Has your dog been licking his hind end a little more than usual? Perhaps it's been scooting around the yard like it's trying to soothe an itchy problem. Your dog may have an anal gland impaction that it's trying to take care of. Not sure what anal glands are? They're two glands – or sacs – that are located on each side of your dog's anus.
The glands secrete a liquid that gives dog's anal openings and feces their individual odor. So, when dogs smell each other's hind ends, they're actually smelling the anal glands. These glands can become impacted, which can lead to pain, inflammation, and infection. Small dogs are more susceptible to anal gland impaction. Here are some simple steps to relieve the impaction so your dog will feel better.
Restrain Your Dog
To prevent being bitten, you'll need to restrain your dog during the treatment. Impacted anal glands are extremely painful. In fact, they feel similar to severe hemorrhoids in humans. So, if you've ever experienced swollen hemorrhoids, you know how your dog is feeling. Needless to say, it's not going to want your hands or fingers anywhere near its hind end.
Have someone wrap a towel or sheet around your dog's midsection and grasp tightly with one hand. With the other hand, have them place your dog's head in their lap and hold it firmly. This will prevent both of you from getting bit.
Drain Both Glands
Before you begin draining the anal glands, you should trim the fur from around your dog's anus. Use a pair of scissors to trim the hair to about ½" in length. Once the fur has been trimmed, you'll be ready to drain the glands. You'll want to wear and old shirt and a pair of rubber gloves because the anal glands may squirt liquid, which have a very foul odor.
Apply a small amount of lubricating jelly to your fingers. Carefully lift your dog's tail and hold it up over their back to expose their anus. Insert your index finger into your dog's anus. You should be able to feel the anal glands at the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock points inside the anal cavity. Place your index finger over one of the glands. Place your thumb over the gland on the outside of the anus. Squeeze your fingers together, and in a sweeping motion, express the liquid from the gland. Repeat the process on the other gland.
Impacted anal glands can leave your dog feeling uncomfortable and in pain. Use these handy instructions to relieve the impaction. If your dog shows signs of an infected anal gland, such as bleeding or severe swelling, be sure to contact a veterinary clinic as soon as possible. Your pet may require emergency care. Click here to find affordable vet clinics.