Many dog owners assume that their dog scoots its rear end on the floor because it has worms, but is this correct?
If you own a dog or have friends who have dogs you have probably observed the dog scooting a long on the floor dragging its bum. This can be a sign of worms, but more often it is due to the dog having discomfort with its anal glands.
Other indications of a dog with anal gland issues are that the dog might bite at it’s rump, appear to have difficulty sitting down, or may lick its bum more than usual. Sometimes chasing the tail indicates a dog with anal gland problems.
Most carnivorous mammals have anal glands, two glands on either side of the anus. They are often called “scent glands”, humans and other primates do not have these glands, but cats, and dogs do.
When the dog has a normal, firm, stool, the anal glands are automatically emptied of their contents. Often times when a dog’s stool is softer the glands do not empty themselves and this is when problems often develop. The anal glands then become impacted and sometimes infected. If left too long an infected anal gland may need to be lanced, and the dog put on antibiotics.
If your dog is showing signs of anal gland blockage you can drain them yourself (if you know how), or have a veterinarian do it, or the dog groomer. Generally speaking the groomer will be more affordable.
How to Empty a Dog’s Anal Glands
Draining the anal glads is done by squeezing the gland in such a way the contents are discharged through the openings on the sides of the anus. These fluids are usually tan and fairly watery, but in cases of impaction the fluid is often brown and thick. If blood or pus are present this indicates an infection, and a veterinarian should be consulted.
This should only be done by somebody who knows what they are doing, if done incorrectly the gland could rupture.
When dogs have an occurrence of anal glad problems the owner should be aware that such problems are likely to occur again. As such most people then clean the dogs anal glands every 8 weeks, often in conjunction of regular grooming and nail trimming. Smaller dogs, and old dogs, seem to be more prone to having anal gland problems.
Note: When cats have anal gland problems the symptom is usually that of defecating outside the litter box, a veterinarian can clean the anal glands and can show an owner how to do so for themselves in the future.
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Published in: Pets