Anal Gland Surprise

I know, I know!

What’s going on? You may well ask.

Well, after reading Beths’ Post about a less than satisfactory Sunday it reminded me of the many problems we had with our first Dog Sam (miss you awfully, oh buddy of mine).

He was a great Guy, but boy was he an expensive Dog to keep! Apart from the odd lumps and bumps (all benign) that had to be removed over the years and the astronomical Dental bills we faced, the next and most regular expense was related to his anal glands.

Look I know this is not a “frolicky in the meadows, I love butterflies and knit my own yoghurt post” but it is a problem that faces many, many Dog owners as their Dogs get a little bit older.

Dogs Anal (or Anul) Gland Problems?

Once Sam got to a certain age he had to go to the Vets at least three, if not more, times a year to have his anal glands (or anal sacs) emptied. I bet a lot of you (unless you came here via a search engine) have no idea that these stinky things were even in existence but trust me, unless you take some action you could be facing some serious issues in the future.

OK a few basics:

Dogs Anul Glands

Dog Glands (i.e Anal Glands) are situated just inside the anus of Senor Pooch on either side. They contain small amounts of fluid that basically are their own unique smell. This is why Dogs sniff each others Bums! Bet you never knew that one!

The Dog Glands are supposed to express themselves naturally when your Dog has a Poopie Woopie but this is not always the case. There can be a myriad of factors why this does not occur, but normally, and in most cases it is because of a lack of Fibre, or roughage.

In Sams case and in many other Dogs it can be a real problem. The Dogs Glands slowly fill up and it becomes a real torment to the Dog causing a lot of discomfort as I am sure you can imagine. They can also then empty voluntarily, and trust me on this, you will never have smelt anything quite so nasty EVER. More often than not though they will continue to fill and be a great discomfort to your Dog. Many Dogs have hard to empty anal sacs making the problem even worse.

Sam had a real problem with his glands and without warning we would wake in the morning to discover he had basically torn the fur out of his back end in a failed attempt to get to the cause of the discomfort!

This is by no means an uncommon occurence as our Vet told us, but there is much she FAILED to tell us.

Owners of small Dogs need to be even more vigilant, as they have smaller sacs and may need to be emptied more often if you do not try the  suggestions I give later, or if they do not work.

Dog Anal Gland Problems?

How To Spot Anal GLand Problems

  • The little pooch is pulling his Bum across the floor as if trying to itch its backside
  • The little Monkey keeps trying to gnaw at its back or Bum
  • Foul smells emanating from its nether regions
  • Excessive Bum licking or gnawing

So if your Dog has any of the above signs what do you do?


Go to the Vet! Your Vet can easily empty the Dogs Glands (rubber gloves definitely on) and can even show you how to do it at home although I could never build up the courage personally!

Here is where I was very disappointed with our Vets advice. We were told to get as much Fibre and roughage in to our little Sammy Dog as we could. Our Vet advised dried food over canned and for us to see how it went. Well, it didn’t work, so basically we always had a good few trips to the Vets every year to get his little problem sorted out.

It is only now, years later, in another country, that I found the best solution.

Oh c’mon, I hear you saying. Not that again!

My regular readers (hello), may well know what is coming next as I am such an advocate of…….RAW MEATY BONES!

That’s right. After we borrowed a book on raw meaty bones from some friends I never looked at a Dogs diet the same way again. Also after getting to know many locals and seeing what many supplement their Dogs diet with I was quite taken aback. Apart from the advantages of cleaner teeth, no bad dog breath, peace for hours on end as the little Bone Munchers get stuck in, raw meaty bones are the perfect solution and preventitive measure to a Dogs Gland problems.

The roughage and Fibre obtained by your Dog from munching on a suitably sized, correct for your Dog, Raw Meaty Bone will vastly improve, if not eliminate a very serious problem that many Dogs face. The passing of stools by Dogs that have slowly become accustomed to munching on Bones is hard and fibrous and helps dramatically in keeping the anal sacs as they should be.

Sorry to have made this such a long post but I really do hope you take this advice seriously, it could save your Dog a lot of problems in the future and also save you a shed load of cash.

Do an Amazon search, borrow one from the library, nick one off your friends, or however you can get your hands on one, get a book on Raw Meaty Bones. I recommend this one, but there are others, and if you only read one Dog related Book this year make sure you get one on the many, many, benefits of letting Dogs chew on Raw Bones.

If you want to ensure you know what is in your Dogs food, download 245 Homemade Dog Food Recipes and make sure you give them a suitable treat.

May the Doggie Force be with you all.

14 Responses to “Anal Gland Surprise”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Sharonda says:

    I hate to admit this, but anal glands aren’t difficult to express, at all. I used to work for a groomer, and, for cockers and smaller dogs, an expression was a normal part of the bathing routine.

    I’m not going to say it’s pleasant, but the smell wasn’t nearly as bad as worrying about applying too much/not enough pressure. Once you figure out that, yes, you can do it without hurting the dog, it becomes a routine task.

    It also doesn’t hurt if you have strong-scented dog shampoo permanently attached to your olfactory nerve! 😉

  2. Fauteuil says:

    Don’t get me started on Anal glands. We have a Cavalier KC Spaniel, and they are naturally cronic butt scooters so the only symptom was a high pitched screech every so often. The vet suspected she had somehow pinched a nerve in her back and put her on a muscle relaxer that caused her to throw up and have bloody diarrhea. After a middle of the night trip to the Vet ER, where she was tested for Parvo, it seems she had one slightly swolen gland that was difficult to express. She’s not had a problem since, however I switched her food and add a bit of canned pumpkin for extra fiber about once a week.

  3. the three dog blogger says:

    Hi Sharonda,

    The Vet did show us how to do it but I guess I was just a bit too everwhelmed with it and worried I would do it wrong.

    Also I had no strong scented shampoo nearby to dull the smell!

  4. the three dog blogger says:

    Hi Fauteuil,

    Sounds like you really went through the mill getting a diagnosis. I am glad that all is well now.
    Extra fibre is definitely what is needed and if you have found a good solution then I am very glad.

    Have you tried meaty bones as well?

  5. Friar says:

    Anal Gland Surprise.

    Oh, now THERE’S something that’s gonna acts the readers in droves.

    Best. Blog post title. Ever. 😀

  6. jan says:

    My groomer shampoos, blowdries, trims and empties anal glands for the price that the vet charges to empty anal glands. Now I take my short haired dogs to her for shampoo and anal glands. My smartest investment.

    jan’s last blog post..Forgotten Poodle makes an amazing recovery

  7. Fauteuil says:

    Haven’t tried Meaty Bones. She’s a small breed, and although I do occasionally give her raw beef when I’m cooking, I’m afraid she’ll choke on meat bones. She’s gotten a hold of chicken bones from wing discard before, and they’ve shattered with her chewing. Are the raw ones different?

  8. Friar says:

    Oops. Typo.

    I meant “ATTRACT the readers in droves”. 🙂

    Friar’s last blog post..Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  9. the three dog blogger says:

    Hi Friar, I just couldn’t think how else to word it. 🙂
    Jan, that’s great. It was always an expensive job when we went to the Vets, glad you can get it done reasonably.

    Fauteuil, Dogs should NEVER eat cooked bones. They become hard and britle and as you rightly say they shatter. Raw bones are completely different, they don’t shatter, rather they go soft with the chewing. has some good information on the subject. As always I would talk to your Vet first, and if they say Dogs should not eat raw bones then find a Vet that has some sense!

  10. When I went through groomer training, we were taught how to do this and as a pet groomer in the 80’s, it was a routine pat of the grooming procedure. Now the groomers I use NEVER express the anal glands & say that that is a vet’s job. So I’m still stuck doing it. YUCK!
    Thanks for the suggestions about the raw meaty bones. I’ll give them a try!

  11. the three dog blogger says:

    Cathy, maybe you should find a new groomer. It’s not something I know anything about (we do the grooming ourselves) but in Jans comment she said her groomer does it as part of the routine.

    May be worth looking in to.

  12. Ah, yes, the anal glands. The Vs have never had much trouble with theirs, but Trixie’s became inflamed a few years back and a biopsy showed they were precancerous, so we had them removed. And yet the Vs still sniff her butt …

    Dennis the Vizsla’s last blog post..Mission Accomplished … ?

  13. First let me tell you, I KNOW WHERE YOU”RE COMING FROM!!!!

    My dog has a wool allergy – for years we didn’t know this, and she would like her butt and it got all weird looking and it obviously bothered her a lot.

    So the anal glands were one of the things that we always had to get expressed to get the stuff out

    Now we finally have her on a shot we give her with a needle which is an allergy shot, and she’s a lot better so far 🙂

    Taris Janitens’s last blog post..Condition 1 Storm in Antarctica

  14. minna says:

    thanks 4 the tip about the gland me and my husband tried to do it ourself but NOT! we will try the meaty bones it kinda makes sense…..THANKS