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Learn about canine anal glands and how to maintain their health

An often ignored issue with household pets is the health of canine anal glands. However, a build up of secretions in the anal sac can be quite problematic for your dog, and lead to infection and painful abscesses.

If you find that your pet has a fascination for licking the area, or drags his rear across the floor often, there is likely a dog anal glands issue. These are two small glands just inside a dog's anal opening. Wild animals empty these sacs naturally by marking their scents or as a defense mechanism, like a skunk spray. But some house pets have largely lost that ability, and the secretions that should pass naturally build up and clog the duct.

Defecation and walking around does the trick for most house pets, but some don't have the ability of expressing anal glands on their own. If that's the case the glands become impacted and cause discomfort to the dog, hence the dragging of the rear across the floor to provide at least temporary relief. Some dogs will lick the anus instead and others will chase their tails, thinking that will solve their problem.

What are the treatment options?

There are natural remedies that can effectively cleanse the area, reduce swelling and pain, and soften the built up material. One of the most promising canine anal glands treatments is called AnalGlandz which contains all natural ingredients that can help encourage the break up of clogged materials.

It is also helpful to learn how to express anal glands. This is something you can do on your own to relieve the pressure and pain your dog is experiencing. However, it is not for the squeamish.

Expressing anal glands externally involves holding a rag to the anus and squeezing the anal glands one at a time. The internal method of treating your pet's problem is to insert a lubricated glove finger into the anus and squeeze the gland between your thumb and forefinger into a rag. Then you repeat the process for the gland on the other side.

If this doesn't stop your dog from dragging his rear repeat the process of expressing anal glands. Sometimes it takes a few goes at it before the problem is fixed. If you are sure the glands are empty and the problem persists, it could be due to something else, possibly tapeworms, itchy skin or other health condition. If you notice an abscess on the anal sac you should have it treated by your veterinarian with antibiotics.

For many pet owners, learning how to express anal glands is not something they want to do. Of course if this whole process ruins your dinner, have your vet take care of the canine anal glands entirely. If the problem recurs every few weeks another option is to have the anal glands removed surgically. Many dog owners live in blissful ignorance and think a dog dragging his butt is pretty funny, but now you know this could be a sign of something quite serious

more than canine anal glands on our Dog Health Problems home page


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