Anal Gland Impaction And Infection In Dogs

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionI have an english cocker which is 1 year old and she has a bad smell (like iron) for a few days - the same smell as from her smell glands next to the anus. I tried to wash her but the smell doesn't pass. Every time she scratches her bum on the floor the strong smell comes again - what's the reason for it and what is the treatment? (Ranny Goldwasser - Romania)


Infections and problems of the anal gland are very common in dogs and it sounds like this is what your dog is suffering from. Impaction of the anal gland can occur when it fails to naturally empty because of soft stools or an overactive gland, and secretions become thick and pasty. Anal gland impaction is treated by manual emptying of the glands. Ask your vet for advice on how to proceed - you should act quickly before they become infected.

When anal glands become infected there will be small amounts of blood or puss in the secretions. If your dog is scratching his bum on the floor very frequently, it may be his glands are already infected. Treatment is the same as for impacted glands, but is followed by an antibiotic wash at regular intervals for a period after the manual emptying.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Added on Jan 26th, 2011
My 2 year old lab leaks a fishy clear liquid from her bottom, what can this be and why is it happening.