Expressing Your Pets Anal Glands
Save money at the vet, express your pets anal glands at home
Okay, you saw the word "anal" and you're freaking out. It's really not as gross as you think. But maybe I'm lying or maybe for me it's not gross at all. I love my little dog Coco, she's my family and I make sure she gets the best care, so naturally when I saw her jump as if something bit her butt, I was curious to see what it was. At first I thought oh no, worms! But after checking things out, I noticed her butt was very red and swollen.
A visit to the vet confirmed her anal glands needed to be expressed. I watched the doctor put on his gloves, lifted her tail and noticed how surprisingly calm she remained throughout the procedure which only lasted about 2 minutes. He squeezed hard and suddenly she squirted out a whitish juice that smelled like old fish. I admit I was grossed out at first and even a bit embarrassed but he assured me this is a natural smell and they all have it. It's what attracts them to each other, the reason they sniff butts. Old fish. Go figure.
And because she hadn't had her glands expressed in a while, they squirted. Normally they ooze a little because dogs will naturally express them on their own when they have bowel movements. Sometimes however, they get impacted and need to be manually squeezed.
Not having them squeezed hurts the dog and makes it very uncomfortable and painful for them. Ever see a dog scoot across the carpet? They may need to have this done. Coco doesn't scoot but she does bite her tail as if something just bit her first. Lucky for me she's white because it's easy to spot her bright red butt. I usually do this about once every two months and after seeing the vet bill, which was $50.00, I knew I could do this myself.
I also learned that this is not just a doggie issue. It's also for cats. Cats probably won't be too cool with you pulling up their tails and messing with their butts but if your cat is easy going and is in enough pain, he may allow you to give him some relief. There are videos on youtube showing this procedure for cats.
What you need:
Soap to clean up afterwards
As the video explains, the glands are located at 4 and 8 o'clock with the tail at 12. When they are swollen, you can feel them full. It's actually very easy and the dog really doesn't mind. It's not painful for them, remember.
Squeeze into a paper towel and if you haven't done this before, it may squirt, so just make sure there isn't anyone standing directly behind the tail. Squeeze slow and firm and dig your fingers deep underneath the glands. I do both at one time, so my fingers will press around the anus 4 and 8 o'clock at one time because she's so small, it's easy. In about 2-3 squeezes, I'm done. I wet a piece of paper towel with warm water, dab a little Dial soap on it and wipe her butt. It soothes her and I feel better knowing she's clean anyway.
Coco actually looks forward to this and when I'm done, the first thing she does is kiss me, then run all over the place like a lunatic barking and shaking her tail, waiting for her treat.
If you love your pet, there is no "gross". They are your four-legged children. Maybe you just need to try it once and after that, it will seem easier every time. Remember, you're doing this for your pets health. They can get infected and then you will need to take them to the vet, pay a lot more money to have them do it. This is something you can do with little effort. If the smell bothers you or you are sensitive to odor, wear a mask.
Coco was embarrassed by this story and is currently hiding in her bed and refuses to look at me. I have promised her a some liver in compensation however and I think I saw a smile so I think all is well.
Good luck and if you try this, leave a comment and share your own story.