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I'm working on an article for WDJ on anal sacs - what they are, what they do, common problems, management, tx, etc.

Looking to hear from a breeders (seeking breeders vs. pet owners for the direct involvement with a high number of dogs) who have had repeated success combating anal sac issues with a specific course of action. Did you have dogs who had repeated problems until you tried *fill in the blank*? Do you now recommend *fill in the blank* to your clients, and as a result, have they generally been spared anal sac drama?

I've spoken with a traditional and holistic vet.

Feel free to comment here, via PM or directly to my email at StephanieColman (at) sbcglobal.net. Also, let me know if you'd be available this weekend for an interview if I need further info/details.

Thanks!
 

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I know the one and only thing I need to know about these.

The Vet knows what they are and how to deal with them :)
 

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bumping up
 

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Both Allie & Luna have a history of needing to have theirs expressed because they "scoot".

We were told by two completely different veterinarians to give them Metamucil, which we do -one spoonful in their bowl with some warm water, give it a couple of minutes to absorb, then put the kibble in with more warm water.

They get that twice a day but still need periodic "squeezin' ". I imagine that they might need it more often if they didn't have that supplemental fiber in their diets.

Neither of them have ever had a problem/abnormality with their glands.

That's about all I know about that... LOL


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I'll be very interested to read your article Stephanie! I only have experience from the pet owner side and now that dog has a suspected anal adenocarcinoma caught early due to anal sac expressions every 2 weeks.
 

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I am interested also as Miley just started having this issue during her 2nd heat last fall.I hate to see her scooting as it has to be very uncomfortable.The odd part is her stools are solid as can be and she is on RX Hill's R/D dog food to loose weight.
 

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I first posted this 7/26/07

First, since anal gland "juice" is the foulest smelling substance known to man, we could win wars with the stuff. Put some in capsules and drop 'em on the enemy. They'd surrender in a heartbeat...
Second, and the best advice you'll ever NOT pay for:
The thing today is that vets and vet techs want to do "Client Education". This means, that because THEY do not want to express anal glands (and from experience I can tell you that before a dog comes in with impacted anal glands, the entire staff is either drawing straws, or trying to outbid each other with cold hard cash to NOT be the one to have to do the procedure...) they will try to teach YOU, the pet owner, to do it yourself. Your answer should be this: "No, thank you very much. I do not care if it costs one million dollars, YOU do it, please." "****" the staff will say, and the employee who lost the draw will wipe away the tears, buck up, and tend to your dog, knowing full well that they will inevitably get some on them and therefore will smell like a herd of camels who rolled in dead alewives for approximately two weeks.
Third, aside from the fact that it is a very nasty undertaking, those little glands are quite easily ruptured, and you really do NOT want to deal with that amusing little adventure.

Because normally the glands are expressed whenever the dog has a bowel movement, and we now have higher quality foods available to us that tout smaller, firmer stools (hope no one is eating dinner...) it is helpful when a dog is having problems with impaction to add a little Metamusil to the food, which helps temporarily bulk up the stools, thereby helping to express the glands during a BM. If impaction is occurring frequently, your vet can express the glands and inject a bit of Panalog into the sack, with usually takes care of the problem right away. Also, this is a problem that some dogs, usually boy Goldens, experience but tend to outgrow, for whatever reason.
Routine expression of the glands is not recommended, as you are then creating "supply and demand' - like milking a cow - the more you do it the more you need to.

There. Million dollar advice for nuthin'. I HATE those little buggers, and cannot believe that God put them in skunks AND Golden Retrievers!

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As I posted abover, this is sometimes a problem with young adolescent male GRs, and they seem to outgrow it. Know, too, that expression of the glands can occur when the dog is frightened or stressed.
(I am also not a fan of surgically removing them unless it is the absolute last resort.)
 

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Unfortunately my 12 year 8 month old golden retriever never outgrew the anal sac thing. He has terrible allergies and his regular vet and acupuncture vet, metamucil, pumpkin, chinese herbs and diet have not been able to eliminate his inability to properly express. I wish it went away as he matured but we weren't so lucky. We were told that the allergies could be the trigger.

The best advice our acupuncture vet gave us was to get it done by the vet and pay them handsomely. We definitely took that advice.

A golden owned by a friend also had this problem and developed an anal adenocarcinoma at age 11. Immediately after Barkley's splenectomy he was having an issue with his eliminations and in his post surgical exam I asked his vet to go ahead and express them to give him some relief (he was very full). That's when the anal growth was discovered that they suspect to be an adenocarcinoma. A double whammy. Given the hemangiosarcoma is more aggressive at this point, we'll focus on it and monitor the anal growth at his follow-up visits for the chemo.

Stephanie, I'd be curious to know if you find a correlation between anal sac issues in mature goldens and later anal cancers. Fortunately our 6 year old golden takes care of his anal sacs himself, but we are going to be adding an anal examination to his annual veterinary exam just to ease our minds.
 

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Unfortunately my 12 year 8 month old golden retriever never outgrew the anal sac thing. He has terrible allergies and his regular vet and acupuncture vet, metamucil, pumpkin, chinese herbs and diet have not been able to eliminate his inability to properly express. I wish it went away as he matured but we weren't so lucky. We were told that the allergies could be the trigger.

The best advice our acupuncture vet gave us was to get it done by the vet and pay them handsomely. We definitely took that advice.

A golden owned by a friend also had this problem and developed an anal adenocarcinoma at age 11. Immediately after Barkley's splenectomy he was having an issue with his eliminations and in his post surgical exam I asked his vet to go ahead and express them to give him some relief (he was very full). That's when the anal growth was discovered that they suspect to be an adenocarcinoma. A double whammy. Given the hemangiosarcoma is more aggressive at this point, we'll focus on it and monitor the anal growth at his follow-up visits for the chemo.

Stephanie, I'd be curious to know if you find a correlation between anal sac issues in mature goldens and later anal cancers. Fortunately our 6 year old golden takes care of his anal sacs himself, but we are going to be adding an anal examination to his annual veterinary exam just to ease our minds.
I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this. I understand that anal adenocarcinoma is more commonly seen in older females than in males. There hasn't yet been any correlation made to the frequent impaction of anal sacs and the cancer, but the cancers are most often found during routine expressions. We've always done rectal exams as part of routine physicals on our older dogs (beginning at around age 7). I've only had 2 dogs with anal sac issues. One did outgrow it, the other still has occasional "flare ups". The first dog lived to age 14 and did not have cancer. Graham is otherwise very healthy at age 8.5.
 

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I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this. I understand that anal adenocarcinoma is more commonly seen in older females than in males. There hasn't yet been any correlation made to the frequent impaction of anal sacs and the cancer, but the cancers are most often found during routine expressions. We've always done rectal exams as part of routine physicals on our older dogs (beginning at around age 7). I've only had 2 dogs with anal sac issues. One did outgrow it, the other still has occasional "flare ups". The first dog lived to age 14 and did not have cancer. Graham is otherwise very healthy at age 8.5.
I guess it's one of life's little ironies that the younger males have the anal sac issues that usually resolve and the older females get the anal cancers.
 

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Anal glands

Please have your vet check your Goldens Anal Glands. Our Veternarian never checked Spencer's anal glands and he ended up with anal adneocarcinoma. We took him to the Vet for all his exams, blood panels, titer tests, xrays etc.
We were very lucky to have him another year. We did 2 surgeries, radation and the new Chemo Palladia. Dr. Fineman in San Jose was wonderful. I just want to get the word out there and you don't have to go through the pain we are going through now.
 
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