How to Manage a Pain in the Butt

This weekend, a nine-year-old dachshund arrived at the Hardin County Animal Shelter with a medical condition. The owners turned him in because they did not have the financial means to have a veterinarian treat his condition.

I met the dog on Saturday when my coworker asked me for a suggestion on how to help the dog poop. She explained to me that the dog presented with impacted anal glands. With the help of another coworker, she had expressed the anal glands on Friday. She said the consistency of the fluid was like toothpaste and the odor was normal. The dog had grass in its bowels.

We concluded that mineral oil might help the dog defecate. I suggested giving him some yogurt in order to get some probiotics into his system. One of the animal control officers asked if an enema would help. I said, “Sure we can try it. As long as it’s a warm-water enema.”

The three of us went to the exam room. I restrained the dog. The officer performed the enema. The dog whimpered in pain. I don’t blame him – with how bad his rear end had swelled because of his constipation, there had to be considerable pain. Following the enema, the lead vet tech inserted her finger into the dog’s anus and pulled out solid stool intertwined with grass. Following this, the officer performed another warm-water enema.

We administered half a tablet of 25mg Rimadyl to manage the pain. We put the dog back in recovery for observation.

Meanwhile, the lead tech asked me to look for a remedy for the situation. As it turns out, intestinal or anal blockage is a common ailment for dachshunds. It usually begins when anal glands become impacted when they do not express naturally. The usual treatment is to manually express the glands or have them surgically removed. Both of these options treat the symptom.

Holistic veterinarians do not recommend manual expression of anal glands because this usually makes the need for expression to recur. Surgical removal is also discouraged because anal glands are like trash bins that remove toxins from the body. So what can you do to treat this kind of problem?

It comes back to the diet. What are you feeding your dog? One veterinarian recommended feeding your dog a raw species appropriate diet replete with raw meaty bones. Simply changing the diet effects change in the whole dog not just the area of concern. Some recommended foods to aid with gastrointestinal problems include

  • Raw meaty bones (chicken necks, backs, etc.)
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Pulped vegetables (cabbage, broccoli)
  • Plain yogurt (not fat free)
  • Scrambled eggs

Have you ever had this happen with your dachshund? If so, what was the outcome? We’d love to hear your story. Please comment below.

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