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Discussion Starter #1
I came across a suggestion that dogs should have their anal glands/sacs removed when they are spayed or neutered to avoid problems with them in the future and/or "emptying" the glands by the pet which, I guess, is unpleasant. I have never heard of doing this before. Has anyone here had this done? Is this a common procedure or just an uneccessary surgery?
 

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I'ver never heard of anything like that. Seems a little extreme to me. And if a vet suggested it to me, I would go somehwere else!
 

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I have heard of them being emptied as my Dad's minature poodle (female) has it done when she is groomed every few weeks.

I have yet to have to do it to Stark or any other dog I have owned. Never was an issue.

As for the removal, I wouldn't. I would also change vets if they suggested it unless there was a medical reason for it.
 

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i watched it being done on dirty jobs and yes it does look like a unpleasant deed LOL... not sure about removing them tho
 

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I've NEVER had a dog with any problems and I have had several dogs in my lifetime. (Of multiple breeds as well as several GSDs.)

No one I know personally has had a dog with problems.

I was also a dog groomer and while it isn't on the top of my "favorite things to do" list, it really isn't that big of a deal.

"Generally" the only ones that have to have them done by a human are small dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting, ok thanks. I have never had a problem with any of my dogs either. My vet didn't suggest it, I first saw it on a pet insurance form as an exclusion and then I googled it and found the suggestions for removal. Sounds like it's unnecessary and maybe even a bit extreme!
 

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The only reason I can think of for removing anal glands is when they are constantly getting infected and abscessing. I had a dog like this and did have them removed and was very happy with the result. There are potential problems with removing them, like incontinence, so it should only be done when there is medical necessity.
 

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I've never heard of something so bizarre! Ew! Why do that to your dog? And what does it have to do with s/n?
 

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My dog has had anal gland problems since he was a pup. He has very deep glands and needs help expressing them. He had a very serious infection at around 7 months of age that took 3 weeks to a month to clear up so I was told I could make sure they were expressed at least every month or have the glands removed to prevent chonic infections. I have chosen to express monthly - he is going on 8 years now. However, if I do decide to have them removed, only a vet who has done this procedure numerous time will be the only one to remove them.
 

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I had a dog who's glands were removed due to perianal fistula's...The majority of big dogs NEVER need 'help' in expressing glands, once you start tho, sometimes it tends to have to be repeated.

I wouldn't remove glands unless it was necessary
 

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I had problems with my Malinois rescue's anal glands. The "stuff" in them was the consistency of toothpaste and had to be expressed manually. We had no idea she had such a problem when we brought her home (she was approx 4 yrs old) and found out when one of the glands erupted. Horrifying. She did not have to have them removed however, we just took her in for routine expression.
 

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I've never had a problem with anal sacs on any of my dogs either. My mom had a poodle once who had the have the sacs expressed from time to time - SO glad I don't have to do that! I wouldn't have anal sacs removed unless it was really necessary, like with some cases of perianal fistulas as Diane mentioned, since the vast majority of dogs don't seem to have an trouble with them.

I'm sure the vet suggested it during a s/n since they're already under anesthesia for that, rather than putting the dog under and cutting them open again at another time. But since it's an unnecessary surgery, why would you even do that?
 

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Expressing anal glands is indeed a very nasty job. And the smell!!

It is usually not recommended to have them removed because the surgery has been known to cause incontinence. A common sign that a dog's anal glands need expressing is scooting like they would if they had worms.
 

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Proper bowel movements will empty the glands naturally.

Loose ones over a long time might not.

Our last GSD had an infection which caused anal sac abscess which was drained but did not heal, so that resulted in a removal of that gland which then caused a fistula (non healing after removal) that took a year to heal from the inside out.

About a year later the other one turned cancerous too large to remove and we lost her due to it (anal sac adenocarcinoma) at the age of 10.

You do not need to remove them and personally I would not due to the risk of causing a fistula post surgery like what happened to us.

Just make sure that they empty properly or watch for sign if they need maintenance, such as scooting or chewing at anal area.

We now just keep an eye on them with our new boy and will usually have them checked once a year at the vet. However I would never have them removed for no good reason
 

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One GSD we had always had "impacted" anal glands - she would scootch on the ground, and the odor was unpleasant. We eventually had them removed - when they needed to be "expressed" at least once a month. Every time was a trip to the vet because although he was willing to show me how..... NO WAY. After they were removed, I did not notice any problems with them being gone. I would not remove them unless there was a problem.
 
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