As a proud dog owner myself, I understand the love and care we have for our furry companions. And when it comes to their health, we want to make the best decisions possible. In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of dog gland removal to be well-informed and make the right choices.
What are dog anal glands?
Dog anal glands are small sacs of liquid near the anus. They’re usually found on both sides of the anus and release a foul-smelling liquid when expressed.
They’re also known as scent glands because they produce a distinctive smell that dogs use to mark their territory. Dogs can tell if other animals have been in their territory by smelling their scent, and this helps them keep track of who’s been where!
Dog Gland Removal Pros And Cons
Pros of Dog Gland Removal
- Relief from discomfort and pain: Anal gland problems can cause significant discomfort for dogs. When the glands become impacted or infected, they can lead to itching, pain, and even abscesses. By removing the glands, your furry friend can experience relief from these symptoms, leading to a happier and more comfortable life.
- Prevention of future complications: Some dogs are more prone to recurring anal gland issues. By opting for gland removal, you can potentially prevent future problems, sparing your dog from the discomfort and pain associated with gland issues altogether.
- Improved quality of life: Dogs that undergo successful gland removal surgery often enjoy an improved quality of life. They no longer have to deal with the discomfort and frustration caused by recurring anal gland problems, allowing them to engage in activities without hindrance or distress.
Dog Gland Removal Cons
- Surgical risks: As with any surgical procedure, there are inherent risks involved. Anesthesia complications, infection, and surgical site complications are all possible risks associated with dog gland removal. It’s important to discuss these risks thoroughly with your veterinarian before making a decision.
- Altered bowel movements: The anal glands play a role in your dog’s bowel movements, aiding in the lubrication and marking of their stool. After gland removal, some dogs may experience changes in their bowel habits. They may need a different diet or regular stool softeners to compensate for the lack of natural gland function.
- Potential for long-term complications: While dog gland removal can relieve and prevent future problems, it may also lead to long-term complications in rare cases. These complications can include fecal incontinence, chronic diarrhea, or problems with wound healing. Your veterinarian can guide the likelihood of these complications based on your dog’s health and circumstances.
What are the signs of anal gland problems?
How can you tell if your dog has issues with their anal glands? Here are the signs to look out for:
- Excessive licking and biting: If you notice your dog constantly licking or biting their rear end, it could be a sign of anal gland problems. Dogs do this to try and relieve discomfort or irritation in that area.
- Scooting or dragging their bottom: Have you ever seen your dog dragging their bottom across the floor? It may seem a bit funny, but it’s a sign that their anal glands might be bothering them. By scooting, they are trying to release the pressure or discomfort.
- Foul smell: Anal gland problems can cause a strong, unpleasant odor around your dog’s rear end. If you suddenly notice a bad smell that wasn’t there before, it’s a clue that something might be off with their glands.
- Swelling or redness around the anus: When the anal glands become impacted or infected, you may notice swelling, redness, or even discharge around your dog’s anus. Keep an eye out for any unusual changes in that area.
- Difficulty with bowel movements: If your dog struggles to poop or seems to be in pain while doing so, it could be a sign of anal gland problems. The impacted glands can put pressure on the rectum, making it harder for them to have regular bowel movements.
When is anal gland removal necessary?
Anal gland removal for dogs is necessary when the glands are infected and inflamed. This condition can cause your dog pain and can also be a sign of a more serious health problem.
If you notice that your dog is experiencing discomfort in the area of their anus or if there is a discharge coming from their rectum, then it’s time to take action. It would be best to take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will be able to diagnose the problem and determine whether or not anal gland removal is necessary.
dog gland removal cost
The cost of anal gland removal surgery for dogs can vary depending on the veterinarian who performs the procedure and whether or not it’s an emergency.
Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition and your veterinarian’s recommendations, anal gland removal surgery may be covered by insurance. However, if this is not possible, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000 for the procedure.
If you need to go to an emergency room due to complications from your dog’s anal gland issue, you will likely pay more than usual because of the high volume of patients that are treated in emergency rooms. This could result in a bill as high as $6,000 or more.
Do dogs feel relief after glands are expressed?
Absolutely! Dogs feel relief after glands are expressed because of the pressure that builds up inside their bodies. This pressure can be very uncomfortable and even painful for dogs, who cannot express themselves verbally to let you know how they feel.
When you express your dog’s glands, you relieve this pressure and make them feel much better.
Behavioral problems that can be associated with anal gland removal
- Excessive licking or biting: After anal gland removal, some dogs may tend to excessively lick or bite around the area where their glands used to be. This behavior can be a response to residual discomfort or irritation. It’s essential to monitor your dog’s licking habits and consult your veterinarian if it becomes excessive or leads to skin irritation.
- Increased anxiety or restlessness: Dogs may experience increased anxiety or restlessness after anal gland removal surgery. This can be attributed to the discomfort they may feel during the recovery process. It’s essential to provide your dog with a calm and comfortable environment and offer them plenty of reassurance and support during this time.
- Changes in bowel habits: Anal glands play a role in a dog’s bowel movements, and their removal can sometimes lead to changes in bowel habits. Some dogs may experience difficulty or discomfort when passing stools, leading to alterations in their everyday routine. Observing your dog’s bowel movements and consulting with your veterinarian if you notice any persistent issues is important.
- Aggression or irritability: In rare cases, dogs may exhibit signs of aggression or irritability following anal gland removal. This behavior can be attributed to the physical discomfort they may experience during the healing process. It’s crucial to provide a safe environment for your dog and seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if aggression or irritability persists.
- Fear or avoidance of touch: Dogs undergoing anal gland removal may develop a fear or aversion to being touched around their hindquarters. This can be due to previous discomfort or pain associated with the glands. It’s important to approach your dog gently and gradually reintroduce positive touch experiences to help them regain trust and confidence.
Common Anal Sac Problems in Dogs
Anal Sac Impaction
Anal sac impaction occurs when the secretion in the anal sacs becomes thick and sticky, making it difficult for the sacs to empty naturally. This can lead to discomfort, pain, and irritation for your dog. Signs of anal sac impaction may include scooting, excessive licking or biting of the area and a foul odor. If left untreated, impaction can progress to infection or abscess formation.
Anal Sac Infection
When the anal sacs become infected, it can cause significant discomfort for your dog. Infection can occur due to bacteria entering the sacs through a block or impaction. Signs of an anal sac infection may include redness, swelling, discharge, and a strong, unpleasant odor. Your dog may show signs of pain when sitting or defecating.
Anal Sac Abscess
If an anal sac infection goes untreated or becomes severe, it can develop into an abscess. An anal sac abscess is a painful condition characterized by a swollen, warm, and tender area around the anus. Your dog may experience difficulty walking, reluctance to sit, and signs of discomfort. It’s crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly for proper treatment and drainage of the abscess.
What is the Procedure for an Anal Sacculectomy?
An anal sacculectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove a sac that has become swollen and filled with fluid. The process is most often performed to treat an anal fissure, which occurs when the lining of the anus becomes irritated and inflamed.
The surgeon will make an incision around the anus and remove any hardened tissue or pus from within it. Once this has been done, they will use forceps to gently remove any additional fluid inside the sac and then stitch up the incision again.
There are pros and cons of dog gland removal. Some dog owners have had bad experiences and don’t recommend it. However, we found a few positive reviews. The dogs were happy and healthy once the dog glands were removed.