Anal gland problems in Chihuahuas: how common?

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Member Since
Barked: Wed Mar 17, '10 10:36pm PST 
I've read that Chihuahuas can be prone to needing their anal glands manually expressed, and I'm curious just how common this is. Basically, if I were to get a Chihuahua, how high are the chances that I'd be dealing with anal gland issues? Is it true that large or oversize Chihuahuas have less tendency toward anal gland issues than the smaller ones?

~7lbs. of- spoiled rotten~
Barked: Thu Mar 18, '10 8:13am PST 
I'm not sure exactly how common anal gland issues are in Chihuahuas, but I have heard they are more prevalent in small breeds, not just Chi's. My story actually backs up what you've heard, but I would not consider it as a fact. I just look at it more as experience. I do know of large breed dogs that have anal gland issues as well. And I believe anal gland problems are genetic, so if you do decide to get a Chi be sure to ask tons of questions in that sense like if the parents have or ever had anal gland issues, or their parents and the like.

That being said, Butters has anal gland issues, and he needs to be expressed once every 3 weeks to a month...His last episode was about 3 weeks ago and the time before that was almost exactly a year prior. I'm not 100% sure if having his glands expressed will help "cure" him, because since this last episode, I am just now starting to have them regularly expressed. I have not had it done on a regular basis before. The vet actually showed me how to do it, so I express them on my own, but if you don't feel comfortable doing it, you can always have a vet or groomer do it. And I also want to say that if anyone has an already impacted gland, take the pup to the vet and not the groomer as it may be too late to just express and might require getting lanced and drained.

My other Chi (Scrappy) is about twice the size of Butters. He falls in the larger Chi catagory. He has NO problems whatsoever expressing his glands on his own. Any small bit of aggression (sadly he is one of the aggressive chi's out there), nervousness, excitedness, etc. and his glands automatically drain on their own. It's rather disgusting, but I have no worries of any issues with him.

I don't want you to use my story as proof to back up what you've heard, so I would definately recommend talking to a vet about it, or even doing your own research to see what you can come up with.

Tiny boy, but he- has a huge- heart!
Barked: Thu Mar 18, '10 12:42pm PST 
Brody is a little under 5 pounds and has never needed his anal glands expressed. Once you start expressing them, sometimes it has to continue to be done, so you want to feed a good quality diet to keep the stool hard so that it expresses them during bowel movements and you won't have to get involved. shock

Brody is raw fed. Never had a problem.

Isabella Shadow

Barked: Sat Mar 20, '10 11:30pm PST 
I agree with Brody.

"Once you start expressing them, sometimes it has to continue to be done, "

My vet told my humom the same thing. If they're forcibly expressed too often, then they can get worn out, baggy, saggy, etc. That could cause real problems down the road.
So we should let our vets let us know when we might need that. They do tend to look us over from head to tail shock when we go for our check-ups.

Do more research before you choose to do anything like that. way to go
Penny Mouse- Fart Ayala

I eat, therefore- I am.....
Barked: Sat Mar 20, '10 11:54pm PST 
I'm 3 & 1/2 lbs and no anal glad issues yet, TD!!!!!

Angel Princess
Barked: Tue Mar 23, '10 4:13pm PST 
Harley has had a rupture out of the blue! No signs/symptoms.
She recently had a swollen gland which needed vet care. We are working on finding a good food match that will firm up her poop! shock

Lila Rae has issues w/ hers but nothing serious. I have even expressed them before by myself. No biggie! laugh out loud

Member Since
Barked: Thu Apr 1, '10 11:20am PST 
Sorry for the late response, but thanks all for your info and advice! I'm glad to know this seems to be not as big of a deal as I first thought it might be.