Expressing your dog’s anal glands is not something that every pet owner needs to worry about but for some, it can be a real problem. The anal glands are located on each side of the dog’s anus. Most dogs can easily express their own glands and do so on a regular basis. Although some smaller breeds may have difficulty and need help to fully empty the gland sacs. Almost any dog groomers can perform this procedure for you. Although, it is an easy procedure that many pet owners can do themselves. Most vets will be happy to show you how to express your dog’s glands. In this article, we will discuss how and why you may need to help your dog in expressing his glands.
All dogs have anal glands. They use them for marking territory and leaving their scent for other dogs. The glands are always refilling and expressing it is an ongoing cycle. Many dogs will never have a problem with emptying the glands but if you notice your dog is scooting on the floor it could be that they are having an issue with expressing the glands. Some dogs may even show pain if their glands are not expressing correctly. If your dog is whining when it sits or you find that it is licking its hind end a lot this may be the case. Glands can get sort of clogged up at times and when they do your dog will need to have them expressed by either you, a vet, or a groomer.
While it is not a pretty job it is necessary to help alleviate your dog’s discomfort. Because it has such an odor it is best to express glands while you are giving your dog a bath. This way you can simply wash the odor away once the glands have been emptied. To express your dog’s glands simply place your thumb and index finger on each side of your dog’s anus. You will feel two knots like areas this will be the glands. You will want to push in and up slightly to express the glands. This may take a couple of tries to get it right. Do not use excessive force and if your dog seems to be in pain you will want to seek veterinary care as they may have a more severe blockage and external expression may not be possible. When you push in and up a substance will shoot out. If will smell very foul. The substance can range in its consistency. It may be as clear as water and come out quite easily or it may be more yellow, it can also be slightly gooey and brown. Every dog is a bit different so don’t be shocked at what may come out.
This is defiantly not a job for those with weak stomachs. You may find it is worth paying a professional groomer or vet to handle it but it is necessary for some dogs. Of course, you will want to wash your hands immediately after doing this. You can also use a folded paper towel between your hand and the dogs bum to catch the glands expression and to keep from touching the anal area. Although, it may be a bit harder to feel the glands this way.
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