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I will be a new dog owner sometime in the Spring or Summer and a few people have "warned" me about anal glands, needing express them once a month, etc.?!? WHAT??? Can someone please tell me what this is about?:eek:
 

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What an amazing post title. :) Anal glands are used to help dogs mark territories etc. As far as I know, (any hopefully some people who work in vet clinics can help out more. @TiggerBounce @KayWilson) most dogs express their anal glands when they defecate. My Aussie is over a year, and I've never had to express his anal glands. If they don't empty (like if a dog has perpetually soft stool), then they are generally expressed (squeezed) by a groomer or vet.
 

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I have to agree this was a fantastic title that almost made me choke on my carrots. Not all dogs need them expressed. Some need them expressed regularly by the vet but once a month sounds like a lot. If they cause that much of a problem it's easier to just get them removed, which I've had done for at least two of my dogs.
 
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How do you know if it's a problem? Is there a discharge? A smell? Sorry, I really am new to this and just trying to educate myself (and prepare myself- lol)
 

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I think the amount of times you have to express them depends on your dog. I usually have them expressed when they are at the groomers, or they will express them themselves if they are getting too full. It is a horrible smell.
 

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It is a HORRIBLE smell. There is a certain compound we use in protein analysis called BME (beta mercaptoethanol if you're interested) and apparently is smells identical to anal glands. It's sort of like...dead fish, but way worse.
 

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My dog seems to need them expressed every 3 or 4 months. I know he needs to have them done because he'll start butt scooting on the rug and when he lays next to me I'll occasionally catch a whiff of a bad, fishy, smell. My two previous dogs never had to have them expressed.
 

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The title of this thread made me laugh out loud because only on a dog board would people think, "Okay, fine, let's talk about anal glands."

Yes, there's a really terrible smell if your dog expresses its anal glands, though I've been told that unless it's excessively often, it's not that bad that it happens occasionally, as that lessens the possibility that they may become blocked and infected or burst.

My dog really needs to be groomed once a month, and the groomer just routinely expresses them when she does that--and as a former vet tech, she'd let me know if anything seemed amiss in that regard.
 

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Anal Glands, oh how I never seem to be rid of thee. lol.

As @Shandula said they are part of a scent marking system. Each dog has it's own scent.

Now, anal glands can require expression occasionally. I wouldn't do it regularly unless your pet has a problem with them - some breeds are more prone. For instance, my own dog had never had her anal glands done until recently when we had some bowel issues for a few weeks, her poo wasn't firm enough to express them so our vet did them. She most likely won't need them done again, unless she has more bm issues.

Anal gland material is, sorry for the visual, gooey like once expelled. It also has the smell of rotten fish and really isn't pleasant. I, personally, wouldn't have anyone other than a trained professional (i.e.: a veterinarian or Register animal health technician) express anal glands, as damage or infection can be occur if they are expressed incorrectly or incompletely.
 

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Anal glands usually are only an issue if the pet has a poor diet, such as processed foods and the like. And yes the smell is AWFUL! Also the pet will do what is called 'scooting' where the sit on their bum and drag it across to floor, like as if to scratch an itch.
 

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How do you know if it's a problem? Is there a discharge? A smell? Sorry, I really am new to this and just trying to educate myself (and prepare myself- lol)
From my own personal experience from when Jessie was 10-18 months old it was more then AWFUL!

You know when its a problem with the following:


  1. when your dog comes near you , that you get a really strong whiff of a fishy or worse smell
  2. they lick thier bum hole
  3. scoot
  4. chase tail/bum and scoot
  5. when expression is required every 4-10 days(seriously went through this ended being every 4 days in the end but thankfully the 4 days was 2 days before anal gland removal!)
  6. when the stuff that comes out is GREEN and a bad smell comes out from there really strong and AWFUL enough that i just about threw up in the vets exam room and swore (f word) i'm not kidding
  7. when always infected and antibiotics dont clear infection up(even with 2 antibiotics).
  8. when you have to get the anal glands flushed out
the last time Jessie got them expressed before taking out it got so traumatic that her legs were shaking on the table i was holding her up. though i admit the 2nd/3rd night was the worst after removal!
 

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I thought most dogs didn't have problems with their anal glands. Am I wrong? I haven't ever had problems with my dogs and none of my dogs have had them expressed.
 

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I did get a laugh out of the thread title too. It'd be like having a random "Let's discuss hemorrhoids" thread in a non-dog section of DF. O.O :D :D
 

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@ColliesRock its quite common sadly especially in smaller dogs. i find bigger dogs have less problems with anal glands. im thankful the insurance paid the $900for the operation, and drugs/and antibiotics to get Jessies removed!
 

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Some dogs never need help getting them getting them emptied. They are supposed to coat their stool as it passes the gland, which as I understand it is an identifying scent for that dog. Our dog, unfortunately has some problems with hers, and needs to have our Vet express it for her, probably every two to three months. Its not that big a deal, she is there for grooming anyway, the Vet checks her, and if necessary does the deed. She is far more comfortable after.
 

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I have never had a problem with this. If I did, I would express the anal glands at home.
 

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I have never had a problem with this. If I did, I would express the anal glands at home.
Trust me you wouldnt want to with the awful awful smell unless you have a iron stomach and do you want to associate you doing that to your dog? dogs dont like to associate such unpleasant experiences with the owner surely? Jessie sure wouldnt let me do hers and i cant blame her i probably be more traumatised then her and puke alot.

For those who have been around since i Joined this forum arent you just really glad that i got Jessies anal glands taken out after the experiences and everything we went through!? i sure am and i dont miss this problem at all and neither does Jessie :)
 

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I had Maddie's expressed at her first vet visit as a matter of course (I wasn't in the room at the time so I have no olfactory horror stories to tell).

I haven't needed to since; her poo has a nice, shiny sheen to it and after it all comes out, a last bit of anal gland fluid drops right on top of it, like she's putting a cherry on top of a sundae with her butt.
 

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I've never had any anal gland problems with any of my dogs. Neither has my mom who's had five scottish terriers over the years. I know it can happen but it's not something I'd worry about. I believe many groomers will express anal glands if needed. And of course vets will too.
 
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