How to Prevent Dog Anal Gland Leaking?

Is there a stinky smell from your dog’s anus? You could be facing an issue with anal gland leaking. No one likes this dog problem – veterinarians or pet owners. If you never had this problem with your pet before, you are in luck.

However, it pays to know the details just in case you face this issue in the future. 

​​​​Let’s talk about what the anal gland is and why it could pose problems for your dogs.

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What is the Anal Gland?

The anal gland is the gland shaped like grapes under your dog’s skin. The location of this gland is at four o’clock and eight o’clock to the anus. The gland is present in small mammals including dogs and cats.

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But anal gland does not look this beautiful...

Anal glands produce a liquid with an odor unique to the stool produced by the animal. The purpose of this is to mark an animal territory through a distinct scent.

While this is a useful gland in the wild, it is useless for many domesticated animals, and it can be compared to the human appendix. This site is rife with disasters and diseases which could plague your pet.

Anal Gland Problems

When the anus or the premium is inflamed, the anal glands will have problems too. The fluid inside the gland will accumulate since there is no outlet for outflow. The pressure from the liquid makes pets feel uncomfortable. Inflammation usually happens as a result of an allergic reaction.

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Hmmm... I think I still don't get it 🙁

Aside from the accumulation of secretion, problems involving the anal gland often results when the anal muscle tone of your dog is poor. The same problem may occur when the anal glands produce excess secretions. Diarrhea and loose stool are also considered as predisposing factors. There are also cases where anal gland problems just happen.

Symptoms

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Dogs with a problem with their anal glands could twirl, bite or scoot on it is located behind as if to scratch the itch and feel relief. Another sign that there is a problem with the area is the stinky smell which is both fishy and gross.

As mentioned above, one sign your dog is having problems with the anal gland is discomfort. It’s also worth noting that this symptom is more common in smaller dog breeds like Chihuahua, Miniature Poodle, Havanese, Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle.

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Usually, dogs will exhibit the following behavior when they have a problem with the area.

  • Constant scratching and itching
  • Dragging their bum
  • Tail chasing
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    Scooting
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    Straining while defecating
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    Biting and licking the anus
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    Anal gland discharge 
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    Anal swelling

Contributory Factors

We already outlined the possible causes of anal gland problems in canines, but there are some factors which could affect whether your dog develops this issue or not. Ana gland problems signify that there is something wrong with your pet. 

Although veterinarians can prescribe antibiotics and treat your pet, there is usually an underlying cause. These factors include:

1. Obesity

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If your dog’s diet is rich in carbohydrates or if they don’t get enough exercise but receive too much food, you will most likely end up with an overweight pet.

When your pets are obese, the glands tend to sink into the fat tissue, and this makes it difficult to complete the natural anal gland evacuation process. Hence, the glands are congested, and toxins build up leading to infection.

2. Poor Diet

The quality of the food you provide your pet is another factor. When there are a lot of toxins in your dog’s body, the buildup will eventually lead to anal gland inflammation. Hence, some pet owners suggest running a HairQ Test to see the mercury, arsenic, and lead levels in your dog’s system.

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Food may also be the reason for loose stools. One way to solve the problem is to give raw bones to your pet. This solution can lead to harder waste which is good for the anal glands. Cooked bones or large beef bone is not recommended for dogs.

Always make sure you are feeding your food with high-quality food and steer clear of cheap supplements which can help you save money in the short term but put your canine’s health in vain.

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3. Injuries in Lumbar and Sacral Areas.

Dogs who sustain injuries to the lumbar-sacral area might have problems with their anal glands. Tight muscles can disrupt the anal gland’s function, and it would be useful for your dog to engage in physical activities.

Anal gland problems can be irritating to dogs, but it could also be an issue dog owners have to face.

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To help ease your dog’s problem and say goodbye to the stinky odor, be sure to put your dog on a healthy diet, make time for exercise, and visit your vet for a checkup if your pet’s condition becomes alarming. Although anal glands may be the problem, it’s also crucial to look into your dog’s lifestyle.

Solving Anal Gland Leaking

1. Diagnosis

The best way to address the issue is to take a trip to the vet to remove the accumulated area from the anal gland and help your pet feel relief.

Diagnosis is the first step to help your pet overcome the problem. The first thing veterinarians do is to conduct a physical exam and look into your pet’s history. The vet would also look into possible symptoms or causes which could have resulted in this condition.

anal gland leaking

In diagnosing this condition, veterinarians often request a urinalysis, complete blood count, blood chemical profile, and an electrolyte panel. These tests are necessary to make sure your dog is not suffering from any other disease.

During the physical examination, your vet will see if the sacs are enlarged. Gland secretions are also checked. Usually, anal gland secretion or exudate is clear or pale yellow or brown but if there are problems the color can turn into thick brown with a pasty consistency.

It’s also easy to spot redness and swelling, and you can send the anal sac exudate to a laboratory for further testing.

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2. Removing the Anal Gland

To solve the issue involving the anal glands, the vet will remove its contents if it did not rupture yet. The anal glands should be drained and cleaned. It is also necessary to use antibiotics in the area.

One procedure which eventually fell out of favor was removing anal glands. However, this surgical cure was not as effective as pet experts expected if your dog is not suffering from chronic anal sac infection.

Even after removing the gland, there were still problems with the smell and pets remained to feel uncomfortable. Aside from that, there were too many side effects after the procedure.

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In many instances, there are more disadvantages in removing the anal gland since it disrupts the natural detox system in your dog’s body. Always consider the pros and cons before agreeing to this procedure and make sure all the tests have been conducted to make sure that this is the only solution to your dog’s problem.

3. Medicine

In cases where the anal sac is abnormally open, your vet may recommend oral cyclosporine therapy. Cyclosporine is FDA approved for dogs, and it is a treatment for atopic dermatitis.

This medicine is available in capsule form, and the drug’s common name is Atopica. This medicine should always be given based on your vet’s instructions.

Unfortunately, this medicine is not advised for dogs which are less than four pounds or younger than six months. Breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs won’t be able to take this medicine.

Experienced groomers and veterinarians may offer their services to squeeze out the anal glands manually. While this could help, it would be best to allow these glands to do their job the natural way. It would be helpful to check the condition of your dog’s anal glands once every six months.

Needless to say, it would be helpful to check the condition of your dog’s anal glands once every six months.
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