Question about that awful anal smell

Hi Fellow 'Senji Lovers! I've had my little girl for 2 years (she's 6 now) and the sweetest thing you could ever meet! I've had 4 Senji's in my lifetime but Olly is the only one who seems to have an ongoing problem with anal glands. She routinely sees the vet at least 2x per year and her anal glands are checked and have to be cleaned each time. That is fine with me but a week or two after they are cleaned, Olly might have a "scooting" episode. And periodically she seems to have an anal leak because you get a whiff of that delightful anal gland odor (thank heaven for that Miracle stain and order remover !). I know that you can have anal glands removed surgically but I'm not a fan of surgery unless it is absolutely necessary. I've tried adding organic pumpkin to her diet. She basically gets a teaspoon mixed with her food daily. I could increase it but want to know if anyone has experienced this type of problem or has used pumpkin and what is the recommended amount. I'd also be happy to know if anyone has any other suggestions for this issue. Thanks for your help and comments.

The glands should empty when they defecate, but that doesn't always happen. I haven't tried pumpkin, but when any of mine had an issue with anal leaking or scooting I used to clear the glands myself. That would generally keep the problem at bay for awhile. It's not hard to do. Get your vet or a groomer to show you if you are unsure how to go about it. I did have one girl whose secretions were very thick and hard to squeeze out. I know it was painful for her, as she would whimper, but she appreciated my efforts and never resisted. I guess it felt good to have the irritation gone.

I've read many times that expressing the anal glands is a good way to create impacted anal glands. It might be that having her glands expressed is contributing to the problem.

As eeefarm says, the glands are normally expressed when the dog defecates. Adding bulk would logically help in that process, and pumpkin will add bulk. If your dog likes the pumpkin I'd double the "dose". No harm in adding some more vegetable matter. Note that, assuming you're buying the pumpkin in a can, you want the real pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling (annoyingly the cans can look similar).

If your dog doesn't go for the pumpkin, we've also used a prescription dog food. I have also found that accidentally catching your dog's neck in a car window does a pretty good job of expressing the anal glands! (Not recommended at all).

@donc said in Question about that awful anal smell:

I've read many times that expressing the anal glands is a good way to create impacted anal glands. It might be that having her glands expressed is contributing to the problem.

I agree this is possibly a contributing factor, but better to empty them if it isn't happening naturally than waiting until the dog really does have a problem. Diet can definitely be a factor, but some dogs seem more prone to having a thick discharge that doesn't express easily. I learned to pay attention after I had one boy with an anal abscess, which likely wouldn't have happened if I had got onto the problem sooner. Usually it isn't necessary or advisable to empty them frequently and I would consult with a vet if the problem recurs often.

@donc Your humor catches me off guard, but I do realize it's humor! LOL

The more frequently you express the anal glands, the more you will need to do it.

Best remedy is to add fibre to her diet so she will be encouraged to do it for herself when she defecates.

My Bunmi has an anatomical problem that prevents her glands from expressing properly and she's suffered two abscesses. I give her organic pumpkin mixed with vanilla yogurt and coconut oil a couple times a week. Sweet potato is a seasonal treat that serves the same purpose. I have no idea if organic has any importance, but it seems to taste better to Bunmi than the regular. Vanilla yogurt serves to keep good bacteria in the gut and make the pumpkin more yummy. If they don't like the coconut oil, you can rub it on their belly (like a moisturizer) and they will lick it off.

Her regular vet advised against anal gland removal unless there were no other options. He explained that if you remove the glands, the dog will likely have issues with bowel incontinence. An occasional leakage of fluid is better than bowel incontinence.

@mrscastro

EXACTLY ! lots of fibre !

@zande said in Question about that awful anal smell:

The more frequently you express the anal glands, the more you will need to do it.

Best remedy is to add fibre to her diet so she will be encouraged to do it for herself when she defecates.

I agree, but sometimes the problem is such that it needs to be addressed. Of the five Basenjis I have owned, two had anal gland issues, the others did not. One had thick secretions that she seemed to have trouble expelling, and I had to help once in awhile (not often), the other got into trouble with an anal gland abscess and once I got that cleared up I kept a watchful eye, emptied the glands when necessary, and never had another problem. Both these dogs had normal bowel movements, not loose ones (except when sick or overly excited).

@eeeefarm But I am not advocating NEVER doing it ! I just said the more often you do it, the more you are likely to have to. You did it at need which is perfectly OK. Of course you should do it when it becomes necessary.

However, many people actually take their dogs to the vet on a regular basis, whether it is (at first) necessary or not. It can become necessary over time.

The addition of fibre to the diet will help in a great many cases.

We express our little girls anal glands about once a month. Your vet can show you how so you don’t injure your pup. A pair of rubber gloves, a paper towel and a sense of humor for the love we give to our companions. The smell is terrible but better to do it yourself on paper towel than all over the house. I wouldn’t recommend removing the glands it’s so easy to do it yourself.

@mrscastro said in Question about that awful anal smell:

My Bunmi has an anatomical problem that prevents her glands from expressing properly and she's suffered two abscesses.

Sorry to hear about your pup's issue. Abscesses are not fun to have or to deal with. Good you have a regime that keeps it in check.

@elbrant said in Question about that awful anal smell:

@donc Your humor catches me off guard, but I do realize it's humor! LOL

Funny now and there was no damage done, but it was definitely not funny at the time. Horrifying actually.

@donc said in Question about that awful anal smell:

accidentally catching your dog's neck in a car window does a pretty good job of expressing the anal glands! (Not recommended at all).

Methinks there is a story behind this ? Care to cheer us up with it in these uncertain, stressful times ? My imagination is running riot - what was the dog doing wih its head out of the car window ? presume it was on the back seat, looking out, and the driver operated electric windows without looking ? Dog was talking to someone outside the car and the driver took off ?

And finally, who got to clean the car up ?

It's all over now and I'm sure you and the dog can see the funny side -

@zande said in Question about that awful anal smell:

Methinks there is a story behind this ? Care to cheer us up with it in these uncertain, stressful times ? My imagination is running riot - what was the dog doing wih its head out of the car window ? presume it was on the back seat, looking out, and the driver operated electric windows without looking ? Dog was talking to someone outside the car and the driver took off ?

And finally, who got to clean the car up ?

I think you have it about right. We had just moved to Atlanta and, having a spiffy new car, decided to explore the new state. We decided to go somewhere in the south of Georgia, maybe Plains where Jimmy Carter had his farm or maybe Andersonville, the notorious Civil War POW camp. Can't remember now.

We managed to get quite lost (this was actually a thing before Google Maps) and ended up in a very small town which was holding a parade. Disregarding my DNA, I decided to ask one of the policeman stationed along the road directing traffic for directions. Since it was, unsurprisingly, very hot, we had all the windows up and the AC running, which meant I had to roll down my window. When I tried to use the not-all-that-familar controls to do that, I realized that my window hadn't moved and that my wife was screaming something about the puppy getting loose and jumping out. I couldn't see behind me at all, but in that instant I realized I had rolled down the passenger window on the driver's side.

The LAST think I wanted was a six month old puppy with zero recall skills running around on a completely unfamilar highway so, in a panic I pulled on all the rockers to roll up all the windows. I wasn't sure this had worked to prevent him from jumping out, and wasn't reassured by my wife screaming again. Then I realized she was saying the puppy was caught in the window. So I rolled the window back down and she grabbed the poor little guy.

I immediately went forward and pulled over, no longer interested in directions, just the state of the dog. She pulled the puppy into the front seat and and told me he had gotten his neck caught in the window when I raised it. He seemed to be alright and we were both relieved.

Then, OMG, the smell from hell came wafting out of the back seat. It was potent. Inspection revealed he seemingly lost the entire contents of his anal glands when he was being choked (I have no idea how much the anal sacs hold but there was a fair amount on the seat). The rest of the day involved a bit of a tradeoff. You could live with the small or you could live with the heat and humidity.

Two lessons:

  1. Men have valid reasons for never asking for directions; and
  2. Leather seats can be really helpful when you have pets
last edited by DonC

@donc How about that ! I always thought it was just Marvin being. . . Marvin ! I didn't realise the refusal ever to ask directions was in-built in his DNA.

Lovely story ! Cheered me up no end !

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