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Anal Gland Expressions

First Published Oct. 12, 2022

By: Harry London

We sadly live in a world where money rules all & is prioritized over everything. This Blog is more about dog poo then it is about my opening statement but I'll get back to that.

There seems to be a lack of understanding regarding the topic so I'm writing this in a small effort to commonize this knowledge.

Expressing anal glands is thought to be done in two ways. That's true but not in the way you think. It's currently believed to be Externally and Internally. This is not correct. It should be, as an old adage states; The right way and the wrong way.

Expressing the glands externally (the wrong way) causes tissue scaring and leads to all kinds of issues.

Look what Brockton Animal Hospital has to say:

" The last several years we have seen an abundance of more serious anal gland problems than previously. Online advice, YouTube videos and pet store products have resulted in groomers and owners alike attempting to treat anal gland problems themselves without the input from veterinarians. Most commonly this involves “squeezing” or emptying the anal glands. These attempts to express these glands by non-medical people occur by squeezing on the outside of the rectum. A recent veterinary journal noted that less than half of the material that is present in the glands is actually removed this way. The result of these attempts are two fold. First if the sac is not completely emptied, the fluid will continue to build up resulting in distention, impaction and sometimes abscessation. Secondly, attempting to express the sacs by squeezing rather than by rectal exam results in severe inflammation to the tissues that surround the glands. Over time frequent expressing in this fashion results in severe trauma to the rectal tissue and formation of scar tissue making the eventual removal of these glands (often the only resolution) much more difficult."

Or how about the Daily Paws:

There is an abundance of clear information surrounding this yet the general populace seems to be ignorant or hesitant to acknowledge this as a fact.

The fact is: If your Vet told you to have your Groomer do it, your Vet does not care about your dog or its long-term health and you should find a new Vet. They're more than likely trying to fill their schedule with higher dollar appointments.

If your Groomer is willing to do it incorrectly, they're either not very knowledgeable or more interested in making money in the short-term than providing a routine promoting good health and quality of life. Either way, find yourself a new Groomer.

There are millions of dogs and cats in this country, most of them are commoditized but all are victims in the human struggle of making a dollar. The least we can do as human beings is put lives before profit. The least we can do as animal lovers is help make this information common and help provide them a good quality of life.

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