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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19836
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My Golden Retrievers anal sacs are not impacted they ...

Customer Question

My Golden Retriever''s anal sacs are not impacted they just leak. When she is sleeping, chewing on a bone, etc. I can find nothing about this problem. What can I do? She will be 4 in June, is on Vegetarian food, and is healthy otherwise.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

You won't find much on this issue online. What is happening is that your dog's anal glands are not expressing on the dog's stool as it should be. This is usually due to the fact that a dog is not having firm stools. According to some research done the main reason dogs develop problems with their anal glands are due to being fed soft foods, table scraps and marinated foods which prevents the formation of firm stools which naturally help keep the anal glands emptied. Additionally the ingestion of non-food items, parasitic infections such as worms, and a genetic predisposition are additional factor in some cases.

So there are a few things you can do to help prevent this leaking. You can be sure your dog is parasite free by getting a stool sample tested. In addition, adding a spoonful of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) to her food should help absorb excess fluids and keep the stool firm. A firm stool will keep the anal gland fluid expressing on the stools properly.

In addition, you can regularly express the glands yourself to keep the amount of fluid in the glands down. You can read how to do this on the following sites.

I hope this information is helpful to you.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
She has firm stools and she does not have parasites.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

It certainly can't hurt to add some pumpkin to her food. It might help. If her stools are firm enough, then your only option would be keeping the glands emptied on a regular basis so they do not fill up and leak. It will take some trial and error to find how often this will be necessary for you your dog. It will depend on how quickly the glands fill.

Anal gland removal is an option but usually done when a dog has problems with them becoming infected on a regular basis. Removal can also cause fecal incontinence, so you might be trading one problem for another.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Honestly, you did not tell me anything new or that I didn't already know.
My dog is healthly - I know she does not have parasites. She does have firm stools - I clean up after both my dogs almost immediately. She does not get table scraps or marinated foods, and she eats dry kibble.
A girl at work gives her dog pumpkin for her dog's 'impacted' anal sacs but she said it is not working.
I already take her to the vet to express her anal sacs - not helping really - she still leaks and sometimes it is within a day or two of getting them expressed.
My vet has already talked to me about the removal option, I have the paperwork and quote - which I really do not want to because of the possible sideeffects/complications that could occur and the price.
So, with all that said - your advise was not helpful.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

It is impossible for us to know what information you are already aware of unless you choose to share that with us prior to us spending the time to impart that information to you.

As for the pumpkin not helping your friends dog, that dog has impacted glands (clogged) which is a totally different problem than ones that leaking on a regular basis. However, regardless, if you did not find any of the information helpful, you are under no obligation to accept.