Article provided by Dogster
You might have seen one of the many videos online where a dog is scooting his butt across the floor in a most humorous way. Not only is it unfair to the dog, who has no idea millions of people are laughing at his expense, it’s also a sign of a potentially serious problem – infected anal glands.
You might be a little embarrassed to talk to the vet about this, but it’s vital that you do. Learning how to care for your dog’s anal glands will help him stay healthy and may save you the cost of an emergency visit to the vet later on.
Anal glands are a dog’s calling card — they emit some fluid when pressured by urinating or defecating and that same fluid has your dog’s own unique smell. They can also release the smell when a dog is excited, as when meeting another dog. If the glands aren’t expressed naturally and regularly, they become impacted which can lead to infection or even a rupture.
Regular Care of the Anal Glands
Some dogs never have a problem with their anal glands so it’s up to you to be aware of the warning signs. The famous scoot across the floor is a good indication that your dog needs his anal glands expressed. Other signs are a fishy odor around your dog’s behind or soft stool.
The Role of Nutrition
By feeding your dog quality dog food with fewer cereal fillers, he will likely produce firmer stools, which will naturally express the anal glands. Be sure to check with your vet before starting any supplements.
Having a Professional Express the Glands
This is really recommended as an expert is less likely to hurt your dog and can do it quickly and efficiently. You can bring your dog to the vet to get the glands expressed when you notice a sign that they’re impacted. You can also bring him to a professional groomer. A groomer is a good choice because she likely sees your dog every few months and, thus, there’s less time that the glands are going unchecked.
Doing It Yourself
This is not recommended, but if you have no other option but to express the glands yourself, here are some simple instructions. The key is to be calm, prepared, and as quick as possible as this is not a pleasant experience for your dog. First, locate the glands. They are at about five and seven o’clock on either side of his anal opening. Next, wearing latex gloves, apply firm but gentle pressure to the glands. Hold a warm cloth over the opening to prevent a squirt of the nasty fluid. Some fluid should be expelled from the opening. Do not repeat the process; simply wipe your dog with the washcloth and reward him.
Read more about dog health and care on Dogster.com.