Anal Gland Impaction
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.



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