What's the scoop with anal glands?

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This is Howie- Do-it
Barked: Thu Jan 15, '09 3:30pm PST 
So my mom tells me that my anal glands are malfunctioning...apparently I'm not supposed to squeeze them out all over the couch.

Could somebody explain to me how anal glands are supposed to work? And what happens when they aren't working properly? She said something about taking me to the vet. How often do you think I'll have to go?


Dog About- Rosedale

Barked: Thu Jan 15, '09 3:35pm PST 
Anal glands are for scent marking basically...the idea is that the stool comes out with a bit of discharge from the glands on it to identify who left their mark, so to speak. This is most likely why dogs sniff each other's hind ends for greeting..lol.

Sometimes this doesn't work because the stools are too soft or the "fluid" in the glands is too thick or too thin and the glands can become leaky or impacted or inflamed/infected. Some dogs (and some breeds) are more prone to anal gland issues than others and require regular vet visits for manual expression of the glands. Some owners learn how to do it themselves but it's REALLY gross..lol.
Samuel Jacob- (4/1/97-4/4/- 08)

We had seasons- in the sun......

Barked: Thu Jan 15, '09 3:43pm PST 
Hi, Howie!wavewave

I used to "express" myself all over the place when I was younger. If I got excited (angry) or barked out of fear, I would instantly become a skunk and eeewww! Stinko!!
Mom sometimes called me "Tuna Butt".

I never really grew out of it, but I did grow out of getting excited/scared.

Sorry you are in the same tuna boat, so to speak.laugh out loud

Edited to add:

I also had a very docked tail... I wonder if that has anything to do with it? Hmm...thinking

Edited by author Thu Jan 15, '09 3:44pm PST


Barked: Thu Jan 15, '09 4:12pm PST 
Anal sacs can leak the fluid out on the sofa/couch/bed/etc on their own if they are infected. Some dogs will express their own glands when they tense their rear muscles such as when they are scared.
If they are leaking out on their own and the dog is not scared/tense, it could be from analsacculitis. This is treatable.
The anal sacs should be emptied and then flushed. They are then filled with an antibiotic ointment. Sometimes this has to be done a couple times about a week apart. Oral antibiotics do not usually work.

Dr. Jaffe

This is Howie- Do-it
Barked: Thu Jan 15, '09 5:19pm PST 
thinking Interesting. Is that painful?

Barked: Fri Jan 16, '09 5:21am PST 
I remember my first experience with anal glands. Went to the vet for the checkup and when they tried to clip Rascals toe nails....his glands squirted everywhere. I was unprepared so when I smelled it that was the end of it for me....I was dry heaving in the waste basket red face

Edited by author Fri Jan 16, '09 5:21am PST

Sanford- Hawley

Barked: Fri Jan 16, '09 5:44am PST 
So far I havent had any issues with this, and this may be a silly question, but what should I look for or what are some of the symptoms of something being wrong with the Anal glands. Stinky, leaky butt?
Mr.- BoJangles

Behaving doesn't- always work for- me
Barked: Fri Jan 16, '09 8:23am PST 
Bo is a shooter. When he is scared he will spray. But I have also noticed that when he is relaxed, like when sleeping, they will leak. I wonder if that is ok, or a problem?

Free kisses!
Barked: Fri Jan 16, '09 3:10pm PST 
I had problems with my anal glands too. I had a constant case of runny stools when I was a puppy. I had so many infections followed by food allergies, it was a mess! Mama and Papa used to make fun of me for scooting my but around, they didn't know it was a sign of trouble. I never smelled funny. One Halloween night, I started yelping in pain. My butt was all bloody and mama was real worried since I'm spayed and all. The doc said one of my glands ruptured from being too full. Fortunately I healed quickly and my stools have been normal for a while now. Doc said that the normal act of a bowel movement clears out the excess fluid, but with my runny stools never had too push much and it got all backed up.

Angel Princess
Barked: Fri Jan 16, '09 6:07pm PST 
Harley's right anal gland ruptured and it was VERY scary. I was not familiar with anything of the sort happening, so imagine my surprise to see a perfectly round hole through her little body!!!

My vet had her on antibiotics for a while and we are still actually having problems with hers leaking.. i'm waiting on a call from the vet for tomorrow morning.( since they take fridays off!)

Anyways, i would definitely take care of it before you have to deal with any rupturing because its rather gross!!!
As far as pain, my vet had her on pain medicine for several days.
She had the other gland expressed, and my vet wants us to keep up every month with visits to the vet to see how fast they are filling up and how soon they need to be expressed and so on and go from there.

Good luck big grin
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