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Dealing With Your Yorkshire Terrier's Anal Sacs

From the desk of Sharda Baker

Well.... I know today I may not have the most pleasant health topic to discuss with you.

But, nevertheless it is an important topic we should have a brief look at as some of these little pups run into health problems with the their Anal Sacs.

Have you ever found your little pup to have any of the following symptoms?

* To have a rather bad smell despite frequent baths?

* To be seen holding their tail up, dragging their bottom across the floor?

* To be seen regularly licking or chewing near his rectum?

Well, one of the possible causes could be your pet's anal glands.

Anal glands, or anal sacs, are two small glands (more like small pockets really) which are present in all dogs (and cats for my readers who also have a cat!) situated just below and either side of the anal opening.

These two sacs produce a substance that is secreted in tiny amounts through ducts just inside the rectum when pressure is put on the glands - most commonly by the passing of feces.

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This substance has a strong (rather yucky) odor which is very unpleasant to us but has been useful in the past to animals for marking their territory.

What can go wrong with anal glands?

Well, as I mentioned above, anal glands can sometimes cause health problems for your little pup.

Sometimes the anal gland secretions are not released naturally and build up - leading to thickening of the secretion, clogging of the duct and sometimes even infection and abscesses.

You may have seen your little dog with their tail up, dragging his behind across the floor (this is called "scooting"). This may be an attempt to relieve the pressure and discomfort of impacted anal glands.

Scooting can cause damage to the anus and may indicate that your pet is having trouble with his anal glands and needs some type of intervention.

When bacteria find their way into the glands, infection can occur and lead to an abscess. Your pet may whimper or cry when attempting to defecate and try to lick the area - this should alert you to the possibility of infection.

Abscesses can also be extremely painful for your pup and will require the attention of a vet and possibly antibiotics to clear the infection. For this reason, it is best to prevent complications as much as possible.

Prevention and Treatment.

REMEMBER, many of these little pups never seem to have a problem with their anal glands.

For those that do have a dog with anal gland issues, the anal glands should be regularly checked and expressed when necessary in order to empty the buildup of secretions from the gland.

This can be done by your vet, dog groomer or even by you - getting the knack of this is not difficult especially once you have been shown the technique.

BUT, DO NOT try expressing the glands unless you have been shown how to do it by your Vet or a good groomer, as you could damage your dog.

Again, not all little pups need their anal glands expressed manually.

Discuss with your Vet or professional groomer first.

To express your pet's anal glands use your fingers or a thumb and forefinger to gently apply pressure on either side of the anal opening - on the outside of the glands. Press inwards and upwards and you should see the fluid being expressed.

Can't do it yourself?

Many owners will not wish to do this themselves and that's fine.

Alternatively, another option that may help prevent the sacs getting blocked is providing you dog with a higher fiber diet. This will produce a bulkier stool that may be more effective in emptying the sac as it passes by.

In Summary Then...

So in summary, many dogs never seem to have a problem with their anal glands.

Some do have anal gland problems and the symptoms mentioned above will help alert you to this.

For more information on the Health and all aspects of caring for your Yorkshire Terrier, please see the Insiders Guide To A Happy, Healthy & Well Behaved Yorkshire Terrier

Lastly, as per usual, when in doubt, please have a chat with your Vet as I am not a Vet.

That's it for now and I promise the next blog post will be a 'fresher' one!

Hope you found that helpful.

All the best.


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