Hi Marge, I share your pain. My 4 and 1/2 year old boy Jasper has the same problem. Poor Jasper's glands are in the wrong place so even if I gave him tons of fiber her would not be able to release them on his on (unless of course he gets very anxious and then he releases them in my usually just cleaned house.) He too hates it, and he hates it when they are full, I know because he withdraws from us. He is all happy again once the vet has done the deed.
Here is what I know, if it helps...Many vets say fiber, fiber, fiber. not sure if fromms has a weight loss formula, but they are usually higher in fiber. Wellness has a grain free weight loss formula that is pretty high in fiber too. Of course if Barney's are misplaced like Jasper's this will not help...maybe next time at your vets ask if they are positioned to released on their own.
My vet has a theory that the glands could be related to allergies... they are a secretion just like noses and eyes... we have tried switching proteins and it helps a bit. But I have not tried the real elimination diet that is needed to really detect allergies.
A Canine nutritionist I have worked with suggested a powder called "arabinogalactin powder" it is from the larch tree and is basically a fiber, but also prebiotic and a wonderful immune support. When we started using it, we went from having to express every 4 weeks to every 6 or 8. the secretion is also a lot clearer. It is a little tricky as too much makes it worse... you kind of have to figure out what works for Barney. I would say Jasper gets a little more than 1/4 tsp a day split between each meal.
But It still has to be done and not from the outside either...but my vet is teaching me how to do this...it is not all that hard and if you can do it right before a bath, not that nasty. (ok it is nasty, but better than it seeping out onto your furniture right?) So perhaps your vet can teach you...my experience is as much as they like your money this is one job they are happy to give up.
I have tried to do research on the surgery-- but it seems like it can cause incontinence, but I would love to know if anyone here has had experience with AG removal surgery.
good luck, let me know if you try the powder.