Anal gland issues in pets are not fun, period! Cozmo began to have issues around the age of one. I first noticed the consistent, obsessive and annoying licking that was occurring. Thankfully, no scooting across the carpet. Took the kid to the vet and his right anal gland was full. The vet expressed it and home we went. Five weeks later we were back at the vet’s office with the same issue.
Over the past year and a half, I have switched Cozmo’s food multiple times, eliminated treats and tried a natural supplement called Glandex. Nothing has helped. Every four to six weeks Cozmo and I make the trek to the vet’s office to have his right anal gland expressed. It is always full, sometimes gritty in substance and has been infected twice which required antibiotics.
The problem is that the right gland is recessed. The vet has difficulties expressing it and that is why a normal bowel movement is not naturally emptying the gland. Being recessed is also why Cozmo cannot access it, therefore, causing compulsive licking.
Early on the topic of surgical removal was discussed. My vet told me that he did not surgically remove anal glands unless it was an ongoing serious problem. In-cognizance and loose stools are always a concern after the removal of anal glands.
Our most recent appointment found more of the same; right anal gland full and infected again for the 3rd time. My vet admitted this was a chronic problem that was getting worse, not better and offered to do the surgery. The surgery appointment was set and the surgical removal of the right gland went smoothly.
Cozmo came home Friday, May 30th, 2014 drunk from anesthesia, stitches in rear-end, pain pills, a fourteen-day dose of antibiotics and wearing the cone of shame (Elizabethan collar). I already had a comfy cone (soft cloth Elizabethan collar) that my vet was nice enough to let me bring in and avoid the twenty dollar charge for the plastic cone.
Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. pain pill administered.
8:00 a.m. breakfast devoured.
9:00 a.m. I am at the vet’s office because Cozmo is reaching his rear-end and licking, licking, licking. My sister is babysitting the kid. I purchase a blow-up neck pillow and add it in addition to the soft cone.
The first bowel movement of the day is firm and no straining. Yay!
I spend the entire day monitoring and yelling, “No licking!”
Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. I am at the pet store buying an extra-large plastic collar. Cozmo is contorting his body and reaching his rear-end. The soft cone is replaced with the hard plastic cone and after about twenty minutes the blow-up neck pillow is back on. An hour later I am customizing the hard cone with Velcro to keep it closed. Cozmo is pawing at it and running into everything and busting the collar open. Sleep is intermittent on Sunday evening because Cozmo is licking, licking, licking.
Monday is day three of fourteen. I am exhausted. I call the vet and pick up tranquilizers after work. When I get home the right side of Cozmo’s rear is red and inflamed. Fortunately, the stitches are intact. I call the vet and they have no simple solution. I need to modify the cone to make it longer. I add the soft cone over the plastic cone and this extends the length by about 2-inches. The kid is sporting 2 cones and a blow-up neck collar but this and drugs finally works.
Today is day thirteen of fourteen. It has been a long two weeks for everyone. The three restrictive items prevent Cozmo from accessing his rear but if I don’t keep him drugged, he tirelessly tries. Over the past thirteen days, the good news is that his appetite has been good and his bowel movements have been firmer than before the surgery and no accidents. The bad news is the kid is pathetic and he stinks. Really stinks.
Stitches come out tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday morning Cozmo goes to the doggy spa. Long-term outlook is positive and this inconvenience will have been worth it.
*Originally posted June 12, 2014*