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The Importance Of Anal Gland Expression
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The Importance Of Anal Gland Expression

Not everyone knows how to express dog glands, or the importance of this procedure. It can seem like quite a daunting and intimidating task to say the least. Unfortunately, anal gland expression is a necessary procedure and an important part of your dogs grooming regiment.

All dogs have anal, or scent glands. Their primary purpose is for the "marking" of territories, identifying, and recognition...hence the butt sniffing. Dogs can express their glands spontaneously as a defense mechanism, or under stressful circumstances. Dogs fecal matter is generally hard enough in consistency to naturally express their own glands. If the dogs stool is soft, they may not be able to express their glands. This may lead to impaction, or infection. Smaller breeds, and obese dogs are usually more prone to gland complications and need the extra care and attention.

Healthy gland secretions are watery in texture and range in colors from tan to pale yellow. Impacted gland secretions will be thick and gritty in consistency and may appear grayish or dark brown in color. Impacted glands will be hard and mildly irritating. They will need to be drained manually. There are rarely any complications from the treatment of impacted glands. Infected gland secretions will most likely contain blood and pus and emit a very foul odor. Redness, swelling, fever, abscesses, and open sores in the perianal region are also pretty clear indications of an infection. Infected glands should be expressed by a veterinarian. Abscesses are lanced, oral antibiotics are administered, and in some severe cases surgical removal of the gland is necessary. Signs that your dog may have glandular complications include: bum scooting, licking at the tail, and chasing the tail.. Your dog will also probably have a difficult time sitting, and getting comfortable.

I recommend expressing glands in the bath due to the messy and smelly nature of the procedure. The steps to express anal glands are as follows: Lift the tail and place your thumb and your index finger on the four and eight o clock positions in relevance to the anus. The glands will feel like small grapes under the skin. Slowly squeeze and pull outward while gently increasing the pressure. Trust me you will know if you have done it correctly. Practice is key, and it may take several tries to get the technique down.

As disgusting and disturbing as this procedure may seem, it is also an important part of your K-9's health and over all well being. By ignoring this simple practice, you may be setting your furry friend up for some rather unpleasant complications. Now that you know how to express dog glands and know the importance of this procedure, you can continue on your educational journey of grooming and optimum pet health.


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