Anal glands need to be expressed by either yourself at home or (recommended) by your vet. Sometimes groomers will also take care of this procedure for you. Now, I know that this topic isn’t in the least bit pretty, but it is something dog owners should be aware of. I will keep this post quick!
All dogs have a pair of anal glands that produce an odorous secretion when the dog defecates. These glands are located on either side of the rectum, just above where it joins with the anus. They’re about two inches long and one inch in diameter.
The purpose of these glands is to provide lubrication for fecal matter as it passes through the colon (or large intestine) before being eliminated from the body. Normally this process works without any problems, but some people report their pet’s anal gland secretions having a foul odor or becoming discolored or swollen-looking after bowel movements.
This blog post will discuss why you should be expressing your pup’s anal glands, how often they need to be expressed, and how to do the job.
How Often Do You Need to Express Your Dog’s Glands?
Why Express Your Dog’s Glands?
1) As the animal defecates, fecal matter pushes up against these glands and they can become impacted. This leads to a buildup of bacteria that may be released when your pet passes gas (known as flatulence).
2) Impacted anal glands are common in toy breeds because their rectum is so small. Larger breeds are also prone to impact anal glands if they have a diet high in plant proteins, such as soybeans or wheat gluten.
3) Expressing your dog’s anal gland on a regular basis may help to reduce the chances of their getting an infection and can prevent them from having accidents due to incontinence
How Do I Know If My Dog Needs His Glands Expressed?
If you see blood or pus around your dog’s anus, it’s time to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate a serious infection or ruptured anal sacs.
The symptoms are pretty easy to spot to know if it’s time for anal gland expression:
- Scooting their butt on the ground inside and/or outside
- Excessively biting or licking their butt
- Red or irritated skin around the anus
- Bleeding or pus around the anus