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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9142
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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My dog was given rimydal and has s anal gland emptied after

Customer Question

My dog was given rimydal and has his anal gland emptied after it enlarged and I had to take him to the vet. Since then he has had very small bowel movements and is struggling to go to the bathroom. I have read the side effect is constipation and I have given him stool softener. Should I be concerned it has been 5 days
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry that Scruffy is having this issue. I do have a few additional questions to ask about him first if you don't mind:

1. Sometimes our dogs will strain when their stools are loose in addition to when they're really hard and firm (such as might be seen with constipation). Is Scruffy producing loose or firm stools even though the volume may be small?

2. What stool softener have you given him? And how often?

3. Did your vet do a thorough rectal exam or did he just empty the anal glands (if you know)?

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There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He just emptied the anal glad. His stools are hard and I gave him a brand called stool ease and he took on tablet yesterday.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the answers to my questions although I'm sorry about the nonsense text (I seem to be having a problem with the site).

Some patients with anal gland issues will continue to act uncomfortable and might strain after their glands are emptied but this doesn't sound like his problem for two reasons:

1. It's been five days and he should be back to normal by now and

2. His stools should be a normal consistency.

Even if he was reluctant to have a bowel movement because his anal glands were causing discomfort/pain (therefore more water was extracted from his feces), I would have this to have resolved after his glands were emptied.

And, if the drugs he was taking were responsible, I would expect the stools to return to normal as well once the offending drug had been discontinued.

In many cases, we're not entirely sure why the stools for some patients are firmer and harder than they should be but the goal is to soften the stools so they're easier to pass but not to the point where they're loose.

Increasing fluid as you did by adding canned food is always a good first step.

I wasn't familiar with this particular product that you've been giving him (Stool Ease) but looked up the ingredient list online. It would appear to have basically a lot of fiber in it which isn't necessarily a bad thing but may not be as effective as an actual oral laxative might be.

The following list of options is what I typically suggest for my owners whose dogs are having this problem:

1. Laxatone or Laxaire (or similar products) which are hairball laxatives for cats. These products will work very well on a smaller dog. They are available at pet or grain stores. You would give 1-3 inches 2-3 times a day.

2. Canned pumpkin (NOT the pie mix); ½ -1 tsp daily in food

3. Over the counter, human Miralax 1/4-1/2th tsp twice daily is quite an effective laxative for dogs (and cats) as well as humans.

4. Oral Docusate Sodium (Colace) 25 mg once or twice a day for small dogs.

There are other products such as Lactulose or Cisapride but I typically only suggest them for dogs with chronic constipation issues; they would also have to be dispensed or prescribed by your vet.

I'm not certain if I would continue the Stool Ease since additional fiber can actually cause constipation issues for some dogs. You'll have to decide if you think it was helping or making the problem worse.

I hope this helps and that he receives relief soon. Kind regards, Deb

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am getting worried and I am in a part of the country where it will be difficult to get him to a vet. Is this dangerous or most likely will he return to normal?
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

I can understand your concern but I wouldn't consider this to be dangerous per se nor one which would require a vet visit...not at this stage anyway. He's still producing a stool but we just need to try and soften it so he's not straining so much.

If this is a drug reaction, then he should return to normal after the drug has been discontinued, usually within 24-36 hours. If he's no longer taking Rimadyl and he's still producing a hard stool, then the drug wasn't responsible if this makes sense.

Deb

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand that. He is currently struggling with one stool that is hard and I feel like once he passes that he will be fine. Will the laxatives help with the initial stool being pushed out?
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

My apologies if I misunderstood. I thought he had been straining for several days and was producing hard, firm stools every time he went.

If this isn't the case and he has stool which is right at the anal opening, then oral laxatives may not be as effective; sometimes if you can remove enough hard feces that are present right at the anal opening, the patient is able to evacuate the remainder. The following are manual extraction methods for you to consider:

1. If you'd like to try and remove fecal material manually, the following is how you would do so: Place a latex glove on your hand and lubricate it really well with K/Y jelly or Petroleum Jelly and lubricate his rectum, too. Gently insert your index finger into his anus up to your first or second knuckle, and hook your finger into fecal material and gently retract it. You may need to perform this procedure several times.
I would have someone helping you since this may be a little uncomfortable and you don't want to get injured yourself.
I understand that this is not something that everyone will feel comfortable doing.

2. Another option would be if you have a large syringe or turkey baster, you can also give him a warm water enema. Obviously, this is not for the faint hearted. I would lubricate the end of the syringe or baster as I mentioned above, gently insert into his rectum about 1 inch and gently squeeze the warm water into him.
You may also need to repeat this procedure several times to loosen up the hard stool.
Every step should be done gently so as not to hurt him.

3. You can give him an over the counter, human enema if it has DSS (docusate sodium) on the label. Another enema option would be a single pediatric glycerin suppository and would be my first choice if an enema of this sort is to be given.

Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I'm following up on our conversation about Scruffy. How are things going with her? Deb