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Old 16th September 2005, 03:53 AM
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How often do you "express" their anal glands?

How often do you "express" their anal glands? Sonoma seems to be chasing her tail a lot lately, which the vet tech said is a sign she may need it done.
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Old 16th September 2005, 03:59 AM
StormKatz's Avatar
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I've never had it done on any of my dogs even as they got older. Chasing her tail doesn't nessesarily mean her anal glands are clogged, it could just be that she had an itch, could be parasites, or maybe she just enjoys chasing her tail..LOL

You can usually tell easily if they need them drained, the anus will appear swollen & red.

If it really seems like she is in discomfort make an appointment & let your vet check her out.
Shannon Mommy To:
Johnny-Bravo Fawn/White June 1999 &
Donte Flashy Brindle Boy, June 2005 both docked & natural.

Old 16th September 2005, 04:26 AM
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Chasing her tail in itself is probably not enough to say she's got compacted anal glands. Garvin had them about a year ago. He could not sit down and was expending a lot of energy worrying about, checking out and licking his bum. Poor thing, he would go to sit and just bob up again! If she has this problem, she will be in noticable discomfort. Mind you, with Garvin there was no noticable swelling or redness, but his behaviour showed his bottom was v sore. Took him to the vet and he expressed them, all over in minutes. Some people do it themselves, I have a book that tells you how, but it also says it's not a task for the faint hearted. Probably better to get the vet to do it.
Garvin - 23/11/01
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Old 16th September 2005, 05:03 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: London, UK
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How often really depends on the dog. And on diet.

A dog that has no physical defect with his glands, and that has correctly firm (actually that means hard) stools is unlikely ever to need that done in his lifetime. Dogs' anal glands are designed to function every single time the dog excretes stool. And that stool should actually be hard. Since it is the strain of hard poop being passed that causes the glands to express, it's pretty easy to see how problems can occur when the dog's stool is at all soft.

Problem is, the stool a dog produces when fed a commercial diet is almost always soft. Not talking diarrhoea here, just the large soft stool that is produced by feeding a grain-based diet versus the small hard pellets that are produced on a natural diet of meat and bone. This can lead to a situation where the dog's anal glands are not expressed regularly with it's bowel movements - and you end up either having to do it yourself manually, having the vet do it, or else the dog ends up with impactions. In extreme cases (usually involving defective glands in the first place), the glands may have to be surgically removed.

Anyway - all that means for you is that you need to keep an eye on your dog's anal glands, to see that they're not becomming full. If they actually become impacted, that's when you'll see the dog paying a lot of attention to it's rear and either not wishing to sit down or else scooting it's butt along the floor. Best to express them before that stage is reached though. Your vet can show you how it's done, and how to check them for any need to be expressed.
:) Debbie

Old 23rd September 2005, 09:33 AM
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Just learning

I have never heard of having to express their anal glands before. I just brough my puppy home 2 days ago. His poop is still really soft. I'm feeding him Innova and the breeder was feeding him California Natural. Is there something I can do to make his stool harder? Do I need to start worrying about his anal glands now? He is 8 weeks old today.
Thanks, I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing for him.

Rowdy ~7/30/05~ Flashy brindle, docked and floppy.

Old 23rd September 2005, 09:36 AM
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No, you shouldn't have to worry about his anal glands. Most dogs will never have a problem, even when fed a commercial diet. And puppy stool is often soft irrespective. As he gets older though, you might think about adding something like bone meal to his diet, if those stools don't firm up sufficiently on their own.