New rescue, 12yo, had her anal glands expressed the day I got her, 4/28/2018. She is still licking her tail (underside close to her body) and scooting. Took her to my vet 5/4. Glands were empty. Trying Vaseline on the outside. Still licking & scooting. Vet suggested cone to keep her from irritating the area (ordered a soft one yesterday) and 1/2 of a 25 mg benadryl. Any other suggestions??
@ginnyc Since we are discussing a rescue, please consider that she may be continueing the actions out of habit. Is there is any way to find out how long the behavior (and/or the medical issue) existed prior to bringing her into your home?
Here's my thought process: the dog needed her glands expressed (for a period of time), she coped with it by scooting and licking, she recieved the medical care that she needed but now she's in a new environment. She's seeking comfort while she copes with the anxiety of new surroundings, so... she is returning to the behavior that used to make her "feel better".
In other words, she's traded seeking comfort from a physical issue (anal glands) for seeking comfort from a psychological one (new environment). She's resorting to the behavior that worked in the past - even though it's probably not working (as well) now.
My suggestion: The cone is a great a way to interrupt the licking behavior, but solutions for the scooting(?)... Would a "doggy diaper" prevent/deter her scooting? Would some "udder cream" help alieviate any dry/roughness in the area? Is it possible that she has some sort of blockage (from something that she didn't process properly)?
Other thoughts include a curiosity about her food intake. Have you changed her diet? Perhaps something that's easier to digest? Does she act constipated?
I could probably go on and on and not make the right suggestion, so take all of that with a grain of salt. It's hard to find a solution without first hand knowledge. Just think it all through.
The more often you (or the Vet) clears the anal glands, the more often they need doing. I would try to avoid doing it more often than absolutely necessary and try her on a high fibre diet. I agree with elbrant that she is probably doing something which is familiar to help her cope with new surrounding and environment.
If by 'cone' you mean 'elizabethan collar' - mostly dogs hate these even if they are soft and as she is in a new place I would be unhappy about restricting her in this way.
I take it you have very little idea of her circumstances prior to her coming to live with you (and well done for taking her in - may be enjoy many years together !) Try and prevent the area from becoming sore but keep an eye on her and see if there is anything special which triggers her apparent need to do this.
I agree with Zande, also one of my dogs had problems years ago with allergy’s and had his glands expressed a few times with no improvement. If Benadryl helps I would consider it is possibly an allergy. Also contact the rescue where you found the dog as they may have more info or advice on the problem.
@elbrant I hadn’t thought about it like that, as a habit, or psychological, but that is a possibility. Perhaps if I can continue to comfort her, gain trust, she gets used to her new home, while trying to keep her from her tail, it will improve with time! Same diet.
@zande I rec’d her med records going back a few years and don’t see that she had her glands expressed before. So, yes, totally agree not to do it unless necessary. Yes, I meant E collar. I have just always called it a cone. Perhaps I made that name up. Vet suggested it because she is irritating the area and I think the plastic ones look more uncomfortable. We were trying to keep that area from becoming more red and irritated. It could easily be from the change in her surroundings and new life!
@ginnyc I thought at the time it might be boredom with my B as he sometimes does lick himself during the winter when excercise is restricted. We had him on Benadryl and that stopped it, then switched diet. He hasn’t had any problems since. If the Benadryl works it should help if it is a behavior too.
I just spoke with the rescue/fosters. She didn’t scoot or lick until 4/27, the day before the expression and the glands were full. I wonder if it is possible that the expression wasn’t done properly or carefully. My vet said she was “scabby” inside when he examined her one week after the expression. Or...does she have another issue and full anal glands was a coincidence? Also, they did take her camping right before I adopted her. She chose to lie on the ground even though she had a bed. Perhaps she picked up something from the trip?
@debradownsouth Agreed. We’re trying Vaseline, Benadryl and trying to keep her from licking first and crossing fingers it heals. Fecal test next if no progress. She did seem to not lick as much yesterday with Benadryl so trying that again today. I’m keeping a close eye on her!
Cone or E-collar - there is a much better, cheaper alternative I have found can be made to fit ANY eventuality and stop a Basenji licking.
Tights. OK, panty-hose. You can use just the leg, or the top bit by the thigh, or the body bit, you can use the legs to tie the 'dressing' on or around - ANY part of the (now discarded by you) garment can be pressed into service. No kidding, you would not believe the wounds, scratches, surgery scars that I have contrived a protection with panty-hose. Light, expendable and the dog doesn't realise it is wearing something.
And I carry Pyriton (sp) with me for use of the doggies. Possibly same effect as Benadryl ??? Also if there is inflammation - junior aspirin can help. even half of one.
Get the vet to check her for parasites and get her wormed, pronto.
Good luck !