by Bev Carter, Damascusroad
Does your Pomeranian "scoot",or
drag his bottom, along the floor, even at times when when his
rear end appears to be clean . . . at least on the outside? If
you notice your Pom doing this, it is probably a sign that the
anal glands need to be emptied or expressed.
Anal glands are little sacks on either
side of the anus. They produce a brownish, foul smelling
substance that is used to mark his territory. Left unattended,
anal glands can become swollen and infected, and in some cases
even rupture which is very painful for your dog and very
expensive for you as it requires veterinary intervention.
The easiest way to avoid anal gland
problems is to get into the habit of regularly expressing them.
If you're a bit squeamish, you can ask your groomer (if you use
a groomer) or your vet to do it for you. Its quite a simple
procedure, however, and you can easily learn to do it yourself.
I've found the best time to do it is at bath time . . . you
don't have to worry about the mess, and the clean-up is a
breeze. It takes a bit of practice, but its very easy to do once
you learn how.
For those of you who don't know how to
do this, here is a slightly edited article that I found on the
web explaining the procedure. Its one of the few articles I
turned up that gives a good explanation in layman's terms that
anyone can understand.
(structure, impact and expression)
by Jennie BullockEvery dog has two anal glands or sacs
(1 gland on each side of the anus). These glands are
occasionally referred to as "scent glands", because
they enable the dog to mark its territory and to identify each
other. We have all seen how dogs greet each other by sniffing at
the other's rear.
The anal sacs are normally expressed
(emptied) by rectal pressure during defecation. The
secretion from the anal glands is a brownish liquid, although is
can become thick, yellowish or creamy looking. The anal
sacs can also be emptied by contraction of the anal sphincter.
This involuntary contraction can be due to the dog being
upset, frightened or under pressure, or the contractions can be
triggered by the dog to leave its mark upon territory.
Constricting the anal sphincter not only marks the territory, it
permeates the dog with that characteristic "doggy"
Impaction of the Anal Glands
When the anal glands fail to empty normally, the result can be
impaction. Impaction is most common in small dog breeds, but can
occur in any dog. Among the causes of anal gland impaction are :
soft stools, small anal gland openings and overactive anal
glands. The anal gland secretions become thick and pasty.
Anal gland impaction is treated by manual emptying of the
Emptying the Anal Glands
a warm moist wash cloth or towel. Raise the dog's tail and
locate the anal glands. The glands should be at
approximately 5 o'clock and seven o'clock positions in relation
to the anal circumference. You will feels the glands as
small firm nodules in the perianal area. Place the cloth
over the area. Position your thumb on one gland and index
finger on the opposite gland. By pressing in and squeezing your
fingers toward each other the glands should empty. Wipe the area
clean with the cloth. Repeat if necessary.
If the discharge is bloody or purulent in appearance there
is probably an anal gland infection - treat as described below.
Infected Anal Glands
This condition is
recognized by the presence of blood or pus in the anal gland
secretions. The dog may also exhibit discomfort when the glands
are emptying or do a great deal of scooting.
Treatment: empty the glands as
described above. Once the glands are empty and the area
cleansed, fill the gland with antibiotic ointment (such as
Panalog) by placing the tip of the tube into the duct opening to
the anal gland and squeeze the tube to fill the gland. Repeat
this process every two days until the anal gland secretions are
no longer showing signs of blood or pus. The dog may also need
oral antibiotics, as your veterinarian may advise.
that this article is for information purposes only,
is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian.