These two little pouches are inside the rectum of the dog, with one on the left and one on the right. I typically share articles about circumstances that I have a good bit of experience with, and unfortunately, anal gland problems in dogs is one of them.
Not a pretty topic, but nonetheless it’s a big problem for many dog owners.
What’s Their Purpose?
These little sacs contain a brown fluid with a very strong scent that is individual to the dog. Believe it or not, this scent is comparable to a human’s fingerprint.
If you’ve ever wondered why dogs routinely sniff each others behinds, it’s because of this individual scent. A dog can learn a lot about another dog through his particular scent.
When Anal Glands Become a Problem
When dog’s relieve themselves by either urinating or defecating, it places pressure on the glands forcing the liquid to expel. However, many dogs develop problems with the glands causing the sacs to not empty at all on their own.
But, there are some great products available that can help heal and support natural emptying. I’ve tried several natural products on the market, and the one that seemed to work best for my own dogs was Glandex. In fact, I’m currently using it for my little “Abby” who has seasonal allergies. It has worked so well that I had to cut back the dosage to using it when needed and I only give her a tiny bit.
Here’s the most common reasons why your dog may be having difficulty with his glands:
- Poor diet and/or low quality food have a huge impact
- Not enough exercise
- Diarrhea and soft stool doesn’t apply pressure to the glands-> a dog’s stool should be firm placing enough pressure on the glands to empty on their own. Diet and allergies are contributing factors with soft stool issues.
- Allergies also play a huge role in reoccurring gland problems. For many of our own dog’s, the ones that had allergies, whether food related, environmental or both, always had issues with their glands.
- If your dog becomes constipated, this can also lead to problems. Don’t make your dog hold his bowel movements or urine for too long, which can both lead to even bigger health concerns.
What Are The Symptoms Related To Full or Impacted Glands
- Scooting on rear
- Licking back end a lot
- A strong stinky smell
- Dog gets up from an either sitting or laying position and immediately sniffs the area
- Quick jerking and biting at his rear end
It’s a Bad Idea to Manually Empty the Glands on a Regular Basis
Your veterinarian, vet tech or groomer will express the glands for you as often as needed. However, you should NEVER have the sacs routinely expressed regardless of what anyone tells you. It not only becomes extremely painful for the dog, but the glands WILL NOT return to full function on their own when they are being emptied unnaturally.
So, remember to TELL YOUR DOG’S GROOMER NOT TO EMPTY THE GLANDS. Rely on a natural approach such as this one and allow the glands to return to full function on their own.
Full or impacted anal glands are very uncomfortable for your dog. Make it a priority to treat the problem, instead of just trying to find a solution.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, check out my article here on how to treat this condition.