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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Scout had to have her anal glands expressed a few weeks ago and now she is butt scooting all over again. This is not cool. She's too young for this and I do now want this to become a regular occurrence.

It has been brought to my attention that this could be diet related so now I am considering changing her food. She is on Purina Pro Plan Performance. I have heard and sympathized with the 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' but I am not thrilled about her anal issues. I haven't done a lot of research. I cringe at the price of Orijen, and have looked at Wellness. What about Blue Buffalo?

Has anyone had this problem and made a switch that helped?
 

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Rather than switching foods, you can try adding fiber to her diet. Carrots are one way to do this, as is adding some bran to the food in their bowl. Some have used Metamucil. A little can go a long way-if her stools become loose, cut back on what you are giving her.
 

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A Great Pyr I had, went through a period of about 5 months where every 4 to 6 months, his anal sacs would act up. A breeder recommended giving him one piece of shredded wheat cereal daily. He never had a problem again.
 

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Blue Buffalo really ticked me off with an entirely misleading ad on Animal Planet yesterday. I suppose that's not too germane to a discussion of the food's quality, but I don't really trust a company that plays off misconceptions.

Also, I've heard that more fiber can help express the glands properly, so maybe it's worth simply adding some pumpkin or another stool-bulker to her diet, like the shredded what the other poster suggested?
 

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A Great Pyr I had, went through a period of about 5 months where every 4 to 6 months, his anal sacs would act up. A breeder recommended giving him one piece of shredded wheat cereal daily. He never had a problem again.
That's what I do. Seems to help.
 

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Changing to a higher fiber food or simply adding fiber (ground flaxseed is another option to those aforementioned) to the current food should remedy the problem...if you choose to supplement, just check with your vet on the proper amount needed for your pooch.
 

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i do some rotational feeding with my dogs. I've found that on certain formulas a little "butt scooting" would start happening. Adding a good-sized spoonful of plain canned pumpkin or some shredded carrot with a meal usually fixed the problem. Ideally, I'd rather feed formulas where something like that isn't needed. Sometimes it's not just the % of fiber but also the source of fiber that seemed to make a difference. You don't really have to go high-priced (like Orijen) to find a formula that would help.
 

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Magica Goldens
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Scout had to have her anal glands expressed a few weeks ago and now she is butt scooting all over again. This is not cool. She's too young for this and I do now want this to become a regular occurrence.

It has been brought to my attention that this could be diet related so now I am considering changing her food. She is on Purina Pro Plan Performance. I have heard and sympathized with the 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' but I am not thrilled about her anal issues. I haven't done a lot of research. I cringe at the price of Orijen, and have looked at Wellness. What about Blue Buffalo?

Has anyone had this problem and made a switch that helped?
If she's having issues on a food, I don't think that qualifies as "it's not broke don't fix it". Usually though with the pro plan foods you're feeding enough volume to naturally express the anal glands - so you could be dealing with a food allergy that is affecting the glands.

Worth discussion is the concept of once you manually express the anal sacs you will have to express them more often - I loathe hearing from my students that their groomer expresses their dog every other week as part of a regular grooming/bath - its only making it necessary for them to be expressed that often.

A couple of times in the last 6 months I've worked with dogs that were a little glandy smelling - mostly after they'd been on a bit of a diet (low volume). It's easy enough to put some bulk in their diets (pumpkin, barley, rice, oatmeal, banana, carrots, etc) for a couple of days and see if the problem resolves on it's own (IME, it does - and quite rapidly).

There could be other reasons she's scooting though - if not the glands, scooting can also be indicative of worms (making them itchy)...

Erica
 

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For those who suggested metamucil, flax seed, etc....how much are we talking (Tablespoon)? Each meal? Once a day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She is on Heartgard Plus, so I doubt worms other than tapes, but I should see little eggs in her stool, right? Gosh, she does eat goose poop when given the chance...and cat...and...

If I don't switch foods the other option was to add fiber (such as pumpkin). Maybe I will do that first and see how it goes. I am just trying to weigh my options. I would hate to get to a point where I am giving her XXX and XXX and XXX....instead of just switching her food if that was enough.

And I have heard that the more you manually express the more you have to. This is why I want to nip this in the bud now. Didn't realize at first that it could be nutritional.
 

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I've been told that the stool must be firm enough to express the anal glands on their own during a normal bowel movement. If Scout's BM's aren't firm enough, that is why she is dragging her rear. Adding fiber makes the stool firmer, thus expressing the glands better. I would atleast try the shredded wheat (3-4) for a couple weeks to see if there is a difference. At least then you will know if you're dealing with. From then you can either change to a more fibrous food or consult your vet about other possible problems. Good luck!
 

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She is on Heartgard Plus, so I doubt worms other than tapes, but I should see little eggs in her stool, right? Gosh, she does eat goose poop when given the chance...and cat...and...

If I don't switch foods the other option was to add fiber (such as pumpkin). Maybe I will do that first and see how it goes. I am just trying to weigh my options. I would hate to get to a point where I am giving her XXX and XXX and XXX....instead of just switching her food if that was enough.

And I have heard that the more you manually express the more you have to. This is why I want to nip this in the bud now. Didn't realize at first that it could be nutritional.
You might occasionally spot a round worm, if the infestation is really bad but for the most part, no, you would not see hook or whipworms and generally not roundworms either. Heartgard works against heartworm, roundworm and hooks, but not whipworms or tapes.

If she is eating goose poop, she might pick up something from that, such as coccidia or giardia, but unless she is having problems with loose stools, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

If she has been having some soft stools, you could run a stool in for a fecal. Have them check for coccidia/giardia as well as worms.
 

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Magica Goldens
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If I don't switch foods the other option was to add fiber (such as pumpkin). Maybe I will do that first and see how it goes. I am just trying to weigh my options. I would hate to get to a point where I am giving her XXX and XXX and XXX....instead of just switching her food if that was enough.
I'd start by adding some bulk - you can do that right away without any change in anything else - it may just solve the issue for now. If you find out that she does great on her current food but needs a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin once a week then you have a battle plan. If that doesn't work, then you can try something else - if it does work you can take a step back and reevaluate the whole picture, rather than changing several things (food, fiber, worming, etc) at once. You wouldn't know what made the problem better - and you wouldn't know what made the problem worse.

I don't expect you'd see worms just by looking - unless they were REALLY bad. As for the fecal, you shouldn't need an appointment w/ your vet - just drop off a stool sample - or you could do a proactive worming anyway.

FWIW, I'd go with a natural source of bulk/fiber before going the metamucil route...but that's just me (and my desire for predictable results in matters of the bowel)...

Erica
 

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Good luck finding canned pumpkin to supplement. I went on a quest last week and was told there won't be any more until next Thanksgiving due to a bad crop last fall. There is plenty of canned pumpkin pie filling available though. :(
 

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Good luck finding canned pumpkin to supplement. I went on a quest last week and was told there won't be any more until next Thanksgiving due to a bad crop last fall. There is plenty of canned pumpkin pie filling available though. :(
I had heard that too, but I think there may be some regional supply differences. I went to my grocery store and could have bought 16 cans of plain Libby pumpkin if I had wanted to. I know people in other parts of the country who have problems finding it. Sometimes, food co-ops will have supplies of other brands.
 

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For those who suggested metamucil, flax seed, etc....how much are we talking (Tablespoon)? Each meal? Once a day?
Brady had seemingly endless problems with soft stools for most of his puppyhood. In his case it was a combination of giardia and food allergies. As a result he had anal gland problems too (and got them infected at one point). We tried pumpkin but that made him gassy; he's allergic to wheat and oats so can't use those, so we use metamucil. One teaspoon at each meal. Remember, of course that every dog is different so you may need to play with that amount up or down to see what gives you the best results. One note: It should not be given dry because of the slight risk of the fiber causing obstruction. We sprinkle it on Brady's dry kibble and then add enough water to mix it in. It can also be mixed with wet food if you use that. So far it's worked well for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I guess I am going to the store and trying pumpkin before I worry about anything else. Her stools are firm though...

And isn't possible to see tapeworm eggs looking like grains of rice in their stool? I know you don't see the other worms, but considering she's on heartgard that rules out some, and then being in a dry climate I *doubt* whipworms. I don't think you really see them here.
 

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Our yellow Lab Pearl has anal gland problems and has had one get infected and abcess a couple of times. I feed California Natural Herring and Sweet Potato. I mix California Natural low calorie with it. I believe it is lamb and rice. Knock on wood she has not had any flare ups in a year.
 

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Magica Goldens
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Good luck finding canned pumpkin to supplement. I went on a quest last week and was told there won't be any more until next Thanksgiving due to a bad crop last fall. There is plenty of canned pumpkin pie filling available though. :(
Ahh...easy solution for that :) Head over to the frozen vegetable section. The frozen squash (no flavorings or sauces) will accomplish the same goal...(I've used squash in my "pumpkin" pies too).
Erica
 
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