Leave Your Dogs Anal Glands Alone
Your dogs anal glands are off limits. How would you like it if someone was squeezing your butt all the time?
"There is a horrible, stinky smell coming from there", you say? Well, why would that be?
Let's get down to business. Here are my thoughts. I will warn you in advance that my position from an holistic perspective, may run in contradiction to the advice of your vet.
I will let you decide.
Phew ! Such a Stinky Smell
Anal sacs are little bags that sit inside your dog's bum at the 8 o'clock and 4 o'clock positions.
Every time your dog poops he empties out a little bit of anal fluid. This smelly fluid contains ' pheromones '.
A pheromone (from Greek φέρω phero "to bear" + hormone from Greek ὁρμή - "impetus") is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species. Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting outside the body of the secreting individual to impact the behavior of the receiving individual. There are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect behavior or physiology. Their use among insects has been particularly well documented. In addition, some vertebrates and plants communicate by using pheromones...Wikipedia
In plain language...these are the chemicals that attract one member of a species to another member of the same species. Did you ever wonder why you were attracted to your wife ( other than her huge inheritance, of course )? Well it was because of her own specific and peculiar phermones!
These biochemical information messengers, are the reason why your dog is so interested in other dog's poop when on a walk or at the dog park. That's why dogs smell each others bums.
Those phermones give him all kinds of information about other dogs, and a way to communicate with the dog that left that poop ( don't forget to poop and scoop ).
This allows your dog to ' read the newspaper ' and find out what's been going on with that other dog...where's he's been, what he's eaten, if he's sick or well and who he's been sleeping with lately, if anyone at all.
Expressing Anal Glands
If your dogs anal glands are healthy don't express them! Leave them alone.
Dogs and cats in the wild, simply do not go around expressing each others anal glands. Now, having said that, if your dog has an underlying problem causing the anal sacs to become infected or swollen, I have no problem with expressing anal glands as an interim fix, a temporary way to relieve or prevent pain, pressure or rupture.
But clearly understand that I mean temporary. Expressing anal glands is not a solution to this problem.
It is the pressure of firm stool against the wall of the colon that expresses the anal glands naturally.
If your dog's stools are soft or if he's having diarrhea frequently, recurrent anal gland issues can become a problem. Anything that can cause soft stools is a risk factor for causing anal gland issues.
So we need to figure out what is causing the soft stool.
Conversely, dog constipation can be a factor too. If your dog is defecating infrequently or is having a hard time defecating and needs to strain, the straining may cause rupture.
Reasons For Recuring Anal Gland Problems
Frequent Expression of Anal Glands
The problem with expressing canine anal glands too often, is that it causes trauma to the soft tissue of the glands. The muscle gets ruined eventually and then just won't work properly anymore. You'll be dependent on expressing your dogs anal glands forever. Count 'em now...more trips to the vet. $$$$$$. Some vets even recommend removing the anal glands. OMG!!! Horrors!!!
Tell your groomer also. Sometimes dog groomers automatically express dogs anal glands as a courtesy, along with trimming nails. No, No, No !
Inflammation in the Colon
Inflammatory Bowel Disease caused by medications, parasites, poor quality food, or allergic response to food or environmental factors, can cause soft stools. Dogs anal glands can become swollen, infected or impacted. This in turn causes pain, pressure and eventually rupture.
Our dogs can be allergic to food, medications and environmental influences, such as grass, mold, pollens or household cleaning products. Dog Allergies can cause inflammation in the digestive tract which in turn will cause soft stools.
Solution to the Canine Anal Glands Issue
To me, the easiest way to start is to address the food your dog is eating. I have good recommendations at my page entitled Natural Dog Food.
The quality of food, and moisture content, is an important part of the whole dogs anal gland issue. A raw food diet is certainly recommended here to prevent and correct problems, and provide more moisture.
Correct, species appropriate quality feeding, can prevent or improve, many issues of dog health, including dogs anal glands problems.
This is an unnecessary health issue.
It causes so much pain and discomfort.
Please don't let anal gland problems happen to your dogs and cats.