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Old 07-31-2018, 07:54 PM
 
707 posts, read 435,096 times
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Hoping someone can give me some advice on this one. My 3-year-old Boston terrier has a problem with his anal glands that has probably lasted almost a year now. Interestingly enough, since the first time we had our vet express the glands. Winston now seems to leak constantly. And I do mean constantly. Oily brown spots have ruined two pieces of furniture and it seems like we're always laundering whatever blanket/towel/pet bed he sits on. I've done a bit of online research and the consensus seems to be....we should have never had our vet express Winston's glands.

The vet has never told us that he has any kind of infection, so I don't necessarily think it's that. I DON'T want to get his glands removed unless as a VERY LAST resort. We've asked the vet several times what could be the issue since Winston's glands never seem to be full. We haven't gotten any kind of explanation that puts our minds at ease.

All that to say, I am having a hard time feeling like anything other than a horrible pet parent. I strongly believe that I should get a second opinion from another vet, but I wanted to come here first and ask if anyone has had any experience with this and/or can offer any advice. TIA!
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:42 PM
 
Location: on the wind
7,101 posts, read 2,916,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyers Girl View Post
Hoping someone can give me some advice on this one. My 3-year-old Boston terrier has a problem with his anal glands that has probably lasted almost a year now. Interestingly enough, since the first time we had our vet express the glands. Winston now seems to leak constantly. And I do mean constantly. Oily brown spots have ruined two pieces of furniture and it seems like we're always laundering whatever blanket/towel/pet bed he sits on. I've done a bit of online research and the consensus seems to be....we should have never had our vet express Winston's glands.

All that to say, I am having a hard time feeling like anything other than a horrible pet parent. I strongly believe that I should get a second opinion from another vet, but I wanted to come here first and ask if anyone has had any experience with this and/or can offer any advice. TIA!
One of my previous dogs had some anal gland trouble off and on and the vet did express them a couple of times. Never had "leakage" issues following that. She taught me how to express them myself and I did very occasionally. Again, she never "leaked" afterward. If your dog's are leaking it may have nothing to do with being expressed. The glands could have been scarred from previous infections/impactions.

One thing my vet did suggest was adding canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, plain cooked pumpkin) to her food to help add bulk to her stool. More bulk can help the glands express themselves more regularly so they don't get impacted in the first place. Normally the glands should be releasing their contents when the dog poops. Many "premium quality" foods have a lot less filler that can't be digested. The dog passes less stool, which ironically puts less pressure on the glands, they don't release any material, the content becomes thicker and harder to get rid of, and the gland gets impacted.

Canned pumpkin is a pretty simple thing to try. Most dogs like the taste too. Might read up on that option.

Last edited by Parnassia; 07-31-2018 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Boulder, CO
374 posts, read 481,316 times
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My dog had anal-gland issues that eventually -- coincidentally or not -- developed into cancer, and had one removed in Feb. Be very careful and get opinions from vets you trust, and keep a close eye on it.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:10 PM
 
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What are you feeding him? Are you feeding a high-quality kibble? If not, you might start there. You could also try giving him a chicken leg or wing a couple times a week, or maybe part of a turkey neck. Are his stools really soft? I've never experienced a dog that needed anal gland expressing or that had problems with them. I feed raw so my dogs have very tiny, but hard crumbly stools that express the glands as they pass.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:37 PM
 
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I would suggest going to a different vet. I've had two dogs who need to have anal glands expressed, and it went really well for both of them.

I have a Boston Terrier also, who occasionally (like, once every year or two) has to have his glands expressed.

The vet suggested I feed him canned pumpkin occasionally to help with this. I don't really know what that would do to help, and haven't done it. But maybe you could try that, after seeking advice from a different vet.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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Definitely see another vet, and consider a change of diet.

I've changed my dog over to raw meant (chicken drumsticks are cheap - just freeze them for 3 days before feeding), and whole foods like rice, veggies, some fruit, etc.

I personally think that a lot of pet diseases are caused by processed pet foods. At the worst, it couldn't hurt to feed your dog real ingredients. For instance, if you insist on feeding your dog dog food that has salmon and sweet potato, surely you can't go wrong feeding your dog salmon from the freezer section of the store and actual cooked sweet potatoes.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Sounds like a real pain.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:49 AM
 
707 posts, read 435,096 times
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Thanks to all for the advice so far. We haven't tried the pumpkin although I have read about that. His glands have not been full/impacted at all the last few times we've taken him to the vet, so I don't think that is the issue. I just think they leak, which is so odd to me.

To answer questions posed, we feed him Wellness brand for small-breed dogs. Also, his stools are usually firm, but not hard and crumbly (like someone else mentioned); he very rarely has diarrhea. I'm definitely going to start the process of finding a different vet for a second opinion.

I've always been concerned about serving anything but dry kibble, because I know wet food tends to have a negative effect on bowel movements. But would you classify raw meat and bones in the same category as "wet" food?
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:27 AM
 
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Definitely go to another vet and get a second opinion.
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:59 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,198 posts, read 1,342,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyers Girl View Post
Thanks to all for the advice so far. We haven't tried the pumpkin although I have read about that. His glands have not been full/impacted at all the last few times we've taken him to the vet, so I don't think that is the issue. I just think they leak, which is so odd to me.

To answer questions posed, we feed him Wellness brand for small-breed dogs. Also, his stools are usually firm, but not hard and crumbly (like someone else mentioned); he very rarely has diarrhea. I'm definitely going to start the process of finding a different vet for a second opinion.

I've always been concerned about serving anything but dry kibble, because I know wet food tends to have a negative effect on bowel movements. But would you classify raw meat and bones in the same category as "wet" food?
What? It is the contents of the food (the ingredients) that affect the stool. Not whether the food is dry or wet. The only thing I ever heard about canned/wet food is that if you feed that exclusively the dog never uses his teeth to chew anything and then they tend to decay. I mix a spoonful of canned food and a bit of water into the dry kibble to moisten it and make it more appetizing. Would you want to always eat that dry stuff?
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,088 posts, read 22,943,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyers Girl View Post
Thanks to all for the advice so far. We haven't tried the pumpkin although I have read about that. His glands have not been full/impacted at all the last few times we've taken him to the vet, so I don't think that is the issue. I just think they leak, which is so odd to me.

To answer questions posed, we feed him Wellness brand for small-breed dogs. Also, his stools are usually firm, but not hard and crumbly (like someone else mentioned); he very rarely has diarrhea. I'm definitely going to start the process of finding a different vet for a second opinion.

I've always been concerned about serving anything but dry kibble, because I know wet food tends to have a negative effect on bowel movements. But would you classify raw meat and bones in the same category as "wet" food?
Raw food has a lot of natural moisture. Dry kibble isn't anywhere near what their natural food would be like.

My dog only has runny or super soft stools when she gets high fat food.

I think the biggest benefit to feeding raw meat with bones is that it cleans their teeth nicely.

Anyway, to your question, I think natural foods have a lot of natural moisture. if you feed cooked rice, it will be moist, same for veggies and raw meat. Feeding them dry kibble is not natural, in my opinion. It won't kill them but it's more like feeding your kids Lucky Charms and Twinkies and McDonald's. Sure, they'll live to tell the tale, but that doesn't mean they'll be in tip top shape, either.

At any rate, it won't hurt to try feeding more natural food. Or at least try a different dog food. I just really believe that most health problems for any creature including humans, can be cured with a better diet.
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