Care and maintenance of a pet's health involves regular cleansing of the ears, teeth, clipping, and eye washing. But dog owners do not always pay attention to other, equally important organs. We are talking about paraanal glands, which also require systematic care. It is important to know how and when the pet needs help on its own, and in which cases it is better to contact the veterinarian.
What are the paraanal glands?
Paraanal glands are special bags symmetrically located on the sides of the rectum in the area of its transition into the anus. They are responsible for developing a special secret with a pungent odor, with which:
- animals indicate territory or attract the opposite sex;
- a kind of lubrication occurs to facilitate the bowel movement.
In the normal state, the bags self-clean due to squeezing with feces during defecation, so some owners do not even suspect the presence of such an organ in the dog. But sometimes they become clogged and regular secretion of the outside becomes impossible, which requires the intervention of the owner or veterinarian. Its reasons may be:
- irregular or rare walks, which requires restraining bowel movements;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- unbalanced diet (including bone feeding or excess protein in the diet);
- the presence in the body of certain parasites;
- frequent stool disorders;
- anal trauma;
- hereditary factors.
How to determine the need for cleaning?
If the secret accumulates for a long time, the dog has unpleasant sensations in the appropriate place, and she tries to get rid of the contents of the sacs on her own. In such situations, the animal may:
- ride the priest on the floor (especially on fleecy surfaces) to squeeze the contents of the bags and get rid of discomfort;
- lick and nibble the area under the tail (up to gnawing wool)
- suddenly jump up and dodge to the tail in search of non-existent fleas.
Clogging of the paraanal glands should be distinguished from the presence of worms, perineal hernia, or allergy.
An unpleasant odor, which was not previously observed, may also appear from the anus.
If the pet has the symptoms listed above, then probably he needs to clean the paraanal glands. If there is no inflammation in the anus, and the dog does not feel pain when pressed, the procedure can be performed independently. This procedure does not require special skills, but does not apply to the most pleasant ones, so it is better for fastidious people to seek help from a veterinarian.
If the owner of the dog is able to tolerate the pungent and unpleasant smell of a secret, then you can clean it at home. Before this, it is important to make sure that it is precisely clogged bags that bother the animal, for which it is necessary to probe the inner space of the anus. To do this, wear gloves, insert the index finger into the anus and carefully test it in the exit area:
- if the bags are soft, without seals, then there is no need to clean them;
- if even with light pressure the seals are felt, then you need to proceed with cleaning.
To do this, you will need:
- rubber gloves;
- petroleum jelly;
- a napkin or piece of cloth;
The procedure will not give the dog any pleasure, so it is necessary to attract an assistant. He will hold the animal firmly in a certain position so that it does not tear out during manipulations. In the process, you should talk with the pet, calm and praise him.
How to clean?
Below are two methods that allow you to clean the bags of accumulated secretion at home.
The first way.
- Put the animal in a bath or basin.
- Ask the assistant to hold the body and face of the pet so that it does not break out and spin.
- Wear gloves and feel the seals on the outside.
- Raise the base of the tail as far as possible to relax the sphincter, without causing pain to the animal.
- With your free hand in a glove or with a napkin, squeeze the sides of the anus with your thumb and forefinger.
- If everything is done correctly, a beige viscous liquid with an unpleasant odor will stand out from the bags.
If after all the actions it was not possible to release the anal sacs, then you can not increase the pressure on them. It is possible that they are so badly clogged that it is impossible to clean them at home, and you should contact your veterinarian.
The second way.
This method is only suitable for representatives of large breeds.
- Put the animal in a basin or bathroom and ask the other person to hold it.
- Put on gloves and smear the index finger of the right hand with Vaseline.
- With your left hand, by analogy with the first method, raise the base of the tail to the top.
- Slowly insert the index finger greased with petroleum jelly into the anus. In this case, the palm should be perpendicular to the floor.
- Feel the gland inside the anus with the index finger.
- Squeeze out the secret while pressing the index finger from the inside and the thumb from the outside of the anus.
After completing all the manipulations, you need to wash your pet to get rid of the pungent smell of secretion. On average, cleaning lasts for six months maximum, but the frequency of the selection is selected for a specific animal, depending on the speed of clogging. But if you pay enough attention to preventive measures, that is, a chance, such actions in the future will not be needed at all.
Even if it was possible to independently clean, it is advisable to seek the examination and consultation of a veterinarian to identify and eliminate the causes of this phenomenon.
If you do not clean the paraanal glands in time, then there is a risk of developing complications that require a longer and more complex treatment. These include inflammatory processes that are caused by the decay of the secretion accumulated in the anal sacs under the influence of bacteria. In this case, the following signs are added as follows:
- swelling and redness of the anus;
- rash and irritation near the anus;
- getting wet and hair loss around the base of the tail;
- obvious pain during defecation in a sitting position
Inflammation is more common in young animals, but there are no patterns associated with breed characteristics.
In case of inflammation, it is not recommended to resort to self-cleaning. You should contact your veterinarian who will conduct the correct treatment.
The treatment process includes:
- mechanical cleaning of inflamed sacs;
- sinus lavage;
- treatment of the skin with an antiseptic;
- the introduction of antibiotics;
- further observation and preventive measures.
One of the elements of treatment can be rectal suppositories, which are considered more effective in comparison with external agents or with tablets. Despite the possible unpleasant sensations for the dog, the use of candles is not particularly difficult: the candle is carefully inserted into the anus of the dog, after which the hole is clamped with a tail or finger for several seconds. For representatives of small breeds, before use, cut the candle along in half with a sharp knife.
Attention: If you do not pay attention to inflammation in the anus, irreparable consequences may occur, and neglected cases do not exclude a fatal outcome!
Need to remove
In some animals, regular blockage is observed, and even regular cleaning does not allow the secret to go out. If this has to be done quite often (almost every week), then the veterinarian may recommend an operation to remove the paranal glands as the only possible way to avoid relapse. Since this is not a vital organ, the operation will be a more humane solution compared to the stress that the animal experiences during brushing.
The removal operation is called a saculectomy and belongs to the category of not complicated. The veterinarian makes shallow cuts of the skin in the gland, then carries them out and cuts them, suturing the wounds. During the operation, the rectum or anus is not affected, so the next day the dog can empty itself and feels as usual. To avoid diverging and stretching the joints, vets recommend a light diet and frequent walks. Until complete wound healing, the pet should not tolerate urges.
In order not to have to deal with clogging of the paraanal glands and avoid worries associated with the treatment of their inflammations, it is recommended that the following preventive recommendations be followed:
- to walk actively and for a long time, preferably with physical activity;
- maintain optimal weight for the breed;
- to achieve a regular formed stool (constipation and diarrhea increase the risk of inflammation);
- regularly monitor the condition of the glands and visually inspect the area of the anus (especially in decorative breeds);
- timely deworming;
- take care of maintaining the hygiene and general health of the pet.
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