Anal Gland Problems in Pets


It is the dreaded scoot or the foul smell, the chasing the tail or the sudden scream. You call your Vet and they say it may be your pet’s anal glands? 

What are anal glands?

The short answer is they are scent glands at the end of your pet’s rectum. They are supposed to be naturally expressed when a dog poops. When an animal has problems expressing their anal glands it can be due to a variety of reasons. 

What do certain pets have trouble expressing anal glands?

It could be due to being overweight, a slightly softer stool or even diarrhea, allergies in an animal or conformational problems that make it difficult to express. 

How do you express anal glands?

There are two ways to express anal glands externally or internally (with a rectal). Many veterinarians will teach clients the external way, even though the internal expression is typically better. I would have your veterinarian teach you how to properly express them if this is something you are interested in.

Many people will pay for a vet or groomer to express them so they don’t have the shooting rotting fish smell all over them. 

How to stop your animal from having this problem?

You can always try a teaspoon of canned pumpkin daily. While this doesn’t help every single animal if the anal glands continue to become a problem removal with a surgeon would be the next step. 

What happens if they get infected?

Anal glands can actually get infected and abscess. It is important to be able to notice the first signs of anal gland issue so you can make sure this does not occur. An anal gland abscess may require surgery and can take weeks to properly heal. 


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