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xcaer July 19th, 2013 03:14 PM

Anal gland question(s)
 
Okay, so I have a 2.5 year old Shepherd/Akita mix, Eli.
He was recently on antibiotics for a skin issue, and it caused soft stool for awhile and in turn, I ended up having to express his anal glands. He started getting the tell tale fishy smell really bad, but no obvious signs of discomfort. I got a bit of the lovely smelling fluid out, and the smell went away. I did not completely empty them though as I was fairly new to the manual express thing.

Now, I just recently expressed them again (3-5 weeks after the first I think?) because he's had terrible gas, and he's been on a newer, much better quality diet, however it's not very high in fiber so I've been supplementing with 2.5 tsp of ground flax twice per day which has bulked his stool up quite nicely, but it's still not as firm as I think it should be in order to express naturally.
Again, he had no obvious signs of discomfort. No scooting,licking/chewing,not super smelly, but just smelly enough that when I was checking his tail(where his skin issue was, as it requires regular cleaning still) I could smell it. Got quite a bit of fluid out, but again, not completely empty.

[B]Now my questions;

How empty should a dog's anal glands be exactly? I know the fluid is meant to aid in lubrication while having a bowel movement so I'd assume they shouldn't be completely empty, but how much is too much, or how little is too little?

Also, what can I give him to firm up his stool?
I don't want to create MORE stool which is what the flax(and fiber in general) does, I just want to firm up the poop so he can express his glands naturally. His stool isn't loose or anything by any means, it's well formed and such, but it's clearly still too soft for him to express naturally.[/B]

Jull July 19th, 2013 03:44 PM

aaah antibiotics, this is exactly what happened to me and my first anal gland experience lol.

I would cut down on the fiber, because as you mention that creates more pooping, which can affect the glands as well.

There is a video I really like from Dr. Becker and I always recommend everyone with this issue to watch it.

[url]http://youtu.be/yA9SeHAEyQ4[/url]

Now, I can tell you that when my little guy first had his fishy smell, I had no idea what it was, I took him to the vet and they expressed the glands and the Dr. told me to bring him in every time it happened and she could express the glands for us but the more she did it, the more it happened... so that is when I saw this video :frustrated:

I feed him raw, and that has made a difference as well. Bones are also key, the food I use the most has the bone in it (not powered but ground because I can see the little pieces of bone in it) which helps at the time of pooping to naturally express the glands. I also have some meat that has no bone in it, so I have just recently bought chicken necks to try, tonight will be our first time!

I cannot tell you how full or empty they are supposed to be... but I know that if for some reason my dog's are a bit full, he will sort of chew on them him self and express them... then he will just smell a bit :laughing: But I do not express the glands my self any more, nor let the groomers or vet do it. You just gotta watch for any other symptoms to make sure its not an infection.

Here is also a link about anal glands from another holistic Dr. I like to read a lot.

[url]http://peterdobias.com/community/2012/09/5661/[/url]

xcaer July 19th, 2013 04:05 PM

[QUOTE=Jull;1059809]aaah antibiotics, this is exactly what happened to me and my first anal gland experience lol.

I would cut down on the fiber, because as you mention that creates more pooping, which can affect the glands as well.

There is a video I really like from Dr. Becker and I always recommend everyone with this issue to watch it.

[url]http://youtu.be/yA9SeHAEyQ4[/url]

Now, I can tell you that when my little guy first had his fishy smell, I had no idea what it was, I took him to the vet and they expressed the glands and the Dr. told me to bring him in every time it happened and she could express the glands for us but the more she did it, the more it happened... so that is when I saw this video :frustrated:

I feed him raw, and that has made a difference as well. Bones are also key, the food I use the most has the bone in it (not powered but ground because I can see the little pieces of bone in it) which helps at the time of pooping to naturally express the glands. I also have some meat that has no bone in it, so I have just recently bought chicken necks to try, tonight will be our first time!

I cannot tell you how full or empty they are supposed to be... but I know that if for some reason my dog's are a bit full, he will sort of chew on them him self and express them... then he will just smell a bit :laughing: But I do not express the glands my self any more, nor let the groomers or vet do it. You just gotta watch for any other symptoms to make sure its not an infection.

Here is also a link about anal glands from another holistic Dr. I like to read a lot.

[url]http://peterdobias.com/community/2012/09/5661/[/url][/QUOTE]

I'm REALLY not interested in feeding raw, so I'm just looking for something I can add to his current food. I'm following just a vet recommended dosage for the flax, so I don't really want to cut it back too much as his stool IS much more satisfactory than it was before, but I mean, he was on a junk brand food before and he NEVER had these issues.

Other than the glands though, this dog is fairly healthy and exhibiting no symptoms.
He's happy, get's a good amount of exercise, no allergies, nothing.
He is slightly overweight, but only by a couple pounds and we're remedying that currently, but even when he had his first anal gland problem, he NEVER scooted,NEVER licked/Chewed at it, never seemed uncomfortable at all. He just stunk really bad.

Can I buy bone somewhere that's already ground?

Loki Love July 19th, 2013 08:29 PM

In my opinion, you're better off finding a food that does not require extra supplements for stool production. You want a food that can do it all for you, ideally. What are you feeding now?

Jull July 19th, 2013 08:44 PM

[QUOTE=xcaer;1059810]I'm REALLY not interested in feeding raw, so I'm just looking for something I can add to his current food. I'm following just a vet recommended dosage for the flax, so I don't really want to cut it back too much as his stool IS much more satisfactory than it was before, but I mean, he was on a junk brand food before and he NEVER had these issues.

Other than the glands though, this dog is fairly healthy and exhibiting no symptoms.
He's happy, get's a good amount of exercise, no allergies, nothing.
He is slightly overweight, but only by a couple pounds and we're remedying that currently, but even when he had his first anal gland problem, he NEVER scooted,NEVER licked/Chewed at it, never seemed uncomfortable at all. He just stunk really bad.

Can I buy bone somewhere that's already ground?[/QUOTE]

My kid never scooted, licked or anything before either, he learned how to take care of it now but when it happened the first time it was like out of nowhere... one time at the Drs office he got scared and next thing we know fear turned into fishy smell :laughing:

I dont know if you can buy ground bone, you could buy the bones and ground your self maybe? But not sure it would be good to add it into a dry food... do you feed kibble? you could try just giving him chicken or turkey necks. Omega oil suplement is also good to add a few times a week into a diet.

One thing to keep in mind too is that if you smell them once in a while it means they are working. Not often though...

MaxaLisa July 20th, 2013 01:10 AM

Food allergies can cause anal gland issues too. Yes, what are you feeding?

xcaer July 20th, 2013 08:26 AM

[QUOTE=Loki Love;1059819]In my opinion, you're better off finding a food that does not require extra supplements for stool production. You want a food that can do it all for you, ideally. What are you feeding now?[/QUOTE]

Right now we're feeding lifetime large breed chicken and oatmeal and we finally JUST got both dogs on it exclusively and they love it. If I switch at all, it will be to another one of this brand because it's been the only one that one dog or the other won't turn it's nose up at.

[url]http://www.nutreco-pet.ca/brands/lifetime/dog/lifetime-chicken-%26-oatmeal-large-breed/2/[/url]

EDIT:
Also, not looking to break my bank account. My boys eat about 30lbs of food per month EACH.
Lifetime brand is much better than the dog chow we were feeding before, and it fits into our one income/stay at home mom budget.

Loki Love July 20th, 2013 08:46 AM

[QUOTE=xcaer;1059828]Right now we're feeding lifetime large breed chicken and oatmeal and we finally JUST got both dogs on it exclusively and they love it. If I switch at all, it will be to another one of this brand because it's been the only one that one dog or the other won't turn it's nose up at.

[url]http://www.nutreco-pet.ca/brands/lifetime/dog/lifetime-chicken-%26-oatmeal-large-breed/2/[/url]

EDIT:
Also, not looking to break my bank account. My boys eat about 30lbs of food per month EACH.
Lifetime brand is much better than the dog chow we were feeding before, and it fits into our one income/stay at home mom budget.[/QUOTE]

It's pretty grain heavy - I'm not sure how much you're paying so it's hard for me to say if there are comparable options out there :)

What other brands have you tried? Costco does sell a good grain free food for a relatively decent price (if that's an option?)

xcaer July 20th, 2013 08:58 AM

[QUOTE=Loki Love;1059829]It's pretty grain heavy - I'm not sure how much you're paying so it's hard for me to say if there are comparable options out there :)

What other brands have you tried? Costco does sell a good grain free food for a relatively decent price (if that's an option?)[/QUOTE]

It comes out to just over $45/bag.

Tried; Dog chow,BB,Purina,Lifetime

Our nearest Costco is about 2-2.5 hours away=/
Edit: Also just checked online, no dog food listings for them.
I live in the sticks, so there aren't many options.
We have a pet valu in town, which is where I buy their current food, a country depot which has some food, but I haven't had a chance to really check them out yet, and just local farm co-ops, again, haven't checked many out but the one I have been to mostly just sold the same grocery store stuff and a couple of brands I'd never heard before.

xcaer July 20th, 2013 09:15 AM

To be honest though, I'm really not looking to change food unless it's an issue he's having with the protein in it, as I can just switch to another of this brand.
They both actually like this food, and they never had an issue with the junk brand that was also grain heavy. Their stools were perfectly fine, we weren't having anal gland issues, the only reason we switched off it at all was because the vet thought his skin issue could be a food allergy, but turns out it was bacterial from the beach.
I do like that this food is better quality than the junk brand though, so we stuck with it.

I'm simply looking for something to add to it to firm the stools.
Not a bulking agent, just a firming agent.

Loki Love July 20th, 2013 10:18 AM

[QUOTE=xcaer;1059831]Not a bulking agent, just a firming agent.[/QUOTE]

Canned pumpkin will help with firming things up; however, too much will have the opposite effect.

I wouldn't recommend any kind of bulking agent long term though - you need a food that will allow things to work naturally and on their own, unless there is a medical reason behind it - in which case, I'd follow your vets advice.

Good luck :)

xcaer July 20th, 2013 10:58 AM

[QUOTE=Loki Love;1059832]Canned pumpkin will help with firming things up; however, too much will have the opposite effect.


Good luck :)[/QUOTE]

How much is recommended for a dog who's 75-80lbs?
And how much is recommended for a dog who is 100-105lbs?

Loki Love July 20th, 2013 11:09 AM

[QUOTE=xcaer;1059833]How much is recommended for a dog who's 75-80lbs?
And how much is recommended for a dog who is 100-105lbs?[/QUOTE]

Not sure there is an exact amount. For Loki, we gave about a tbsp or so with a meal. He was about 120 lbs at the time.

xcaer July 20th, 2013 11:20 AM

[QUOTE=Loki Love;1059834]Not sure there is an exact amount. For Loki, we gave about a tbsp or so with a meal. He was about 120 lbs at the time.[/QUOTE]

Okay, thank you!:)

MaxaLisa July 21st, 2013 03:37 PM

[QUOTE=xcaer;1059831]To be honest though, I'm really not looking to change food unless it's an issue he's having with the protein in it, as I can just switch to another of this brand.
They both actually like this food, and they never had an issue with the junk brand that was also grain heavy. Their stools were perfectly fine, we weren't having anal gland issues, the only reason we switched off it at all was because the vet thought his skin issue could be a food allergy, but turns out it was bacterial from the beach.
I do like that this food is better quality than the junk brand though, so we stuck with it.

I'm simply looking for something to add to it to firm the stools.
Not a bulking agent, just a firming agent.[/QUOTE]

Persistent anal gland problems does mean that there is a problem with the food.

You might get lucky that you can find something to add to help with the anal glands, but if, for example, the dog has developed an allergy or sensitivity to Barley, you will have to change the food down the line.

Good luck trying to find the right mix, it can be challenging!

Marty11 July 22nd, 2013 07:14 AM

I have a dog on Grain Free right now, however I couldn't feed my other dog that food. He was on a Grain Food because of his stool. He also needed bigger stool to empty his anal glands. The grain free caused him to have little stools and got 2 anal gland infections. As soon as he went back on Grain Food it was gone. Be selective on the grain, buy higher end food from the mill often they carry a good one. Pet Value will have one too. Stay away from grocery store stuff and no corn.

xcaer July 25th, 2013 04:29 AM

They're already on a fairly good quality Pet Value food. I have however found that adding a little bit of apple cider vinegar to their bowls morning and night is helping a lot. No more anal gland issues, no more soft poop:)


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