A few weeks after Lottie came home with us, she was sitting by me one night and I could just smell something funny! (a fishy sort of smell) I was so confused, so of course, I Googled it, and a lot of results were coming up as an anal gland problem! I had literally never heard of this problem before! I’d always had family dogs at my mum and dads house, but this had never been a problem for them.
How do you tell if your dog needs his glands expressed?
Be on the lookout for the following signs:
- Your dog is scooting/ Rubbing on the carpet.
- Your dog is licking & Smelling his or hers bottom a lot.
- If your dog’s glands are really full, they may leak out a stinky, pungent smell, this can smell very fishy
- Sometimes you’ll see spots of brownish material in places where your dog has been sitting, such as on your carpet, your furniture or your lap.
- Your dog can have trouble pooing and poo may get stuck.
So, after some research, I found out that it was more of a problem in smaller dogs and was quite common in Cockapoos. Some dogs can empty their own anal glands, and this happens naturally when they go to the toilet. In some dogs, if their poo is not firm enough, unfortunately, the anal glands do not empty themselves and so fill up, which can cause irritation to the dog and even infection.
The signs we noticed in Lottie were as I said, the fishy sort of smell, and shuffling along the floor rubbing her bum! I’ve done so much research into this and the problem can be helped by diet, it could be caused by allergies (very common in Cockapoos, Lottie included) or it could just be something that unfortunately happens for them!
I called Vets 4 Pets and got her booked in for an appointment to get them emptied. Unfortunately, more than a year later, this is still a problem with Lottie and something we have to routinely book her in for every 4-5 weeks. We have tried adding more fibre into her diet (we add a handful of bran flakes to her breakfast) and putting her on hypoallergenic food due to her allergies,(which we haven’t quite grasped what they are yet, but we’re managing to get them under control more), and nothing has helped, unfortunately, the vets and nurses have said it’s unfortunately just something that is going to happen.
It’s a really quick appointment, it literally takes a couple of minutes for the vet/nurse to empty the glands. It’s obviously not a very nice experience for the dog but Lottie has become so used to it now so she’s very brave, bless her, but for her first couple of appointments, it was not very nice.
This procedure costs around £20 – £25. We were thinking wow, this could get expensive if we have to book her in for every 4-5 weeks! This is when we were told by one of the nurses who worked for Vets 4 Pets about their complete care plan. The plan covers annual vaccination for your pet, 3 monthly worm treatments and 1 monthly flea treatment, as well as 6 of the anal glands (amongst other types of appointments such as nail clipping) appointments for free!
There are also other benefits to the plan, but these are just some of the ones that have benefited us personally most. And this plan is only £12 a month. So, for us, we would have been spending at least £20 – £25 a month on Lottie’s appointments, and now we pay £12 for the plan and also get a lot of extras with it!
You can sign up for the care plan by going into your local Vets 4 Pets store and pay by a monthly direct debit.
I would definitely recommend the Vets 4 Pets Complete Care Plan if you have a Cockapoo with similar issues to Lottie!
When Lottie is getting close to the time when her anal glands need expressing and she might start to smell a little, we use these products from amazon, they’re great for freshening her up!
Can I squeeze my dogs glands?
You can, but it’s not something we would ever do, due to the nature of the procedure, the process of squeezing both sides of your dog anus and releasing the build-up of liquid in the glands.
We would recommend going to your vets or we have known some dog groomers to release the fluid.
What happens if you don’t express your dog’s glands?
If your dog does suffer from anal gland problems and they are not expressing naturally and you allow them to build up then this can potentially lead to inflammation and get infected.