View Full Version : Won't stop licking anal glad area, already expressed & e

12-14-2007, 07:09 AM
After 8 weeks of trying everything, I don't know what to do.
First - this is Buttons Rat Terrier - female
9 1/2 years old (got her at 7 weeks)
Very Active and happy, never sick before.
She gets great food (ie Natural balance beef log, Natural balance vegetable dry food)
Freeze dried liver treats (no junk)
Filtered water
Regular vet visits with shots & heartworm up to date.
Gets walks every day.

History of my On going 8 week problem.

Starting licking anal glad area.
To vet had glands expressed.
Still licking.
Back to vet - glands expressed or checked and no problem noticed.
No blood, no puss, area examed and no lumps - vet said all looks good.
Gave her a shot, I beleive partly to relieve if itchy.
Still licking
Back to vet - got antibiotic (Clavomox) just as a precaution took all of the pills.
Still licking
Note: All of this time she is eating fine. Doesn't act like she is in any pain.
Back to vet, anal area checked and all looked fine. Another shot
Still licking
Now vet suggests trying another RX - Temaril tabs - this is a steroid/anti itch. Full dose 5 days with no results, so vet recommended stopping Temaril.
Still licking
Vet says she does not know why Buttons continues to lick, she says I should go to a specialist. Recommended starting with a Dermatologist. This is a longshot in my opinion as her skin looks fine. No soars, no insect bites, no fleas, no lumps. She has loss of hair from so much licking.
(By the way closest specialist is 1 1/2 hours away)

I decided to try another vet in the area who is both a licensed vet and practices Holistic care.

He spent over 1 hour with us and Buttons.
This time he (unlike the vet) discussed everything that we feed Buttons.

He didn't see anything wrong with the food she was eating.
He suggested stoping the garlic tabs (we use for fleas) as they my cause itching. (nothing wrong with garlic itself)
He suggested stopping mixing green beans in her food as they may cause gas. (original vet suggested feeding green beans as vegetables are good for dogs) Carrots or zuchinni is better as less gas producing.
He also examed Buttons anal glands and anus. He said glands were empty and anus appeared healty.
I also forgot - I have Xrays. I took them to this new vet and he looked at them also. All her organs looked normal.

Holistic suggestions made:
Detox (he prepared liquid - I give 2 x day)
Essential fatty acids 1 time per day (fish oil, etc)
Probiotic (Vanilla yogurt - 2 TBLS per day)
A homeopathic creme to rub on area for itching - 3 times day
Rescue remedy - drops 2 times day to bring down anxiety

ALSO, since I am stopping garlic suggested Advantage for fleas.
The high quality garlic I was using worked good, I don't like the pesticides in Advantage.
Suggested spraying the house for fleas - just as a precaution.

It has been 7 DAYS using all of the new holistic remedies.
She is still LICKING.
Granted, he said It may take 3 weeks before she stops and I plan to continue with his recommendations.

The licking seams even worse, I feel so bad for her as I know she is uncomfortable.
She will be lying down and either her head will suddenly jerk over towards her behind (start licking) or sometimes she will jump up like something bit her in the butt then start licking. She will lick for a long hard time. She has never rubbed her butt on the floor.

I decided to get down and smell (this is embarrassing) her anal area when she suddenly started licking. There is definatly a strong musty odor, which I know she did not have prior to this whole licking thing. When she jumps up I even hear gas, sometimes she even sniffs the area in the bed where her butt was. I think the emitting of whatever is happening irritates her so she starts licking.

The holistic Vet does not think it is her skin, so it would be a waste of time going to a skin doctor.

I feel like I am loosing my mind. I wondered what kind of specialist I should turn to.

I don't want to treat the symtems, I want to find the cause.

Thank you in advance if you took the time to read this and respond.


12-14-2007, 04:00 PM
My only suggestion would be to put a cone collar on her to discourage her from licking. I have no idea what specalist you would go to, possible a gastrologist? (sp) Someone who specalises in digestion and the internal organs of the digestive track. You may want to try a vet collage, the professers are often more knowleadgeable then your regular vet.Has anything occured, a change in her life in the last 8 weeks that may have caused this change? A move, an injury, and new addition to the family?

12-14-2007, 11:18 PM
I agree with the cone. It's highly possible that the original reason for the licking has been cured and she's only continuing to do it out of behavior. Try the cone for awhile.

I'm also curious as to if the vet did any skin scraping or gave her a bath with a special soap or even going so far as a dip?

Otherwise I'd try something called nustock on the area. You can order it online and if you're interested send me a pm and I'll send you the link to where it can be purchased. It's not very expensive and is a medicated lotion; it's used to treat a variety of skin issues and helps promote hair regrowth.

12-15-2007, 11:20 AM
Nope, no change in her life or her environment. I agree it can become a behavior issue but because she jumps up so sudden and then there is a musty order I think it is more than that. Having said that I don’t want to try the cone just yet.

A vet college was a good suggestion. We did find one but they are over 3 hours away. We noticed at there website they will do consultations with our local vet via the phone. This is a possibility, as I can call back my vet and see if she will call them for there advice. They have vets at the college that are trained in gastroenterology, which sounds like to me a good choice.

We are still researching to see if we can find a specialist that is not so far away.

My vet did not do any skin scraping as she didn’t notice anything abnormal with the skin. I am applying a homeopathic from the 2nd vet I went to – to the area. I believe it is for itching. I looked up nustock on the internet and it sounds like a very good crème without needing a Rx. Thank you for that information.

I will post any positive or not so positive results as they come. I feel that the different points and issues mentioned in this forum are a benefit for all.

07-21-2011, 08:23 AM
We ended up using a cone on Buttons for around 10 days. It helped stop her licking quite a bit. Which says it was largely a bad habit.

That was 4 years ago.
Today she is 13 years old and she is still every week doing some licking at her anal gland. She now knows we don't want her to do it so we never see her doing it, she hids when she does it. We can tell when she feels wet back their that she has been licking.

As long as she is not obsessed with it we will live with it. And continue to try to disipline her if we see her going for that area.

We also have a powder for itching that we put on the area just in case it is itching her.

Sometimes we wish that dogs could talk, although we might be afraid what they may say. :D