Is your dog dragging his hind end on the floor? Is he chewing at himself? Is he chasing his hind quarters?
This most likely means that your dog needs his anal glands done. The anal glands are scent glands
that are used for marking. Some dogs will express these glands when nervous or scared.
These glands are located under the skin next to the anus. In larger dogs these glands are usually
expressed by the dog, however in smaller dogs these glands need to be expressed by hand. If these glands are not expressed
frequently then the dogs anal glands can become impacted and cause infection.
Should your dogs anal glands become impacted and infected please get them to the vet immediately
so that they can be taken care off. This is such an issue in some dogs that the anal glands have to be surgically removed.
Your groomer should be expressing these glands every time your dog goes in for grooming. There
should not be an extra charge. This is part of the job. So when taking your dog in be sure to remind your groomer to do this.
Should you have a dog that does not require grooming, you either need to go in once a month to
have the anals expressed or learn how to do this yourself.
BEWARE: I will describe how to preform an anal expression however, if you have never done this
before, I would highly suggest asking your groomer to show you how or asking your vet. This should not be attempted by someone
who does not know how to do it as you may injure
your dog and cause serious problems.
Note: It DOES stink so its best to do this when the dog is in the tub before bathing.
I put a dog in the tub and get them sudsy and before rinsing the dog I express the anals.
I turn the dog so their hind end is facing to the side so you can see but not be in the direct
path of any oncoming expression. I take the tail in my left hand (or non-dominate hand) and hold it straight up so that it
is taught. This serves two purposes. 1- It gives you a good hold on the dog. 2- It pulls the skin and anus tight to that you
can find the glands easier.
The glands are located right next to the anus, one on each side. Basically at the 10 o'clock and
2 o'clock positions. You should be able to feel these glands with your fingers. I use my thumb and middle finger to express
the glands. I start towards the outside of the gland and gently but with a little bit of pressure milk the glands out towards
the anus. Almost like you are pulling away from the dog. It does take a bit of practice to get this right and to get anything
to come. Start with a light touch and gradually strengthen it a bit until you get the right pressure and the anal glands express.
This should never hurt your dog although he might give you a funny look as you are playing in areas that he thinks you should
not. When anals express you will smell a funky, smell a lot like fish oil. You should see either a brown oily liquid come
out and squirt into the tub or a dark almost black liquid. Sometimes it even looks like light brown toothpaste or dark brown
almost black coffee grounds. Any of the above is normal. Just REMEMBER...Try not to get any of this stuff on you. It does
not come out of clothing very easily. Its pretty nasty stuff. Once the anal glands are expressed washing it down the tub and
rinse off the dog.
Should you see anything abnormal like blood or something that is not described above in the expression
then get your dog to a vet ASAP.