Anal Glands FAQ | Best Friends Pet SuperCentre

Anal Glands FAQ

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Anal glands advice guide


Anal glands are small glands located within the anus on either side of the anus. These glands fill with a brown substance that can have a foul, musky smell. The purpose of anal glands based on dog behaviour is for the application of pheromone-rich secretion to the outside of the stool, in order to mark territory. At times when dogs meet one another, they raise their tail and excrete small amounts
of this substance. Scooting, licking and biting the anal area can sometimes indicate impacted or blocked anal glands, along with a distinct odour.

Treatment for impacted anal glands

Examination by a vet or vet nurse is needed and antibiotic treatment may be necessary if infection is present. Manual expression by a vet or vet nurse is needed once impacted. Complications can occur from impacted anal glands that aren’t expressed in time
including; infection, abscess and rupture in severe cases.

Prevention for impacted anal glands

Most dogs are able to empty these glands whilst having a bowel movement or during exercise. Although anal glands can become frequently impacted for a variety of reasons diet is large factor. Soft or fibrous stools from a commercial dog food is a common problem. The glands cannot express properly with a softer stool. Dogs that are feed a premium or raw diet tend to have a hard and dry stool. These stools are more effective at expressing anal glands. A vet will often recommend a diet change to prevent this.  If you currently feed a commercial dog food ask the Best Friends team about their Premium dog food range.