Anal Glands and Switching Foods

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Anal Glands and Switching Foods

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  • #76945 Report Abuse
    Tyler G

    Within the past two months I’ve switched from Eukanuba Dachshund mix to orijen adult and now I’ve started Acana Ranchlands. Within the past two weeks I’ve noticed that my dog has had this very strong metallic/fishy odor coming from her backside. Well I pinpointed it to being her anal glands. I watched multiple videos on how to express the glands. Well I’ve probably had to do it at least three times in the past 10 days or so. Is this due to the food switch? I’ve been doing it slow. I’m beginning to think the protein content in her food may be too much? Do I need to switch to switch to the acana singles or to the chicken and potato one? Her stool with the eukanuba was a lot larger so that’s why I’m thinking she may need some grains in her diet. Now with acana and orijen, her stool seems to be smaller and she seems to be “constipated” because she squats and strains for longer while doing her business. Help please!

    • This topic was modified 8 years, 6 months ago by Tyler G.
    #76948 Report Abuse

    Did you check the search engine? This topic comes up often. Example:

    “This problem is common in some small breeds, has something to do with their anatomy, also obesity and sedentary lifestyle can be factors”.

    #76950 Report Abuse

    Hi Tyler,

    You could try adding some bulk to her diet in the form of canned pumpkin, some ground chia seed, psyllium husk or some unsweetened Metamucil. I like a product called Firm Up, which is stored pumpkin and apple pectin. It’s shelf stable so it lasts a lot longer than canned pumpkin. There’s a product called Glandex that I’ve never used, but others here have with success. I don’t know much about it, so hopefully someone who does will weigh in.

    It could be a fiber issue, in that your dog might need higher fiber.

    It could also be that she’s eating something to which she intolerant. I have a dog with a number of food sensitivities and when he’s exposed to something to which he’s intolerant, it’s not at all unusual for his anal glands to start smelling strongly.

    I hope you find a solution quickly. Manual expression of small gland is not an ideal circumstance and should be avoided if at all possible.

    #76954 Report Abuse

    100% agree with DogFoodie. Groomers also often express anal glands as part of the grooming service, something I completely disagree with and I would never do unless asked by the client when I worked as a bather in a grooming salon. If you bring your dog for grooming please recommend that they do not express the glands. They aren’t trained to do it properly and if done wrong can create a whole host of problems. A vet is the only one who can do a proper expression of the anal glands, which is internal.

    Dogs should be able to normally express their glands when they use the bathroom. The glands can express properly when the poop is firm and solid. It has nothing to do with there being large amounts or small amounts. Large amounts are also not something I would consider a good thing.

    #76969 Report Abuse

    @Tyler G
    “Some animals have anal glands that are placed deep and low inside of the rectum. In this case, even though there is healthy stool being passed out of the rectum, there’s not enough pressure to the wayward anal glands to effectively empty their contents during a bowel movement. Very rarely in those situations, those animals have to have anal gland expression performed because they’re not capable of doing it on their own”.
    This is from

    This condition is not unusual in small breeds.

    Best to go by what a veterinarian that has examined your dog recommends.

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