Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What's the Deal with My Dog's Anal Glands?

    If you live with enough dogs or cats in your life, sooner or later you are going to have to deal with their anal glands. It is not a pleasant subject but today we are going to “clear the air” so to speak on what’s the deal with anal glands.
What are anal glands?
   Anal glands are basically scent glands located between the layers of muscles that make up the rectum. When they are working properly, the dog expressed these “anal sacs” naturally through a duct that connects the gland each time the dog poops. It is nature’s way for a dog to mark their territory and leave a smell for other dogs to discover. That’s why your dog can ALWAYS find poop that thoughtless owners leave behind.

  Anal Glands Problems
   If your dog’s anal glands are not functioning properly, they can become impacted. That’s because the fluid that is supposed to come out during a bowel movement is building inside the glands. This is uncomfortable for your dog and can lead to infection.
   Left untreated, impacted glands can become abscessed or even rupture. This could be extremely dangerous for your pet. 
Look for these signs of anal gland trouble:
• Excessive butt licking
• Blood on their poop
• Swelling or a bump under the skin next to their rectum
• Signs of blood on the carpet or bedding
• Scooting on their butts across the floor
Will My Dog Have Anal Gland Problems?
   I have had eight dogs as an adult and only two have every needed their glands expressed. Our Golden Retriever, Tucker, had to go fairly regularly to have his taken care of at the vet. He had a lot of skin issues and that increases the chance of problems. Tucker also had Hypothyroidism that he took medication for and low thyroid levels cause the glands to not function too.
   In addition to dogs with chronic skin infection from bacteria or yeast, those with skin mite infections are vulnerable. Allergies from food or the environment can be the culprit as well as being overweight.
   There are certain breeds that tend to be prone to anal gland problems. Small breeds such as toy or miniatures and those who tend to be overweight like Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds often have recurring issues. (Three cheers to Dr. Harvey’s for keeping Bentley the ideal weight) 
How Can You Help?
   If you suspect your dog or cat is having problems with their anal glands, seek the advice of your veterinarian. Please DO NOT attempt to drain the glands yourself without proper training. (That means don’t YouTube it and try it) Improperly expressing the anal glands can cause damage. It is also very stinky and oily so you probably don’t want to do it anyway! 
   Our groomer offers the service but routine expressing of the glands can be another cause for them to stop working. If you prefer your groomer to take care of it, just have it done twice each year.
• Keep your dog at its proper weight
• Add fiber to their diet such as canned pumpkin
• Add fish oil like Dr. Harvey’s Health & Shine to their diet
• Routine exercise
**This post can about as a result of dealing with Pierre’s anal gland problems. During the Covid-19 shutdown, the groomer was closed and the vet’s were only seeing ill animals. Since he hasn’t had problems with them before, when he started licking at his butt, I thought it was allergies. That is when we made the Simple & Comfy DIY E-Collar. When he continued to bite and show signs of discomfort, we scheduled an appointment to have his glands expressed today. A vet tech came out to our car wearing a mask and took each dog inside individually whole we waited in the car. She said his anal glands were very full. He feels so much better and I will keep a close eye on him for any problems in the future. Bentley just went for a much-needed pedicure. 
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  1. we always check that area at the vet... and we hope we will get always the all clear ;O)

  2. Mom's first dog had those issues as she got older. Bailie used to have anal gland problems a lot, but the longer we have been eating Dr Harvey's Canine Health, the less it ever happens. Instead of at least once a month, it might happen every few months if that. The only change has been diet, so we attribute it to that. That problem really stinks, doesn't it Pierre?

  3. That sure isn't something anyone likes to deal with but it sure is important!

  4. It's important to keep track of everything, Pierre, we are glad you are okay, pal!

  5. May I tell you an anal gland story?
    Our Celestial Chucky began scooting his butt on the floor. I went to the library, and researched, then made an appointment with the vet. I proclaimed, "he has anal gland issues!" The vet said, no he doesn't, he's just too fat and cannot lick his butt! OHHHH!!!!! Embarrassment-city, and we immediately switched to a canned-food-only diet; no kibble. Both Chuck and Angel lost weight, and that was the end of our 'anal gland problem'! OY!

  6. My groomer, Miss Jacquie takes care of those for me.

  7. We're glad Pierre is feeling better now ! Purrs

  8. Ernie knows all about anal gland issues...and he doesn't wish them on any dog or cat!

  9. Great post. I am glad cats don't seem to have that problem. Thanks for hosting the parade.

  10. Having owned poodles, I'm too familiar with these glands. I was not aware however about he correlation between weight and anal gland issues, so thanks for the PSA. The current Ranch hands haven't had problems. {Knock on wood}

  11. Umm, yeah, I don't think I'd want to try to do that myself anyway! LOL

  12. I love the committment to lose your fluff * giggle * Of course you will!! AND your post will help a lot of dog lovers.


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