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Old 11-28-2006, 04:43 AM
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Question Dog Food and Anal Glands

I've been feeding Beau Timberwolf Organics for the past few months, and since he's been on it he's been having trouble emptying his anal glands by himself. I actually had to take him to the vet to have them expressed--for the first time ever--a month or so after putting him on TWO, and he's starting to show signs of needing it again. I know I've heard before that higher quality food can cause problems with this because of the lack of grain fillers...especially with dogs that are already prone to having anal gland issues (and chihuahuas seem to fall into this category)...so I don't know whether I should switch his food to something of lower quality, or should I keep him on TWO since it's great in every other way, and just try to deal with this and take him to have his glands expressed periodically? I really don't want to have to deal with them on a consistent basis, and I'm afraid that one day one of them will rupture or become infected or something.

I've been really pleased with this food otherwise, so I hate that this is happening. I've tried supplementing with canned pumpkin, but that doesn't seem to do anything, or at least not enough. I've also thought about trying Chicken Soup, I think I remember reading that it might have more grains in it or something...I could be wrong, I'll have to check on that.

But if anyone has any advice or suggestions on what I should do, I'd appreciate it. I don't know how good it is to keep switching foods on him, I feel like I've changed his food so many times, and he's not even two yet (although he will be in a couple weeks). I just want to find something that I can stick with once and for all.

And by the way, this is kind of unrelated, but can changing foods frequently lead to allergies? Or are allergies more likely to develop if the dog is on the same food for a long time?

Thanks for any help.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2006, 11:58 AM
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This is strictly a personal opinion, but if I felt a food was causing an undersirable side effect of any kind, I would change the food. I wouldn't be able to handle the anal gland thing myself, and taking them to the vet each time would be out of the question financially.

I have the boys on Chicken Soup. When I put them on it; it was all the thing. Two weeks later something else was in. The boys are doing very well on the Chicken Soup, and the vet says they are very healthy dogs so I'm not changing, even if the general concensus is that there are other foods that are better. Stick around, opinions will change again in two weeks! LOL

As for changing foods having anything to do with allergies, not that I am aware of, but changing food is hard on their tummy so I stick to what they're on if it's working... only changing if it's not.

I am not an expert on any of this, this is strictly an opinion and may not hold water! hehe
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:32 PM
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I agree! I wouldn't want to have the anal gland problem with Dolly, so if I found a connection between the food and that, I would change--but once I found a good food that "worked", I would stick with it (I have). It is really, really interesting to me to read all the posts on food, and I do read them because I don't know what the future will hold, but for now, we are pretty happy with Innova. In fact, Dolly does exceptionally well on it, and all three of my dogs love it and have beautiful coats. My older golden mix has had soft stools pretty much since we started it, so I toy with the idea of giving her "her own food", but it's kind of a joke around here since everyone eats everyone else's. I think it's just that tiny bit "richer" than her old stuff, but she looks good and acts fine, so I am living with it.

However, if this was an anal gland issue, I would change! There have been posts on them rupturing and that seems to be an absolutely horrible experience.

Good luck!
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:31 PM
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My 2 poodles and Chico are on Innova adult. All 3 dogs get their anal glands expressed regularly and I do it myself. Probably every 2 weeks is the frequency. It's very easy to do externally. Takes about 15 seconds. Get your vet to show you how.
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:22 PM
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EVERY TWO WEEKS!?!? That's something I wouldn't want to deal with. I've only seen Boop do a butt scoot once or twice and it was months ago, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her anal glands are draining normally.
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:43 PM
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In my opinion, if the food isn't working well with the dog then it's not the right food. Chloe has allergies so that limits a lot of the foods and treats that I can feed her. I'm using Naural Balance now and although its at the higher end it's not the best, but it works for her and the others are doing well too. In the end I think it's a personal choice and if he does best on Timberwolf even with the anal gland issue than I'd keep him on that. I know what you mean about changing foods, it really is a pain. Let us know what you decide
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Old 11-28-2006, 07:07 PM
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Every TWO weeks I manually try to express the glands. Sometimes nothing comes out. Sometimes there is a bit of stuff. But, it's not that big a deal to be honest with you!
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:18 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input. I'm going to try and do some more research on the different brands of dog food...I thought I was done with that, lol. I always read all the food threads also, but I don't think I've ever read one that dealt with this issue in particular, so I thought I'd see if anyone else on here might have experienced a similar problem after changing to a higher quality food. Or maybe someone can recommend a food that their chi does well on (if their chi is prone to this problem).

Beau has always scooted some (no matter what food he was on), and I asked the vet about it before, but when they checked his glands nothing came out. But after changing to TWO, his symptoms became much worse, and it became obvious real quick that he needed his glands manually expressed. So, I think he's always had a problem with his glands to some degree, it just wasn't bad enough to require attention until I put him on a higher quality food. So I'm wondering if any high quality food is going to work. I don't want to revert to what I was feeding him before, which was average at best (but he didn't have any major problems on it).

I wouldn't mind learning how to express his glands myself, but I don't want to continue feeding him something that causes him to scoot and sniff himself all the time--not only is that gross, it's also obviously a discomfort to him. Although maybe he wouldn't have to do that if I emptied them constantly, I don't know. But I've read that emptying them externally doesn't always get it all out, and if a food switch will solve the problem I think we're both better off going that route.

Anyways, thanks again everyone, I guess I'm just going to have to keep on learning and trying different things until I find something. And maybe it's just him...I may just have to learn to deal with it.
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