Wednesday, August 02, 2006

smelly dogs? check the rear!

Have you ever noticed a musky skunk like smell emanating from your dog? It's entirely possible that your dog may have impacted anal glands or may have discharged the anal glands. The anal sacs are located on each side of the anus, just under the skin. They open to the outside by tiny passageways or ducts. Glands within the anal sacs produce a dark, foul-smelling substance. The sacs normally empty as the animal has a bowel movement. Their purpose is unknown although one theory suggests that they were once used to mark territory.

For many reasons, sometimes these tear-shaped glands get blocked. This means that while more and more liquid is produced, none is being expressed into your dog's stools. Signs of blocked anal glands include butt scooting, bloody stools, strong odor or a swollen anus.

You can express your dog's anal glands but many people find this distasteful.
I wear latex gloves and am very careful when I clean out the anal glands. It isn't my favorite job for sure! Whatever you do, I would advise not getting any of the anal sac fluid on your clothes or hands. Vets regularly get sprayed with the stuff and it is totally nasty.


imabug said...

We had Simba checked out at the vet last week, and the tech said "oh yeah, they're full". He's much less stinky now. Thanks for the tip :)

Anonymous said...

My husband thinks that our three-year-old male lab has impacted anal glands. Could you give us a detailed explanation on how to clean them out? I've got the latex gloves, but I'm not exactly sure what to do next, and my dog isn't talking! Thanks!

BlondeonBlonde said...

It would be best to take your dog to the vet and have the glands checked there. If really impacted, the vet will need to discharge them.

Clancy's mom said...

Our 9-1/2 year old English yellow lab, Clancy is not neutered. I would not describe the smell as musky, but rather more like vinegar. He's not "scooting", nor excreating anything from the rectum. Could this still be an anal gland problem?