The anal glands are two tiny oval-shaped sacs on either side of your dog’s rectum. When your dog poops, the glands express a specific scented fluid onto the feces that tells your dog apart from others. When you see a dog sniff another dog’s rear, they can identify from this scent if they’ve met before, if the dog is aggressive and much more.
How to Determine if Your Dog has Anal Gland Problems?
Most dogs will spend their life without any problems with their anal glands. However, if your dog is dragging its behind as though to clean their backside or if they smell fishy, their anal glands might be full, impacted, or infected. The fluids are released by manual manipulation known as expression. Some of the common signs your dog may need anal gland expression are:
- Scooting or dragging their backside to ease itchiness
- Excessive licking of their anal area
- Displaying discomfort, pain, or straining when pooping
- Leaking smelly fluid
- An unpleasant fishy odor
What are the Reasons for Anal Gland Problems?
If your pet is having gland issues, it’s because they are built that way. Sometimes a dog’s anal glands are not placed close enough to its rectum to be squeezed into releasing fluid when your dog has a bowel movement. Other reasons for anal gland issues could be obesity, loose stools, allergies, and underlying gastrointestinal conditions.
Expressing Your Dog’s Anal Glands
It’s essential to your pet’s health to have anal glands expressed to prevent the formation of an abscess. If not, this can lead to an increased risk of infection, minor surgery, and prescription medication. There is no need for expression if there are no indications of anal gland issues. If your dog does not have underlying conditions or contributing factors like obesity or a low-fiber diet, you can learn how to express troublesome anal glands in the comfort of your home. Make sure to ask your veterinarian to demonstrate the procedure before trying this on your own!
We Would Love the Opportunity to Care for Your Furry Friends!
Alexander Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital located in Severna Park, Maryland, serving the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Arnold Areas. Our goal is educating clients on the needs of their pets and understanding the importance of individualized veterinary care in order to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets.
We understand you have a choice when deciding on the care for your pets, and we strive to provide you with unparalleled services including wellness exams, vaccines, lost pet microchip ID, dental care, surgical services, digital radiography, and in-hospital laboratory services and diagnostics. Other highlights of Alexander Animal Hospital are the separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms, as well as after-hours on-call emergency services.
Please take a look around our website and then give us a call at 410-777-8678 to set up an appointment.
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