Let’s Talk About Anal Glands

Pebbles Embarrassing (anal gland) Issue

Poor little Pebble will be so embarrassed if she knew that I was telling you this, so let’s keep it to ourselves, shall we? Yeah, I know that Anal Glands are not a pleasant subject, however, I decided to write about it because, we, that is Pebbles and I had a little medical issue this past Friday. So, because it’s what I do, I decided to write about it.

Pebbles Anal Glands are mal-positioned and that is what causes her recurring issues(see video below). This time it happened on a Friday. A couple of days before that Friday, I noticed that Pebbles was doing a lot of licking and biting her bottom end. Because she has a history of her anal glands becoming abscessed, I knew that it was happening again.

This time seems to be different than times past, though. In the past, I would take her to my veterinarian and they would drain it and she would be good to go. She didn’t seem to have any discomfort afterward at all. However, this time it was very different. They had to put her under anesthesia and when she came home she had a pretty good sized wound (more like a hole) in her left anal gland. It was red and oozing and you could tell that she was in pain.

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For that reason, recovery this time has been very slow. She had to take pain medication of course, and she is still on antibiotics. As I write this, it is day 8 and she is still wearing her Elizabethian cone. When I take it off, she won’t leave the wound alone and of course, there is the concern of infection. She, like all dogs, hates to wear it and I hate to see her uncomfortable!

Pebbles is still rocking her collar

As I already mentioned, she has always had problems with her anal glands. When your dog scoots on the carpet, he or she is not doing it to embarrass you in front of company, they scoot because they have some kind of discomfort or irritation going on back there. That’s when you take them to the vet to find out what the problem is. (Pebbles is wearing the KONG EZ Soft E-Collar for and small Dogs)

I guess my little Pebbles who is such a little lady feels that it is unladylike to scoot on her butt. So although she may be feeling discomfort, irritation, and even pain she shows no sign until it is already abscessed.

Most dogs go through life never having to have their anal glands expressed. Although it may seem disgusting to us, the truth of the matter is that dogs communicate with their rear ends. Specifically with the smelly substance that comes from the anal sacs. Anal sacs can sometimes become abscessed, blocked, or inflamed. According to PetMD that is the case especially with small breed dogs.

Caution: Don’t try to express your dog’s anal glands unless you are a professional. Here’s why from Dr. Karen Becker, DVM


So, there you have it, the whole truth about Anal Glands. So, next time your dog scoots on the carpet, don’t yell or punish him, take him to the vet! Frankly, he doesn’t care about your just cleaned carpet, he just wants the itch and discomfort to go away.

If you are looking for an Elizabethan collar for small dogs, here are my picks:

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