Anal gland impaction in dogs

Anal gland impaction is when the glands inside a dog's anus become full and blocked.

What are anal glands?

The anal glands are paired sacs that sit just inside the anus. They secrete a strong smelling liquid, which plays a role in territory marking.

Normally, the contents of the anal glands are squeezed out as a firm stool passes through the rectum. If they're not emptied properly, they can become over full and uncomfortable for the dog.

What are the signs of anal gland impaction?

You might notice a strong fishy odour. Blocked anal glands are irritating and painful and so your dog may also:

· Sit down suddenly

· Turn to look at their bottom

· Lick or chew their bottom

· Repeatedly lick or chew another area of skin nearby e.g. the thigh or hip

What should I do if I think my dog has blocked anal glands?

Left untreated, blocked anal glands can develop into more serious issues such as infections and abscesses. If you suspect your dog has blocked anal glands, you should get them checked out by a vet.

The vet will examine your dog’s bottom and express (empty) the glands for them.

Do not try to empty the glands yourself as you pain cause further pain and damage.

How can I stop my dog's anal glands getting blocked?

Prevent your dog becoming overweight as obesity increases the risk of anal gland impaction.

Feed your dog a good quality, complete diet. This will not only keep them in shape, but will help ensure their stools are firm enough to empty the glands as they pass through the rectum.

If your dog repeatedly suffers from anal gland impaction, adding fibre to their food can help. Speak to your vet for more information.

As always, always speak to your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's health.

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