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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12614
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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We adopted a Boston Terrier last October and noticed after a

Customer Question

We adopted a Boston Terrier last October and noticed after a month or so that she'd express her anal sacs about once a month in the house. We never had a dog that did that before. We took her to the vet for that and some dental issues. He showed me how to express them manually when they got enlarged so we could do it outside.
I did that three times over the course of about three months and then she started leaking anal sac juice about once a week in the house (usually when comfortable in her bed) and now she does it several times a week. I stopped helping her express them after a visit to a second vet who examined her internally and told me she didn't need help with that.That vet expressed them at that time ( about 2 months ago). That vet said she'd stop "leaking" anal juice soon. I am concerned that she might have a tumor or some other problem that is causing the escalation of this leaking. Thanks for your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.
I would be a bit worried about why this is happening to Kizzy as well because leaking anal gland material while asleep is not normal and perhaps could be related to rectal tone issues.
Things to try to see if it helps with the leakage:
- Increase daily walks 15+ minutes once to twice daily. Leash walks can increase gi motility and defecation which encourages anal gland expression while awake
- Make sure she is on a high fiber food. This can be a light formula dog food but you can also supplement fiber to the diet which includes white rice, raw carrots, canned pumpkin. Increasing the bulk and size of the stools will help express the anal glands with defecation
If this is not changing please have her seen for a neurologic exam. If the rectum is relaxing while she is asleep and she is expressing her glands, the next concern is going to be defecating while asleep. It would be great to catch any back issues that the signal to maintain sphincter control while asleep is reduced now and minimize progression of signs.
If there were a tumor causing this issue I would imagine it would have been palpated with the rectal examination with the last veterinary exam and expressing of the glands but there is a possibility this could have been missed as well so if you do need to return a third time to have Kizzy seen for this besides the neurologic exam another rectal exam is definitely warranted.
I hope this information makes sense. Often increased exercise and fiber will reduce the accidents that she is currently experiencing but if there is no change with my recommendations a full neurologic exam is the next step to ensure there is no medical cause for her releasing her glands in her sleep...
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