What causes anal gland problems in dogs?

These may not be the ideal conversation topic for everyone but knowing how to spot signs of a problem could protect your dog from a lot of discomfort!

The anal glands are a pair of small sacs inside your dog's bottom. They have a strong-smelling liquid for dogs to use for marking territory and why dogs sniff each other’s rear ends when they meet. Healthy anal glands empty naturally when a dog poos but sometimes they can overfill and cause blockage which may cause irritation and pain to your dog.

One of the biggest benefits of raw feeding with raw dog food like Poppy's Picnic, your dog's poo will be firm to help push past and empty the anal glads. Not only that, raw feeding helps with managing weight and improving digestion which means that there is less chance of your dogs becoming overweight. 

Blocked anal glads are mostly common in overweight dogs, dogs who were born with narrow anal glands making it harder to empty, or dogs who suffer from diarrhoea. 

Overweight dogs may have weaker muscles around their bottoms which makes glad emptying more difficult. If a dog has soft stools, there may not be enough pressure on the walls of the rectum to empty the glands properly. This means some fluid is left in the sac and it can thicken and become difficult to remove if it starts to block the duct that allows the gland to empty.

Symptoms of blocked anal glands to look out for include:

  • Scooting/rubbing the bottom on the ground

  • A fishy, foul odour

  • Excessive nibbling and licking around the anus

  • Discomfort when sitting down

  • Irritation or pain when pooing

If this dog anal gland issue is not treated, abscesses can form and, if still not resolved, it can become quite serious where the glands can actually rupture.

There are several simple ways to reduce the chances of your dog developing blocked anal glands:

  • Keep your dog at a healthy weight by feeding them a complete and balanced raw dog food like Poppy's Picnic 

  • Set up regular checks with your vet to help manage their anal gland issues, especially if your dog frequently suffers from this

  • Keep an eye out for symptoms and monitor their behaviour if your dogs showing any signs of discomfort

Please contact your vet if you think that your dog has blocked anal glands so they can advise on the best treatment for your dog to provide them with instant relief.

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