Hi there. I am a huge fan of this site and, in particular, the Dog Food Directory, which I recommend to everyone (especially those who think they are feeding a good food when they are not!). However, I seem to be doing something wrong and I would really appreciate some guidance.
When I first got my Manchester terrier, she was on Royal Canin, which had been recommended by a couple of breeders. At around 5 months, I think, she started to display signs of anal gland problems so, after discovering this site and referring to the Dog Food Directory, I soon learned that RC wasn't so great and switched her to Orijen puppy, as it seemed to have the highest fibre content of the 5* dry foods.
Everything seemed fine so I continued with Orijen, switching to the adult version at around 12 months, with a weekly raw chicken wing to help keep her teeth clean, and occasional meaty bones to gnaw on in the garden in good weather.
She continued to do well on this, always producing large firm stools. However, a part of me was drawn by the arguments for feeding raw food, so, having found a local stockist of 500g tubs of Nutriment (which is also very highly rated in the DFD), I decided to try a combination diet for a while.
Since 11 May, I have been feeding her one meal of raw (Nutriment - different flavours) and one of dry (Orijen - adult with chicken). I found her stools were a little harder and smaller after a raw feed, and a little softer, but larger after a dry feed, which seemed to be in order, and also seemed a good combination with regards to keeping her anal glands in order.
However, last Saturday, 25 June, without any prior warning, she developed an abscess on her right anal sac, which quickly ruptured. In the process of getting that under control, our vet found that the left side was also impacted and she expressed both accordingly.
When I took her back less than a week later, although the wound had healed really well, following antibiotics and regular warm Epsom salt compresses, both anal glands were badly impacted again and I am concerned about getting to the root cause as quickly as possible in order to avoid the need for regular expressing, which I understand can be counter productive, or the risk of further infection.
So, what I need to know is: Could the problem be caused by the introduction of the raw food (which seems to fly in the face of everything I've read on the subject) or could it be due to the combination of the raw and dry (although always fed separately) or could I be missing something else?
I am currently in two minds whether to switch to all raw (having already come this far) or to switch back to just the Orijen (on the grounds that she seemed to be fine before I added the raw).
Expert input on this would be gratefully received. Many thanks in anticipation.