Why do anal glands have to be relieved?
The anal glands are the dog and cat's equivalent of the scent glands in a skunk. Fortunately, they don't smell quite as bad!! The anal glands are designed to be emptied by the force of the anal sphincter muscle when a stool is being eliminated. Commonly, due to obesity, conformational defect, too small and hard a stool due to a low fiber diet, lack of proper exercise, or chronically soft stools, the anal glands will get full and unable to be emptied by the pet. Consequently, to relieve the pet's discomfort and subsequent anxiety, the pet needs to be brought in to Windmill Animal Hospital and have the glands expressed, to relieve the problem. Pets with chronic problems with their anal glands can have their anal glands removed surgically. If anal gland problems are not properly attended to, the glands can become infected, even abscessed, and cause serious damage to the nerves that control the pet's defecation. Pets with long-term anal gland problems can become fecally incontinent. If your pet is showing symptoms of anal gland problems, an appointment with one of the Windmill Animal Hospital doctors needs to be scheduled as soon as possible.