Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally, without drugs, chemicals and processed food. There is a general misperception that a dog's anal glands should be manually emptied on a regular basis. In fact, expressing the glands too often may lead to decreased tone, delayed emptying and anal gland disease. Most vets learn about anal glands in vet school, but I had the pleasure of learning about that particular part of canine anatomy much earlier in life from our family dog - a dachshund Gerda.
Anal sacs: a new approach to an old problem?
How to Treat Anal Gland Infection in Puppies
You probably are because swollen, infected anal glands are pretty common in dogs. Dogs have a pair of small glands on either side of the anus, just under the tail. These glands also called sacs contain a smelly, oily fluid that smells a lot like skunk. Normally, when your dog poops, some of the liquid gets squeezed out of the glands as a result of pressure in the colon. This is called impaction.
Anal gland problems in dogs - natural treatment and prevention
Anal sacs or anal glands are located just inside the anus at the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. Small ducts pass from the sacs to the rectum and empty just inside the anal opening. The glands inside of the sac produce an aromatic liquid that is typically expressed during defecation. As dogs age, this liquid can start to have a thicker consistency, which is more difficult to express during normal defection. Consequently, the sacs can become overfilled which leads to discomfort.
This study was conducted to provide normal reference features for canine and feline anal sacs using ultrasound, low-field magnetic resonance imaging MRI and radiograph contrast as diagnostic imaging tools. A total of ten clinically normal beagle dogs and eight clinically normally cats were included. General radiography with contrast, ultrasonography and low-field MRI scans were performed.