If reading about disgusting things is not your thing... then stop right here... this is not appealing!
... that issue being his anal glands. Most people have not ever heard of anal glands in dogs. Believe me I never did until we got Remington. Anyways... these glands are in every animal (cats, dogs, deer, etc). There purpose is to help animals identify each other. They can tell an animals age, sex, hormones changes, if the animal is pregnant, etc. just by smelling these... i.e. sniffing each others behinds to put it politely. Anyways, most animals are able to express these glands on their own when they "do their business"... but some are not so lucky. If they are not able to express the glands, the liquid in them will build up and can cause infections or even cause the glands to rupture, so it can be extremely dangerous to not take care of the problem if you know it is going on.
Since Remington was 6 months old we have noticed that he has a problem expressing his glands on his own. Ever since then we have had to take him to the vet every month to have them express the glands for him. The reason behind why the vet believes he has so much trouble is because his glands are located far inside him, whereas most animals glands are located just on the inside of their skin. The vet gave us several options to try to help the problem. So far we have completely changed his food from Eagle Pack to Wellness. Both are extremely good quality foods ($60 a bag), but the vet thought that Remington might have a food allergy to the Eagle Pack that could be causing the problems. Changing the food did not help. We have fed him green beans, pumpkin, carrots, etc. with the vet thinking that the increase in fiber would make him have better bowel movements so he would express them on his own. That has not worked. We have put a fish oil vitamin in his food every night because we saw that it was a home remedy of helping with this problem. Did not work. We have switched him to eating 3 times a day to 2 times a day hoping that that would increase the size of his movements. That hasn't worked. NOTHING has worked and it is soooo frustrating. We have talked about having the glands removed by doing surgery, but when you do that you run the risk of damaging something and then having problems with incontinence issues for the rest of the dogs life! I dunno...
Well, last night it hit an all time worse!!! Last time Dan and I took Remington to have the glands expressed the vet said that they really didn't need it. So... we thought that this time we could push it and see how long we could go without having them expressed (it's $25 every time we have them done). This month we probably went 2-3 days longer than we normally do and I'll spare you the nasty details, but Remington was a mess last night! I knew that I needed them done right away, so I called Sugar Grove (our normal vet) and they couldn't get me in, so then I called Swengel's (our old vet) and they could. Anyways, I raced over there and had them done. The vet said that they were extremely full. UHHHGGG! I felt so bad because I hadn't had them done earlier and because I know when they get that full they can be painful for a dog. I am a horrible dog mom I know.
What I learned though was this... 1) we are not going to be able to fix the problem, 2) it is chronic, and 3) no matter what, we will get them expressed every month like clockwork so I don't have to deal with what I went through last night! WOW! The things I will do for my dog...
I'm sure he is sleeping peacefully in bed with his Dad right now :)