Molly finished her antibiotics and prednisone on Thursday, so thankful! Unfortunately the very next morning she was licking her butt again. Saturday, same thing. Both times she had some leakage. Not good. I decided that I was going to express Molly's anal glands myself, and that was final!
I've tried many times to express Molly's anal glands. Externally and internally. I've had groomers show me, I've had a vet show me, I've watched videos on YouTube. Molly's layout "back there" is more difficult than a normal dog's, apparently. One vet said "she has a lady's rear end." Our most recent vet, who is treating Molly's infected anal gland, was in complete disbelief that Molly's glands are ever able to express on her own, ever. That might be a stretch, but still! Things aren't easy back there.
The right gland is the infected gland. On Molly's progress check last Saturday, the fluid was clear and she was showing progress. But something was up with that licking. I got Molly into the tub, put some gloves on and "went in". It was definitely hard to feel anything. I remembered that the right gland is supposed to be at "5 o'clock" and I remembered our vet saying that Molly's gland is "deeper" than a normal dogs. I knew when I found it because Molly turned into Super!Wiggle Worm instead of a dog mildly annoyed to have a finger inserted in her rectum. Even then, it wasn't easy. Molly was understandably trying to escape the entire situation, the gland didn't seem to respond the way I wanted it to...a learning process all around.
Finally after more attempts than either of us would like, I found the gland and "massaged" it a bit and was surprised to at last see some fluid come out. I gasped and Molly escaped and tried to climb out of the tub. I "went back in" this time very sure of what I was doing and expressed the rest of the fluid. It was blood. The infection is not cleared up. I am so very, very sad.
I do feel empowered that I was able to express an anal gland. I have been avoiding this for six years now and at last, I have conquered it! We will return to the vet tomorrow to find out what happens next - I'm assuming a stronger course of antibiotics but we will find out for sure soon enough.
Thank you, Molly, for teaching me more than I ever wanted to know about the insides of dog rectums. Only you, stripey dog.