Do Puppies Need Their Glands Expressed?

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do puppies need their glands expressed?Do puppies need their glands expressed? Being good pet parents is no easy feat, especially when it comes to taking care of your furry friends. Dogs are prone to several health issues, some of which can be quite uncomfortable for them. One of these issues involves the anal glands located in your dog’s anus. If you’re a new dog owner, you may be wondering whether puppies need their glands expressed. The answer is not straightforward, and it depends on various factors. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the topic of a dog’s anal gland expression, the need for it, and what you should do if your puppy experiences anal gland infections.

What is An Anal Gland?

For starters, let’s briefly explain what anal gland expression is. Dogs have anal sacs, also known as anal glands, located on either side of the anus. Your dog’s anal sacs are sebaceous glands that produce a fluid that helps in marking territory (by transmitting their scent through dog poops) and communicating with other dogs. However, sometimes these glands can get clogged, leading to a host of problems for your furry friend. This is where anal gland expression comes into play. It involves manually squeezing the dog’s anal glands to release the fluid and prevent impaction. 

Do I Have to Get My Puppies Glands Expressed?

Now, let’s get to the burning question – Do puppies need their glands expressed? The answer is not as simple as yes or no. Generally, small breeds like cocker spaniels, miniature poodles, basset hounds, and Lhasa Apsos are more prone to anal gland impaction because they have smaller anal glands than larger breeds. If your puppy is exhibiting signs like dog scooting (scooting their butt on the ground), excessive licking or biting of the anal area, or a strong odor coming from your dog’s bottom, they may need their glands expressed. 

However, the need for anal gland expression may also depend on your dog’s diet. Food allergies can cause loose stools or diarrhea, leading to poor anal gland emptying. A diet high in fiber intake can also help your dog’s anal glands empty naturally. So, if your puppy is on a diet that aids in proper anal gland function, they may not necessarily need to get their glands expressed.

What to Do 

If you notice your puppy has an anal gland infection, leaking anal gland fluid, or anal gland abscess, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. Since anal gland expression can be painful, your vet may recommend pain medication before this procedure is carried out.

Dietary Change

If your puppy suffers from food allergies, your veterinary clinic may also recommend a change in their diet to prevent further bouts of anal gland impaction. In severe cases, some dogs may require anal gland expression several times a year, while others may never need it. Chronic anal gland problems are sometimes genetic and unavoidable, and dog owners should keep this in mind when choosing their breed of dog, as some small breed dogs are more prone than others. This ongoing issue can lead to a build-up of scar tissue and a persistent fishy smell coming from their rear end.

See Your Vet

Anal gland expression is not something that should be done at home. Your vet will advise you on the best course of action if this is something your puppy requires. Only a trained professional should carry out this procedure, as there are many risks associated with it. Pet owners who attempt home expression can lead to sebaceous gland infections or injury to the anal sacs. Pay attention to your dog’s bowel movements, especially if they’re experiencing soft stools or aren’t pooping on a regular basis.

Safe is Better Than Sorry

In conclusion, puppies may or may not need their glands expressed depending on various factors, but as a pet parent, it’s essential to prioritize your furry friend’s health and make sure they live a comfortable and happy life. If you notice anything weird or out of the norm when it comes to your furry friend, seek advice from your veterinarian to make sure nothing is amiss. It is always better to be safer than sorry.