There are many subjects that pet owners never thought they’d learn about, let alone try to deal with. Anal glands are one such example of this phenomenon. Without a doubt, this area doesn’t typically come into focus until there’s a problem. Not all pets suffer from impacted anal glands. However, if the anal glands are unable to carry out their important functions, they may require immediate attention and action.
Notorious Butt Scooters
The anal glands are basically scent glands that help an animal mark their territory when they leave a stool behind. When everything is working back there, a firm poop puts pressure on the glands, causing them to squeeze out a dark, foul-smelling liquid. When pets suffer from loose stools or incontinence, there’s little to no pressure on the anal glands. Without regular excretion of the fluid, the glands can get backed up.
A Case of the Oh-No’s
Placed on either side of the anus, the anal glands (or sacs) can also express when an animal is excited or frightened. If you ever notice a funky, fishy smell coming from your pet’s backsides, don’t dismiss it.
You may also notice the following tell tale signs of problems with the anal glands:
- Scooting their bottom on the rug or upholstery
- Excessive licking of the area
- Redness, swelling, or inflammation
- Blood in the stool
Expressing impacted anal glands isn’t for everybody. We’re happy to do this for you, or schedule a grooming appointment to have it done during a bath and haircut.
You can do it at home by gently inserting a gloved finger into the anus. Press at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock sections of the anus.
Serious Problems With Anal Glands
If impacted anal glands aren’t dealth with efficiently or effectively, animals can develop painful infections in the area. At this point, full expression of the glands with medication is likely necessary. Additional antibiotics may be helpful to fight the infection.
Anal glands can rupture through the skin, causing agony. Again, prescription medication will likely accompany the emptying of the sacs. Because of the pain and suffering, pets may need to be sedated.
While not common, anal gland tumors can occur. If you ever notice that your pet is struggling to defecate, licks the area repeatedly, and displays discomfort or stress, please schedule a routine wellness exam. It’s always best to rule out major concerns.
A Part of the Whole
Some animals may never have problems with their anal glands. Others may have recurrent issues. Either way, the anal glands are a part of the whole system and benefit from routine inspection and care.
Our staff at Godspeed Animal Care are here to help. Please call us at (757) 253-0656 with any questions about your pet’s health, wellness, and behavior.