Anal glands

Dealing with anal glands in dogs

dog health graphicDogs and cats, as well many other small mammals, have a pair of glands located on both sides of the rectum. These glands, commonly called ‘anal glands’, are actually scent glands.

Owners often refer to the anal glands as ‘dog stink glands’.

Prior to domestication, these glands were used primarily for marking territory.

It has been suggested that since domestication the anal glands serve little to no practical purpose and are often the cause of great distress to many animals.

Foods which contribute to a dog scooting or dragging its bum

According to traditional Chinese approaches to health foods which are high in fat will create very warm, damp conditions in the body. As a consequence this can result in the dogs anal glands filling up and collecting waste material which results in the dog dragging his or her bottom on the ground.

Solution and support for anal gland issues

Manual expression of the anal gland is recommended by vets for animals that are scooting. The frequency of expression will vary by animal. Some pets can need anal glands expressed as often as monthly and some will need expression once or twice per year.

Change the diet

What surprises me is how few vets see the connection between diet and anal gland problems and will often suggest surgical removal when a simple change of diet will result in less irritation.