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Hello everyone!


I want to preface this by saying that my dog has been to two vets (his primary care vet, and a specialist) - I am writing here just to see if anybody has any thoughts on his condition.


My dog Connor is a 4-year-old chiweenie (chihuahua/dachshund mix). He's always had very minor anal gland problems (he's a bit leaky sometimes!) but he gets them expressed either externally by his groomer or internally by his primary care vet. We took him to the groomer for his normal bath, and we asked them to express his glands because he'd been a bit uncomfortable with them. After that appointment, he started yelping very sharply when defecating - I'm not sure it's related, but that is when it started.


We took Connor to his vet and she did a rectal exam. She didn't feel any masses, and his prostate was OK as well. She said his butt was a little bit inflamed, so she prescribed him an antibiotic and Prednisone. After finishing that course of medication, Connor was still yelping, so we went back. This time, she prescribed him metronidazole and another anti-inflammatory - still no improvement. At this point, she referred us to an internal medicine specialist, who we saw yesterday.


The internal medicine vet took an X-Ray of Connor, because she suspected that he has back problems. She did a rectal exam and said he only really reacted when she pushed upward, which is what informed her decision to do an X-Ray. The X-Ray came back completely normal - she even showed it to another specialist, and he said it was normal as well. Connor is now on gabapentin for the next 14 days. The internal medicine vet said if he doesn't improve, she's going to refer us to a neurologist. I can't help but feel that this is a local issue in his rectum and they're missing something, but I also can't really argue with an expert!


I should mention that other than this problem, Connor is completely normal. He eats and drinks normally, and he's very energetic and always wants to play. He only yelps when that very first poop comes out - sometimes he yelps loudly and sometimes it's just a whimper. I think it is related to the shape and consistency of the feces. Also, his poop is completely normal - no blood or mucus to be seen.



And that's the story! Has anybody ever experienced this before? Does anybody have a hunch of what this might be, and if going to a neurologist is really a good next step?


Thanks so much in advance! :D
 

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You should listen to the vets but, do ask if he might need more fiber in his diet or, something to soften his stool for a while until the problem is healed/found. If not that then, the vet may be able to give you something to make his go more comfortable for him.
 

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Don't have much to offer, other than follow your Vets advice. If he doesn't improve, the neurologist might be the specialist you need to track down what hurts. We have had ours under the care of a neurologist for the past several months, due to an auto-immune issue. Brace yourself for the costs, ours needed an MRI and a spinal tap. The upside, is ours is doing much much better.
 

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Did they check his anal glands to make sure they were not messed up the last time you had them expressed? That would be what I most suspected given that his problem is when he defecates.

I also have a Chi x Dach and I finally figured out his anal glad problems are related to a sensitivity to chicken. If he gets more then a bite or two of chicken a couple times a week his anal glands start to act up. This week I've been a bad mama and have given him little pieces of chicken 4 days in a row and last night noticed that he's having problems with those glands, so it's back to cutting all chicken out of his diet. I also give him 1/4 tsp of oat brand 2x a day to help bulk up his stool and keep the anal glands expressed.
 

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You should listen to the vets but, do ask if he might need more fiber in his diet or, something to soften his stool for a while until the problem is healed/found. If not that then, the vet may be able to give you something to make his go more comfortable for him.

That's a good idea - will do! Hopefully it'll at least ease his pain a little bit.
 

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Don't have much to offer, other than follow your Vets advice. If he doesn't improve, the neurologist might be the specialist you need to track down what hurts. We have had ours under the care of a neurologist for the past several months, due to an auto-immune issue. Brace yourself for the costs, ours needed an MRI and a spinal tap. The upside, is ours is doing much much better.

As worried as I am about Connor, I'm worried about the costs as well. It's almost impossible to take good care of your pet without paying an arm and a leg nowadays!



Could I ask what symptoms your dog was showing? If you don't want to share, that's okay too!
 

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Did they check his anal glands to make sure they were not messed up the last time you had them expressed? That would be what I most suspected given that his problem is when he defecates.

I also have a Chi x Dach and I finally figured out his anal glad problems are related to a sensitivity to chicken. If he gets more then a bite or two of chicken a couple times a week his anal glands start to act up. This week I've been a bad mama and have given him little pieces of chicken 4 days in a row and last night noticed that he's having problems with those glands, so it's back to cutting all chicken out of his diet. I also give him 1/4 tsp of oat brand 2x a day to help bulk up his stool and keep the anal glands expressed.

I am actually not too sure if they checked his anal glands - I will bring it up with the specialist if his problem isn't solved and we have to see her again.



Aw, I'd also bend to my dog begging me for chicken since he loves it so much! I had my dog taking anal gland support supplements to bulk up his stool, but I've stopped for now until this issue can be resolved.
 

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I am actually not too sure if they checked his anal glands - I will bring it up with the specialist if his problem isn't solved and we have to see her again.



Aw, I'd also bend to my dog begging me for chicken since he loves it so much! I had my dog taking anal gland support supplements to bulk up his stool, but I've stopped for now until this issue can be resolved.
LOL, yep Zody waits ever so patiently for me to finish then he's seems to say, "I was a really good boy! Where's my piece?" It's so hard to say no!

The nice thing about the oat bran is that it doesn't make things too hard or big. Just seems to firm everything up so it empties the glands.
 

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As worried as I am about Connor, I'm worried about the costs as well. It's almost impossible to take good care of your pet without paying an arm and a leg nowadays!



Could I ask what symptoms your dog was showing? If you don't want to share, that's okay too!

Medical costs for our pets are not inexpensive. Our dog was in a lot of pain, would yelp when she moved her head, didn't want to walk, or move much. She could not pick up anything from the floor. Her diagnosis is sterile meningitis, which is not viral or bacterial, but an auto-immune problem where her immune system literally attacks her central nervous system. She has been on huge doses of steroids to mute her immune system, and of course all those steroids have terrible side effects. We fortunately are at the stage of slowly withdrawing her from the steroids, cutting the dose in half every two to three weeks. We hope for no relapse, which the neurologist is 'cautiously optimistic' about.


Your dog may well have nothing more than an irritated anal gland, but if your Vets say that is not it, you need to find out what is going on. Neurologist can rule out, or in, a spinal issue, including pressure on the spinal cord, which can manifest itself in many different ways, from mild discomfort, to acute pain and possibly paralysis, or worse. Truthfully the tests were not inexpensive, the MRI alone was right about $2000.00. We fortunately have medical insurance for her, which has helped a lot. It hasn't paid everything, but has covered about three quarters of it. With medical costs today, I have found carrying medical insurance for our fur baby is as necessary as it is for us. We have been fighting this for several months, and as of right now, Samantha seems to be responding well. She is not in pain, non that I can detect, still very weak, but more and more aware and interested in what's going on around her, something, that for awhile she did not care about at all.


Please keep us posted on your progress with Connor.
 

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LOL, yep Zody waits ever so patiently for me to finish then he's seems to say, "I was a really good boy! Where's my piece?" It's so hard to say no!

The nice thing about the oat bran is that it doesn't make things too hard or big. Just seems to firm everything up so it empties the glands.

Connor does exactly the same thing! If that's Zody in your profile picture, he has very similar coloring to Connor. :)


That's good to know re: the oat bran. Thanks for the tip!


Medical costs for our pets are not inexpensive. Our dog was in a lot of pain, would yelp when she moved her head, didn't want to walk, or move much. She could not pick up anything from the floor. Her diagnosis is sterile meningitis, which is not viral or bacterial, but an auto-immune problem where her immune system literally attacks her central nervous system. She has been on huge doses of steroids to mute her immune system, and of course all those steroids have terrible side effects. We fortunately are at the stage of slowly withdrawing her from the steroids, cutting the dose in half every two to three weeks. We hope for no relapse, which the neurologist is 'cautiously optimistic' about.


Your dog may well have nothing more than an irritated anal gland, but if your Vets say that is not it, you need to find out what is going on. Neurologist can rule out, or in, a spinal issue, including pressure on the spinal cord, which can manifest itself in many different ways, from mild discomfort, to acute pain and possibly paralysis, or worse. Truthfully the tests were not inexpensive, the MRI alone was right about $2000.00. We fortunately have medical insurance for her, which has helped a lot. It hasn't paid everything, but has covered about three quarters of it. With medical costs today, I have found carrying medical insurance for our fur baby is as necessary as it is for us. We have been fighting this for several months, and as of right now, Samantha seems to be responding well. She is not in pain, non that I can detect, still very weak, but more and more aware and interested in what's going on around her, something, that for awhile she did not care about at all.


Please keep us posted on your progress with Connor.

Yes, they absolutely are not inexpensive. And, really, no matter the cost, I would do anything to make sure Connor is healthy and happy. :)


Thanks for sharing all those details! I'm so happy to hear that Samantha is improving. I genuinely hope that she won't relapse.



I will definitely keep you all posted. I e-mailed the vet a video of Connor defecating (at her request), so maybe that'll help us shed some light on the situation.
 

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Sending videos to the Vet was really helpful for us. When we took Samantha to the Vet, she managed to pump herself full of adrenalin, and was moving around fairly well. The video I sent the Vet from home cemented the diagnosis, which I believe she was already convinced of. For a number of weeks I sent a video every week, from which the Vet was able to see how much progress Samantha was making. It also saved us trips to the neurology center, which is 40 or 50 miles from home, and California freeways are just not that much fun. I would have made the trip as often as necessary, had the neurologist wanted to examine her, hands on, but she got enough information from my weekly video. Samantha has been with us for over eight years, and is family, so as long as there is any hope, we will continue to go the distance. Right now she is looking fairly good, we just got back from a walk, she went 8/10ths of a mile, which is the furthest she has gone since all this started in April. As her dose of steroids is reduced, I am very gradually helping her rebuild muscle mass, she lost so much of during this ordeal.
 

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Yes, they absolutely are not inexpensive. And, really, no matter the cost, I would do anything to make sure Connor is healthy and happy. :)
Of course. But to be realistic, there are limits to finances. And my vet just asked why I ordered a supplement online rather than get it from her. And who did I buy it from. It is my right to get my supplies from wherever I choose. Believe me, my last bill was $700. And I'm still paying down critical care bills from several years ago, when a vet botched anesthesia (it was a reaction to anesthesia; it was botched and has been dealt with... but I am left with the bills). Finances are not infinite, and vet costs are astronomical any more.
 
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