Disclaimer: If you don’t like talking about poop, exit this article right now! 😅 If you think your pup might have an anal gland issue then stuck it up and read on!
The issue with expressing anal glands for me comes with the lack of understanding. I find that many believe it’s just a normal occurrence. Something that the groomer can deal with at each appointment. Yes, having them expressed provides a moment of relief, but, are we causing more harm than good?
What are Anal Glands?
Anal glands are the two odorous sacks beside your dogs bottom. There are mixed theories within the scientific community for the glands purpose. Some say they are an extra tool for communication and provide additional scent to a dog’s markings, others believe they assist with lubricating the poop. 💩
If you’re wondering, “I’ve never noticed them before? I don’t think my dog has those!” then good! Because if you can’t see them externally then it means your pup (most likely) doesn’t have enlarged, swollen or inflamed glands. Kudos to you and your pup.
Signs there’s a problem:
- Their bottom is swollen and/or red
- They may lick their bottom and scoot a lot
- They may be constipated
- If the glands are full they may leak from their bottom
- Generally uncomfortable and painful around their rear
What should I do if there’s a problem?
If the issue has arisen suddenly, think about whether or not anything has changed recently. Mostly, diet and exercise-related. Have you changed their food? Did they eat something they shouldn’t? Have they eaten a lot of one thing recently? Have they been sleeping more often? Have you not been able to walk them lately?
Both, lack of exercise and poor diet can affect the digestive system and cause upset. Try and return both of these areas back to normal and see if anything changes.
If the issue has been going on for a long time, try and improve your dog’s diet, obesity is one possible cause of anal gland issues, and think, truthfully, about whether or not they are receiving enough exercise. Dog’s do need lots of rest, but 1-2 walks per week is certainly not enough exercise. Think about the level of exercise they’re getting on a daily basis. Anyway, that’s a whole other story.
When in doubt, visit a VETERINARIAN first! You must have your pups anal glands inspected and diagnosed by a Vet. Your groomer may be able to assist afterwards under Vet direction, but you should never just assume that having your pups Anal Glands expressed will solve the issue.
“Anal Gland expression is a Band-Aid fix. Not a cure.”Lydia – Organix Dog Spa
The issue with anal gland expression.
It’s not NORMAL for your dog to have Anal Gland issues. Your dog’s bottom should not be swollen, infected, painful and leaking poop. This should not be a regular occurrence. A once-off expression, maybe. But It should certainly not need to be done at every grooming appointment. If your dog requires regular anal gland expression, there’s most likely an underlying medical reason for it. Sometimes the fix can be as easy as a diet change and regular exercise, but, sometimes it’s more serious than that. Your dog doesn’t need to live with consistently impacted and painful anal glands. Taking them to the groomers to have them expressed is not a resolution to the problem, it’s just a Band-Aid fix. It masks the real issue.
If your dog is having some issues with their anal glands, it’s imperative that they see a vet and have the issue diagnosed and treated. It can turn into a serious medical problem. Not enough groomers are explaining the implications of regular anal gland expression and the importance of having them seen by a vet. And no one should ever attempt to express anal glands which are already working perfectly on their own!