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Old 01-18-2010, 08:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Expressing the Anal Glands?

My GSD is currently with a foster home until I return in March. The Foster "parent" told me that they took him for a bath and had to have his Anal Glands Expressed. Now I had never heard of this until he mentioned it. And prior to my leaving, the vet never mentioned it. Of course, I have been gone for almost 10 months now so thinks happen. However, I believe they took him again this month and again, had his anal glands expressed.

I beleive they are doing all this in the best interest of the dog, but I was wondering if this is really something that needs to be done "monthly". I tried to do some research...google style research. But there was nothing I could find to say that it had to be a routine procedure. Do any of you have experience on this issue? This is not something I will be looking forward to.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

i had never heard about it either untill i watched an episode of "dirty jobs".... i have owned dogs for 40+ years...i believe, and please correct me if im wrong, that most dogs express themselves naturally when going to the bathroom..that is if they have firm poops...

found this online
Under normal circumstances, the anal glands are able to function completely on their own without human intervention. Unless your dog has developed a problem, it is better to avoid routine expressing of the glands

here are the symptoms~
If your dog's anal glands fail to properly express, they may actually become impacted, making your dog very uncomfortable. Watch for these signs:

Your dog begins scooting or dragging his rear across the floor.
Your dog keeps licking or chewing near his rectum.
Your dog's stools have become soft and mushy.
You'll likely notice a foul or "fishy" odor coming from your dog's rear.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

Unfortunately, I am not there to evaluate this for myself. So I just have to accept and trust their decision. I hink they do this with their other dogs as well, they have three mixed breeds.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: dresdeni had never heard about it either untill i watched an episode of "dirty jobs"....
That must have been an interesting episode
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

Groomers will express glands if you want them to before a bath. I have two dogs that have trouble expressing their glands. One recently became impacted and had to have help from the vet. As stated above, if you see the dog dragging his/her bottom on the floor or ground, better let the vet take a look. It's painful for the dog if the glands get infected.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

If there are no signs that the anal glands need expressing, the groomer shouldn't be doing it at all. This can create problems down the road, and create a "situation" where there was none before. Tell them to stop unless a vet confirms that it absolutely must be done.

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Old 01-18-2010, 11:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

If your pup is not biting at the base of her tail or scooting and typically has very well formed (not soft) poops, chances are you do NOT need to have her glands expressed. Solid, firm poop will usually squeeze the "juices" out of the glands, expressing them naturally at each bowel movement. If a dog has chronically soft stool, then the anal sacs may not empty as they should. I agree with consulting with a veterinarian before anything is done.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: DianaMSolid, firm poop will usually squeeze the "juices" out of the glands, expressing them naturally at each bowel movement. If a dog has chronically soft stool, then the anal sacs may not empty as they should. I agree with consulting with a veterinarian before anything is done.
I agree with this. Heidi used to have really soft poops when we first adopted her and had to have her anal glands expressed twice within the first six months that we got her. Once they had gotten impacted and had to be lanced and then she had to be on antibiotics. It was AWFUL!

After a lot of trial and error, we finally found a food that gave her solid poops (Nature's Logic) and she hasn't had a problem since. It's been at about two years since she's had any anal gland problems.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

If frequent anal gland expression is needed, then very often the diet needs to be adjusted.

Weird things can happen with GSD anal glands. If an infection gets in there, or long term irritation, you can set the dog up for some bad long term conditions.

Groomers tend to do this on a regular basis, my instinct tells me that if it ain't broke, don' fix it. And if it's broke, then the vet should be examining the dog.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Expressing the Anal Glands?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: AnnaRileyGroomers will express glands if you want them to before a bath. I have two dogs that have trouble expressing their glands. One recently became impacted and had to have help from the vet. As stated above, if you see the dog dragging his/her bottom on the floor or ground, better let the vet take a look. It's painful for the dog if the glands get infected.

Where excatly are they?
I dont see them...(weird that Im looking, I know)
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