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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Anal Abcess?

when I cam home from work yesterday, husband said the dog had been kind of lethargic/not himself all day. I was in a frantic hurry to get supper and get son to his activity, so didn't look much at him. On our way out, I put the dog out to do his thing and noticed that he sat down in the snow (yes, we still have a ton of it) and thought that was weird. Later last evening, we were on the couch together and I noticed him chewing at his bum. I looked and saw a big reddish purple spot!! It looked like a giant nasty pimple with a head on it. When I touched it with a cloth, he yelped, the head popped and some blood and pussy looking stuff came out. Poor baby.
I took him to the vet first things this morning and they said it's probably an anal abcess, but I'm new to dogs and I'm worried. Is this a normal thing?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 03:06 PM
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Is it an anal gland abscess? Tyler had one of those a few weeks ago which also burst and bled before we got to the vet. The vet drained it (very painful), gave him an injection of antibiotic and painkiller and we were good to go. It is the first time in 16+ years that he has had a problem with his anal glands. My first Hav had an abscessed anal gland once as well but also had to have his glands expressed every couple of weeks after that for a while. I know that most dogs don't ever have this problem, but as long as it clears up, there's no need to worry. Just keep an eye out in the future. That being said, Tyler never gave me any indication that he was having a problem before it got to that point. They usually scoot their butts on the floor, carpet, grass or wherever they can or bite under their tails. Good luck and hope he feels better.

Mary (miss you, Bailey-1996-2011 and Tyler-1997-2015)
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 07:54 AM
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Oh, have I been plagued with anal gland problems, well not ME, I hasten to add!! Tycho, my Coton de Tulear. Some dogs have, apparently, very small ducts leading from the anal glands, and they block easily. This can just mean routine expressing of the glands. It can be helped enormously by a raw food diet that contains bones - the stool passed is much harder and denser and does the job of expressing the glands automatically. In Tycho's case, however, despite all possible dietary adjustments, the problems continued. Then he got his first (of three) abscesses; it was really nasty and required a long course of antibiotics. Then it happened again. After the third time we started to discuss what I'd been trying to avoid, which was removal of his anal glands. In the end that is what we did, after much hesitation on my part. I wish now that I'd done it sooner. It does come with some risk - you need a very good surgeon who has done these operations before; but statistically the risk is small (there's a danger of cutting into the sphincter muscle, with predictable results), and far less than the risk of serious infection with continued abscesses - but Tycho has been a changed dog since - no more tail-dragging, no more infection. I do hope you don't ever reach that stage (you probably won't), but IF you do, don't be as scared of it as I was, it really can be a good thing.
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