Does your pet need their anal glands expressed?
Many pet owners wonder if they should get their pets anal glands expressed. In many breeds, anal glands are not expressed normally and manual expression is needed. If you find your dog scooting his rear-end on your floor it is time to get their anal gland expressed. Although this is an easy task that anyone can do at home, if you are not certain or you dog seems like they are in extreme pain, you should consult your local veterinarian.
Locate the anal glands: looking at a pet’s rear-end, one gland is located at approximately five o’clock and the other at seven o’clock around the anal opening. Warning: When the anal glands are expressed they produce an odorous (foul-smelling) fluid. This fluid plays a role in scent marking in which a small amount is released when a pet defecates. However, dogs and, rarely, cats can develop problems in which the fluid is not released normally. When this occurs, the sacs holding the fluid can become distended, infected, uncomfortable, and eventually may even rupture.
Symptoms to know when your pet needs their anal glands expressed:
- excessively licking the area
- releasing the contents of the anal glands at inappropriate times, such as while sleeping
- red skin around the anus
- bleeding or pus around the anus – this symptom requires veterinarian intervention ASAP
- Place the dog on in front of you, or kneel behind a large dog. I find the procedure is best done in the bath tub under running water.
- Locate the glands, at approximately 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock.
- If the glands are full, you will feel a slight bulge when pressing inward just below the anus.
- Squeeze gently with your thumb and forefinger in the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock position. Don’t use more pressure than you would feel comfortable placing on your own closed eye.
- The gland should be barely palpable when empty.
If you have any questions on if your pet needs their anal glands expressed or are uncomfortable with the procedure a good idea is to ask your veterinarian to demonstrate the procedure and then try it yourself while he or she looks on.