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We have a 2yo boxer mix who is having a really hard time with her anal glads. About 6 months ago we noticed a fishy, smelly odor coming her and were not sure what it was. We took her to the vet, thinking she could have a UTI, which the vet checked her for, but didn't find anything. They made no mention to us about a dog's anal glands. Every so often, we noticed that smell again, and we finally tracked it back to her anal glads. We took her back into our vet to have her glands checked, and they verified it was indeed her glads, but they were not full, not impacted, and not infected, so they only prescribed increasing her fiber by adding pumpkin to her food. We did this for a little over a month with absolutely no positive impact on her involuntary expressing of her glands. We reached out again to our vet and they recommended we change to a salmon based, grain free food, which she has been on for over 6 weeks, but the problem still exists. It has gotten to the point where she will express them anytime she is relaxed, playing, or just walking around the house, and it's getting very hard to handle. She is very healthy, and the vet says she is at a great weight for her size. Has anyone else experienced this type of issue, and if so, have you found a way to resolve the problem. She does not show any signs of irritation, she does not scoot across the floor, and she does not lick her rear, only after she expresses in an attempt to clean up her mess. Any guidance anyone can provide would be extremely helpful.
 

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Oh anal glands. They are the WORST. I've tried the pumpkin and everything to help the poops be harder but my dogs have solid poops and still have problems. You can have them expressed by either the vet or a groomer, or some people learn how to do it themselves. I try to do it every time they get a bath to help prevent them from doing it themselves. Trust me it's real embarrassing to show people your awesome new house when your dog freaks out and releases them stinking up the whole house.

I became very good are what @Shandula and I call whore baths. Only the pants and privates get bathed. I can get one done on my hairy aussie in about 5 minutes.
 

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I guess what worries me is that she has issues almost daily, and often when she is doing nothing but laying down and relaxing. When we have taken her to have them expressed, the vet has told us they were not full, so it's not like they are leaking from being over full. I have looked at her poop, and it doesn't look overly soft to me, but I suppose I can try to use additional fiber to harden it up. It does make it somewhat embarrassing when we have company over and she decides to express them, it really does take your breath away. Some people have recommended a supplement to help with the issue. Do you have any experience with supplements?
 

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Anal glands are small, sensitive organs that can be damaged or traumatized easily. Yes, sometimes dogs can have problematic anal glands out of the gate, but more and more it seems people are posting about their dogs having issues after manual expression. You end up in a vicious cycle.

When did it became the norm for groomers and vets and dog owners to express the anal glands just because? If the dogs glands have been damaged, you're in for trouble.

I can honestly say, all the dogs I've had in my life - none of them had issues. None of them ever had their anal glands touched. If I go to a vet - they are told explicitly - do not touch, same for groomers. If they aren't broken, don't fix them.
 

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In our case with Samantha, she was having problems with those $%#@@!&&*^ glands when she was about a year old. She unfortunately has needed them to be manually expressed, probably every 3 to 4 months or so. They have neither improved or degraded over the years.
 

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Anal glands are completely unnecessary in dogs and are not super difficult to remove surgically (though I would strongly recommend if you decide to have them removed, have someone with a lot of experience removing them do it). Can save you hours and $$ in the long run dealing with problematic odors and discharge.
 

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This problem may resolve itself as she gets older. We got our youngest, Spicey, a staffordshire terrier at about 2 years of age and she had these issues where these glands would express at unfortunate times. Sometimes daily. Yes, the smell is horrible and she would do her best to help us clean up after herself, but as the years have passed, the spontaneous expressing is occasional or remote. Sometimes she'll swing her head around to look at her rear end like something has, or is getting ready to happen... :rolleyes:

Back then I counted my blessings that the glands were actually expressing, and were not impacted, infected or really bothering her. Let's be honest, it really just bothers us humans more. :)

Keep her on the good grain-free food. Our dogs have been on Taste of the Wild, High Prairie mix for years. The main ingredients are venison/bison. I have no idea if this helped her glands in any way, but this mix is better for dogs with allergies or a propensity for skin issues, but it's not fish based...?
 

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I agree with izrddr, they are unnecessary for domestic dogs. I just don't want to subject Samantha to any elective surgery, and the solution just isn't that drastic, having our Vet express them, every 3 to 5 months when necessary. Now if we were having to deal with it every couple of weeks, I might consider another alternative.
 

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When I was a kid my moms poodle had the anal gland problem. She got to be pretty expert at emptying them. I'm not sure what type of opening these glands have, whether they are a type of sphincter or not, but if they are oversized, loose, or if your dog had just decided they like the idea of emptying these glands for some unknown reason you can be in for a miserable time. If I had a dog with this problem now that I'm the adult in charge of the pet decisions, I'd definitely have them out. It's not a smell I'll soon forget and having to manually discharge them, I would guess, would leave them more prone to infection. That in mind and with the mess they can cause to carpets, furniture, car seats etc, I would maybe think again on elective surgery. These things tend to get worse as a dog ages, and as health declines mammals become more infection prone. Get this done while the dog is young and healthy and the risks to the dog from the surgery are minimized.
 
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