Anal gland question

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Anal gland question

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Old 01-01-2011, 02:21 PM
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Anal gland question

How easy is it to express your dog's own anal glands? I don't know if my puppy would hold still long enough, although he does tend to stand still during a bath because he is shivering -- maybe I could do it while he is wet?

Spencer is now 26 weeks, and for the past several days he has dragged his butt on the ground at least once a day. (Hasn't done it yet today.) I know this is either worms or blocked anal glands, and I really don't think it's worms. I made an appointment with the vet for next Wednesday so that I can see how the vet expresses the glands, but I would love to avoid going to the vet.

I've read here that dietary supplements like prunes or a change in diet can help. In a few days I am going to start changing him over from the food he came with (Taste of the Wild) to frozen raw diet (Stella & Chewys.) Should I wait for the vet visit until I see if the new food helps all by itself?

And should I try expressing his glands myself? So far I haven't gotten him to stop squirming enough to get a good look at his anal area!

By the way, he doesn't seem to have any constipation and his poop looks firm.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:35 PM
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How easy is it to express your dog's own anal glands? I don't know if my puppy would hold still long enough, although he does tend to stand still during a bath because he is shivering -- maybe I could do it while he is wet?

And should I try expressing his glands myself? So far I haven't gotten him to stop squirming enough to get a good look at his anal area!

By the way, he doesn't seem to have any constipation and his poop looks firm.
I am the one that uses prunes and you dont have to do anything if you add them regularly to the diet. I would not recommend expressing without training from a vet. If you want to do it take the dog to someone that can teach you the proper way so you dont hurt your dog.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:52 PM
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Personally I still have no clue what I am doing and so have been considering adding pruned to my dogs diet.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:08 PM
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Personally I still have no clue what I am doing and so have been considering adding pruned to my dogs diet.
As a former groomer I can tell you you really don't want to learn. It smells really bad. I still cant figure out why the prunes work but they do. My dogs poo was firm before the prunes and looks the same now but the glands stay clean.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:43 PM
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How easy is it to express your dog's own anal glands? I don't know if my puppy would hold still long enough, although he does tend to stand still during a bath because he is shivering -- maybe I could do it while he is wet?

Spencer is now 26 weeks, and for the past several days he has dragged his butt on the ground at least once a day. (Hasn't done it yet today.) I know this is either worms or blocked anal glands, and I really don't think it's worms. I made an appointment with the vet for next Wednesday so that I can see how the vet expresses the glands, but I would love to avoid going to the vet.

I've read here that dietary supplements like prunes or a change in diet can help. In a few days I am going to start changing him over from the food he came with (Taste of the Wild) to frozen raw diet (Stella & Chewys.) Should I wait for the vet visit until I see if the new food helps all by itself?

And should I try expressing his glands myself? So far I haven't gotten him to stop squirming enough to get a good look at his anal area!

By the way, he doesn't seem to have any constipation and his poop looks firm.
I used to express the anal glands on our old boy Cooper (now deceased) on a regular basis. Its pretty unpleasant, but certainly possible to learn how to do it. I used a pair of disposable gloves and paper towels, followed up with a spray that kills the scent. The vet taught me how to do it. It takes some practice to get the knack of it, but its a useful skill worth learning.

Overall, I've since learned that if a dog's anal glands need regular expression, there is probably something not quite right with his diet. A dog needs nice firm poo to keep the anal glands naturally expressed when they potty. If the poo is habitually too soft, then you get this problem.

Some folks are recommending prunes and that sounds like a great idea. I have found that regular meals with raw meaty bones also creates firm poo and no anal gland issues.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:37 PM
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Its harder to do than it looks. But not impossible to learn. I do my dogs once in a blue moon

Fwiw ive never noticed the horendous odor everyone describes
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:26 PM
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Fwiw ive never noticed the horendous odor everyone describes
I used to bathe dogs and some would stink to high hell some would not. Harvick releases anal glands when he is spooked and sometimes they just have this foul little odor sometimes it doesn't (I just went grocery shopping and got some prunes so I am excited to try those )
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:42 PM
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Its harder to do than it looks. But not impossible to learn. I do my dogs once in a blue moon

Fwiw ive never noticed the horendous odor everyone describes
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Perhaps the odor only gets bad if the glands are somewhat impacted.

Either that, or you have absolutely no sense of smell.
Really, its very strong. Its the same glands as a skunk uses (I think) and has some similarities.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:16 AM
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Its the same glands as a skunk uses (I think) and has some similarities.
Sounds like something you'd want to do outside!
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:22 AM
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UPDATE: About a day after I posted my last comment, when I was outside with him I smelled something "skunky." I wondered: Did one of those glands just drain by itself? Sure enough, after that he didn't rub his butt for two days. Then he started again ONLY when he has to poo! It's like his "tell."

I had already made an appointment with the vet, but they suggested canceling it if he no longer seemed to be in distress.

Now he's even stopped rubbing before he has to poo; he's graduated to giving us meaningful looks. I guess that's more mature, but it was actually easier to figure out what he wanted when he rubbed his butt!
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