The anal glands, also referred to as anal sacs, are positioned on either side of the anus. These glands secret a viscous, malodorous liquid that is normally expelled by the dog in such a way as to be entirely unnoticeable.
In some cases the duct of the gland may become obstructed, resulting in irritation of the glands. A dog scooting around on his bottom may be an indication of blocked anal glands. Other symptoms indicating that the anal sacs may be irritated is your bulldog licking or biting at the perineum or back legs. If infection develops, the gland may abscess and fistulate through the perineum.
Anal gland impaction may be caused by injury, bacterial infection, or the migration of segments of tapeworm into the ducts of the glands. Obesity and lack of muscular tone may be contributing factors in aged dogs. Chronic diarrhoea will cause retention of secretions. Closely confined dogs appear to suffer more from constipation than dogs which are active.
As long as the glands remain uninfected, the veterinarian can usually perform the task of emptying the glands by exerting pressure so that the secretion is expressed. When secretions are dry and it is not possible to express the contents of the sacs with gentle pressure, the use of a blunt cannula and bland, oily liquid is indicated.
Periodically emptying the glands may be advisable at two- to six-month intervals in dogs having a history of recurrent attacks. With a little practice you may wish to attempt the procedure yourself. Ask the help of a friend or your partner to securely hold your Bulldog's head. Always wear rubber or disposable gloves ! Use a piece of cotton wool or gauze that you place over the rectum, while squeezing firmly behind both sides of the anus with the sides of your thumb and forefinger (the glands feel like two small eggs). As the glands empty replace the pieces of cotton wool and throw away the used ones as the discharged fluid can squirt out at a fast rate and the smell can be quite noxious.
Original idea, design and development by Catherine Marien-de Luca. No part of bulldoginformation.com may be copied, distributed, printed or reproduced on another website without the owner's written permission. Please feel free to link from your site to any of the pages on this website in a non-frame presentation only.
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
by Debra M., DVM Eldredge (Author), Liisa D., DVM Carlson (Author), Delbert G., DVM Carlson (Author), James M., MD Giffin (Author), Beth Adelman Editor)
UC Davis Book of Dogs :
The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs and Puppies
The information contained in this article expresses the opinions and views of the owner of Bulldoginformation.com or the original author of the article. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice.
No responsibility or liability can be accepted for any loss or damage which results from using or misinterpreting any opinions uttered, products suggested or information mentionned in this web site, whether this information or advice stems from the owner of the site or from a third party.
The New Complete Bulldog by Col. Bailey C. Hanes
The Veterinarian's Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms
by Michael S. DVM Garvey
The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health:
The complete pet health resource for your dog, cat, horse or other pets - in everyday language. (Paperback)
by Merck Publishing and Merial (Author), Cynthia M Kahn (Editor), Scott Line (Editor)