We found out the hard way when DiploDog’s got a painful abcess! It’s harder when fur babies get sick because they cannot really talk to us and tell us what’s wrong.
If you don’t have a dog, I suggest you skip this post because I am mainly posting this for the information of dog owners out there who, like us, may not have known certain things about our pets. I hope you find this post informative. But for those who don’t have pets you might find the details too yucky. ;P
Diplo Dog’s Road to Recovery
Now off to the details. DiploDog got an infection in his bottom because we failed to have his anal sacs expressed. I feel like such a bad mommy. =( My husband and I didn’t even know that dogs had anal sacs before our Pom. Despite having had dogs for 20 years of his life, my husband didn’t realize that dogs anal sacs had to be expressed regularly. I guess his dogs did it on their own pretty well by scooting (rubbing their bottoms on the floor, carpet or ground).
Here are the signs to watch out for that your dog needs his anal glands expressed:
- Licking their bottom a lot
- Having a hard time pooping
- Swollen/discolored bum
Certain dogs like Poms are not very good at expressing their own anal sacs (perhaps because their bottoms are so hairy?) so they have to have it done by the vet. If you don’t express it regularly your dog can get an infection and an abscess like DiploDog did. =(
The last few days has seen us going back and forth to the Vet. DiploDog has been very lethargic. Today we noticed that the abscess finally burst and DiploDog has been licking it so some hairs got stuck. We had to bring him again today so the Vet could safely cut off the hairs and also give him a cone so he would stop licking it. Apparently these things can be very itchy for dogs while it’s healing. And DiploDog licking it is gonna slow down the healing process.
So now we have to clean and put cream 3 times a day. This is very difficult with all 3 of us (TD, me and the maid) all helping out because DiploDog really struggles and cries out. It’s hard to do as well because we feel bad for him… it must be so painful for him to cry, yelp and struggle so much. But it has to be done. He is also having a hard time eating and drinking with his cone so we help him out. Here are some pics of TD feeding DiploDog by hand. Awww….
Another side effect of this is that DiploDog has been holding his poop in. So the doctor also gave us some laxative for him to take if he still doesn’t go tomorrow. I kinda feel bad for him because I’m sure it will be painful when he does. =( At least the laxative will ease it a bit for him.
UPDATE: HOW TO EXPRESS YOUR DOG’S ANAL SAC AT HOME
In Jakarta & Manila, the vets/groomers would express DiploDogs anal sac without even asking us. I think it’s just part of the routine check up/grooming. However in Berlin this was not included so in Berlin I would do it myself with the help of TD & Yaya B. If you are in Europe where these services are expensive you might want to do it yourself. First things first:
It’s important that you keep the dogs bottom hairless around the rectum so that:
- They can also do it themselves, by scooting
- And so that when you express, it doesn’t stick to the hairs, making it difficult to clean up.
Yaya B used to cut his hair manually, but I’m too scared to do this so I did lots of research & purchased this dog hair clippers to prevent injury. #AmazonAffiliate I chose these clippers because it has everything I want in a pet hair clipper:
- Waterproof so can be used on wet/dry hair & easier cleaning
- Low noise so pet doesn’t get to stressed
- Long battery life to finish total grooming
- Has a convenient stand
- Ceramic blade that will not dull easily
- Best value for money coz it comes with 2 combs + scissors
Each dog has different frequency so see above for when you should express the anal sac. For DiploDog, I find doing it every 3 months works. Do not do to frequently or else it can irritate the anal glands.
What to prepare before expressing the anal glands:
- Pair of disposable surgical gloves
- Large cotton pads
- Paper towels
- Warm water
- Someone to help you out because it’s definitely a 2 person job
Please remember that the fluid/goo that comes will be super gross, stinky & difficult to remove from surfaces so protect your floor, clothes & yourself! Here is the video that I refer to before I do this! This is really a labor of love guys. Only a dog mum/dad would do this!
Since DiploDog is small, I prefer not to insert my finger coz it might be too painful for him. But if you have a bigger dog, this technique might be easier/more effective & you will need to prepare VASELINE to make it comfortable for your dog.