How to Express Anal Glands in a Dog
Jul 17, · Dr. McCoy demonstrates how to express your dog's anal glands. All dogs have anal glands, a pair of scent glands located on each side of the rectum that produce an oily substance. Occasionally they can become engorged and require. Tired of pricey vet bills every time your dog needs anal gland relief? Learn to express your dog's anal glands, symptoms and prevention tips.
Not Helpful 27 Helpful Wrap a paper towel around the index finger to catch the liquid from the glands and avoid getting any on you or your working surface. Will they express themselves or do I need to visit the vet? Anal sac expression should be performed to maintain the dog's hygiene, for instance if the fluid leaks spontaneously and to eliminate discomfort. GD Gina Doman Jun 22, You should be at level with the dog's bottom, in a position that is comfortable to maintain.
Your dog's anal glands are two grape-shaped glands located just below the anus to either side. The pheromones they secrete give canines vital information about one another, including health, age, and sex. This explains why dogs sniff each other's rears when they meet and insist on taking a whiff of every poop they pass on their morning walk.
Sometimes the fluid in anal glands can build up, causing your dog to lick or bite his anus and "scoot" his bottom around on the floor after or before defecation. This can happen to any breed, though small dogs are particularly prone to anal sac disorders. While the veterinarian will do this for you, it's also possible to save yourself a trip to the vet's office and do it yourself. Now you are helping others, just by visiting wikiHow.
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Thanks for helping us achieve our mission of helping everyone learn how to do anything. Look for certain signs of anal gland issues. When there's a problem with the anal glands, may dogs exhibit certain symptoms, which you should learn to recognize. Be sure to ask a veterinarian if you've never had this issue before: This way you can either rule out these issues, or get your dog the treatment it needs.
Scooting Excessive licking of the anal area Occasional release of anal gland contents at inappropriate times other than defecation - you may notice a fishy odor on furnishings or coming from your dog's anus Red skin in the anal area Bleeding or pus drainage around the anus this is a sign that you should call your vet as soon as possible - do not attempt anal expression .
Have a veterinarian demonstrate anal gland expression the first time. If you've never expressed your dog's anal glands, ask your veterinarian for a demonstration. She can do the first gland, and then you can try expressing the second one in her presence. Typically, three to four damp paper towels and a pair of latex gloves will be sufficient. If you want to wash the dog, also have ready whatever shampoo or other dog-friendly soaps you use, as well as plenty of towels.
Latex gloves are preferable to household rubber gloves as they are thinner and more sensitive, allowing you to accurately palpate the glands. Recruit a helper if you can. While you can do this process on your own if your dog is cooperative , it may help to have someone there to hold the dog as you work.
Put on old clothes. The pheromones secreted by the anal glands are very stinky. It's a good idea to wear old clothes that you can take off and wash easily. Secure the dog in a small room. Often, the bathroom works well for this purpose, especially if you bathe your dog in the tub. You just want to make sure the dog can't struggle free and run off during the process. The dog should be on an easy-to-clean surface. Since the process can be somewhat messy, pairing an expression with a bath is usually a smart idea.
Position the dog in front of you in a standing position. Its rear end should be facing you. If you have a partner, they should secure the dog by wrapping one arm around the neck and the other at the side of the body, hugging the dog close to them.
Lift the dog's tail, rolling it up to expose its anus. You should be at level with the dog's bottom, in a position that is comfortable to maintain. While the process shouldn't take too long about five minutes , the first time may require a little extra time and patience. Make sure you're in a comfortable position. The procedure won't hurt your dog, but if the glands are particularly swollen or impacted, your pet might be guarding their backside more than usual.
Be careful and pay attention to your pet's body language. Try not to frighten your dog. Talk to it, stroke it, and attempt to keep things as relaxed as possible. Locate the anal glands. Place two fingers thumb and forefinger on either side of the anus. The anal glands are beneath the skin, just under the anus, at approximately 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock. If the glands are full, you will feel a slight bulge, about cherry-sized, when pressing inward just below the anus.
Emptying the glands depends on pressing in the right place. If you can't feel the "cherries," you are either in the wrong place or the glands don't need emptying. Sometimes only one gland may be full. This could be a sign that the glands were functioning normally but that one has become infected or impacted. Call your vet before attempting to express the sac. This could require a round of antibiotics. Milk the glands upwards and inwards toward the anus. Keeping your thumb and forefinger on the glands, gently apply pressure up and in, in the direction of the anus.
You should not squeeze continuously, but rather in gentle pulses. Watch the dog's bottom for expressed liquid. If you're milking correctly, the liquid should be coming out in slow drips. If nothing is coming out, try adjusting the position of your fingers. The liquid smells strongly of fish and may be anything from a clear, smooth consistency to a brownish, grainy substance.
See your vet as soon as possible about a possible impaction or infection. Stop after a few tries if nothing comes out. You may want to try again another day. Repeated milking can be painful and cause bruises, which only exacerbates the issue. It may be difficult to express the anal sacs of large dogs because they are located deeper internally. If this is the case, don't persist and hurt the dog. Seek veterinary attention because the sacs may need emptying via an internal procedure placing a gloved finger in the rectum, which is best done by a professional!
Continue to milk until the glands have emptied. You'll know they're empty when the sacs are barely palpable and there is no more liquid being expressed. Wipe your dog's bottom with a paper towel. Do this gently, as your dog may be feeling discomfort associated with the swollen glands. Give the dog a treat. Praise your dog, pet him, and reward him for his cooperation. Wash the dog's rear end. Wipe the dog's rear with a clean paper towel and thoroughly bathe the dog. Don't express the glands more often than necessary.
Too much expression can do more harm than good, leading to irritation and loss of muscle tone in the gland reducing its ability to function normally. If your dog has frequent troubles with his glands, see your vet. Although dog groomers may practice regular anal gland expression, this is not recommended unless there is a problem with the glands.
You're helping people by reading wikiHow wikiHow's mission is to help people learn , and we really hope this article helped you. Click here to be counted. Why do vets express internally rather than externally? This is often related to the size of the dog. With bigger dogs sometimes the anal sacs are orientated so that it's not possible to reach around them to squeeze them. By placing a lubricated finger in the rectum this allows better access to the gland for complete emptying.
Likewise, if gritty anal gland secretion is plugging the duct, the improved 'grip' afforded by internal emptying can help free the blockage. Not Helpful 14 Helpful Why do I have to express my dog's anal glands?
Not all dogs need their anal sacs expressed, so if you've never noticed a problem then you probably don't need to take any action. Signs of full or impacted anal sacs are the dog scooting on their rear end, excessive licking under the tail, or a foul fishy odor that follows the dog around. Not Helpful 6 Helpful When I cleaned my dog's anal glands I saw a bloody fluid.
Should I be concerned about this? Yes, this could mean an infection has occurred and you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible to get this checked. Can anal glands release liquids on their own? If you notice that the glands are secreting, it means they are very full and need to be expressed.
Not Helpful 22 Helpful After my dog has defecated on his walks, there are times when fluid comes out from his anus. Is he expressing his anal glands himself, or should I get him checked out at the vet? Dogs will express their anal glands while defecating.