Facts about Dog Anal Glands

Feb 20 17:24 2016 Holly Hugo Print This Article

When one dog sniffs another’s butt, they pick up the scent from dog anal glands. Whilst anal glands (or sacs) are of great interest to other dogs, they can be problematic for many owners. To learn more about the importance of dog anal glands –for better or for worse – read on.

#1: What are Dog Anal Glands?

Dogs have two anal glands,Guest Posting one either side of their anus at the twenty-past-eight position on a clock face. Each sac is roughly grape-sized and holds about a third of teaspoon’s worth of fluid. When the dog defecates he squeezes a small amount of secretion from the anal gland, onto the first and last part of his toilet, which acts as his calling card and marks his territory.

#2: Scent Signature

The secretion from dog anal glands is particularly unpleasant to the human nose, somewhere around rancid fish sums it up. However, to our canine companions it is a rich source of information, much like reading a newspaper.

Each dog’s anal gland secretion is a slightly different recipe, and to their sensitive noses this amounts to a distinctive scent signature. That’s what all the butt sniffing is about; you’d think it would be easier for dogs to simply look at one another, but no, they like to match territory marker smells to the source of the scent.

#3: Sniffy Secretion

Each smell is highly individual, made up of different proportions of highly whiffy ingredients. A typical dog anal gland secretion is made up of aliphatic acid, trimethylamine, ethanol, and acetic acid – although dogs find this potent evocation of dead fish attractive is a mystery (What’s wrong with roses?)

#4: Defense Mechanism

The main purpose of dog anal glands is to mark feces, but a frightened dog may also empty his anal sacs as a defense mechanism. It could be the sudden release of a large volume of stinky stuff provides a momentary distraction, which allows the dog to escape.

#5: Scooting

A common habit for some dogs is scooting along the ground on their backsides. One reason for this behavior is if the anal sacs are overfull, and therefore stretched and itchy. This can happen after an upset tummy, where the glands weren’t emptied out properly, or if too much secretion is produced.

Have your vet empty to glands, and consider a high fiber diet to encourage regular emptying.

#6: Anal Sac Infections

Sometimes bacteria invade the dog anal glands and set up infection. This is very painful, especially if an abscess forms. Some dogs go off color and the sac may burst to release yellow-green pus.

Stop the dog from licking the area, apply a salt water poultice, and seek veterinary attention.

#7: Anal Gland Tumors

Unfortunately some dog breeds, especially Cocker spaniels, are prone to a serious cancer of the anal sac. Caught early, surgery can cure this cancer, but it it’s found too late the consequences are serious. Early detection relies on your vet feeling the anal sac, so be sure your pet has regular check-ups and the dog anal glands checked.

And finally…

Did you know that Florida manatees have anal glands? These aquatic mammals leave a scent trail behind them in the water as they swim.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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Holly Hugo
Holly Hugo

Holly and Hugo is an e-learning company which features courses for animal lovers and those planning to work with animals in the future. 

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Check out the courses in more detail at http://www.hollyandhugo.com, choose which ones suit you best, and begin building an exciting new career today!

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