How to treat anal gland problems in dogs

Anal Gland Problems

A quick guide on how to empty dogs’ anal glands yourself:

  • Wear latex gloves and have a warm cloth to hand.

  • Find the anal glands at 4 and 8 o’clock when looking at the anus.

  • Apply firm but gentle pressure to the glands under the skin and move upwards and back towards the anus.

  • Hold the cloth over the anus to prevent the smelly fluid squirting everywhere.

  • Wipe the dog clean and give them a reward.

If you see any signs of anal gland problems for the first time, have your dog checked over by a vet to identify the particular cause, and decide the treatment and management needed. If there is any sign of blood, pus or lots of pain, go to the vet as soon as possible. Infections will likely require antibiotics and may need flushing clean.

Impactions can be relieved by manually expressing the glands. If the impaction is severe or infected, a vet must do this as it can be very painful and may need sedation. If the underlying cause means that the dog will suffer from repeated blockages, the glands will need regularly expressing. Some experts say dog anal gland cleaning is an expert job, but your vet or groomer may show you how to do this at home to avoid stressing your dog with repeated visits.

A quick guide on how to empty dogs’ anal glands yourself:

  • Wear latex gloves and have a warm cloth to hand.
  • Find the anal glands at 4 and 8 o’clock when looking at the anus.
  • Apply firm but gentle pressure to the glands under the skin and move upwards and back towards the anus.
  • Hold the cloth over the anus to prevent the smelly fluid squirting everywhere.
  • Wipe the dog clean and give them a reward.

If your dog is not showing any signs of problems, there is no need to express the glands, and it may do more harm than good if done too often.

One of the most common causes is soft stools. This can result from feeding a poor quality diet, or one with ingredients to which your dog is allergic or intolerant. A frequent offender for dogs is wheat. Switching to a high quality, low processed and nutritious food can help keep your dog’s stomach happy and healthy. Ideal for dogs with sensitivities or allergies are our Chicken Dinner and Turkey Terrific varieties.

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