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ERAnimalNurse, Emergency Critical Care Nurse
Category: Dog
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Experience:  16+ years of veterinary experience
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My dog is whimpering and knawing at her hind hip area, and

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My dog is whimpering and gnawing at her hind hip area, and won't lay down to go to sleep. If I pet her on the head or back she quiets down. But when I try to get her to lie down, she doesn't. This started yesterday with scooting around on her bottom. We thought it might be anal glands, and we tried to express them, but neither my husband or I could get anything to come out. She is otherwise fine. Eating, drinking, running around, and pooping/peeing. We got some worm medicine, but she threw it up. We can try again tomorrow. She was taking some benadryl for me today, in very small doses, but tonight it is not having an effect on her it seems. I have been trying to get her to go to sleep for two hours, but she just whimpers if I stop petting her. She is panting too. And she only sits up - she never does that, she always lies down with me. Also when I let her out to potty, she squats a little and tries to go, then gives up and walks around and tries again, the walks and tries again halfway, then walks again, etc, until she finally goes poop. Today she hasn't dragged her but on the carpet and ground nearly as much as yesterday, and she is knawing and biting on the skin beside her anus, and making it wet and red. I don't see anything on her skin, and she doesn't have fleas anymore (she had them and we have been treating them). I even put some ointment on that place on her leg (hot spot ointment) but it had no effect. I just want her to go to sleep for awhile, so I can take her tomorrow or figure out what is wrong and fix her myself.



I am sorry Princess is uncomfortable.


Has she ever had any anal gland issues before?


Was she recently groomed?


Is she on any medications?


Which heartworm preventative is she on?


Does she have any known issues with arthritis?


Let me know and I will try to help....

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you - she has never had any problems with her anal glands before.

She is not on any meds, and when we got her last year from humane society she had all the heartworm stuff required. No, no arthritis.


She finally rested at 445 am after I gave more benadryl at 4. It took a LOT to get her to calm down.


She slept until 9 this morning, woke up and was significantly different. Much more calm, quiet, but not totally well. She did lie down for ten seconds maybe more (never did yesterday ever) but then got back into a sitting position.


So far has refused food, but she is drinnking.


She went out to potty and it is obvious something "back there" is bothering her and not right. We did see her poop yesterday, but not this morning, just scooting, and tail shivering like and sometimes back legs shivering type movement, squat and then nothing, move ten feet try again, and again. She is NOT whimpering constantly this morning. Not because she is NOT whimpering I am worried LOL!


I guess overall she seems better? I did put my gloved finger in the anus and try to feel for a ball or mass in the 4 and 8 oclock positions, and nothing there....I also tried pushing in and up from exterior, like I saw in a you tube video, and nothing. I am willing to keep trying, and do something I don't know, warm compresses or massage the area to see if she can empty them herself?


We also thought of worms, she was dewormed last year when we got her, in Dec of 2012, would she still be protected?


I do know she had some bad fleas this summer, and we treated several times for her with stuff from vet. Could she have eaten a flea with worms possibly?


THank you

Thank you for your patience with my questions. Some dogs have pretty deep set anal glands, and some dogs have glands in slightly different areas than the 4 and 8 o'clock positions. She must have thought you'd really lost your mind when you tried to express them :). I think at this point you should consider trying a warm (not hot) compress for about 5 minutes twice a day. You can also pick up some canned pumpkin from the grocery store and see if you can get her to take some. This actually helps bulk up the stool a little, which can help express the anal glands naturally. Normally I would suggest mixing the pumpkin in with the food, but you may have to just give it to her if she is not wanting to eat. I wouldn't give more than one table spoon of the pumpkin twice a day. I know you have seen a you tube video on anal gland expression, but the following link is informative as well. Please understand, I don't think you should try to express the glands again, because it is possible to cause some damage if she does in fact have an abscess brewing back there. I think comfort wise it is better to try the compresses and pumpkin. Any, here is the link.


If she is not vomiting and is holding water down, maybe you could tempt her to eat something other than her food. I know that she might not feel all that great, and that she hasn't had a bowel movement and sometimes eating can help things move along, so to speak. I think you can try some canned chicken, which you can buy from the grocery store (same area as the tuna fish). You don't have to cook it or season it, but you can put it in the microwave for about 12-15 seconds to warm it up if you like. Just be careful you don't cook it too long, we don't want her to burn her mouth. If she doesn't want to eat, don't force it. If she is nauseated then making her eat can make things much worse.


Dogs can scoot because of intestinal parasites, and fleas do contain tapeworms, which infect the dog or cat after they ingest the flea. Please see the following website for more information.


The safest bet for tapeworm meds are those that come from the vet. I'm pretty leery of anything available over the counter, because in my experience they just don't work, and some are pretty unsafe.


It sounds like the benedryl was helpful for her, and you can continue to give it at a dose of 1mg/lb of body weight. You can do this every 8 hours if needed. Be sure not to overdose her, because it can cause some pretty scary symptoms (central nervous system stimulation).


And of course, it is a holiday weekend and Princess is exhibiting the fabulous timing that dogs are known for. While it does not sound like she is too uncomfortable now, it sounded like last night was pretty miserable for both of you. If she gets to that point again, or if she develops more symptoms, consider having her seen by an emergency vet so that she can get some relief and you can both get some sleep. Trust me, we love it when we get "emergency anal glands" or "emergency tapeworms" because it's usually something pretty straightforward and easy to fix, and we know we can make the pet feel better and give the owner's peace of mind. If she does well and can wait to see her regular vet when they open again next week great. You may want to go to the pet store today and pick up an e-collar to keep her from licking at her bottom, just to keep it from getting more raw and uncomfortable. You can also pick up some Boudreaux's Butt paste if the area is particularly raw, as this will soothe it. If you can't find any Boudreaux's, ask the pharmacist about something comparable, just steer clear of steroids added to ointments. Benedryl does have a topical ointment that may be soothing for her if you want to get some. Without an e-collar, whatever you put on her bottom will be licked off.


I hope Princess is back to her normal self very soon, and that she can put this embarrassing issue behind her (pun intended?). Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Have a great holiday, be safe.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Gosh, what an awesome reply. I wish that I could have heard from you sooner, but hey, I understand as you do, about "perfect timing" regarding holiday and middle of the night :)


I will go get the pumpkin and the chicken ASAP, and start the warm compresses as you recommended.


My husband and I both appreciate your thorough reply. We do not have the money for the ER vet, or trust me, we would have taken her asap. We have 6 kids between the two of us, and are pretty brave in taking on non life-threatening home treatments.


I will touch base with you again this evening. Thank you again for your detailed and caring response.

Wow, six kids must make for pretty skilled treatment of bumps and bruises :). It's obvious that you love your pup and that she is in great hands (most people would not be willing to attempt at home anal gland expression). I really hope that she does well, and I will keep my fingers crossed that she gets some relief. I look forward to your update :)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Princess is all better - thank you for all your kind and helpful suggestions!

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