5 odd questions you might be thinking about asking your dog’s vet

5 odd questions you might be thinking about asking your dog’s vet

Even though I worm my dog regularly, and she’s had her anal glands checked (empty), why does she continue to scoot?

Some dogs have anal glands that have the anatomical exits positioned that makes them prone to blockage by faecal material. This is often seen in older dogs. They can develop more problems with anal gland blockage, due to the relaxation of their anal structures as they age. 

Often there is an allergic component to scooting. An allergen can irritate any mucous membrane of the body including the anus. If there is inflammation this can become itchy and can occlude the anal gland exits by self-trauma of just the inflammation of the mucous membrane.

The more the glands become blocked the more pressure that builds and the more the dog would feel like scooting to try to relieve that pressure. 

Allergens could be contact allergens like grass or weeds, food allergies (beef/ chicken most common) or inhaled allergens (pollens/dust). Other causes of scooting include hair irritating the anus (more common in long-haired dogs) or parasites (intestinal worms like whipworms or external parasites like fleas). Adding fibre to the dog’s diet, such as psyllium husks (Metamucil), can help bulk up the faeces and naturally express the anal glands. 


My dog acts like something is stuck in his throat, and tries to cough it up. What’s wrong?

This could be an indicator of an irritated throat or that something is partially obstructing the throat. A common reason that dogs retch is due to Canine (Kennel) Cough – an infectious bronchitis. Sometimes they will retch so hard that they will bring up some white foam or vomit food. 

I advise taking your dog to your vet for a check-up and, if necessary, treatment for kennel cough.


How can I get rid of my dog’s bad breath?

Most of the time bad breath will be caused by plaque and tartar on the teeth. Try to brush your dog’s teeth daily – make sure you use a toothpaste designed for animals (available at pet stores and vet clinics). 

Or give special dog food / treats that help reduce plaque and tartar. For example, Plaque Off is a powder made from Norwegian Sea kelp that prevents plaque from binding so strongly to the surface of the teeth. You sprinkle a small amount onto the food daily. Hexarinse, Healthy Mouth and Oxyfresh are examples of in-water breath fresheners and reduce plaque. Then there are the special tartar controlling foods like Hill’s prescription t/d, Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care and Royal Canin Dental Care food.

If there is a lot of tartar on the teeth, then they may need to be professionally cleaned by the vet.  


My dog has blood in his urine, is it an emergency?

It could be an emergency if your dog is straining and not able to pass any urine. This is especially so in male dogs. There may be crystals or stones in the bladder causing a partial or complete obstruction or irritation to the bladder lining. 


Is my dog pooping small pellets normal?

It could be normal for your dog to poop small pellets. However, sometimes it indicates dehydration or a highly digestible diet.  As long as your dog is not straining to defaecate and there is no blood or mucus in the faeces, it could be normal. 

If you’re unsure/concerned, best speak to your vet.

Dr Moss Siddle


For more questions, please contact Dr Moss Siddle @ Vetcheck247


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