Anal Glands

One of the most talked about topics in a veterinary clinic is anal glands. They produce such a horrible smell and vets cannot avoid them and are often helping pet owners deal with the issue.

Dogs and cats have 2 anal glands; they’re found on either side of the anus. They function to produce a personal scent. Each time a poo is produced, the anal glands mark the faeces with the distinctive smell. This is the equivalent to a pet’s signature – other pets know whose poo it is. The significance of this sophisticated labeling device is lost on us, we only smell the odour and are repulsed.

It’s when the glands become blocked that they are a problem. This leads to discomfort, rubbing of bottoms on the ground and the discharge of the smell. It’s not uncommon for pet owners to notice the smell while sharing the couch with their pooch and watching TV.

The best treatment is for us to manually empty the glands. Other factors that reduce anal gland impaction include encouraging firm faeces by feeding dry food and keeping body weight down to optimum levels. Pets with ongoing problems may benefit from surgery to flush the glands or to remove them all together.