Impacted anal glands are one of the top reasons dogs end up at the vet. Your dog’s anal glands are designed to produce a greasy, nasty-smelling substance that helps him mark his territory. Now, our dogs were designed to have to strain just a little bit when taking a bowel movement, which helps to keep their anal glands nice and clear. That’s because the stool is supposed to push against the anal glands and force the anal glands to expel the substance; it’s then secreted out of your dog’s rectum along with the stool. However, for many dogs today, their stool isn’t firm enough and they don’t strain enough to do the job. The anal glands don’t empty the way they should, and eventually they get impacted and all sorts of problems result. Plus, when anal glands are manually expressed too often, or pinched or squeezed unnecessarily, it can damage them so they don’t function properly even when the stool pushes against the glands.
- A foul odor from their anal area
- Abscesses near the rectum
- Bloody or greenish-yellow pus from their anal area
- Brown or red discharge from the anal area (which can stain your floor and furniture)
- Excessive licking or biting at the base of their tail or anal area
- Excessive tail chasing
- Increased aggression
- Red, painful, and/or swollen anal area
- Straining to defecate
- Switch your dog to a balanced, varied, species-appropriate raw food diet. This ensures your dog gets the appropriate amount of calcium and phosphorous in their diet. Their stool will be harder (because of the calcium), and they’ll have to strain a bit to push it out. This straining is what will keep their anal glands clean and clear.