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What happens if a vet tries to empty anal glands when a dog has no anal glands?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Floris, Jul 14, 2020.


  1. Floris

    Floris PetForums Newbie

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    If a vet has tried to express/empty the anal glands of a dog that actually has no anal glands, what's the maximum amount of damage that could have been done?

    Hello -- I'm new and would really appreciate it if anyone can help me. I took my dog to the vets today for a suspected back muscle strain, and when they took her in and examined her (obviously, I couldn't go with her due to social distancing), apparently they felt for her anal glands to see if they needed emptying. Her anal glands were removed as a puppy, which it says very clearly in the notes, and I've already told one of the vets at the practice myself in person.

    Since my dog came out of the vets, she seems really uncomfortable around her anus. She keeps scuttling around and sitting down abruptly (she hasn't tried to lick the area, but she NEVER does that; even as a puppy when she had anal gland trouble -- which is why she had them removed -- she NEVER licked her anus).
    I'm very worried that the vet actually tried to express/empty her anal glands, as she seemed surprised when I told her on the phone after she'd examined my dog that she has no anal glands.

    Does anyone know what kind of damge this can do? I didn't ask the vet because to be honest, I didn't trust her to give me an honest and/or competent answer. I'm very concerned about my dog, and I'd be so grateful it if anyone could help me.

    If it's relevant, my dog is a 7-year-old female spayed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

    Thank you very much for reading.
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    It may be that having a finger and lubricant up her bottom has left her feeling a tad uncomfortable.

    Why did she have them removed so young? Its quite an unusual op in adult dogs and normally as an absolute last resort.
     
  3. Floris

    Floris PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you very much for your reply.

    She had repeated anal gland infections as a puppy, so the vet removed them. Where I lived at the time, it was quite common for the breed, because generally the problem only gets worse with age.
     
  4. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I too am surprised the vet removed the anal glands on a young puppy.
    I doubt very much any real damage was done. The surgery was done I'm guessing a good 7 years ago, and squeezing a gland that isn't there isn't going to do any harm.
    She's probably itchy and uncomfortable from the procedure, whatever lube they used, and/or latex in that area. But I'd expect her to settle down soon. Has she?
     
  5. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    As above, probably just uncomfortable from the exam.

    Perhaps look at finding a new vet? It's so important to have a vet you can trust. Has the vet done something that makes you think they won't be honest or aren't competent, because that's a pretty big accusation?
     
  6. Floris

    Floris PetForums Newbie

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    Shortly after I got home, I actually ended up phoning another vet I know well (who now only sees cats) and asking them; they said the likelihood of harm was low, but that the vet had probably been more invasive than otherwise, having not known about her lack of anal glands. For my dog's back strain (for which she originally went to the vets), they suggested I give her 2mg diazepam to help with the discomfort (which my dog has previously taken); and after many hours, she has finally settled down.
    Before my cat died, he had to have several mini-enemas, wherein the nozzle was required to enter the rectum only a short distance, but if not done carefully, there was a risk of anal perforation. Ultimately, I'd rather be over-protective than casually ignore the possible results of a vet groping about carelessly in my dog's anus, for want of a better way to phrase this event.


    During my life, I've been to 11 vets and only one other has not read the notes before their first consultation with my animal, and it resulted in utter disaster. Perhaps my standards are high, but I don't have any trust in a vet who wouldn't at least glance through the notes before seeing an animal. She actually said that she hadn't looked at my dog's notes at all, which I think is even worse during this particular time when we're unable to be with our animals while the consultation takes place. On top of this situation with the anal glands, for instance, my dog is a rescue dog with very complex behavioural issues; and because the vet didn't read the notes, she had no idea that my dog will usually give no response to pain when examined (which, as you can imagine, meant she wasn't much help in regards to my dog's back pain).
    So, yes, I will be looking for a new vet.
     
  7. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I agree with you and I sympathise as I've changed vets 4 times since we moved to this area nearly five years ago. One vet stuck a Metacam injection with my collie's neck before I could stop him when her notes clearly said she was allergic. The result was a huge duck egg size lump just to add to her severe soft tissue injury. Poor little dog.
     
  8. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    That's appalling, though I can't number the times my trusted vets tried to issue me with Metacam for Ziggy despite it being in her notes that she'd get colitis from it. I'd say she couldn't have it, it was only then they'd look at the notes.
    I'd be sending a strongly worded letter of complaint to the practice manager.
     
  9. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    TBH Ive rarely come across a vet that does bother to read the patients notes beforehand.:rolleyes: Its not been a problem before when you could actually talk to the vet in person but since the lockdown when you cant go in with your pet Ive realiesed how totally **** my local vets are!:Shifty
     
  10. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

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    As one vet once said, my dogs medical history is longer than the human residents of Derbyshire put together and I guess less recent stuff is easily missed. I wouldn't expect a vet to trawl through 13 years of very frequent visits and lengthy notes from specialists, blood tests, xrays etc.
     
    Blitz and CheddarS like this.
  11. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Candy's notes are an essay as well. No way could a vet read and take in all of them. I wonder when they are going to start letting pet owners in with their dogs. It all seems a bit OTT. I do not think any vet would even think about anal glands being removed so it it is understandable. It they had tried to do it internally I think they would felt that there were no glands. Though why they would have done it internally I do not know
     
  12. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    But medical records highlight serious issues, which gland removal would come under.

    A cursory glance should be required at bare minimum, especially at the current time when owners are not present.
     
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