Why Is My Dogs Anal Gland Leaking

My 9-month-old dog has overactive anal glands and emits the vilest smelling slime whenever he is happy, afraid, or thrilled. I have repeatedly taken him to the groomer to have them emptied, but he occasionally releases them the next day. Don’t they know how to completely empty them? What can I do to put a stop to this? Although I yell at him, nothing appears to change.

The little, grape-sized anal glands that reside beneath the skin on either side of the anal entrance are the answer. Normal dogs continuously produce a fluid that has a pronounced “rotten fish odor.” Every time the dog has a bowel movement, they often leak a small amount of fluid.

In the wild, skunks spray the anal fluid to frighten off predators, and wolves might use it to mark their territory. Domestic dogs typically lack the desire to spray and many have lost the capacity to do so.

Unfortunately, the glands can occasionally become overfilled since they don’t empty completely. The dog may lick the area or “scoot on their bottom” to attempt and release the pressure if they find this to be painful. Antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs may be required to treat the gland if it becomes inflamed or infected.

Young dogs frequently have anal fluid leaks due to their robustness and playfulness while meeting new people or going on a car ride. As they approach their first or second birthday, they might outgrow this inclination.

A veterinarian must perform a thorough examination and “internal anal gland expression” on your dog. The veterinarian feels the glands and expresses them from the interior of the rectum using a gloved, lubricated finger during this process. This can assist the doctor in determining whether a fistula, tumor, or infection is present and whether it requires treatment with drugs or surgery.

He could benefit from switching to a high-fiber diet if there are no more infections and his anal glands are simply overactive on a regular basis. This kind of diet may contribute to the formation of a bulky stool, which may then prompt the anal glands to spontaneously express themselves with each bowel movement. Probiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can occasionally aid to maintain healthy anal glands and regular bowel motions.

To keep the fluid level low, you might learn to express your dog’s anal glands. Please be aware that certain dogs have a rapid anal fluid formation process and may fill up within a day or two. Since the dog typically does not like you “pinching his rear end,” many folks prefer to have their veterinarian or groomer perform this.

When you go home and greet your dog, try to be as calm and impartial as possible. Try to keep him from being excited; in the past, this has been a trigger for him. When visitors arrive, lock him in a different bedroom and don’t allow him out until they are seated and comfortable. To assist you in teaching him to be quiet and comfortable, ask your guests to ignore him for a bit.

Most puppies will grow out of this stage, but some won’t, and if the puppy continues to squirt foul anal fluid everywhere, it can be a deal breaker for some families.

The glands can be removed surgically, and the procedure is often highly successful. I often save it for pets who have failed every step above.

Why is fluid dripping from my dog’s bum?

Smaller dogs, such as Cocker Spaniels, Chihuahuas, Beagles, Miniature Poodles, etc., do appear to have a higher propensity for anal sac disease and problems such a full or impacted anal gland, however it doesn’t appear to be a breed-specific concern.

Anal sacs that don’t naturally empty in dogs may result from their diet. Large, firm stool will typically naturally start the discharge during a bowel movement. If the anal sacs are not activated by a little or soft stool, they will continue to fill up. Even when the dog’s excrement is perfectly hard, the dog may nevertheless experience full or anal gland impaction. If you empty them for a dog that didn’t require it, you can also create problems. Leave well alone if your dog has no issues in this regard.

A dog with full or anal gland issues may slide their bottom around the floor, scratch, bite, or lick their tail, have a fishy odor at their back end, appear in pain or depressed, or react to anyone approaching their back end.

  • They stomp their bottoms on the ground (scoot)
  • Attempt to lick, scratch, or bite at their bottom (or even other areas of their body like their feet)
  • a fishy odor coming from the bottom (or breath, if they have been licking their behind)
  • Lessen the tail wag
  • seem downhearted
  • They object to having their tail raised or handled

Scooting and a fishy odor are clear signs of anal gland dysfunction. If the anal glands become overloaded and begin to leak outside of when the dog is going potty, the smell of fish develops. Anal gland fluid smells strongly of rotten fish. When the dog is picked up or at rest, full anal glands may leak.

It’s a popular myth that a dog with worms will drag their bottom on the floor. In truth, full anal sacs are more likely to blame. Your dog is attempting to expel the fluid and get comfortable. Anal glands that are full but releasing some fluid are the source of the overpowering fishy odor. It can be coming from your dog’s bottom or your soft furniture.

If you see these symptoms, your dog may have a problem with the anal sac or with the way the anal glands naturally empty. If it only occurs sporadically, that is perfectly normal and poses no threat. Help is only required if the issue persists frequently with your dog.

Always consult a veterinarian to ensure that the issue is anal sacs and there isn’t an infection before proceeding.

Your veterinarian or your neighborhood dog groomer can assist if it is a rare issue or you don’t feel like trying to empty them yourself. It only takes five minutes to complete the process. Alternatively, if you have some patience and knowledge, you can do anal sac expression yourself. However, it is advisable to visit your veterinarian the first time so they can examine your dog. Your veterinarian will typically agree that going forward you, the dog owner, can empty them at home once infections or other problems are checked out. An excellent veterinarian will be pleased to provide you with guidance on how to do this.

Yes, with a little work, tolerance, and kindness. The idea is to do things gently and to relax—both you and the dog, of course. Avoid rushing, panicking, or exerting excessive force. Be patient and kind.

How can I prevent my dog from letting out his anal glands?

Your dog’s food can be supplemented with vegan or fish omega-3 fatty acid supplements to help reduce inflammation and soothe irritation in the anal sacs.

Beyond only repairing your dog’s anal glands, fish oil for dogs has many additional advantages, many of which might be used to treat the condition and avoid its recurrence.

Use a Warm Compress

It can significantly assist to open up the ducts and reduce impaction to apply a warm compress, either made of just water or salted water, to your dog’s anal gland openings.

Your dog is probably in pain there when dealing with this health issue, therefore a warm compress or heating pack like this one will be very soothing (which you can pair with pet diapers).

Check for Allergies

You can reduce the likelihood of future inflammation of the anal sacs in your dog by putting him on an elimination diet and identifying the allergen to which he is reacting.

Utilizing new protein dog foods with ingredients that your dog is unlikely to have ever encountered before is the best course of action.

Use Stool Softeners

Depending on how severe your dog’s anal gland issue is, having too large of sacs can occasionally result in ulceration or abrasions.

Use stool softeners for dogs, which are either recommended by your veterinarian or purchased over-the-counter, such as NaturVet ($11.99) or Pfizer ($12.95), to ease the discomfort and strain.

Expressing the Anal Glands by Yourself

In order to prevent impaction of the anal sac or infection, certain dogs may struggle to express their anal glands naturally and may need human aid.

But if you’re doing it for the first time, don’t try it without your veterinarian’s approval and guidance on how to do it at home.

It’s quite simple and relatively safe to express anal glands on a dog once you know the process.

Why does my dog continue leak after the glands have been expressed?

She might just be passing some that has accumulated inside her rectum if she starts leaking the same day as the anal gland expression. Give it a day more and monitor the results. Your veterinarian should examine her if she is leaking secretly and believes there is a problem with the sphincters.

How can I tell if the glands in my dog are infected?

Dog scooting may be a sign of anal gland issues, but parasites or digestive issues may also be to blame for this behavior. Or it can just be a scratchy butt. A dog with affected anal glands will typically scoot more than once or twice and can frequently be observed licking its behind. Blood or puss in your dog’s feces or left behind on the carpet after they’ve finished scooting are signs that the glands are becoming infected, as are redness or swelling around the sphincter. Changes in stool consistency are another factor in the recurrence of anal sac illness. Dogs who have digestive disorders including food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease are susceptible to this.

Can dogs lick themselves to express their own anal glands?

One of the most frequent causes for your dog to lick their butt is this. If you imagined the rectal area as a clock, these glands would be in the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. Most dogs’ glands will naturally express themselves whenever they use the restroom. These glands occasionally fail to empty, which results in them becoming impacted or inflamed. Your dog will let you know by scooting or by repeatedly licking the area.

It is best to have your veterinarian initially assess the glands when they are irritated to see if manual expression is necessary. Antibiotics may be required if inflamed anal glands become infected. But manual expression is frequently used to find relief. If it is confirmed that this is a chronic issue, there are supplements that make it simpler for the anal glands to express naturally on their own. The fiber in these supplements, which comes from sources like pumpkin, can help bulk up feces, enabling the anal glands to empty during defecation. Examples of usable supplements include Glandex and No-Scoot.

Can dogs’ anal glands develop problems due to food?

On either side of the anus are the anal glands. They frequently have a pungent substance that is released during urination and/or excrement and serves as a territory marking. But they do more than that.

Symptoms of anal gland issues

An itchy or smelly bottom and scooting are indications that your dog has full anal glands. In extreme circumstances, the anal gland may develop an abscess, which is painful, may bleed, and may discharge pus.

What causes full anal glands?

Myth: It’s a common fallacy that a lack of volume in the stools causes anal glands to enlarge excessively.

In order to increase the amount of the feces, dog owners are frequently recommended to add fiber, such as bran, to the food. This is unlikely to be beneficial, in my opinion, as I don’t believe it addresses the root issue. If it were, the issue wouldn’t be present in dogs who eat poor-quality, indigestible diets that frequently result in mountains of feces.

Grant Guilford and Donald Strombeck, two eminent veterinary academic physicians, remark that “the source of full anal glands is frequently not obvious and propose, among other things, a change of food but without specifying what.” (Small Animal Gastroenterology, Strombeck’s).

We must approach this issue holistically, that is, by taking the system as a whole into account, rather than as a localized issue.

The accumulation of toxic waste in the system, in my opinion, is the main contributor to anal gland issues.

Toxins and waste products are produced and eliminated as part of normal metabolism. But if there is an excessive amount of waste generation, the wastes build up throughout the body systems. As the body tries to segregate and remove the waste, the anal glands swell. In my perspective, the issue is NOT brought on by a lack of large stools.

How diet can help

Here are a few potential reasons why there is too much waste being produced:

  • Inappropriate ingredients and chemical additives are examples of poor food quality.
  • even with high-quality food, overeating.
  • More waste is produced by an excessive protein and fat diet than by a carbohydrate one.
  • Food intolerance or allergy resulting in inflammation, cell damage, and toxin production.

To prevent a build-up of toxic waste in the system that results in engorged anal glands, all of the potential causes listed above must be treated.

Tip 1: Feed a highly digestible, natural, wholesome, hypoallergenic food which is high in complex carbohydrate and low in protein and fat.

Additionally, be certain the food is free of additives (other than essential vitamins and minerals).

Over the course of my many years of expertise, I have discovered that whole grains, when used as the foundation of the diet, produce good effects, however additional foods like potato and buckwheat can also be useful.

A variety of foods may need to be tried in order to identify the one that works best for your particular dog because not all diets are suitable for all dogs.

I observe that many dog owners fumble through many foods in search of one that will benefit their dog. Our nutrition staff has the expertise and knowledge to guide you in choosing the best diet for your dog using a methodical approach.

For instance, a dog might prefer duck above chicken, but vice versa. For another, a diet based on potatoes or maize might be more efficient than one based on rice (or vice versa).

More information about food intolerance and allergies can be found on pages 9–10 of my Veterinary Guide to Natural Healthcare, which is available for download below.

Tip 2: Get feeding amounts right

Many pet owners make mistakes here. Overfeeding, even with high-quality food, adds to the body’s toxic load, causing anal glands to swell and frequently resulting in other health issues. Manufacturers’ suggested feeding guidelines shouldn’t be blindly followed.

Every dog is a unique person with specific needs, and they should all be treated as such. It is best to feed animals as little as possible, especially in the beginning.

Since their pet is not overweight, many pet owners think they cannot be overfeeding. That is frequently incorrect; significant weight gain is not the sole negative health effect of overeating. Many health issues are caused by toxicity buildup. (See “Development of Disease Stage 1” in the Veterinary Guide to Health and Nutrition.)

A benefit of feeding digestible food in little portions is that less material enters the lower bowel, which means there is less dog waste to remove. Be aware that this goes against the usual strategy for treating full anal glands!

How much food?

Our nutrition specialists can provide you with personalized guidance on choosing the best food and feeding schedule for your dog. More details are available under Daily Feeding Amounts.

Can I still feed treats?

It’s crucial to have as little variety in the diet as possible while treating anal gland issues, meaning no treats, alternative pet food brands, fruit, or even cooked meals with meat and fat (vegetables are OK).

It’s easier to determine what works best when things are kept simple. Once the health issues have been rectified, treatments may be tried.

Extra Advice:

  • Food should always be weighed to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
  • Your dog can still require gland removal once or twice after adjusting their food as their system catches up on waste disposal. The feeding will need to be reevaluated more than once or twice, most likely necessitating a decrease in the daily amount.

Keep in mind that the body’s metabolism includes the creation of waste on a regular basis. If that persists too long, the system will become poisonous.