736 E Main St. Brownsburg, IN 46112 317-858-9700(main) 317-858-9730(fax)
Clinic Hours: M-F 8:00am - 5:00pm, Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
Anal gland expression has become a more routine procedure at veterinary hospitals. Most owners are not completely sure what anal glands exactly are. These troublesome things are two small sacs that fill up with “fishy feces smelling” material over time. Prior to domesticating dogs (and even cats), they would actually “express” or empty on their own every time they had a bowel movement. They were originally meant for marking their territory out in the wild, but they are now just a pain in the behind.
Most owners know that it is time for their anal glands to be expressed when they notice their pet scooting their bottoms outside in the grass or sometimes unfortunately on the carpet. This can also be a sign of some kind of intestinal parasite but most likely it is the anal glands causing the problem. We have many pets now that need their anal glands expressed regularly or semi-regularly, which can range anywhere from once monthly to every three to four months. We typically aim for them to go longer periods of time without needing them to be expressed manually, but in some cases they need them done more than we like.
If a pet owner notices signs of anal glands needing expressed, it is important that they at least be checked by a
veterinary professional. Sometimes if an issue goes unnoticed the anal glands can become infected or even worse; rupture. Once that happens, a visit to the doctor is in order and antibiotics and infusions are necessary to combat the infection. At that point, routine expressions are needed for the pet to prevent another problem in the future.
Some owners inquire about ways to combat needing such frequent anal gland expressions, one of the best ways is to add some fiber to their diet.
•Canned pumpkin •Baby carrots/green beans •Metamucil
Typically, anal gland expressions are done by us at the hospital (groomers sometimes will express them externally
whereas we do it internally, resulting in much better expression) but occasionally we will have an owner ask for us
to show them so they can do it at home. Once we go through how to do it, they change their minds. If you have any
questions, concerns, or need your dog’s butt squeezed, call our office. We will brave the poo so you don’t have to.
Dragging Arse? Maybe it's Anal Glands!
with Allison Salonko, RVT
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