Dog Anal Gland Care
At one time or another, you have probably seen your dog scooting his bottom on the floor or smelled a bad odor coming from your pet. Your first thought may be your dog has worms. While scooting his rear end is a sign of worms, your dog may be doing it for other reasons.
Dog anal glands is often an unpleasant topic, but it’s a very important one. Many dog owners don’t know their dog’s physiology. Dogs have small glands near the anus commonly called anal glands.
During a dog’s daily life, these glands perform their primary function, which is to scent the feces for marking territory. Oftentimes, the anal glands become clogged (or full), which can be very bothersome and, in most cases, cause irritation to the dog’s rear end. The unpleasant feeling encourages reactions, including the scooting behavior. Constant scooting could irritate your dog’s rear end and cause him pain and suffering.
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What is Expressing the Gland?
In addition to scooting, biting and chewing at his backside are other signs of clogged anal glands. Your dog is trying to squeeze the anal gland and release the fluid clogged inside. This process is called expressing the gland. Fortunately, most dogs are able to express the gland themselves.
However, there are some dogs who just cannot unclog the glands no matter how much they try. A number of small dog breeds tend to have this problem. The glands become full and irritate the dog’s rear end. Sometimes, dogs can chew so badly they chew their hair off in the process. You can bathe your dog to hide the smell, but this is only a temporary fix and it won’t resolve the underlying problem.
How to Express a Dog’s Anal Glands
Unless you’re experienced, don’t try expressing your dog’s anal glands yourself. If you see the symptoms mentioned above, take your dog to your favorite dog groomer to have the glands expressed. Groomers will usually do this for a small fee. In fact, many dog owners have this routinely done as part of their dog’s grooming experience. Your dog should come home looking and smelling great in addition to having avoided a potential health problem.
Keep in mind groomers are only able to express the glands externally by accessing the part of the gland outside of the dog’s body. If the groomer isn’t able to express the glands, she’ll inform you. You would then need to take your dog to the vet where the veterinarian can express the gland internally.
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