If you notice that your dog is irritable, constantly trying to lick the anus, or "skating" on his bottom - not always because of parasites - a common cause of the problem could be inflammation of the anal glands. Dogs have two glands, pouches at the anus, whose main function is to mark territory and to identify each other socially by giving off a specific smell. The anal glands produce an oily brown liquid with a strong smell, which is needed for 'dressing' and marking territory.

Symptoms and signs of anal gland inflammation in dogs

In Some cases, anal glands in dogs produce too much amount of mucus which block the glands causing inflamation, infections. Symptoms that help the dog's owner to identify the inflammation are:

  • Irritability, restlessness, the dog can't rest quietly; 
  • The dog constantly tries to lick, dig or bite around the anus;
  • The dog emits an unpleasant smell;
  • The pet suffers from constipation, is unable to defecate, and feels pain (snoring) when defecating.

Course of anal gland inflammation

Normally, if the dog is healthy, the fluid in the anal glands is also removed when the dog defecates, so health problems start when the glands are unable to remove this fluid. As the fluid stagnates in the glands, it thickens, becomes viscous and clogs the gland ducts. In this case, it is easy to help your pet by gently pressing on the appropriate areas around the anus to remove the fluid, and your veterinarian will quickly remedy the problem.

If anal gland blockage is a frequent problem for your pet, vets recommend adding fibre to your dog's diet. Fibre, a ballast substance, increases the volume of the faeces, makes it easier to pass, and presses harder on the anal glands during defecation, helping them to empty. The dog's diet can be adjusted with a special food recommended by vets or, if the dog likes it, by trying to offer more vegetables, porridge with vegetables, and kibble.

An untreated blockage of the anal glands may become an infection. The Dog is extremely irritable, it may be angry, stinging. In This case the Vet. washes the anal glands, prescribe antibiotics. It is necessary to observe the pet, the untreated infection can turn into inflammation and wounds.

In foreign veterinary clinics, anal gland removal is used for recurrent and extremely frequent anal gland inflammation and obstruction. However, this procedure, while partially resolving the pet's health problems, may have complications, as the dog may not be able to manage the defecation process.

Prevention of inflammation

The best prevention of any disease in your pet is a healthy diet, weight control and sufficient exercise. The most common causes of anal gland blockages are overweight or obese dogs of small breeds. If your puppy has experienced this condition at least once, remind your vet to check your pet's anal glands at every visit.

Based on scientific literature and consultation with veterinary surgeons 


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