Full Anal Glands?

Kind of gross but does anyone else have a problem with having to have anal glands expressed with their Basenji? 😞

This may be a little off topic but I have a male cat who had to have his sacks drained. Not a very pleasent experience. The first time I noticed this my little cat kept scooting his butt across the carpet like a vacume. I couldn't figure it out and hated it when he did it so I took him to the vet thinking he had worms. To my suprise it was his anal glands. He still scoots across the carpet but the vet tells me not to worry. He's just my little scootin boy!

I never knew that cats got it too, that is interesting!

Most Basenjis will express their anal glands naturally when going potty, but occasionally they will get blocked. When this happens and you don't realize it, they can develop an abscess. This is really nasty and very scary. You will need to zip off to the vet, get it drained and probably have the dog put on antibiotics.
You can express the glands yourself if you notice symptoms - swelling, lots of licking and/chewing at the anal area, more 'scooting' than normal, often after a bowel movement. It is not a fun job for either you or the Basenji, but you can have your vet or vet tech show you how to do it.
Fortunately, in our dogs at least, it seems to be a relatively rare thing for them to need their glands manually expressed. Stock up on latex or vinyl gloves!

Terry

@Terry:

Most Basenjis will express their anal glands naturally when going potty, but occasionally they will get blocked. When this happens and you don't realize it, they can develop an abscess. This is really nasty and very scary. You will need to zip off to the vet, get it drained and probably have the dog put on antibiotics.
You can express the glands yourself if you notice symptoms - swelling, lots of licking and/chewing at the anal area, more 'scooting' than normal, often after a bowel movement. It is not a fun job for either you or the Basenji, but you can have your vet or vet tech show you how to do it.
Fortunately, in our dogs at least, it seems to be a relatively rare thing for them to need their glands manually expressed. Stock up on latex or vinyl gloves!

Terry

Is there anything you can do to help prevent them from having to have the anal sacks drained? Does scooting help relieve this? My cat Maddox scoots sometimes after going potty. One time he scooted and left a trail of poop skids. Of course I was not happy to have to clean the carpet. My boyfriend jokes with me about how lazy my cat is and that he cleans his bottom on the carpet.
If you allow your pet to 'scoot' will it damage your carpets?

I personally don't allow my dogs to "scoot" on the carpet…as it leaves a nasty smell. They can do that outside thank you very much!!!

Some people swear by canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) added to the food to help with anal gland problems. Anything that adds fiber to the food should help with firmer stools, and that should help express the glands during each bowel movement.

I totally forgot about canned pumpkin. Be really careful though. A little goes a long way. If you are not careful it will leak out of their hind end. It's really messy. It's great for softening their stool but can make it too soft if given too much.

@Terry:

You can express the glands yourself if you notice symptoms - swelling, lots of licking and/chewing at the anal area, more 'scooting' than normal, often after a bowel movement. It is not a fun job for either you or the Basenji, but you can have your vet or vet tech show you how to do it.
Fortunately, in our dogs at least, it seems to be a relatively rare thing for them to need their glands manually expressed. Stock up on latex or vinyl gloves!

Terry

Terry, bless you. I always say to NEVER say never, but I can on this one! I will NEVER express anal glands. One day my male rottie, who was about 7 mos at the time, got stressed and expressed his glands all on the vet's wall. I threw up. So nope, whatever the vets charged, I'd pay it! 🙂

However, OFTEN if your dog has anal gland issues, diet change will help prevent it reoccuring.

Debra

Man, the wealth of information you can find online! For nearly all of our 14 yr olds life she had that problem. It was mainly when she was very very relaxed – often on our laps! We'd be watching TV and think, "what is that awful funky smell!" And yes, it's happened to guests! It was never much, just a drop, but sure stinky. Some times we'd have to sniff all over the couch or blanket to find the spot. We just figured it was a genetic thing. Oddly as she got older it didn't happen much.

The crazy thing is we just got a male who is from the same breeder. One day we're sitting down and suddenly we smelled something we hadn't in some time. Sure enough, he does it sometimes too! Its not a lot but sure stinky. Maybe it is genetic. Fortunately a supply of diaper wipes seems to clean it up.

I've been using Nutro Mini which is the same food our 14 year old use to eat (up 'til about 10 or so then we switched to Nutro Senior). The two on that brand do have fairly soft stools, but they like the food, they don't have bad breath or gas. Only 1 of the 2 have this problem. Should I switch brands or add anything to their diets?

Well I'm not an expert, but my vet told me after expressing Nala's once or twice that it is a fiber issue. The glands should express themselves on every bowel movement, but sometimes if the dog's stools are loose for a while or not enough fiber, they won't. Take it from me, don't do it on your own. When you have them do it, leave the room (LOL)! As my kids would say, "Shoo-wee"!!

I have to manually express our Basenji's glands about once every three months. My husband hates it but it makes for a much happier dog.

Seriously though, if you don't know how to do it, have your vet show you. It smells horrible and you have to learn how to "catch" it or it hits your wall or furniture (not fun to clean I might add). But once you know how to do it, it's not so bad and you can take care of it in less than five minutes.

Signs your dog is uncomfortable with the their anal glands: excessive "scooting" along carpet, furniture, anything with a roughed up surface; excessive licking of the anus; an old fishy smell; leaking of an opaque ivory-yellow liquid.

Like I said, Rocky needs his done every three-four months to keep him happy. However, if you ever see blood in the anal gland secretion (either from manual extration or when your dog deficates), immediately call your vet!!! This means one of the anal glands has abcessed and ruptured and needs immediate attention.

Good luck!

Both of mine have to have their glands emptied every 8-10 weeks. Have you tried adding raw grated carrot to the food? It didn't help mine but might help yours. It can also be that your dogs glands are situated in the wrong place to express on their own which if the that is the case then no amount of change of diet will help.

None of my dogs have ever had an issue with anal glands…they express on their own occasionally. But I would really try to avoid manually expressing them, as I have read that once the glands are "reliant" on being done manually, they need to be done more and more. I don't know if the muscle that does it naturally is weakened, or the more they are expressed, the more fluid refills...but I really feel it is a natural process that shouldn't be messed with unless absolutely necessary. I prefer to raise the fiber in the food, to let the body work the way it is supposed to.

@basi:

Both of mine have to have their glands emptied every 8-10 weeks. Have you tried adding raw grated carrot to the food? It didn't help mine but might help yours. It can also be that your dogs glands are situated in the wrong place to express on their own which if the that is the case then no amount of change of diet will help.

Max's glands were situated in an atypical way and he had inflammatory bowel disease. During the last half of his life (about 8 years), I took him in every 2 weeks to get them expressed to keep him comfortable (and not licking) and avoid infection. Because they were situated atypically, I went to the same vet who knew exactly what to do. When he was on vacation and another vet would have to do it, it would always take them longer to get them epressed. Fortunately, my vet would give me a volume discount 🙂 No–not based on anal fluid volume--based on the frequent visits 😃

Caesar has terrible anal glands. Doctors have told me that once they are fixed, the anal glands are no longer functional and can be removed surgically which can be recommended if the anal glads get infected regularly. Keep in mind, this type of surgery can cause a dog to loose control of that sphincter.This is a route I would not recommend.

Caesar gets his anal glands expressed once a month it is so bad. It is normal to have your dog's anal glands expressed once every 6 months. The doctors have also suggested the pumpkin pie filler to add fiber or Cheeriohs or a change in diet. None have made a real difference with him.

Here is my tip for you on anal glands. Having a vet express them is the best $15 I have ever spent. You couldnt pay me to do it! There are two types of expressions. External and internal. If you go to a groomer or have a nurse do it, they will typically just express the gland externally. Fingers positioned at 10 and 2 o clock. This is a waste of money if you are having fish smell all the time.

The internal expression means the vet will put a finger in the anus and pull the glan fluid out while pulling on the outside as well, getting most of the fluid out! A major difference and typically the same price and done at the same place. I found that if I asked to have the vet do it, they always came back with (glands were impacted) comments, vs. nurses doing the routine expression and having to go back again later.

Caesar first started having problems with the anal gland at 1 yr old. He would be fine all day until we would sit and relax on the couch in the evening. He would at some point relax enough that he would be letting some of that fish liquid out! Oh man, thank goodness for leather couches and soapy sponges! LOL.

My routine with him is to just take him into a Banfield when I go shopping at Petsmart and stop him in for the expression. I dont even pay for a sit down appt, just drop him off and they express him and pick him up.

For the record, Caesar does a lot of screaming when his anal glands are expressed. Expressing glands is much healthier for your dog than watching them scoot on pavement when going for walks or them scooting on your bed or rugs!

This is a bit graphic, but it is the basenji mommy in me. I look for "the eye". I watch his poop shoot and can tell when his glands are full by the area around the sphincter. It will typically swell vs a tight poop shoot. If the hole seems larger than normal all of the time, it is time to express. Take a look! Check the size before you get them expressed and after and you will understand what i am referring too. Sorry this topic is so gross…

Our basenjis' poodle had to have his anal glands removed. Now sometimes he'll bark, or get startled and he'll loose a turd.

So yeah, don't have them removed if you don't have to. If you do, when they "need" to go out, they really "NEED!" to go out. No time to miss their cues.

I was never aware of this whole anal gland thing until a few years ago. My boss was telling me how he needs to express his Borzois' anal glands and how gross it was. I never knew that scooting on the floor was a symptom of this. I thought that maybe he just had a little irritable bowel. Sometimes when I walk him, he'll poop after a few minutes, then need to poop again a little while later. I notice the yellowish stuff that comes out at the end, so I'm assuming that he's expressing his anal glands naturally. Senji is 11 years old, and he's never had his anal glands expressed at the vet's office. He seems to get adequate fiber in his diet.

Very stinky! But we got the vets approval. Otherwise I wouldn't recommend a "newbie" doing it on their own.

LOL, that could be pretty dangerous!!

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