Anal gland problems are very commonly seen by us at Rosevean Veterinary Practice and can have a marked negative effect on dogs who can become quiet and subdued due to the irritation.
There are several reasons why glands may not empty. Common reasons that we see are:
- Soft faeces do not squeeze the glands. It is not uncommon after a period of diarrhoea for glands to be fuller. Animals that have long term soft faeces due to medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease may have repeated problems.
- Misshaped glands may not empty properly. These could be what the dog was born with or could have become misshapen due to scarring after infection. These are likely to need regular emptying.
- Inflamed glands due to skin allergies. This is probably the most common reason that we see anal glands needing emptying. Skin allergies are very common and can range from severe itching through to minor irritation so it may not always be obvious such as nibbling paws. Anal glands issues due to allergies may reoccur all year or be seasonal.
Clinical signs that can be commonly seen include:
- Scooting bum along the floor as dogs try to manually empty them.
- Chewing or licking around the tail base.
- A bad smell if material leaks out and often a bad breath when dogs have licked up the material.
- Uncomfortable sitting or defecating.
- Sudden spooked behaviour such as jumping up at rest as if been stung or suddenly sitting down when out walking.