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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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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
Lol @Raindrops. I feel the same way. Since it happens mostly when she’s on the couch with my husband, I’m considering banning him from the furniture.* I could never have a no-couch dog.

*In case you happen to read this, Matt: Just kidding!
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
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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Have you ever had Willow's checked and/or expressed by your vet?

Peggy vomits up pumpkin, so not gonna go there again. But she does enjoy green beans and other veggies. Maybe I should increase how much she's getting.

The problem with everything I've read online is it tends to focus on impacted glands rather than the opposite. She already has solid, well-formed poops, and her glands empty regularly. It's more like she's lacking muscle tone or control or something. I wonder if tail docking can cause this? But I suppose that would cause incontinence, too.
I stumbled across this conversation online. I don’t have a poodle (although I’ve had many) I have a dachshund who’s having the same leaky problem. We’ve been to the vet twice now and she says it’s not her anal glands and she has “good” anal tone. But I have to clean her up and apply diaper cream to her but multiple times a day. She has to sleep in her crate now otherwise it’s everywhere. So frustrating. Doing laundry alllll the time. If I want her with me , pads with a whole cut for her tail put in a doggy diaper. But can’t do it often because the secretions are irritating her anal skin and it get red and swollen. Help!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
I stumbled across this conversation online. I don’t have a poodle (although I’ve had many) I have a dachshund who’s having the same leaky problem. We’ve been to the vet twice now and she says it’s not her anal glands and she has “good” anal tone. But I have to clean her up and apply diaper cream to her but multiple times a day. She has to sleep in her crate now otherwise it’s everywhere. So frustrating. Doing laundry alllll the time. If I want her with me , pads with a whole cut for her tail put in a doggy diaper. But can’t do it often because the secretions are irritating her anal skin and it get red and swollen. Help!!!
Oh dear. That sounds serious to me. Have you asked for a referral to a specialist?
 

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I would seek professional help from your vet or even a 2nd vet. I have read that there is a surgery to remove the glands, when there are serious issues, but I honestly know very little about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
I would seek professional help from your vet or even a 2nd vet. I have read that there is a surgery to remove the glands, when there are serious issues, but I honestly know very little about it.
The surgery is quite risky, but when weighed against what @Perkris is currently dealing with, those risks may be warranted.

Hope you’ll check back in and let us know what the specialist says, @Perkris. This really does sound like a situation that requires a second opinion. In the meantime, I’d be cautious about applying creams that may exacerbate the issue, unless they’ve been specifically recommended by a vet you trust.
 

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PTP..I've been reading since this thread, there is a lot of info out there. Seems biggest risk is the anesthesia and the recovery of one week preventing dog from scooting and tearing out stitches. Also read there is now laser surgery for this. So far I haven't read anything that makes it abnormally risky, what did you find? You have my curiosity peaked, because I think personally I'd go for it in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
PTP..I've been reading since this thread, there is a lot of info out there. Seems biggest risk is the anesthesia and the recovery of one week preventing dog from scooting and tearing out stitches. Also read there is now laser surgery for this. So far I haven't read anything that makes it abnormally risky, what did you find? You have my curiosity peaked, because I think personally I'd go for it in a heartbeat.
It carries the risk of nerve damage and fecal incontinence, which, although a rare complication, would be a much bigger issue than an occasional fishy smell.

But what @Perkris described sounds a lot more serious than just a nuisance smell. I think it would definitely be worth investigating options with a board-certified veterinary surgeon.
 

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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.
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.
Hello, I have this exact issue with my Springer Spaniel. He is healthy, has solid poops with no digestive issues but every few weeks he’ll have leaky glands. As you know, very stinky and sometimes he leaves brown liquid on the couch (thankfully we keep a blanket on the couch). I also give him Glandex daily and it seems to work great until it doesn’t. Have not been able to narrow down what causes it. He does not have impacted glands, he never scoots, just leaks. Wonder if it is related to the docked tails. It might just be something we have to live with. I backed off on the Glandex one time but he got worse so will definitely keep him on that. Just want you to know you are not alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #140 ·
Hello, I have this exact issue with my Springer Spaniel. He is healthy, has solid poops with no digestive issues but every few weeks he’ll have leaky glands. As you know, very stinky and sometimes he leaves brown liquid on the couch (thankfully we keep a blanket on the couch). I also give him Glandex daily and it seems to work great until it doesn’t. Have not been able to narrow down what causes it. He does not have impacted glands, he never scoots, just leaks. Wonder if it is related to the docked tails. It might just be something we have to live with. I backed off on the Glandex one time but he got worse so will definitely keep him on that. Just want you to know you are not alone.
Aw. Thanks so much for sharing. I really appreciate it. There seem to be so few accounts of this particular issue online. I’m glad we’re all finding each other here. :)

Like you, I wonder about the docked tail. But then I think she’d be leaking in a wider variety of circumstances. Not sure about your springer, but Peggy generally only leaks when she’s cuddled up with us, and even then, only rarely. Maybe it’s a marking instinct? I don’t know.

We’re putting her back on the Glandex to see if that gets us back to a monthly “schedule.” At the moment it’s happening, on average, every seven days or so. The couch cover has been a lifesaver. I just wish it were a little more stylish. I’m in search of good waterproof material that I can attack to the back of a pretty throw blanket.

The one thing which bugs me about the Glandex is that it contains vegetable glycerin, which is a known stool softener. And soft stools absolutely exacerbate the issue, probably because the glands remain more full and can “spill” (ick) more easily.
 
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