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Up Topic Dog Boards / Health / Westie with skin and anal gland problems
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 17.07.10 10:37 GMT
Hi All

Expect you remember me posting on here a while back about Robbie with itchy skin and anal gland problems, well my vet felt 3 months ago that it was time to send him to a dermatologist to get another opinion which we have done he said that after taking a good look at him the main problems he has got is licking of the feet and the lip fold area where his mouth is very inflamed and always sodden wet, his feet were very red and inflamed where he had licked at them so much, he said the rest of his body is unremarkable you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with him by looking at him as there is no loss of fur and no blackening of the skin which they usually get with skin problems, the ears are clear no inflammation, he took sticky tape tests of his feet and lip area to check for malassezia as he has this back in November but he is clear of this now the feet area nothing has shown up but he has found surface bacteria on his lip area this does smell like a fishy smell around here, he has been on ab's for 5 weeks now and is slowly coming off of them but he has now given me some cream for his lips to put in the crack on his mouth to try and kill the surface bacteria problem is as soon as you put cream onto a dog he licks it back off!!!
We are washing his feet and lip every other day in hibiscrub to get rid of the bacteria which has worked wonders on the feet he now hasn't licked at these for 4 weeks and they are looking so much better so we are going to lengthen the foot washes off to just twice per week but keep up with the lip washing as he goes back to rubbing and scratching this otherwise.
The allergy tests we had done showed up a duck allergy to food everything else was clear and all indoor and outdoor allergens were clear, his thyroid is normal and all other bloods were fine, he was put on an exlusion diet zd ultra but this gave him the runs so we went back to wafcol salmon and potato that he has been on for about 7 months now.
The only other problem we have with him is recurring blocked anal glands we are having them done every 2 weeks at the moment as they are just re blocking and he returns to scooting and chasing his tail and the smell is awful like a fishy metallic smell, i have tried homeopathic remedies and dorwest garlic and fenugreek but nothing seems to clear it, his motion is formed but somedays like a putty so not really rock hard but i don't think his motion has ever been rock hard ever since he was a puppy, he has suffered from blocked anal glands ever since he was about 4 months old but as he has got older the glands are blocking more frequently, i am now learning to empty them myself as it means going to the vets every other week to get them done, they have suggested removing them but i have heard some dogs are left incontinent afterwards so not sure on such a young dog as he is whether to go down this route or not, i am still wondering if this could be all connected with his itchy feet and lipfold problems the specialist said no but the homeopathic vet said he has seen other dogs with itchy skin and itchy blocked anal glands so not sure who's right and who's wrong really.
He seems to do well on the wafcol but doesn't seem to be keeping his weight on or gaining weight at the moment, but if i up his biscuit and give him more his motion becomes even softer and then the glands block quicker, i give him 2 handfuls of kibble twice per day but he always seems hungry!!!
We are back to see the specialist in 4 weeks time he still doesn't seem to know the initial cause of him licking his feet and the lipfold problems even after 3 visits which i thought he would have done by now, he said his body seems to be reacting to the surface bacteria but surely there must be an initial problem that has compromised the skin in the 1st place for this bacteria and malassezia to break thru the skin barrier in the 1st place.
They 1st suspecting demodex mites but on the tape testing said they couldn't see mites on the microscope.
- By Liz_R [gb] Date 17.07.10 10:48 GMT
Hi, have you tried a raw food diet. It could help him. I know small white dogs are prone to itching and I have found it has sorted this out for me. No more itching. Also the hard poos make it easier for the anal glands to empty. I think once you start emptying them they need to be done a lot more often than normal. I never have my dogs done (touchwood) and I believe it is due to them always having a raw diet. Theres load info on the web about it. When I got my first bichon she was on Royal Canin and she itched and bit her feet. So I changed her diet and she never looked back.
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 17.07.10 11:08 GMT
I used to feed him on raw as i used the freeflow mince from pets at home but his glands still seemed to block on this and his motion wasn't firm either, unless i wasn't feeding it correctly. He has always scooted his bum since 4 months of age and seems no matter if i feed him biscuit or raw he still does it, unless it is a genetic problem he has been born with?
- By Dukedog Date 17.07.10 12:25 GMT
My GSD when he arrived to me was very loose when he went to the toilet and his bottom smelt a little fishy, having had previous anul gland problems with a GSD before, I Knew how important it was for firm stools to help open and empty the glands themselves. I changed his diet to what I fed a previous GSD on and this stopped his loose bowl movements. This feed is tinned original Chappie with nothing added. At first I thought I would add a little crunch to this, to add bulk as well, so added a handful of plain dog mixer/meal but straight away his stools turned loose again.

I also think it is important not to overfill their stomachs too much this also causes the runs, therefore I feed two equal meals a day morn and night.
- By dogs a babe Date 17.07.10 14:39 GMT

>i used the freeflow mince from pets at home but his glands still seemed to block on this and his motion wasn't firm either

I suspect this mince doesn't contain enough bone and a good raw diet needs meat, bone and offal in the right amounts.  One alternative if you want to feed this type of mince only occasionally is to add a little eggshell to the mix.  I have the amounts somewhere but I think it was 1 eggshell to 1lb mince (I'll see if I can find the formula).  You could also feed a few wings or drumsticks each week, both will contain enough bone to firm him up and help empty his glands.  One of my dogs can be progressively looser throughout a walk but his first ones are firm and kickable.

Another alternative recommended by my vet once was to add some bran to each meal.  It was a long time ago but I recall it was 1 teaspoon per meal - but it might have been 1 tablespoon!  I should think you can experiment with the amounts :)

Poor Hamish - it's good news about his paws, I hope you can get the rest of it sorted
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 17.07.10 14:43 GMT
I have heard about bran mixed with the meal can help the glands where do you get the bran from can you get it from normal supermarkets? I always thought bran would give them the runs more then help firm them up but perhaps it does work the other way aswell.

Yep good news re the paws just need to get the glands and lip fold sorted!!!
- By dogs a babe Date 17.07.10 14:53 GMT
You can get unprocessed bran in larger amounts from agricultural supply type places or horsefeed stockists.  It's more expensive to buy the processed stuff from a supermarket but certainly worth a try to see if it works.  "In diarrhoea, fibre may firm up and slow down the passage of stools" which I think is what you may need in Hamish's case. 

Re lip fold - do wipe his mouth after each meal, and periodically during the day, with a flannel dipped in Hibiscrub.  You could also have a read up on Colloidal Silver...
- By Dukedog Date 17.07.10 15:04 GMT
I have used Mornflake Oatbran purchased from Sainsburys found in the breakfast cereal isle, a little sprinkle on his food.

Your dog will not put any weight on because he won't be getting any nutrients from his food, all of the goodness will be coming out of his system quickly with his loose stools.

I don't have any experience with allergies so forgive me if I'm covering old ground. I have a friend who had a Lakeland terrier, he would lie flat on his tummy and lick his front paws, she thought that maybe the fur in between his toes was causing an irritation. She took him to have a good short summer clipping/shearing, concentrating on the paw and jaw area and no problems since. Just a thought.
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 17.07.10 15:04 GMT
Does this just sprinkle on top of the food or you you have to soak the bran 1st as i have just looked up on google adding bran to a dogs diet and it says if the bran isn't hydrated thoroughly it can cause intestinal impaction in the gut is this right? It also says some people use human bran flakes?
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 17.07.10 15:07 GMT
Did this cure your dog of anal gland problems? Do you soak yours before adding to the food, please read my other post i just added that i read on the internet, sorry to sound paranoid but never using this before just wanted to check first.
Robbie has got a lip fold problem caused by his skin being bad they think, his feed are now much better since using hibiscrub washes just got to get the gland problems and lip fold prob sorted out next!!!
- By Dukedog Date 17.07.10 15:40 GMT Edited 17.07.10 15:54 GMT
Bearing in mind I had a GSD so your quantity may differ, I was never fussy over exact measurements of the bran it was around a small level table spoon once a day, sprinkled dry over his food.

I am not sure if this cured his loose stool movements because I changed his food at the same time (dumb I know) which did help.

Out of interest do you feed Robbie (what I would call rubbish) ie human junk food crisps, biscuits, ice cream, cheese etc?these can cause loose stools. Also I have never found a dog treat that doesn't cause the runs except maybe a dental stix.
- By helenmd [gb] Date 17.07.10 16:05 GMT
Your poor boy-hope you can sort his problems out.Regarding the raw diet I asked Prize Choice once whether their minces contained bone and they said anything with chicken does(but they weren't able to say how much bone which makes things difficult)-the other minces don't.You could always try something like Natural Instinct which has the right amount of bone in it.
The paw licking could be related to his anal glands-I have a dog which comes to me for grooming which licks his paws(front and back) when his anal glands need emptying.Its your decision but I think if he were mine I would seriusly think about having his glands removed-I've known a few dogs have this done and they have been fine after.
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 17.07.10 16:48 GMT
No Robbie doesn't have human or dog treats only a piece of raw carrot
- By Whistler [gb] Date 19.07.10 14:54 GMT
I had Whistler's anal glands done a few months ago aged 3 years. He did react poorly to the general but as far as the anal glands no problems at all. and no further problems with that end.
- By Perry Date 19.07.10 18:05 GMT
If you want to feed a raw diet you would be best giving him raw chicken wings, if you don't want to feed them whole, then mince them, you will be giving him the correct ratio of bone/meat/fat like this.  Buying it as mince you have no idea what it contains, so anythig could be in it.  Why not have a look at Ian Billinghurst's books, you could probably get them from the library if you don't want to buy, he has all info on what to add to the diet, obviously chicken wings alone are not a complete diet for any dog.

Vitamin E is supposed to be good for the skin so adding this to his diet might help too.  I'd be tempted to go down the natural route to treat him as medications are sometimes far too harsh for sensitive skin.
- By WestCoast Date 19.07.10 18:30 GMT
As a groomer, my experience is that a correct raw food diet (not just raw mince from a pet shop) is the best help for Westie's bad skin, followed by Wafcol Salmon & Potato and lastly Wafcol Vegetarian.  Apart from that it seems to be just pumping them with steroids. :(
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 20.07.10 18:41 GMT
Hi he is being fed on wafcol salmon and potato at the moment but his motions are still quite soft, i tried chicken wings but these did not firm his motion up either, somebody has suggested bran and when i spoke to the specialist he also said to go to a health food shop and get some bran, we managed to get some wheat bran today from the health food shop so gonna give this a go and see how he gets on.
- By Dukedog Date 21.07.10 14:23 GMT
I am not suprised Robbie's a bit loose with salmon and potato, If I have ever given the slightest morsel of anything that contained salmon to my dogs it comes right through them. Salmon is awfully rich.
- By Dukedog Date 21.07.10 17:59 GMT
Ok HAMISH75 you don't know me from Adam, and you're problably fed up from taking lots of different advice and not getting very far with it. Trust me on this one for Robbie's sake and save yourself some money and don't put Robbie through an operation he may not need, but where a simple change of diet could resolve all his issues instead.

You have to stop feeding the food he is currently on, it is not suiting him. I want you to try what I suggest for 1 week and I can assure you, you will see good results to Robbie's overall health and toilet habits and you can report back on how he is doing.

You must stick to it religiously and ask relatives and friends to respect your wishes and ask them not to feed Robbie.

Go to Tesco and buy enough tinned ORIGINAL CHAPPIE to last you 1 week. See feeding guidlines and give Robbie the recommended amount of food for his weight. I recommend give this in two meals morn and night. This food is very bland and will contain everything Robbie needs from his food, please don't feed him anything else.

Please do this for Robbie's sake and he will thank you for it I'm sure.

I've been there and it worked for my dog, it may work for Robbie too. It has to be worth a try.

- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 22.07.10 14:30 GMT
What does chappie contain ingredients wise is it full of wheat and grains though?
Sorry to sound awkward but as he has had skin probs in the past i am a bit worried, his skin at the moment seems to have settled but we are just left with recurring blocked anal glands  and lip fold problem which i have been told is very unusual to see in a westie, the dermatologist said he has never come across a westie before with a lip fold problem!!
- By Dukedog Date 22.07.10 14:57 GMT
Chappie does contain maize and wheat, were grains like these the cause of the skin problems? If so then best avoid, appologies.
- By Dukedog Date 22.07.10 15:20 GMT
I have used Royal Canine Sensitivity dry in the past on a GSD who was sensitive to chicken, this food is specifically made with selected sources of protein and carbohydrate, (Blue Whiting and tapioca) . You may find that Blue Whiting is a lot less rich than Salmon is.
- By Lacy Date 22.07.10 21:03 GMT
Unfortunately every one can give suggestions as to what to feed but what works for one doesn't mean it will work for another. Chappie I have not tried but then I have heard time & time again from owners that it has worked wonders for their dog, even a local vet recommends it. I feed something which I don't think has been given very good reviews here but after trying lots of others, my two have had three years of no colitis. Still have a yeast problem at certain times of the year but that to me is the lesser of the two evils. Bran didn't work for firming output, just produced more. I haven't managed to feed completly raw yet, so feed wet in the morning and raw in the evening with a large bone to chew on in the afternoons, probably not the best but their looking well and for the first time ever they pass 'kickable' poo. Which not long ago, I was asking what it was here on CD. Both have had gland probs and ocassionaly still do but at least having 'kickable' poo, feal that they have the best chance of emptying the glands naturally.
- By springador64 [gb] Date 22.07.10 22:19 GMT

Its very difficult trying to find a solution to your boys problem, however im sure there is a solution somewhere. I know many others have given suggestions and wether you follow up any is completley up to you. From my own experiences with my sensitive spaniel i'll give my suggestions and again its up to yourself if you consider them.

A food which i found suited my boy when he was suffering with bouts of colitis was JWB white fish and rice, or JWB white fish and veg, if your looking to remove grains completely. It is pretty bland and did not cause any upset to his stomach at all. In addition to this i would add raw tripe to his evening feed and this seemed to keep him firm and regular. He also suffered with blocked anal glands but followng this feeding he didn't have any problems. With regard Wafcol, i as someone else has mentioned have always found salmon based feeds to go through my dogs, even the two who seem to be able to eat anything and do well on it.

This was over a year ago, it turned out he had an alergy to chicken however only in its cooked form. . . . strange dog!
He is now on AG lamb and rice and RAW combined and this suits him brilliantly, no stomach or anal gland troubles. . . touch wood.
If you are wanting to keep him on the Wafcol, then i would reccomend adding tripe to one of his meals daily and this in my experience will help firm him up and may also help him gain some weight.

Good luck.
- By freja [gb] Date 05.08.10 20:42 GMT
hello hamish and robbie.  How is robbie faring since your last post?  I had the same problem with 1 of my dogs. Frequent loose poo,although he very rarely scooted; turmed out he had infected anal glands. The glands were removed and he has had no problems with incontinence. I was told by 1 of the top veterinary professors in this country that the anal glands are there for scenting purposes only. I have started in the last 10 days to feed himdry food which is completely grain free. inthe morning and early afternoon ,then, in the evening, Natural Instinct fresh meat. The fresh from this company is a complete food in itself. If any dog is likely to have sqidgy poo on a diet change,it is this one! I couldn't as I would normally have done,change him over gradually fromhis usual which was AG lamb & rice.  He also has suffered on and off with itchy skin and lip fold problems. At the moment there is no scratching,but is early days tho. I feel really sorry for robbie and hope you soon have this problem sorted.
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 06.08.10 13:36 GMT
Hi thanks for your message, have you got a westie aswell? Where do you get your natural instinct meat from? is that what you feed him both meals or does he still have dried biscuit?
Have you found managed to get rid of the lipfold problem or do you just manage it with treatments?
Robbie at the moment touch wood is not too bad his glands are still blocking every 10 days but they are not infected just that they don't clear themselves i am not learning how to unblock them, which isn't easy but hopefully i will get the hang of it for rob's sake, his skin seems better at the moment touch wood, we are back at the specialist on Tuesday next week so fingers crossed may have some better news.
- By freja [gb] Date 07.08.10 01:27 GMT
Hello Hamish and Robbie. No,I dont have a westie,have German Shepherds. If you google Natural Instinct dog food you can find all the details of their products.and you can email with any queries or phone. They are very helpful. The other raw meat food I bought before I found Natural Instinct,is, Natures Menu nuggets. I tried (rather the dog did) the mixed meat with just peas and carrots added. The only advantage with this is that you can just buy 1 bag from most pet stores,whereas with the other,the minimum order is £28. Am pleased to hear Robbie improving and hope all goes well when you see the specialist. My GSD with the lip problem is o.k. at the moment. I have Fuciderm to treat it but don't really like using. Am hoping this diet change might just do the trick. If you decide to have them removed providing your vet is experienced with this type of op.I wouldn't worry too much. Good luck to you both for Tuesday.  Love the name Robbie.In honour of Burns by any chance? sorry am rambling.
- By HAMISH75 [gb] Date 07.08.10 14:28 GMT
I have looked on the website regarding this food sounds good as it doesn't contain any rice which i think is what robbie has got a problem with as naturediet he reacted to quite badly, how big are the pouches as they look quite big on the website it says when defrosted it lasts about 5 days before you need to throw it away and going by the weight chart robbie is 8kg so would need just under 200g per day.
I may post a message on the board and see if any other owners on here have been feeding it just to see what they think about it aswell.
Thanks again will let you know how he goes on Tuesday keeping everything crossed for him
Up Topic Dog Boards / Health / Westie with skin and anal gland problems

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