We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Common Anal Gland Issues

When you own an animal, few topics raise eyebrows as much as the term anal glands, but actually, this is a very important topic!

Anal glands are small pouches that are located between an animals internal and external sphincter muscles. These glands empty through narrow and short ducts inside the anus of the animal. These sacs are lined with modified sebaceous oil and sweat glands – the substance that is secreted from the area can be an oily almost brownish fluid that has a pretty strong odor to it.

Usually when an animal defecates the liquid inside the sac will be expelled, but if this process does not happen on a daily or weekly basis, the material inside will thicken and make it harder for the animal to pass it. If this situation keeps happening over time, the anal gland can become impacted, inflamed, or even infected. If it becomes bad enough, it can even cause a rupture through the skin via an abscess.

While some Veterinarian say that the reason for anal glands is to help create a territorial marker, others state that the anal sac oils actually help lubricate hard stool, which makes passage easier and more comfortable for the animal.

While this problem is less common in cats, it still is an issue. In dogs this issue becomes even more prevalent – around 12% of dogs will face the issue with their anal glands at least one time in their life.

Dogs who are overweight also experience this issue more than dogs who are not. Some breeds or certain dogs may be born with narrow anal ducts.

<strong>Age and Breed Considerations</strong>

Anal gland issues are more common in dogs, yes, but they are even more common in smaller breeds of dogs including toy poodles, teacup terriers, bichon frise’s, cocker spaniels, beagles and even Chihuahuas. When it comes to anal glad issues and sexes – both female and male dogs can be affected.

<strong>Why Their Diet Matters</strong>

While a diet change won’t resolve all of the issues your dog might be having right off the bat, it’s still a good place to start. Make sure that your dog has a diet that is rich in fiber which will help prevent issues in the future.

<strong>Expressing The Glands By Hand</strong>

While you can express the glands by hand, most vets will tell you that this should NOT be done to a normal dog with no history of issues with their anal glands. Instead, if you are worried if your dog has anal gland problems or you find that they are experiencing issues when defecating; it’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian to see if there is a true issue or not. If the anal glands need to be expressed, your veterinarian can do this process for you or even teach you how to do it for your own dogs.

<strong>Recognizing A True Problem</strong>

Some of the more common symptoms, become very obvious almost right away because these “acts” may not be something your dog did before and suddenly does now. The symptoms or signs of something possibly being wrong include; scooting their bottom across the floor, trying to lick the anal region or displaying discomfort in the area of the glands.

Impaction and infection are two of the most common worries when it comes to issues with anal glands, but if you ignore the problem as time goes on, this can eventually turn into an even bigger problem such as cancer. If you find that your animal is suffering from issues with their anal glands, see your veterinarian immediately.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902-477-4040. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Spryfield Animal Hospital