Anal glands in dogs How and when to empty them? | Explanatory video

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dog anal glands

All dogs have anal glands, which help them lubricate their anus so that when they relieve themselves, everything comes out more or less easily. And although that is their main function, the truth is that these curious glands have many other important functions that we will detail below.

At general levels it is not necessary to ever empty a dog’s anal glands, as they normally empty on their own. But sometimes they are not emptied and that causes great discomfort to our dog. Let’s see how these glands should be emptied, explaining it step by step.

Index of contents

  • 1 What are anal glands and what are they for?
  • 2 How should I empty my dog’s anal glands?

What are anal glands and what are they for?

All dogs and cats have these glands in their anus, one on each side of the anus. At first glance they cannot be seen, but if we feel a little, we can see how there is a kind of “little ball” on each side of the anus. They are about the size of a chickpea, more or less, although obviously the size of the dog greatly influences, the bigger the dog, the bigger the size of its glands.

These glands have a dark yellowish liquid inside that smells really bad, like rotten eggs or even worse. The main function of these glands is to lubricate the dog’s anus when it defecates, also leaving a peculiar extra smell, thanks to this natural liquid / lubricant.

The bad smell of this liquid is so peculiar that each dog has its own, it is like its fingerprint. When a dog meets another, normally the first thing it does is smell its ass…. a way of knowing how the liquid in your anal glands smells, to know if you recognize this dog by its feces, curious truth? afterwards, their intimate parts are usually smelled, to be recognized by the urine. They mainly use smell, we must remember it.

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Chen a dog does not empty its glands naturally, we must do it manually since the inflammation of these glands can cause a lot of pain. Also if it is not solved, it can lead to abscesses, infections, etc … When a dog drags his ass across the floor, it is usually because he has itchy anus, caused by the anal glands or by parasites.

squeezing the glands by hand

How should I empty my dog’s anal glands?

The first thing you should know is that if you do not have experience or do not dare to do so, you can go to a vet. They are used to doing this and can show you how to do it, so that in the future you can do it yourself at home.

When dogs don’t empty their glands naturally, they need to be emptied manually once a month. Not every month will have the same need and may eventually begin to empty naturally again.

The steps to follow to empty the dog’s anal glands are:

  • Put on thin latex gloves, to work with hygiene but with a good touch.
  • Ask another person to help you hold the dog while emptying.
  • Reassure the dog and raise its tail, normally they do not allow to touch the ass …
  • Locate (palpating) the anal glands, without squeezing them or anything, just locating them.
  • Gently stretch them out a bit as you go up. It is the way to push the liquid they contain into the anus so that they come out and empty.
  • Liquid can come out under pressure, don’t get right in front. The liquid will be dark yellowish with a very unpleasant odor, it is normal.
  • It is advisable to use some gauze pads to prevent the liquid from shooting out everywhere …
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As we all know, it is much better to see how it is done to learn how to do it, so here I leave you a video (it is in English, but just look at how it does it and how the liquid comes out).

If our dog complains, we may be hurting him by over-squeezing or not doing well. If it hurts a lot because you have an inflamed area, perhaps the best option is for a veterinaryn to do it the first time, and the rest of you, if necessary (remember, only once a month).