How to Empty Your Dog's Anal Glands | Pet Food Australia
You’ve come to the right place if you don’t know what anal glands are, their purpose, where they’re located, or how to ensure they don’t leak all over your home.
So, let’s dive straight in.
WHAT ARE ANAL GLANDS?
Anal glands are small sacs located on either side of a dog’s anus. They produce a fluid that helps identify dogs when they mark their territory. However, the glands can become swollen and uncomfortable if the fluid accumulates.
DO ALL DOGS NEED THEIR ANAL GLANDS EXPRESSED?
While anal gland expression is unnecessary for all dogs, some dog breeds are more prone to anal gland issues. These include German shepherds, dachshunds, and basset hounds.
Fortunately for many dog parents, their perfect pooch can manage its anal glands independently. Most dogs naturally release a small amount of anal gland material each time they have a bowel movement. However, others need a little help to avoid fluid build-up becoming uncomfortable, leaking, and even infections
WHAT CAUSES DOG ANAL GLANDS TO FILL?
There are several factors that can contribute to anal gland issues. These include diet, age, and exercise. If you notice your dog is licking or biting its anal area more than usual, it’s a good idea to go ahead and have them checked out by a vet.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR DOG'S GLANDS NEED EMPTYING?
If you start to notice something fishy… literally, if you can smell off fish, it could be a sign your pup is due to have their anal glands expressed. The fishy smell occurs when the anal glands have gotten too full, and it causes them to start leaking at times, separate from when they are going to the toilet. The leaks can even occur when they’re eating, resting or sleeping and even when being picked up.
Other indications could be when you notice your dog licking or biting at its anal area more often, discomfort when sitting down, scooting on the ground, and excessive anal gland secretions.
Unfortunately, when the anal glands become too full, it can be very discomforting, and your otherwise happy pet could quickly become very unhappy. You might notice less tail wagging, don’t want to be touched, and just seem very depressed.
It’s essential as pet parents to notice these signs and act on them before things get out of hand.
WHO SHOULD EMPTY THEM?
However, if you’re confident expressing them at home, have your vet show you their methods at a check-up or browse the thousands of educational youtube videos online and get your dogs used to emptying them at home.
CAN I EMPTY MY DOG'S ANAL SACS AT HOME?
Yes, you can empty your dog’s anal glands at home! You can try several techniques, including the two-finger and roll methods.
DOES EMPTYING DOGS ANAL GLANDS CAUSE PAIN?
Expressing anal glands can be a little uncomfortable for your pup, especially if they are very full. However, with some careful preparation and practice, you’ll soon be able to empty your dog’s anal glands without causing them any undue pain or stress.
HOW TO EXPRESS A DOG'S ANAL GLANDS?
You can try many different methods, depending on your dog’s size and disposition.
The Internal method:
Often thought of as the more intrusive method, pet owners can empty their dog’s anal glands by inserting a gloved and lubricated finger into their dog’s bottom to express the fluid that way gently.
The External Method:
Another way to express anal glands is through a gentle massage from the outside, using your finger to squeeze the anal sacs towards their rectum.
Alternatively, use two fingers to gently massage around in a circular motion to break up the anal gland material. You can also try using your thumb and index finger to roll the anal glands out, in a manner similar to pushing toothpaste out of a tube.
HOW DO I SQUEEZE A DOG'S ANAL GLAND?
You don’t. Squeezing the area can cause a lot of discomfort for your dog. Instead, use one or two fingers to gently massage around the anal area until you feel a small, hard lump under the skin. This is usually indicative of anal glands that need to be emptied.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF IT'S WORKED?
Once you’ve expressed the anal glands, you should be able to immediately tell if they are full. The anal glands should be emptied completely, with no more liquid coming out. If they feel like they’re still full or leaking, continue massaging around until further liquid is expressed from the anal glands.
If you notice anything abnormal, such as blood or discharge, you should visit your vet for further assistance. Otherwise, regular anal gland emptying can help prevent further discomfort for your pup and ensure that its anal glands stay healthy and free of infection.
So if you notice anything unusual with your dog’s anal glands, don’t wait – take action and empty them as soon as possible. Whether you do it yourself or seek professional assistance, your dog will feel a lot better in no time!
With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll soon be an expert at emptying your dog’s anal glands! Lucky you!