New pet parents might not know about the importance of anal gland care when they bring home a puppy. But you should know that grooming your dog may involve more than just using a brush to make his or her coat shine, or choosing the right type of shampoo. Anal gland care is an integral part of caring for your dog, and of his or her wellness.
What are the anal glands and what role do they play?
First things first, let’s understand some things about anal glands and what role they play in the particular anatomy of a canine. You might have notice dogs always sniffing their rears when they meet, or even doing the same thing to themselves. The reason why they do that is that the anal glands located close to the anus secrete a substance that serves the purpose of transmitting information.
By sniffing each other, dogs learn about one another, things such as sex, age, health status, and so on. As you might easily guess by now, the role of the anal glands is quite an important one. If a dog tends to sniff his or her rear end more often than usual, or tries to bite it, that can be a sign of a problem with the anal glands.
What are some common anal gland problems?
Anal glands are in charge of secreting a unique fluid with a particular odor that, as explained earlier, is used to tell the other canines a dog encounters who he or she is. Typically, the fluid contained in these glands is released together with bowel movements. This process keeps the anal glands healthy.
However, due to various reasons, the anal glands can become impacted. Relieving the anal glands is not a complicated process, but you will have your vet explain to you how it’s done. In case you want nothing to do with that particular smelly process, you can always schedule a visit to the vet and have your dog’s anal glands expressed, as this is called.
Some malformations and mediocre quality food that causes malfunctions in the bowel movement of a pet can be the root of such problems. When the anal glands remain full, in time, they can be affected by infections, abscesses and even ruptures.
How to tell if your dog has anal gland problems?
Blood and pus in the area is quite a clear sign that you should take your dog to the vet. An infection or even a rupture might have already occurred. Also, a pungent fluid will usually accompany your dog’s stool, and due to the foul smell produced by this fluid, you will be able to tell something wrong is happening.
If you observe your dog scooting a lot, or trying to bite his or her rear, that could be a sign that the anal glands are acting up. Taking your dog to the vet will help relieve this problem.
What can you do to prevent such issues?
A lot of vets recommend pet owners to introduce high-fiber dog food for anal gland problems in their furry friend’s diet. Especially if you end up visiting the vet quite often with the same problem, that could be a way of preventing it from reoccurring too frequently.
A diet that is rich in fiber will help your dog have a bulkier stool. This, in turn, will help the relief of the anal glands on a regular basis, which is precisely what your dog needs. Helping your dog to relieve the anal glands naturally will work wonders on your canine friend’s overall wellness and health.
There are other benefits associated with this change in your dog’s diet. Pets that are obese can significantly benefit, as they will feel fuller faster and for more extended periods of time than usual. That will help them naturally lose weight, thus eliminating the need to visit the vet for various health problems.
When nothing works
In case the glands are inset, or there seems to be a chronic problem with them, the surgical solution might be the only viable method. Do not hurry to opt for surgery, though, unless there is no other way; there are risks associated with any operation, as you may well know, such as accidental cutting of nerves in the area, and infections.