Anal Glands

Google Maps location for Winmalee Vet Hospital

Winmalee Vet Hospital
Winmalee Village Centre, 14 Whitecross Road
NSW 2777

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02 4754 4333

Faulconbridge Vet Hospital
453 Great Western Hwy, access via Coomassie Ave
NSW 2776

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02 4751 6388

We have informative client education notes to help explain the nature of anal gland issues to you and your family.

Your questions and comments are always welcome.

One of the most talked about topics in a veterinary clinic is anal glands. They produce such a horrible smell and vets cannot avoid them and are often helping pet owners deal with the issue.

Dogs and cats have 2 anal glands; they're found on either side of the anus. They function to produce a personal scent. Each time a poo is produced, the anal glands mark the faeces with the distinctive smell. This is the equivalent to a pet's signature – other pets know whose poo it is. The significance of this sophisticated labeling device is lost on us, we only smell the odour and are repulsed.

It's when the glands become blocked that they are a problem. This leads to discomfort, rubbing of bottoms on the ground and the discharge of the smell. It's not uncommon for pet owners to notice the smell while sharing the couch with their pooch and watching TV.

The best treatment is for us to manually empty the glands. Other factors that reduce anal gland impaction include encouraging firm faeces by feeding dry food and keeping body weight down to optimum levels. Pets with ongoing problems may benefit from surgery to flush the glands or to remove them all together.

SYMPTOMS - if you notice any of these symptoms, please ring to arrange an appointment without delay.

Around 5 - 10 % of anal gland problems progress to nasty infections, with a significant number becoming anal gland abscesses. These are very nasty, difficult to treat, and usually require an operation to remove the dead and infected tissue.

The main symptoms are :-

  • rubbing bottom along the ground, often with a focused and anguished look on their face
  • chewing and biting at the flank, or bottom
  • swelling and redness around the anus
  • a hole with pus draining from the anal area

Surgical removal of the anal glands provides permanent relief - the veterinary surgeons at PetFriends are very skilled and experience at this operation, so the incidence of side effects and complications from the operation are remarkably low.