PV and they are also firm. She is no longer scratching or chewing on her feet. Her energy level is great and she seems better than on either Acana or PV. She is off her allergy meds completely now. She still needs her anal glands expressed and as I mentioned she has structural issues which have her anal glands in non standard positioning. I started her on a prebiotic when I changed her food. I am happy with her progress.
My summation: after months of reading and many conversations with vet and other dog owners, I have come to believe there is no single food (brand, flavor, etc.) or medication or “recipe” that addresses this. I have to be willing to try something new if current plan is not working and it may take months to find the right balance. This is my opinion only and I am not a vet. Good Luck.Eileen WMember
@haleycookie – Merrick was bought by Purina a few years ago. Thinking you have had no issues being on it or you would have mentioned. Just confirming…
@anon101 – my vet recommended the glandex and pumpkin and seems perfectly happy to manually express them each month. While my other dog has back end “structural” issues that necessitate it for her, I am not yet ready to have this be the new norm for Molly. Thank you for resharing your links (I read those and some others last night). I understand the function, the need, etc. of the glands. Molly is active, of proper weight, the sac content normal, etc. so maybe I need a second opinion.
Keep the info and ideas coming!