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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My poor girl has been so sickly all month long, and my vets just cannot seem to figure it out. I really need some thoughts on this situation. ): She's a miniature poodle, 6 years old.

Three times since early August, she's had to have her anal glands expressed at the vets. They were impacted and appeared slightly infected the first time, so she was put on antibiotics. A week later, we emptied them again; no obvious infection, but still "clumpy" material. More antibiotics. We had them emptied AGAIN on Thursday, same story goes. So, she's currently on Clavamox AGAIN, and the vet also prescribed Rimadyl for the inflammation. Still zero signs of this helping.

Today, another issue cropped up. I groomed her, and when I shaved her face up.... I found pimple-like bumps at the base of her whiskers! Infected follicles? Not one or two, but MOST of the whiskers on her upper lips. I have no clue how long these have been there! I applied a warm compress to them earlier, and put some Neosporin over them. Can't get up with my vet about it until Monday. (I will note, she's been licking this area of her lips often lately, probably due to the antibiotics upsetting her stomach. Might be the cause.)


Obviously, I need a new vet. This one offers nothing more than redoing what already isn't working. I'm confused. I'm scared. I have no idea what to do with this situation, and no clue if these things are connected. Seriously hoping there's nothing major wrong with my girl. ):


Edit: Wanted to add, she's never had issues with her skin or anal glands before this. No other skin issues currently. We DID change her diet to a lower-quality kibble about 8 months ago, and I'm wondering if that could possibly be the cause. I'm currently switching her back to her old food slowly.
 

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Sounds like you are getting a good start by getting her back on a food that worked for her in the first place. Changing to a cheaper variety might end up costing you in the long run with vet visits etc... I might try to increase her fiber as well to make sure to firm up her poops and hopefully relieve her backside so she isn't getting her glands inflamed and filled. Canned Pumpkin is great. NOT the pie filling, just plain pumpkin with no sweeteners. 1 Tablespoon daily to start.

The pimples around her face? Could all be part of the same thing or could be a bunch of small things. Do you use a ceramic or stainless steal bowl for feeding and do you clean it very well regularly? Sometimes bacteria can grow in their bowls, plastic is especially bad. Washing them at high heat in the dishwasher is good or a dip in bleach water after a good wash and then rinse well, air dry.

If her tummy is upset with antibiotics make sure she is taking them after some food so it isn't on an empty stomach.

A note on the Rimadyl, it can be quite hard on their systems. If they are going to have her on an anti-inflammatory for a longer time ask about Meloxicam as it is cheaper and not as hard on their systems. Best of luck, it is so hard to see our little ones not feeling well. I hope that she is back to great health soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will try some canned pumpkin tomorrow. The vet gave us some "anal gland health" chew sticks with fiber and pumpkin in them; but.... Honey isn't able to chew them into pieces small enough to make me happy. Don't want her swallowing huge pieces.

Her bowls are stainless steel, and washed every night after her dinner. I'll start washing them after each meal and bleaching at night if it might help!

The Rimadyl.... yeah, I've only given that to her twice. Both times, it seemed to cause her to pace around and pant excessively. No more of that. I didn't see it helping at all anyway. Warm compresses with some epsom salt seem to work better for the inflammation.
 

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When you see the vet next, ask about the Meloxicam if that would be helpful for inflammation and discomfort. Don't forget, no sugar in the pumpkin and don't over do it. Try a Tablespoon with each meal first. Hopefully it firms things up and helps to naturally express her glands. If her whole digestive system is messed up perhaps some probiotics as well. I give a little plain, lowfat yogurt but I would just try pumpkin first and perhaps add a Tablespoon of yogurt to her meals later.

Good luck!
 

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I would be looking for a different vet. I'm not a vet, but the fact that she's being given antibiotics when antibiotics aren't working doesn't sound good.
You might note where you are located. Maybe someone can recommend a good vet. You might want to start a new thread with a title like "second opinion needed: xyz city, state" and describe the symptoms again.
Diet is the easiest thing to change for your dog. However, if the cause of the malady isn't dietary, changing the diet isn't going to help much. Getting a correct diagnosis is important.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good news is, her anal gland issue may finally be fixed. For the first time all month, she's not worrying about her butt. Running around like normal, playing, wanting attention again, and no more straining outside.

The pimple-like things are still there. One side of her muzzle has improved, but the other side hasn't changed. I'll try getting a picture of it later, but not sure it'll show up well.


Tried to get up with the vet today, but never got a call back. I am looking for a different vet; there's plenty in town I know are decent. I've just stuck with this office since the previous vet there was always excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I hate to be back here but.... it seems we're back to square one again. She's avoiding having her backside touched, hiding under tables, straining outside, and sitting oddly again. I haven't been able to get her poo back to normal yet; it's slightly soft and thinner than usual. Pumpkin doesn't seem to be helping for her, and neither are probiotics. ):

Since my last post, we saw the vet again for general tests. Blood tests all came up completely normal. No parasites. Nothing on the skin scrape of the pimples on her face. Vet just said she has acne and suggested keeping her face clean and wiping with Stridex pads. Not helping, but also not getting any worse.

Going to have her glands expressed again tomorrow I suppose. Not sure what else to ask the vet to do...
 

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I believe, and I could be wrong, that anal glands can be removed. It might be something to talk to your vet about.
Addisons is something that can effect mini poodles (though more common in standards) which can be really hard to diagnose. Not sure exactly how the symptoms fit, but symptoms can be vague and hard to pin point. Have you discussed addisons?
 

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Yes, I actually brought up Addisons and Cushings myself since poodles are prone. Vet said the symptoms don't match up to Addisons; mostly because she has no GI tract issues aside from the anal glands. (Current loose stool is due to 3 weeks on antibiotics and a food change.) And blood work didn't show the changes they see in dogs with Addison's or Cushing's.

Removal isn't something I'm considering anytime soon. This has only been an issue for a month so far, and she's only slightly uncomfortable at the moment.
 

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When did you finish the antibiotics? If the gut flora was seriously depleted, then it will take a while to get back to normal even with the addition of probiotics. Having loose stool from the antibiotics certainly doesn't help the anal glands...they rely on a nice normal firm stool to express naturally. I would continue the food transition and probiotics and give it a couple weeks to see if things improve. If not, a new vet seems like a reasonable next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
She finished her last course of Clavamox 8 days ago now.

Let's see... new vet today. Her glands were easy to express this time, and the fluid looked normal; not thick or "chunky" like before. But, they were full just two weeks after they were last expressed. This vet is leaning towards food allergies, and asked me to continue the current food for another 2-3 weeks to see if it will help. If not, switch to something without chicken and rice. Instructed to add some Metamucil to her food and try Hydro-cortisone cream on her pimples.

Hoping I can get her glands expressing like normal. *sigh*
 
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