What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(
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Thread: What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

  1. #1
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    What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

    I have a two and 1/2 year old male puggle named Gadget who has been in good health until recently when I've noticed a few things. I hope someone out there will be able to give me some advice!

    1. Gadget has always had what I considered to be very active anal glands. However, in the last few months I've noticed that he's almost ALWAYS leaving a puddle where he sits or licking his butt. Even the same day and the days immediately following an anal expression, he's leaving the smell all over my apartment and constantly licking his butt. He also expresses his glands when he barks.. which is pretty frequent since he is an alarm barker (barks at every noise or person that walks past our window). Sometimes when he is barking hard he will actually spray the brown liquid onto the wall which stains (but doesn't smell after about a day). I know that some dogs do require frequent anal gland expression, but I feel like this is abnormal. It seems like the smell never stops even with gland expression. I've mentioned this problem to the vet when I went about a month ago and she felt around and said she didn't see anything abnormal like an infection. I've changed his diet to ensure that his poops are "harder" so that they naturally express his glands, but I haven't noticed any change for the better. I'm very frustrated because my apartment almost always stinks with the fishy odor because of him and every time I bring it up to the vet they tell me nothing's wrong! Do I just have to live with a fishy smelling dog and apartment??

    2. Within the past month I've noticed that when he's laying down in a ball resting (but not sleeping) sometimes his arm and leg on the left side of his body will shake or twitch. It looks as if his muscles are tensing up and trembling, then relax, then tensing, then relaxing. Over and over. It won't stop until he gets up and does something else and it seems to only happen when he's laying down. Unfortunately, this began happening after my last vet appointment which was about a month ago so I haven't told the vet about this. I did, however, mention to the vet that sometimes his front paws will tremble when he's sitting and putting weight on them. The vet checked out his legs and didn't see anything wrong. Anyone else have an idea as to what this could be?

    3. Finally, he shakes his head and scratches his ears a lot. Every time I go to the vet, they check his ears and always say that they look perfectly normal with no redness or irritation. Could it be something that isn't obvious or visible to the eye? Is it possible for dogs to have eczema in their ears? I ask this because I also have eczema and dryness in my own ears due to allergies and it makes my ears VERY itchy sometimes. Gadget does have seasonal allergies and has leaky, drippy eyes (which I was told could be caused by allergies).

    - Jen

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

    Wow! What an awful situation for the both of you. It does sound like allergies could be involved. I just posted Sassy's story on another thread. She had anal sac problems that mostly went away when I switched to a very simple cooked diet. Think about trying a simple kibble like the California Naturals, Wellness Simple Solutions or Natural Balance. You could get lucky and find a food that works better. I suspect the wonderful variety of meats, grains, fruits and veggies in most kibbles were just too much for Sassy, one or another caused a tiny reaction that resulted in the problem. I changed her diet for other reasons and it took me a long time to notice the improvement. Unless there is an escalation in symptoms feed a new diet for at least 8 weeks before giving up on it.

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    Re: What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

    The ear thing might be ear mites too... or if it is a dry skin issue the treatment for one will help both. Swab his ears out daily with a cotton ball and some mineral oil. It suffocates any mites and moisturizes the ear. The anal glads have me stumped. Usually I was under the impression that dark purulent discharge was indicative of infection. If he's leaving spots is there any chance the anal sac has ruptured? "If anal sacs aren't expressed and the dog can't express them on its own they may rupture. When this happens there is usually a draining tract about 2 inches below the rectum and about 1 inch from away from the rectum on which ever side the anal sac ruptured on."

    Lastly if changes in diet haven't helped and there's no impaction, infection or rupture, you can always have the glands removed. They could just be genetically defectve.

  5. #4
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    Re: What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

    Thanks so much for your responses!

    Dog_Shrink - I will definitely have to try some mineral oil in his ears. Hopefully it will give him some relief! I don't think his anal sacs have ruptured. I checked the area around his rectum and I don't see any leaking. Would having his anal sacs removed cause him any problems or discomfort? I actually didn't know removing them was an option.

    Kathyy - By a simple kibble do you mean that it has less ingredients than other kibbles? I had been feeding him Timberwolf Organics and then Nature's Variety for about 6 - 8 months each. He seemed to do OK on each of them, but none of his problems (anal sac, eye leakage, itchy ears, leg shaking) ever fully went away. Eventually, while still on Nature's Variety the anal gland problem got worse so I thought I'd try Innova EVO. I began that about 2 weeks ago and then I noticed that the smell coming from his anus was different (smelled more oily and metallic) and I saw his legs shaking so I immediately stopped that food. I wasn't sure if the odor and shaking were related to the food or not, but it was the only thing I could think of that had changed in his life in the past two weeks. Right now he's on Beneful until I can figure out what else to feed him. He actually seems to do OK on Beneful (and it certainly makes for hard stools!), but I'd rather him eat something more wholesome soon. I am considering going to a raw or BARF diet, but I'm concerned about feeding him the correct proportions.. I still haven't figured that out. More research is due I guess

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    Re: What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

    Ya know what it sounds to me is... the eyes, ears, and anal glands can all be allergy related. Beagles and pugs both are subject to a multitude of eye ailments, beagles are more prone to ear infections and ear trouble in general. Beagles are also prone to epilepsy (and I'll get to this in a sec.) Here's a quick break down of most common genetic defects:
    "Some lines can be prone to epilepsy, heart disease, eye and back problems. Also prone to chondroplasia, aka dwarfism (warped front legs, like a Basset's)."

    Pugs are also prone to a myriad of genetic ailments inherent to the breed. Being a puggle you need to take into consideration both breed's genetic defects when looking at health issues. Here's the most common pug defects:
    "Pugs catch colds easily and are stressed by hot and cold weather. They are prone to allergies and the short muzzle contributes to chronic breathing problems, tending to wheeze and snore. (Pugs suffer from poor ventilation.) Prone to skin problems. Prone to Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), an inflammation of the brain that strikes adolescent Pugs usually between the ages of 2 and 3. The cause is unknown. They are not the easiest whelpers. Dams usually have to have cesarean sections due to the size of the pups heads. There is a chance of keratites (inflammation of the cornea) and ulcers on the cornea. Eyes are prone to weeping. Do not overfeed a Pug, as they will eat more than is good for them, quickly becoming obese and living much shorter lives."


    back to seizures. There's a type of seizure called a focal seizure where it presents differently than the traditional "mal" seizures. There is generally no flailing legs, snapping jaws, etc. Read this: (Google it as this isn't the greatest link) http://www.hilltopanimalhospital.com/seizure.htm

    "Thus a dog may have a seizure limited to behavioral changes, to vomiting and diarrhea or to motor twitches perhaps affecting only part of the body. Such variations may temporarily confuse both the client and the veterinarian."

    The leg twitching could be incidences of focal seizuer. Might be worth talking to your vet about.
    Last edited by Dog_Shrink; 01-15-2010 at 10:50 AM.

  7. #6
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    Re: What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

    Thanks for the information Dog_Shrink. I didn't know that seizures could be localized like that. I will have to bring him to the vet and ask them about that. I think you're right about the eyes, ears and skin stuff being allergy related. I hope that a diet change will help!

    Thanks again!

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    Re: What is Going on with My Puggle!? :(

    You're welcome. Happy to help.

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