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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious, does your dog's veterinarian perform routine anal/rectal exams on your senior dogs during their senior exams?

I'm just learning about anal tumors and they tend to affect older dogs. If not caught early and treated they can be aggressive. We've had our Barkley's anal sacs expressed every 2 weeks at our vets and he gets them expressed by his vet at his annual exam. A hard growth was discovered this month with a diagnosis of a suspected anal adenocarcinoma. It's not large at this point. Due to the hemangiosarcoma diagnosis we are focusing on the hemangiosacoma first.

Our 6 year old Toby expresses his own anal sacs :yuck: and has never had an examination in that area. I'm thinking of asking his vet to start performing them at his annual exam.

Do other vets routinely do these types of exams on your seniors?
 

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Our vet doesn't, but I think it is a good idea. Thanks for bringing it up!

I'm sorry to hear about Toby's diagnosis. I'll be keeping him in my thoughts.

I do the dog's AG expression when it needs done... ick! But luckily they don't need it often.
 

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My Maggie lived to be almost 14 y.o. and the vet had never done a rectal exam. She didn't have anal sac problems though. Possibly dogs with anal sac problems are more prone to anal adenocarcinoma.
 

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My vet used to do it for a prostate exam before my dog was neutered but now that he was neutered she said she's not concerned about it anymore.

Sounds like a good idea although I'm 100% sure our golden friends would disagree.
 

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I would think all Vets are different. Mine always gives Molson a once over and even though he is 15 next week he never had to be expressed. Dawn, my long lost puppy girl use to get expressed each time she went and in between she would do the poop-scoop, you know when they drag their butts across the usually white carpet! :) So in all things...it depends on the vet and the dog! boy that was helpful for you! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would think all Vets are different. Mine always gives Molson a once over and even though he is 15 next week he never had to be expressed. Dawn, my long lost puppy girl use to get expressed each time she went and in between she would do the poop-scoop, you know when they drag their butts across the usually white carpet! :) So in all things...it depends on the vet and the dog! boy that was helpful for you! lol
We discovered an anal growth in our Barkley when I requested the vet doing his post-splenectomy exam to do an anal sac expression to help him eliminate a little better. That's when things changed--an anal growth was felt for the first time, suspected anal adenocarcinoma. Given Barkley has hemangiosarcoma we are treating it first, but monitoring the anal growth. A friend's 9 year old golden was recently diagnosed with the anal adenocarcinoma and underwent grueling radiation treatments after surgery. He's recovered now but in discussions with our vets we learned anal growths are mostly cancerous, not uncommon and are often fatal because they are discovered too late. That's why I'm asking our vet to give Toby, who does not have anal issues, the once over at his annual exan just in case he has something potentially cancerous lurking inside him. It just seems to me more vets should be adding this as a standard protocol for senior dog exams, as disgusting as it is. They should charge me more for it, that's fine.

Barkley was expressed every 2 weeks so we know his growth is recent.

Happy upcoming birthday to Molson! How exciting to reach 15! Are you planning a party for him?
 

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I am sorry if this is a bit off topic for this thread but ..... I am curious. What is this 'dragging the butt' thing? My newly acquired Golden (11 yrs) does it but I have never seen my Doberman do it. Misty's last owner said "Yah, she does that" Is she just itchy? cleaning herself? Why on earth would she want to do it on the pavement? At least a rug is soft! Any clues?
A week ago or so it was so red & raw I applied Vitamin E ointment to both her backends in concern! It seemed to help in that the behaviour relaxed somewhat and the next day the redness was gone.
 

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I am sorry if this is a bit off topic for this thread but ..... I am curious. What is this 'dragging the butt' thing? My newly acquired Golden (11 yrs) does it but I have never seen my Doberman do it. Misty's last owner said "Yah, she does that" Is she just itchy? cleaning herself? Why on earth would she want to do it on the pavement? At least a rug is soft! Any clues?
A week ago or so it was so red & raw I applied Vitamin E ointment to both her backends in concern! It seemed to help in that the behaviour relaxed somewhat and the next day the redness was gone.
Take her to the vet and have her anal sacs expressed.
 

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I'm curious, does your dog's veterinarian perform routine anal/rectal exams on your senior dogs during their senior exams?

I'm just learning about anal tumors and they tend to affect older dogs. If not caught early and treated they can be aggressive. We've had our Barkley's anal sacs expressed every 2 weeks at our vets and he gets them expressed by his vet at his annual exam. A hard growth was discovered this month with a diagnosis of a suspected anal adenocarcinoma. It's not large at this point. Due to the hemangiosarcoma diagnosis we are focusing on the hemangiosacoma first.

Our 6 year old Toby expresses his own anal sacs :yuck: and has never had an examination in that area. I'm thinking of asking his vet to start performing them at his annual exam.

Do other vets routinely do these types of exams on your seniors?
Timely thread, since I'm researching and writing a feature story for Whole Dog Journal on this very topic (anal sacs - the good, bad and ugly!)

If you're vet is having to express them every two weeks, you really need to be looking at the underlying cause. That's WAY too often to need them done. Is he concerned about the frequency with which you're having to express them?

I'm just now getting into my first senior (that I've raised as an adult). My Whippet is 9. She's never had to have them expressed, but I will ask the vet about a rectal exam when we do her next wellness check. Having done my article research, I do think it's important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Timely thread, since I'm researching and writing a feature story for Whole Dog Journal on this very topic (anal sacs - the good, bad and ugly!)

If you're vet is having to express them every two weeks, you really need to be looking at the underlying cause. That's WAY too often to need them done. Is he concerned about the frequency with which you're having to express them?

I'm just now getting into my first senior (that I've raised as an adult). My Whippet is 9. She's never had to have them expressed, but I will ask the vet about a rectal exam when we do her next wellness check. Having done my article research, I do think it's important.
We looked into the cause of the frequency right after we adopted him at age 6.5. We discussed the possibility of removal several years later but elected to wait due to some other stuff going on with him. The sacs were always difficult for the vet and vet techs to express. Many mentioned they were not in the normal location--I didn't ask any more about that. He was not a cooperative patient either--more like a bucking bronco. I was just happy they were taking care of the business at hand. We tried several high fiber diets and he refused to eat them. We finally have him on a mixture of high fiber and his favorite kibble but now we have the growth to contend with so he is getting the growth measured and anals expressed at the same time interval. By the way, we timed expressions at one point with his acupuncture sessions and he was often able to go a week or so longer, as long as his allergies weren't on overload. Since he is in chemotherapy, acupuncture is now off the table.

After this experience and that of my friend I too think the anal exams are important and will be asking for one on my other golden.
 

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Actually this thread is very timely again because a friend at work's golden just had repeat surgery to excise an anal cancer (I forget the exact kind it was). She said the exact same thing, since it was right around the anal area it wasn't noticed because it wasn't touched or petted as other parts of a dog routinely are. Further tumor was found on the dog's tail, another part we don't traditionally "pet" and who would find a tumor under all that tail fur anyway?

My little guy is going for his senior exam in March and I'm going to talk to the vet about this and insist on a rectal exam at every senior visit from now on.

I don't care if it's embarassing or he doesn't like it, I think it could save lives.

Thank you again Dallas, for bringing this subject to our attention.
 

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I don't care if it's embarrassing or he doesn't like it, I think it could save lives.
Hey, if Katie Couric can have a colonoscopy on national television, our Sr. Pups can handle a rectal exam! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had to take my 6 year old Toby in for throwing up early in the morning (related to a colitis issue due to an eating indiscretion) for several days and the vet decided he wanted to do an anal exam on him. Toby has always cleaned his anal sacs himself and has never had one done "professionally" before. He survived, his sacs were full (and expressed then and there--stinky!:yuck:) and we were happy to learn no lumps were discovered. I'm not sure if the vet did this because I'm so gun-shy now with Barkley's anal growth, but I did appreciate it. I also asked him to run the senior early detection blood profile to ease my mind.
 

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anal exams

Please make sure veternarians do anal exams. Dr. Reed never did a anal exam on our Golden Retreiver. He lived a year after doing 2 surgeries, radiation, and chemo. I'm glad we had and extra year. We had Pet insurance but it still cost $22,000.
DS
 

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My 11 year old was diagnosed with an anal gland adenocarcinoma last Dec. He usually would have his anal glands expressed by my vet every 3-4 months. Last year it was thought that he had an anal gland impaction and had surgery to remove the anal gland but when my vet got in there he discovered a tumor instead. My vet did not recommend putting my dog at his age through radiation treatments. I also se a holistic vet that suggested a grain free diet and put him on a couple supplements. Fish oil and antioxidents. It's been a year now and continues to do fine as far as his anal glands go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My 11 year old was diagnosed with an anal gland adenocarcinoma last Dec. He usually would have his anal glands expressed by my vet every 3-4 months. Last year it was thought that he had an anal gland impaction and had surgery to remove the anal gland but when my vet got in there he discovered a tumor instead. My vet did not recommend putting my dog at his age through radiation treatments. I also se a holistic vet that suggested a grain free diet and put him on a couple supplements. Fish oil and antioxidents. It's been a year now and continues to do fine as far as his anal glands go.
I'm sorry to hear about your dog's diagnosis and I'm glad he is doing well right now.

The veterinary hospital we use is wonderful. They noted on my Toby's charts (he's almost 7) and do rectal exams whenever I bring him in for anything medical, just to ease my mind.
 

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After we had this discussion the first time, I asked my vet to do it and she said it was a good idea. But he just recently had his next 6 months senior exam and I forgot to ask and she forgot to do it. D'OH!

Must remember ... next time ....
 

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My 10 year old drags her butt after her first poo of the morning everyday - but that's it. I've had the vet check the anal sacs - no need to express. I've had her tested for worms - negative - but did a course of treatment anyway.

Do some dogs just do it for no reason??

I'm taking Tee to the vet Friday for a little growth on her back - I'll ask the vet about this..
 

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Anal exams

Hi,
My Vet never did anal exams so it was caught too late. We did 2 surgeries,
radiation and chemo. If we get another dog I will make sure they do anal exams. I'm so upset up this I cannot even think about getting another Golden
right now. The pain is horrible, I feel we were cheated out of a couple more years with Spencer. We have always been such great dog owners. I found a new vet that practices regular and holistic medicine. Good luck with everything and enjoy your doggie.

Debra S
 
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