What is an anal gland?
Dogs have anal sacs that can occasionally become irritated. The anal sacs are located at four o’clock and eight o’clock around the anus. These sacs are frequently referred to as the anal glands, which produce a foul smelling secretion during defecation. The anal glands often become full and blocked, not allowing them to empty. When this happens, they become infected and/or impacted, causing pain and discomfort for your dog.
Signs & Symptoms of Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
-Scooting rear end on ground (due to itching)
-Redness around rectum
-Excessive licking of the rectum area
NOTE: If an abscess appears around the infected area, you need to take your dog the veterinarian ASAP.
Causes of Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
If the ducts in a dog’s anal glands become blocked, the glands cannot empty. They will become swollen, and defecating will be difficult for your dog. There is no specific reason for why this occurs but is seen more frequently in dogs than cats.
Diagnosis of Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
Diagnosis begins with a complete history and a physical exam of the dog. Your veterinarian will be able to determine anal sac problems from sight and palpating the anal sacs. Palpating the anal glands mean your veterinarian will touch the area with their hands.
Treatment for Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
Treatment options will depend on the state of the problem at the time of examination. The treatments for anal sac problems in dogs include the following:
-Expressing the anal glands in order to empty the contents. This will relieve the pressure and pain.
-Infusing the anal glands with antibiotic ointment.
-Surgical removal of the glands if the problem is severe and is happening over and over again.
Prevention of Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
-The best prevention for anal gland problems is regular expressing of the glands at your veterinarians office or from your groomer. You can learn how to do this on your own, but it is not a pleasant job.
-If left unchecked, anal glands can leak and leave an unpleasant odor on carpets and upholstery. Use cleaners specially formulated to remove stains and dog odors.
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