• Im suprise your vet has asked you to do this as its quite difficult to do and you only do this if the anul gland becomes infected or swollen.
  • This is a very strange question for a vet to ask, unless there was some sign that the glands had been recently treated. The dog has two anal glands - one each side of the anus and they discharge a fluid into the anus itself which may be a lubricant to aid defecation. They also have an attractant purpose as the secretions contain musk. The anal glands can become blocked, or impacted, and they will then swell and cause severe discomfort. The blockage is cleared by holding a large pad of cotton wool over the area and squeezing, but this isn't a job for the inexpert or those with a weak stomach. I would recommend that it only be done by a vet.
  • I agree with LippyCow and BryInLanza. I had large dogs for over twenty years, and NEVER cleaned their anal glands. This is also called "expressing the anal glands" because you express the stinky fluid. Unless there is an infection, or your breed (or individual dog) is particularly liable to anal gland impaction, there's no reason to fiddle around with what Mother Nature has arranged. Ask your vet why they think you should do this. I did a little research and it appears some breeds, especially small breeds like Pugs, are notorious for having trouble. This is an interesting thread in a Rottweiler discussion about anal glands:
  • We never had to do this though I was aware of watching the area and checking to see if the dogs were okay. I don't think it's something you routinely do unless you have a breed where it is known to be a problem. But usually in larger breeds it isn't a problem. Also we have usually fed an all natural diet of bones and raw food and our dogs just never had a problem pooping. Most were girls, too. I've seen this be more of a problem with male dogs, smaller male dogs that don't eat real food but eat lots of canned food.

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