What is the Squeeze on Anal Glands?
posted: Oct. 09, 2020.
What is the squeeze on Anal Glands?
When you hear the word anal gland or anal sac… I don’t think that your first thought is the organs and glands located at the 5 and 7 o’clock position around your pet’s rectum. However, if it is – good job! You must be one of the lucky ones whose pets have expressed them in your presence. The anal gland is located inside the anal sac, and they produce a liquid that has an odor that is often referred to as pungent, suffocating, and even rank. We’ll let you use your imagination. When your pet has a bowel movement, the contraction of their sphincter will cause the anal glands to express their contents onto the feces. Why this happens, is not completely known but it is suspected to help your pet mark their territory by leaving their own personal scent. Normally, this process happens and goes unnoticed by pet owners. Unfortunately, though, some pets do have some issues with their glands… and before you panic about possibly having anal gland issues of your own; Humans do not have to worry about this.
These problems can occur in any dog or cat but are often more commonly found in your tinier breeds. The gland will become impacted when their secretions thicken and cannot be as easily emptied on their own. This can unfortunately lead to infection and the glands can rupture or abscess, which is painful. Lose or soft stools, infection, obesity, digestive issues, allergies, and often genetic predisposition can be the reason for this stinky issue.
If your pet is “scooting”, having discharge or blood around their anus, or licking excessively at their tails; they might be dealing with some anal gland problems. You might even smell the pungent odor. If you believe this is the case we recommend speaking with your veterinarian as soon as possible. The manual expression is often how we can come to this diagnosis. In this case, there is an infection they can be expressed and then antibiotics can be prescribed. If one ruptures, or abscesses often surgical drainage and further medications are required.
Luckily, when dealing with anal glands the problems are commonly not serious and very easily treated. If you find your pets having problems with their bottoms often, your veterinarian might recommend frequent anal gland expression. This is something you can do at home, or if you would prefer to not have to deal with smelly discharge, and your fingers by your pet’s bum… we would be happy to do this in the clinic for you. This is something that can be done quickly and will help assist your pet in living a comfortable life. The tail end (no pun intended) of it is if you notice your pet is scooting, licking, or giving off a gruesome odor give us a call. The sooner we can get to the bottom (okay no more puns from me, I swear) of this, the better.