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What should I do if my dog has a ruptured gland for the second time?

My dogs anal gland recently...
My dogs anal gland recently ruptured, and the vet has put him on an antibiotic, now today his other gland ruptured. I noticed that he was acting weird so I lifted up his tail and the other gland was swollen and puffy and he wouldnt let me touch it, so I took him outside to see if he could go to the bathroom. He was able to poop but then when he came in he sat down and left a blood spot. I put him in the bathroom with warm water and proceeded to try to squeeze out the remainder of the blood. Needless to say he did not enjoy this, it was so sad. His gland still feels like there is hard stuff inside it and it continues to bleed slightly. He also seems very stressed and is licking his paws obsessively. What should I do?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
4/3/2011
DrChristineM
DrChristineM, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,713
Experience: 6 years in small animal medicine
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Hi--is he on anything for pain, or just the antibiotic?
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Nothing for pain, just amoxocillan. I think he is so stressed because I have him in his crate and he doesnt like that, but because he bleeds I wanted to try to contain him to one area.
Ok, one more question. When the first gland ruptured, did your vet flush that gland out?
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
I am not sure, they took him in the back and I did not see. I did him hear him cry though :( They were attempting to clean out his other gland because they felt that it might be close to rupturing, but they couldnt get anything out. Since then (Wednesday) I have been applying warm compresses to the gland that ruptured today.
Ok, thank you for the additional info. For now, you can give him one baby aspirin (81mg) every twelve hours for pain. (Let the vet know that you have given this.)

That gland (and possibly the other one as well) needs to be flushed out. I don't want to tell another vet how to practice medicine, but this is how I was taught to treat anal gland abscesses: the dog is sedated (or if very fractious, general anesthesia). The gland is flushed--to do this, you have to introduce a catheter into the gland and flush out all the solid debris--this will also show that the wound from the rupture is indeed from the gland and not something else. Once your flush runs clear, you infuse the gland with medication (animax cream for example). The dog is then sent home with pain meds and oral antibiotics (personally, I prefer amoxicillin PLUS metronidazole, but that is just my preference) . I have only had one or two repeat abscesses using this method, and those were dogs with previous histories of bowel/diarrhea problems. (Maybe just luck on my part) The reason for doing this is that once there is significant impaction it is very hard to get all the debris out of that gland, especially with swelling and inflammation in the gland. Any debris left in the gland is prone to getting re-infected.

I hope this helps, please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
I see so the fact that the vet never flushed the glands last time they ruptured, this could be why it repeatedly happens? (This is like the 5th time this has happened to my little guy). The vet suggested that we have his anal glands removed. He is 7 years old and I worry about him being sedated. Do you think this is necessary? Should we just do this instead of sedating him to clean out the glands? We do not have a lot of money, and our care credit card is currently maxed out after our other dog needed to have a benign cyst removed from his eyelid. We can try to get a loan from family or something but I would rather just have to sedate him one time and be done with it, though I have read that removing the glands can be bad for the dog if the schipter muscle gets cut. What is your opinion? Also, is it safe to wait until tomorrow to take him to the vet? or would we be better off waiting for it to heal, saving our money, and then making an appointment for the gland removal and be done with it all?
Removing the glands is really a last resort. If treated properly we should be able to prevent this (one thing to also consider if you aren't doing this already, is to have the glands routinely expressed once we get him healed--hopefully this will prevent additional problems). I say this is a last resort since the problems that could happen with the surgery are often more troublesome than what is going on now. Personally, I would recommend trying a thorough flush and infusion with medication followed by routine expression before considering removal.
Yes, you can certainly wait till tomorrow to bring him in (this is not an emergency).
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Should I tell my vet what they need to do or maybe go see a different vet? Their only suggestion is removal of the glands. In order to properly flush the glands you said he may need to be sedated, right? Is that the same type of sedation as when he gets his teeth cleaned? We always tell the groomer to make sure they express his glands, but I am not sure if they actually do it. I have tried to do it myself, but I think around me he gets more tense and he cries. He is my baby so when he cries I cry and I think he uses that to avoid me doing things like that to him. Not that it is his fault, I am certainly made him afraid and I know that is my doing, and I wish he wasnt, but he cries so easily. Also it seems like he is either having an anal gland rupture or he has just had an anal gland rupture, so we always have to tell him groomer to be caredul of his glands. It is sad :(
I know--I do sympathize!! It kind of depends on your vet--some are open to clients asking for different treatments, some are not. Since we you have been dealing with this for a while and no alternative other than a drastic surgery has been offered, I would probably consider seeking a second opinion. That way you are starting fresh and can ask about flushing the glands to see if this helps. The groomer has to express the glands from the outside, which often is not as effective as doing it internally (the way a vet would do it). I know every clinic I have worked at has offered technician appointments for routine anal gland expression, so this is something to consider.

When we clean the teeth, we put the patient under general anesthesia. For this procedure, if the patient is co-operative, I can often do the procedure with just a sedative, but if not, then, yes we have to do general anesthesia.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Yeah I cannot imagine he would be cooperative lol. So would it be safe to wait, finish this round of antibiotics, and then take him to a new vet to have his glands cleaned out? Or is this something we need to do sooner rather than later? Thanks so much for all your help.
That is up to you. I do understand the $$ aspect, so waiting is ok, but if the second gland is still impacted, (which it likely is), then we really should get the gunk out ASAP.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Okay we will do that then, thank you. In the mean time, should we be careful about him going to the bathroom or anything?
No--it will most likely be uncomfortable for him, so prepare yourself for that .

The aspirin and warm compresses will help with discomfort.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thank you so much! :)
No problem. I hope you re able to get this cleared up once and for all!!
DrChristineM
DrChristineM, Veterinarian
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Satisfied Customers: 3,713
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thank you!
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DrChristineM
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