Posts filed under ‘Poop’
I swear I am not obsessed with dog poo. This is the first time in my life that I have drawn dog poo and I am doing it because I would rather not be seen taking photos of Boogie’s poo to illustrate this blog post. It’s bad enough to have this drawing (below) on my computer screen when the landlord and workmen showed up in my apartment today. Yep, giant drawings of dog poo on my monitor when I wasn’t even here. Totally embarrassing.
So Boogie eats exactly the same food everyday (not including the scraps that he steals off the sidewalk) so I don’t understand why there is so much variety in his poo. His first poo of the day is always the “healthiest” looking, and as the day progresses, it gets softer, weirder… and just now at 12pm, he did a totally drippy poo. I am starting to see instances of black poo (= blood) which freaks me and makes me wonder if I should rush him to the vet, but then his poo would switch back to normal a few hours later, so… what does this all mean? Should I be worried?
There is a book titled “What’s Your Poo Telling You”?” I think someone, preferably a veterinarian or dog nutritionist, should produce a similar but serious book about dog poo analysis. Seriously.
Please feel free to discuss your dog’s poo and share your thoughts on dog poo in the comments!
Check out this Fecal Scoring Chart ! (Thanks, Patricia Tirrell!)
Boogie’s first poo of the day would be a #2 or #3. Then for the rest of the day, it varies. Sometimes #1 (really hard and pebbly, especially if I feed only Stella & Chewy’s with nothing else mixed in), or #5 (like toothpaste consistency) or #6 (drips out). #5 and #6 are happening more frequently than I am comfortable with. Poor Boogie.
I think I will consult the vet again, ask about possibilities of infection or colitis, and also look for a pet nutritionist. I am starting to wonder if Boogie’s GI issues and skin issues (which are not getting better) are RELATED and I really want to believe I can ‘fix’ this problem on a nutrition/lifestyle level rather than have to continually rely on antibiotics and steroid meds and high vet bills which I hate so much.
Hi everybody, we cover EVERYTHING on Boogie’s blog and today’s post is about anal gland expression. Warning: this may gross you out.
I know that it’s time for a vet visit when I smell that familiar stinky fishy odor coming from his butt, when I see him obsessively licking his butt or dragging it on my rug (ew). This happens every few weeks. It is said that some dogs can empty their own glands when they do a poop, but others need to have this done for them.
According to this blog post (and I have heard this theory before), it could be a matter of feeding the right food with enough fiber. Boogie eats really well and has firm poops. I have also tried adding extra fiber to Boogie’s diet, assuming that harder poops = natural pressure on the anal glands, alas … this made no difference.
I know some vets charge for anal gland expression and the costs could add up. Thankfully the clinic that we go to does it for free… but there is a long wait to see the Dr. and the simple 2-second task of squeezing Boogie’s glands sucks several hours out of my day.
A year ago, I asked Dr. R to show me how to do it myself, at home. He made it look so easy. I also watched several YouTube videos.They made it look so easy too.
So I put on some latex gloves and attempted to express Boogie’s glands myself. It was NOT EASY!
1. I couldn’t feel the anal glands. I tried the 4 c’clock and 8 o’clock positions; I felt all around the anal opening… Seriously, I could not feel anything! Nothing at all. No pea-sized sacs, nothing.
2. I even stuck my fingers inside his butt (with gloves on of course!) – NOTHING. I couldn’t feel anything to squeeze.
3. With my thumb and forefinger around Boogie’s butthole… I squeezed upwards, downwards, inwards,… I tried all kinds of squeezing, used all kinds of pressure… nothing came out.
That was about 2 months ago. I gave up and took Boogie in to see Dr. R who had the stinky fluid squirting out of Boogie’s butt with ONE precision squeeze.
Last week I brought the subject up again, told Dr. R that I had trouble doing it myself at home. He showed me again but honestly, I couldn’t see what he did differently.It looked the same as what I did.
Dr. R’s advice: “Just keep practicing”.
Two nights ago, sitting on the couch with the pumpkinhead on my lap, I caught a strong whiff of that familiar stinky fishy odor. What the heck… we only had his glands expressed ONE WEEK AGO! I carried the Boogs to the bathtub, grabbed some toilet paper and once again, tried to locate his anal glands. NOTHING. I couldn’t find them. (sigh) Boogie was so patient with me. He stood there calmly, head turned in my direction … waiting, waiting.. Three minutes later I was still squeezing and squeezing (Poor Boogie)… nothing came out.
I threw down the toilet paper and used both hands… squeezing inwards on either side of his butthole. A pale brownish fluid oozed out of his butt. OMG. We have a breakthrough! I grabbed the toilet paper and wiped it off.
Could I do this again? I have no idea. I know now to use two hands but I think I fluked it…
Do any of you do anal gland expression at home? Did you get it right the first time? I am open to advice!
P.S. No, I am not going to illustrate this one
Boogie has been eating The Honest Kitchen for about 1 1/2 years now. I alternate between most of the formulas: Force, Embark, Keen, Thrive ... but stick mostly to Keen because:
- Boogie does better with grains in his food and Keen has oats.
- Keen is cheaper than the other formulas
- Keen takes the shortest amount of time to absorb water and firm-up. The other formulas, with the exception of Force, stay “soupy/liquid” for a longer time.
- Keen produces the least amount of poop (Will elaborate on this, later! :))
We have had no issues with The Honest Kitchen at all. He has been doing really well on it (compared to previous foods that made him throw up) but I am still always on the lookout for other brands that are of the same high quality as THK . I don’t want to become totally dependent on one brand and its limited range of protein choices. I am also always trying to give Boogie some variety in his diet.
Lately I have been mixing in some HALO’s Spot’s Stew .
I first read about HALO on Tracie Hotchner’s blog.
Halo’s Spot’s Stew is now the only kibble my dogs are going to get because I learned that they use only meat that is fit for human consumption in their dry and canned foods. You can’t get better than that! It is also a high protein kibble at 33% but the vital fact is the origin of that protein. You don’t really know what is being counted as protein in foods with much higher protein levels (EVO being one). Remember that melamine AND the wheat gluten which it polluted were both being counted in a total protein percentage when neither was really bio-available to the dogs digestive system. So don’t be sure of what exactly caused it when your dog has a bad reaction to a food – just avoid it! As for The Honest Kitchen, my dogs have been eating it for years as 1/3 of their meal. As large dogs, I have always given 1/3 of the meal as kibble but now I can feel really good about it! And Halo has joined me as a website sponsor – along with THK – so you’ll be keeping it all “in the family.”
Our local pet store doesn’t sell HALO kibble so I am starting him off with the canned stuff.
I mix it in with THK – maybe 30 – 50%, and Boogie loves it and we have had no problems. So far he has tried the Chicken, Salmon and Lamb. One thing I notice is that when I feed mostly Halo (approx. 80%) Boogie’s poop is harder, darker and sometimes “pebbly” – perhaps a sign of constipation? I wonder if this is because there is lower water and fiber content in the Halo canned food than in THK? Boogie doesn’t drink much water to begin with. (He’s a strange dog)
Speaking of poop…
I think most THK people are already aware that this food produces a HUGE amount of poop compared to other brands. Which can be a little scary at first. For my friend Christa, whose Emma is incontinent and wears a diaper, the poop issue is more problematic. Here’s a little list that Christa and I came up with after comparing our THK “feeding and pooping” notes.
The Honest Kitchen POOP CHART. Yes, I am a crazy dog person.
If you feed The Honest Kitchen and/or Halo, please share your thoughts!
I even started a thread on WOOF Forum about this issue and some people think it’s because I had been adding “fillers” like rice; or it could even be all the vegetable ingredients in the new food which Boogie’s system has not yet adjusted to. I mean, his poop looks fine. It’s firm and not runny at all. There is often green vegetabley looking stuff in it (which they say is normal) and maybe they’re right – the veges are just going in one end and out the other. Perhaps he is not absorbing them nutritionally… Do dogs NEED vegetables in their diet? I don’t know. As a filler, it’s healthier than corn, wheat, gluten, or processed grain right?
Yesterday the probiotic supplement that I’d ordered from a WOOF forum member arrived and I started adding this to Boogie’s food. It’s called FastTrack Canine Microbial Supplement and you can only order it online. It resembles acidophilus ‘white’ powder and is pricey, but you only add 1/4 tsp. per day so it will last a long time.
I am not expecting this supplement to solve “the problem”but I thought what could it hurt to give him something that will prevent GI/digestive problems and boost his immune system in general? I may be way too obsessed with my dog’s health but I remember Jazzy’s stomach tumors and I don’t want anything like this ever happening to the Boogs.
Interestingly, today was different. After the monster log of poo this morning, Boogie did not poop on every single walk. This is the first day in a long time that he has had a normal “3 times a day” pooping schedule and I am feeling hopeful. I wonder if the probiotic is doing some good already? Or is he finally done with the purging? I don’t know.
The wait wasn’t too long today, thank goodness… and in the small waiting room, Boogie did his playbow thing with a friendly pitbull who had his leg in a cast.
Dr. Reina suggested trying Pepcid for the nausea & vomitting and keeping Boogie on Hills i/d or a “sensitive stomach” or “hypoallergenic” diet. I already expected this response. He said that if I decide to get into serious diagnosis of Boogie’s tummy issues, we’re talking about ultrasounds (hundreds of dollars) and/or biopsies (over a thousand dollars) and Dr Reina doesn’t think we should go there for now if there is a chance that the food is working out for him. After hearing the figures, I almost don’t want to go there myself.
And then he had a look at Boogie’s anal glands and expressed them. I now take back what I said about wanting to learn how to check/express a dog’s anal glands. Nope. I don’t think I want to do this. I think I’ll be fine not knowing!!!
Dr: “It takes experience”. (and he drew me the 4 o’clock & 8 o’clock diagram, which I already knew about)
Well, the bad news is that the Boogs has an anal gland infection.
There was gooey whitish puss coming out of his rear end.
Me: “I’ve been smelling it all week!” (hah! And Wes thought I was imagining this!)
So what they did was pack Boogie’s anal glands with antibiotics (some sort of white liquid which I hope won’t be secreted onto my furniture – eeek!) and in two weeks I have to bring him back for a check-up. No oral medication. They said that anal glad infections are not uncommon… some dogs get them some dogs don’t. I asked Dr Reina what causes the infection and he said that the glands get clogged up/backed up and bacteria builds up. That’s all there is to it. Me, I am not feeling thoroughly convinced. I hope we don’t have to go through this on a regular basis…
Dr. Reina also suggested that I feed Boogie three smaller meals a day, and keep a diary for signs of vomiting etc. Good idea. I should have been doing this anyway.