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  • Jennifer Misfeldt, MABTR

How to know if Anal Glands are causing discomfort for my dog

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

Dogs have anal glands that are located inside the anus. You cannot see them. Anal glands are also referred to as the stink glands. Every dog has a unique smell. Anal glands are in place because they are effectively how dogs recognize each other and why they sniff every new dog they meet at the back end rather than the front.

Anal glands are released every time your dog poops. However, they can get impacted. This causes discomfort for your dog and as a result he may drag his bottom on the floor in hopes to give him some relief, which will not work. He may lick his back end as well.

This is not something to ignore as an impacted anal gland is discomforting and can rupture causing more problems for the dog and added expenses for you.

A vet tech or professional groomer can express anal glands. Call them today for an appointment. Note that some dogs need assists on a regular basis. Make sure your vet tells you the status of the glands. For example where they full or empty.

Reasons anal glands can get impacted

1. Stress can cause a dog to have loose stools. It takes a firm stool to release the glands.

Treatment: Add a tablespoon of canned pumpkin twice a day to your dog’s diet

2. Change in diet can result in soft stools. Give a diet two weeks and if no improvement the food is not right for them.

If your dog has always had loose stools you should consult your vet about Irritable Bowel Syndrome or colitis. MABTR has found Science Diet Light to result in firm and formed stools due to the amount of fiber in this particular diet.

Other reasons a dog may drag his bottom on the floor

1. Worms, in particular tapeworms, can cause itching around the anus. You may have noticed the small white worm segments that look like rice grains in his stools or around his bottom. They are very itchy indeed and are a common cause of scooting.

Treatment: Drontol, dewormer, prescribed by the vet.

2. Fleas find your dog’s rear end to be a popular spot to gather, and they too will make him itchy around his rump. Some dogs are actually allergic to flea saliva and one bite from a flea will make their skin red and inflamed. To add insult to injury, fleas spread tapeworm so if your dog is itchy from fleas, he’ll soon be itchy from tapeworm too.

Treatment: A bath with flea shampoo followed by Frontline Flea Preventative. The dog needs to be completely dry before applying Frontline. Once applied a bath cannot be given for 48 hours.


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