On Wednesday Leila had both of her anal glands removed. She had begun having issues with them constantly filling up and needing to be expressed every few days. A dog will usually have their anal glands expressed about every 4 weeks to prevent them from becoming irritated, infected and possibly abscessed. Leila was scooting around the house almost daily and was always trying to chew at her back end. The anal gland expression discharge was sometimes a thicker discharge and you could tell they were really starting to bother her. When it was time to express her anal glands she would yelp if just her tail was touched. I knew that removing them while she was still a young pup would be the best solution, especially since she was having so many issues, I wanted to prevent any more discomfort and any possible issues from developing. Sadie had her anal glands removed because she would express them on my bed, in the car and on furniture on a daily basis. I tried everything in the book for Sadie and in the end getting her anal glands removed was the best decision I could make for her. Sadie recovered so well from her surgery and did not have one issue afterward, so I decided I would get Leila’s out as well.
An Anal Sacculectomy, which is the name for the anal gland removal surgery, can be quite costly ranging anywhere from $800-1,000 depending on your vet. Another issue with the anal sacculectomy is that it has the potential for causing permanent fecal incontinence. There is about a 10% chance that your pet can have incontinence issues for life after having this surgery. If you are considering having this surgery done on your pet make sure that you have a qualified doctor performing the surgery. It is best to do your research on veterinarians in your area and ask a lot of questions during the consultation appointment. Leila is very lucky to have an amazing team of doctors working on her, and the doctor who performed her surgery has been practicing for a long time and is a very experienced in removing anal glands.
Leila was first put under anesthesia and then her anal glands were expressed. I was surprised that quite a bit of discharge came out of them, since they were just expressed a few days prior. After expressing her glands the nurse then shaved her butt area and scrubbed it clean. I was a little sad to see Leila’s “pants” get shaved, but the nurse tried to shave off as little as she could. After getting shaved and cleaned she was then ready to go into the surgery room. Leila was placed laying down on her stomach with her back legs slightly hanging off the table. Since her tail curls up naturally, it didn’t need to be tied up and kinda stayed in place on it’s own. The nurse then injected the anal glands with this special anal gland liquid to make them full so that the doctor could easily find they gland when removing them. Leila was now completely prepped and ready for the doctor to begin. He started on her right side making a small incision and beginning to cut into her poor little bum. He then removed the anal sac from the tissues and anal gland duct. Sutures that dissolve over time where used to close the deeper tissue layers and sutures that need to be removed in 14 days closed the outside incision. The procedure lasted a little over an hour for both anal glands to be removed.
Leila was also diagnoised with mild entropion, which is where the eyelashes are turned and start irritating the eyes. For the past few days Leila has been squinting in one eye and I mentioned to the doctor if he could get a good look at it while she was in surgery. It turned out she had a few eyelashes that were growing in and irritating her eye. They ended up plucking 4 eyelashes, which was good that she was under anesthesia.
Leila woke up from surgery very well. A few hours after her surgery came her first poop which really scared her and hurt. She was freaked out I think because she could not control her bowels and because it must have really hurt her to poop. After she got it all out she relaxed again and was pretty sleepy until I took her home around 6 pm. Once we got home she was starting to get back to her normal self. She was still a little freaked out and had been running back and forth between her kennel upstairs and the one downstairs. She only wants to sleep in her kennel and only comes out briefly to eat or get water and then makes a straight dash back in. She was given an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic that she will take for about 10 days.
Today Leila was almost completely back to her playful self, but is still acting just a little off. She continues to hide in her kennel and I am unsure if she is upset with me, in pain or just scared. Today I had to put the cone of shame on her because she was licking at her incisions. She is handling the e-collar better than I had expected, but it is such a big clumsy thing she can barely fit into her kennel. Her butt was looking a little bruised today where her anal glands used to be, but it went away later in the day. She is able to control her bowels which is a really good sign. When Sadie had her anal glands removed for the first 4-5 days after she would poop in the house and was not able to control her bowels at all. After day 5 she regained control and never had an issue after. Leila is already healing up better than Sadie did, and I just have to make sure that she leaves her new incision sites alone until they can fully heal up. I will give another update within the next few days.