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I’m sorry you can relate! Isn’t it crazy how little information there is about this online? Sooooo much on impacted glands. Virtually nothing about occasional undesirable expression.

Peggy’s poops are still very well formed, but have definitely been slightly softer lately. She doesn’t have to strain at all. I’m guessing this is why we’re now also on a “weekly leak” schedule, but still only when she’s relaxing on the couch with us. So baffling, as she also regularly relaxes in bed with my husband and it’s not an issue there. And in her most relaxed place of all—her crate—it’s never happened.

I was really hoping the Pet Honesty allergy chews would help, but they just gave her bad breath. Maybe I should put her back on the Glandex chews to see if that gets us back to a 3-4 week schedule.

Have you tried Glandex? It’s not specifically designed for our particular issue, but it’s supposed to firm up poops, which should at least promote regular expression outside.
 

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Misha still occasionally leaks but rarely when I express the glands often. I express every week or two when bathing. He started leaking as a puppy before I ever started expressing them. In regard to a groomer causing it, I'd say the glands were likely impacted and the groomer cleared the impaction which may make it easier for leakage especially if they were in poor condition due to impaction.
 

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Our groomer doesn’t express glands, so I think the timing sounds like more of a coincidence, @Bernedoo. We started noticing the smell around that age, too. I interpreted it more as metallic at first, but quickly tuned into the fishy component. Lol.

I’d be more concerned if your puppy was uncomfortable after his grooming appointment—licking, scooting, abruptly sitting, that sort of thing. Then I’d be worried they injured him in some way. As our groomer explained it, the expression method groomers are allowed to use (external) has a higher chance of injuring the glands than the vet’s method. But that could just be anecdotal.

You were smart to eliminate all processed treats, but I wouldn’t eliminate food rewards entirely. They’re too precious for reinforcing early training. Just keep it simple. Single ingredient, if possible. Terms like “all natural” don’t mean a whole lot when you consider all of the natural laxatives and digestive irritants out there.
 

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Our groomer doesn’t express glands, so I think the timing sounds like more of a coincidence, @Bernedoo. We started noticing the smell around that age, too. I interpreted it more as metallic at first, but quickly tuned into the fishy component. Lol.

I’d be more concerned if your puppy was uncomfortable after his grooming appointment—licking, scooting, abruptly sitting, that sort of thing. Then I’d be worried they injured him in some way. As our groomer explained it, the expression method groomers are allowed to use (external) has a higher chance of injuring the glands than the vet’s method. But that could just be anecdotal.

You were smart to eliminate all processed treats, but I wouldn’t eliminate food rewards entirely. They’re too precious for reinforcing early training. Just keep it simple. Single ingredient, if possible. Terms like “all natural” don’t mean a whole lot when you consider all of the natural laxatives and digestive irritants out there.
I didn't realize groomers were only allowed to use external expression. I have always used internal expression which seems quite safe. I do not feel comfortable with external expression as it seems so imprecise.
 

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I didn't realize groomers were only allowed to use external expression. I have always used internal expression which seems quite safe. I do not feel comfortable with external expression as it seems so imprecise.
It may vary from state to state, or even county to county. But as she explained it, internal expression—while safer—is considered a medical procedure and she could lose her license for doing it.

Sounds like you made the right call with Misha. I might give it a try soon.
 

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Our groomer doesn’t express glands, so I think the timing sounds like more of a coincidence, @Bernedoo. We started noticing the smell around that age, too. I interpreted it more as metallic at first, but quickly tuned into the fishy component. Lol.

I’d be more concerned if your puppy was uncomfortable after his grooming appointment—licking, scooting, abruptly sitting, that sort of thing. Then I’d be worried they injured him in some way. As our groomer explained it, the expression method groomers are allowed to use (external) has a higher chance of injuring the glands than the vet’s method. But that could just be anecdotal.

You were smart to eliminate all processed treats, but I wouldn’t eliminate food rewards entirely. They’re too precious for reinforcing early training. Just keep it simple. Single ingredient, if possible. Terms like “all natural” don’t mean a whole lot when you consider all of the natural laxatives and digestive irritants out there.
Thanks @Raindrops and @PeggyTheParti! I appreciate you both talking me off the ledge about the groomer damaging him in some way 😆. I'm a first-time puppy mom, so I was ready to put up a fight!

Interesting that you both noticed the smell around the same age, and that you, Raindrops, noticed it before Misha's first expression. I think there's something to be said for the glands being very full before the groomer did it, and now we're left with residual effects. It's only been two weeks (even though it feels like a lifetime) that we've been experiencing this, so I'm hoping that time and the elimination diet will help things.

We pushed our vet appointment back to later next week - I want him to be on a full week of 100% elimination diet before we see her. That just makes sense to me.

Will report back with any findings! Thanks again.
 

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Thanks @Raindrops and @PeggyTheParti! I appreciate you both talking me off the ledge about the groomer damaging him in some way 😆. I'm a first-time puppy mom, so I was ready to put up a fight!

Interesting that you both noticed the smell around the same age, and that you, Raindrops, noticed it before Misha's first expression. I think there's something to be said for the glands being very full before the groomer did it, and now we're left with residual effects. It's only been two weeks (even though it feels like a lifetime) that we've been experiencing this, so I'm hoping that time and the elimination diet will help things.

We pushed our vet appointment back to later next week - I want him to be on a full week of 100% elimination diet before we see her. That just makes sense to me.

Will report back with any findings! Thanks again.
Lol! I’ve been on a similar ledge before. Poodle Forum is good at talking new puppy owners down. :)

One thing I read on this topic that has stuck with me is that occasional “leaks” might not be leaks at all, that they may actually be indicative of normal function and it’s the opposite—impaction—you really want to worry about.

Since this is your first puppy, and you’re raising him during a challenging time, here’s a link to a wonderful list of resources: Pandemic Puppy Primer

Keeping him on track socially should at least prevent the anxious expression of his glands.
 

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This has been an ongoing part of Life With Peggy and I'm ready to find a solution.

Does anyone's poodle leak when they're relaxed? It only seems to happen when she's on the couch or bed with us, and generally it's just a strong fish smell, but sometimes she leaves a stinky spot of fluid behind. It will typically happen a couple of times a week for a few weeks, then nothing for a few weeks. Repeat, repeat.

She has excellent, firm poops. Has never had diarrhea. We do give her Glandex (both the chews and the powder), which seems to bulk her stool up a bit, but just when we start thinking it's working.....NOPE. I'm so over it.

She doesn't scoot or lick. She does often bite at the end of her tail. During a particularly bad week, we took her to the vet to have her glands checked and expressed, but they were only moderately full and the fluid was normal. It's almost like it's a GOOD thing that they leak? Because it means they're not impacted? But ugh. Not fun.

Anyone ever experience or solve this? I can't think of a solution other than keeping them 100% empty at all times, which obviously isn't realistic.
Did you ever figure it out? What you are describing fits my 10yo old English sheep dog. Found your post because she is back to leaking anal fluid when relaxed. She had GI issues as a pup. We couldn’t find food that didn’t make her sick. Loose stool. Goop in her eyes. Regular vets thought allergies and had her on massive Benadryl daily. Short of two we rushed her to the ER because she was lethargic and crashing. Emergency surgery later and a specialty team at the U of M she was diagnosed with Imflamatory bowel disorder. Like allergies but internal. We landed on Purina HA and the GI issues and eye goop cleared up. Same time she had her first leak. We learned that she has one anal gland that didn’t develop right and empties into her body. Which means when the poop presses on it, the gland is sealed vs being able to express itself. So I internally express her glands ever 7-14 days. They are full and can’t empty. Have your vet check that both glands empty outward. And other than that, buy gloves and Vaseline at Costco. There is anal surgery you can have but you risk incontinence. If you find any other articles, let me know! It’s been a long 10 years.
 

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Did you ever figure it out? What you are describing fits my 10yo old English sheep dog. Found your post because she is back to leaking anal fluid when relaxed. She had GI issues as a pup. We couldn’t find food that didn’t make her sick. Loose stool. Goop in her eyes. Regular vets thought allergies and had her on massive Benadryl daily. Short of two we rushed her to the ER because she was lethargic and crashing. Emergency surgery later and a specialty team at the U of M she was diagnosed with Imflamatory bowel disorder. Like allergies but internal. We landed on Purina HA and the GI issues and eye goop cleared up. Same time she had her first leak. We learned that she has one anal gland that didn’t develop right and empties into her body. Which means when the poop presses on it, the gland is sealed vs being able to express itself. So I internally express her glands ever 7-14 days. They are full and can’t empty. Have your vet check that both glands empty outward. And other than that, buy gloves and Vaseline at Costco. There is anal surgery you can have but you risk incontinence. If you find any other articles, let me know! It’s been a long 10 years.
Oh my goodness. What a nightmare. I’m sorry. :( Your girl is still leaking with regular expression?

The one time we had Peggy’s glands expressed by the vet, they weren’t even full and the fluid was normal. But there’s always the chance there’s something going on internally that would require a more through investigation to diagnose. Since Peggy has had no major health issues so far (knock on wood!!) we’ve not felt the need to dig further. I definitely don’t feel an occasional fishy smell is worth invasive surgery and the potential complications. But maybe when she’s spayed in May they can examine her more thoroughly while she’s under.
 
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