DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt - Part II

In Part I of What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt, I explained that my doggie son Alvin had infected anal glands. The vet's initial solution - a round of antibiotics.

The Followup Vet Visit

Two weeks after the initial vet visit for butt dragging, we were seeing the vet again - all of us - me, my partner, Alvin, and Simon. Simon got a shot, and then Al was up for his post-antibiotics butt check.

Bottom Line - Al's anal glands were still infected.

So the pumpkin added to his diet along with the antibiotics did not work. With our permission, the vet put Al out (sorta), injected the an antibiotic directly into his anal glands, and then brought him out of his semi-conscious state with another injection.

A caution if you have never seen an animal get an an anesthetic - it can be upsetting. The process looks like putting a dog down and Al fought the shot but was clearly losing consciousness. Like my partner, you may want to leave the room and talk to the pet owners in the waiting area.


The injection of antibiotics may heal Al's infection, but we may be faced with recurrent anal expression or the removal of his anal glands. Interestingly, both poodles and cocker spaniels have anal gland problems. Since Al is half cockapoo (poodle/cocker spaniel combo) it figures he would have the issue.

Young and middle-aged dogs routinely have anal gland surgery, but a possible side effect is incontinence. Al's vet claimed he had never had that happen. Turns out one of his vet techs called several of the dog owners whose animals had the surgery before her dog had the operation. None of the owners reported incontinence as a surgical side effect. Good sign that the vet does successful surgeries for anal gland removal.

Al's followup visit is in 2 weeks. One step at a time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt - Part I

Recently, my doggie son Alvin, a Bichon Cockapoo, started dragging his butt on the floor every few hours. If you've never seen this behavior, you'd find it a little weird.

In Al's case, since he continued the dragging for 2 days, we took him to the vet. Turns out that was a good thing, cause he had an infection of his anal glands. The dragging relieves the pressure created by inflamed glands.

The vet expressed the glands and tested the fluid expelled. Since the fluid showed infection, he gave us antibiotics and this scenario: if the infection does not clear up, the vet would sedate Al, and inject an antibiotic right into the glands. And that's not the worst scenario - if Al continues to have infected glands, they may need to be removed.

Now, Al's vet always paints the worst possible scenario. Al's currently doing fine - the medication seems to be clearing up the infection.

Turns out many dogs (and poodles are suspectible - Al is part poodle) require anal gland expression periodically. Obviously, it's best that a vet does the expression because if the fluid is infected, testing can occur immediately. But because of the cost, many owners express the glands themselves.

Since the glands help expel fecal matter, a bulky stool is a necessity. So one way to prevent the problem from happening in the first place is to bulk up the dog's stool. Yup - Metamusil works, but you need to get the amount to give your dog from a vet.

One other preventive measure - pumpkin - the kind that's canned but not spiced. That's helping Alvin relieve himself much easier AND make sure the glands are activated with a bowel movement. A little (a tablespoon) in his food seems to work. Al is a 25-lb dog, so my guess is that more is needed for a medium or large dog.

More about Al's anal gland problem - What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt - Part II.