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Old 08-24-2011, 01:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Expressing Anal Glands

I've read that dogs need to have their anal glands expressed but I don't know too much about it. The groomer that I found does this as part of the grooming process but I had a couple questions about it. Is this done at each grooming visit? Is this done on puppies or only once they reach a certain age?

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Old 08-24-2011, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just one of the many reasons why I have no problem paying a professional to groom Beau!
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes I file this under "things I do not need to know" and "why my groomer fees are SO worth it. "
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Anal glands

Some dogs need it done, others don't. If it is done too often, there is some evidence that the dog will lose the ability to empty them himself... Or cause them to fill up more quickly. It ends up being somewhat circular and a damned if you do, damned if you don't.

There are situations where they become infected or impacted and need more attention than just having them expression. Sometimes they will become infected and abcess or rupture. If a dog has recurring problems, the anal glands can be surgically removed (with a possible side effect of temporary or permanent incontinence).

As a groomer, I do express glands if they are full... But if it doesn't express easily, or seems inpacted I will send the dog packing to the vet. If the dog has pus-like discharge I will have the owners seek vet treatment as well. I don't express my own dogs unless they are in dire need (about once a year for my cavaliers, never for my goldens... Not sure about the poodle). One of my cavaliers had his glands removed due to abcessing multiple times.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My understanding is that, normally, a dog will empty anal glands sufficiently while defecating. Problems arise if the stools are too soft, i.e. not firm enough to put pressure on the anal glands. Yet another side effect of poor quality commercial foods that are heavy on fillers.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My dogs haven't needed theirs expressed since I started feeding them raw/home cooked - as JE says, hard stools do the job the way nature intended! Bum scooting is a good sign that they need attention - by your groomer, your vet, or - if you are confident - yourself. Like others, for me it comes under the heading "Stuff I probably can do, but would rather pay someone else!".
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JE-UK View Post
My understanding is that, normally, a dog will empty anal glands sufficiently while defecating. Problems arise if the stools are too soft, i.e. not firm enough to put pressure on the anal glands. Yet another side effect of poor quality commercial foods that are heavy on fillers.
Yes this is the case. If your dog is suddenly scooting his rear across the floor or bothering his backside with his mouth...they probably need expressing...otherwise things are okey dokey.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If it's not broken, don't fix it! I've never done my own dogs anal glands, and I never will unless they have a problem with it for whatever reason. As a groomer, I also don't do them unless the owner specifically requests.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As a groomer, I can often visually "SEE" that a dog needs its anal glands done because the fur shows that it was wet and licked...sometimes stained, somtimes not. But if the fur has that look to it, like it was wet and then dried, it tells me me the do was trying to do it himself.

I do all my poodles. I dont start a puppy till as close to one year old as possible, but if it has the fur licking thing, I will do it. I dont see any long term problems whatsoever. My 10 year old is perfect and my 21 year old was still getting it done before she died.

I feed high quality kibble (Dog Lovers Gold), bones, some raw, more cooked chicken and heart/liver. But not all my customer dogs eat that good and some are on Purina, etc and their anal gland amounts are no different than my dogs. When you see literally thousands of dog butts like me, you have something to compare to.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FozziesMom View Post
Yes I file this under "things I do not need to know" and "why my groomer fees are SO worth it. "

I do know that our toy had infected glands one time. She got VERY sick, VERY fast.
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