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Old 08-04-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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Has anyone had their dogs anal glands surgically removed? My dogs need to have them expressed so often, especially one of my dogs. Katy is scooting one week after she has had them taken care of by the vet. Last time we were there, he said I should come in at least every six weeks although some dogs are brought in every week or so. I think that's what she needs and I will tell him her scooting begins within a week or so after she has left his office. Lady usually takes about four weeks before she starts the scooting. Actually, I've only seen her scoot once in six weeks, but my poor little Katy has done it many times.

Anyway, I was just reading on the internet that the glands are useless and can be removed to alleviate this constant expressing and problems in the future. I'm a little leary about that and will ask the vet when I take both dogs in this week for another expression, but I was wondering if any dogs out there have had this procedure done and if so, how was the experience?

I cannot do it myself as the dogs just won't cooperate plus I don't have what it takes to do it. From what I understand, this is painful and uncomfortable for the canines and that really makes me feel badly. If I had to go every week, I'm afraid it would be quite costly, but I'll do if it will help. Even though the full glands are uncomfortable, they're not happy with the expression either as I'm sure that hurts.

By the way, both are big dogs, one a Yellow Lab and one part Lab and part Catahoula. One weighs 74 pounds and one, 57 pounds.

Thanks for any advice!! Woofs from the girls.

Oh yes, one more thing. I think I'm going to try the fiber deal first before I resort to surgery. I hear canned pumpkin, bran, and grated carrot helps to harden the stool to express the glands naturally. Also, there is a capsule that is sold too. I need to do some more research to alleviate this constant problem.

Last edited by Canine*Castle; 08-04-2008 at 01:02 AM.. Reason: add a paragraph
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:38 AM
 
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What are you feeding the dogs to start with? On a good diet the stools should be firm without having to add fiber.

One of my dogs had them removed because he had a condition called perianal fistulas and they were removed when the fistulas were removed. This dog had chronically soft stools due to food allergies and a very sensitive system.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:49 AM
 
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The biggest risk for removal of anal glands is residual and permanent incontinence of stool. It's not a big deal to express the glands, and if you're up to it, you can buy a box of rubber surgical gloves and some KY jelly and do it yourself. If you want to know how, PM me and I'll send you the directions. It's not hard and it'll save you a lot of aggravation and money.

I wouldn't have this surgery done on any dog I owned, because the risk of stool incontinence is high. The anal gland has nothing to do with the firmness of the stool - that's taken care of high up in the colon and is more related to the kind of food given and the overall health of the colon.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:31 AM
 
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The problem with soft stools being that the firm stool puts some pressure on the gland and helps them express naturally. I really would be looking at the food - on a good diet the dog should not need added fiber.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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There are also two different methods of expressing the anal glands, internal and external. Some dogs don't require the rubber-gloved internal method and the glands empty just fine with gentle external compression. You might want to have your vet or a groomer show you the external method - or watch this video. How to Express a Dog's Anal Gland | Expert Village Videos. Putting a hot, wet rag on the gland area for a few minutes prior to emptying them seems to help. I do this with my dogs and it doesn't hurt them so they don't really mind.

If the external compression doesn't work for your dogs, I'd recommend having your vet show you how to express them internally.

It's actually pretty easy, and not as icky as it might seem.

Do try increasing the fiber in their food as a first step.

Last edited by leorah; 08-04-2008 at 07:39 AM.. Reason: added comment
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
The biggest risk for removal of anal glands is residual and permanent incontinence of stool. It's not a big deal to express the glands, and if you're up to it, you can buy a box of rubber surgical gloves and some KY jelly and do it yourself. If you want to know how, PM me and I'll send you the directions. It's not hard and it'll save you a lot of aggravation and money.

I wouldn't have this surgery done on any dog I owned, because the risk of stool incontinence is high. The anal gland has nothing to do with the firmness of the stool - that's taken care of high up in the colon and is more related to the kind of food given and the overall health of the colon.
I was pretty much against the surgery because of the reason you stated. That would absolutely be horrible if that happened.

I probably could do it, but I'm not very good keeping especially one of them still. I can't even cut her nails because she wiggles so much. There isn't anyone here to help me with her, so I keep having to take her to get that done as well.

Last edited by Canine*Castle; 08-04-2008 at 11:42 AM..
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by grannynancy View Post
The problem with soft stools being that the firm stool puts some pressure on the gland and helps them express naturally. I really would be looking at the food - on a good diet the dog should not need added fiber.

They get one of the best foods from what I read on the ratings, Canidae All Life Stages. I quit feeding them the "crap" a few years ago when I learned how awful it was. The funny thing, the stools aren't soft, so I don't understand how her glands fill up so quickly. I wouldn't think I need to increase the fiber, but something is causing them to fill up.
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:30 AM
 
5,031 posts, read 8,024,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leorah View Post
There are also two different methods of expressing the anal glands, internal and external. Some dogs don't require the rubber-gloved internal method and the glands empty just fine with gentle external compression. You might want to have your vet or a groomer show you the external method - or watch this video. How to Express a Dog's Anal Gland | Expert Village Videos. Putting a hot, wet rag on the gland area for a few minutes prior to emptying them seems to help. I do this with my dogs and it doesn't hurt them so they don't really mind.

If the external compression doesn't work for your dogs, I'd recommend having your vet show you how to express them internally.

It's actually pretty easy, and not as icky as it might seem.

Do try increasing the fiber in their food as a first step.
As I stated above, I think I could do it, but they won't be still.

Even with Canidae, do you think it's a fiber problem? Every time I mention it to the vet, he says that all dogs are different and some need it done weekly, monthly, and some never.

I just talked to the vet's wife to make an appointment for Thursday and she told me he NEVER does the surgery unless they become infected and/or impacted because of the great risk of incontinence.

Last edited by Canine*Castle; 08-04-2008 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,315 posts, read 4,617,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canine*Castle View Post
As I stated above, I think I could do it, but they won't be still.

Even with Canidae, do you think it's a fiber problem? Every time I mention it to the vet, he says that all dogs are different and some need it done weekly, monthly, and some never.

I just talked to the vet's wife to make an appointment for Thursday and she told me he NEVER does the surgery unless they become infected and/or impacted because of the great risk of incontinence.
Canidae is a good food. Two of my dogs currently eat Canidae, and the other two, because of allergies, eat Merrick BG. Canidae SHOULD have enough fiber, but as you say, every dog is different. Adding more fiber could help.

I've been pretty successful in getting my dogs to sit still while I pluck ears, trim nails, etc. by training them to do so. I reward them when they sit still. We make it a game. Only two of mine are over 30 lb. though, so I can handle them. I use a grooming table so they at a good height and restrained.
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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I would definitely not do the surgery just because of frequent need to express the glands. There are just too many risks. One of my guys has leaky glands...yes it is pleasant I can usually smell when he is starting to leak and I express them before it gets too bad. If you were dealing with constantly infected glands, the surgery may be worth it, but it is VERY painful recovery process and, as has been said, can lead to fecal incontinence.

I would really suggest learning to express the glands yourself. If you get someone to properly restrain for you, it should be a piece of cake.

good luck.
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