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Messages - Mrharries

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Amongst his many current health problems our spaniel has frequent anal gland problems requiring vet visits to empty. I agree it's not a pleasant experience for owner or dog!

We were told that a diet too high in protein was partly to blame because it made the stools softer than they should be - it's hard stools which trigger the glands to excrete I believe.

Of course, a lower protein diet comes with problems of its own, but we found that regular bones helped enormously - as the tiny bits of bone the dog manages to chew off pass through its system, they make the stools a bit firmer and thereby trigger the glands "on the way through."

Good luck!

Dear all

Thanks for the contributions so far. That thread about canine nutritionalists started in 2015 draws a depressing blank doesn't it? As others have said, plainly there's a niche market here but one which needs its funding through food manufacturers themselves, so you're back to square one in assessing the independence of the advice.

From the research we've been doing in trying to find a pH balancing diet that's low on phosphorus (thus keeping the stones at bay) but higher in fatty acids and calcium for the skin/nail SLO problem, it's not easy to find a manufactured food that does it all. It may be that the best thing is a bespoke raw diet that we can tweak as and when necessary and see how that goes.

I'll check out the Nutriment Low Purine too so thanks for that recommendation.

We've asked the vet to refer us to a nutritionalist if there isn't one within the veterinary surgery itself and the suggestion we contact the RVC is a very good one.

Thanks again for the comments and I'll let you know how we get on.



Hello all

I'd be grateful for any advice you might have, especially if you've come across the same problem(s). Alternatively, if you know a good canine nutritionalist who you can recommend, that would be extremely useful. The problems are many...

My cocker spaniel is 6 years old. He's got a litany of health issues, the most serious of which appears to have been overlooked by the vet repeatedly until the last straw, when a nail fell out during a walk over Christmas.

He has very poor nails and infections in 3 of 4 of his paws as a result. A biopsy has been done and the vet suspects lupoid onchodystrophy, so they've put him on a myriad of fatty acid supplements and antibiotics.

I'm convinced that this hasn't just arisen by chance. In Jan 2016, he had an operation to remove struvite bladder stones which had returned following a period of time on a preventative food. Post op, the vet put him on another preventative food which did the trick re the stones, but I suspect has brought about deficiencies elsewhere in his nutritional needs and led to his current nail/nail bed problem. The food says on the packet not to use for more than 3-6 months, but the vet was firm that we should continue to use it on a permanent basis.

So, what we need is a diet which keeps his pH balanced so as to keep the stones away, but which also contains the essential vitamins and minerals he needs to encourage health nail, coat and skin growth. No easy task judging by the internet research I've been trying to do.

As an added bonus, he also has trouble with blocked anal glands, but frankly, they can be dealt with tolerably if we can overcome the two major problems.

I appreciate this is something of a complex issue, hence the request for recommendation for an expert, but I would be really grateful to hear from anyone whose dog suffered similar problems and any solutions you might be able to suggest.

Many thanks,


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