Pugs and Anal Glands

Ever wonder about Pugs and Anal Glands?

I thought this was a great time to write a blog about Pugs and anal gland problems. I (Poco the Pug) was at the vet yesterday because my peeps are very in-tune to my every move. Sometimes it’s irritating! Not really.

Anyway…I had been scooting a bit recently. You know, rubbing my butt on the rug and spinning in circles. I do this because I have anal sacs in there that have a fluid which is supposed to release when I poo. However, my fluid is thick and sticky PLUS I have little poos because I am on a special diet (I had lots of urinary/bladder crystals and the food pretty much cured me). Little poos just can’t force the fluid out like it should be. Therefore…and this happened to me 3 years ago…the fluid has to go somewhere and I blew an anal gland. I know this topic is kind of gross but you Pug People need to know what to expect and what to do when/if this happens.

Instead of the fluid buildup coming out of my poo hole, it broke through the skin just to the right of the poo hole. That skin is very thin and, shall we say, was the path of least resistance. IT HURT! There was dark fluid and light infection at this point. I almost got to this point again yesterday but my peeps noticed that my butt looked a bit swollen and red. Straight to the vet I went. I had not blown (ruptured) my anal sac but it was a close call. WHEW! The vet said it might still occur but that we shouldn’t worry because she expressed the fluid rectally and if it did burst…it wouldn’t be preventable at this point. Knock on wood….I’m still intact! I am taking antibiotics and some medicine for pain and swelling along with an ointment that goes on the swollen area. I DO NOT LIKE ANYONE TO TOUCH IT and wanted to nip at my peeps this morning when they put that stuff on my butt. It’s so hard to be a Pug.

So what’s the use of having anal glands? Scent marking and territorial boundary setting has been the most acceptable theory.

The anal glands are paired sacs located at four and eight o’clock positions around the rectum. They have sebaceous oil glands that secrete a nasty and odoriferous brown fluid.

Anal Glands

The discharge is usually expressed as feces are eliminated. But in smaller breed dogs, like us Pugs, the discharge seems to be saved until times of extreme fear, anger, or revenge! in these breeds the anal glands are usually expressed as the groomer lifts the tail and manually pushes up and out.

My Vet says that most groomers express the anal glands from the outside but the Vet goes in rectally and does a really great job at getting the fluids out. She recommends I come back every month or so and have it done this way to prevent further ruptures. She said I could have surgery and remove the anal glands but that she doesn’t generally like to do that because it’s very invasive. I don’t want surgery!!!!

So…how can you Pug People prevent us Pugs from problems? Well…diet and exercise are key. An overweight Pug can have anal gland issues. That’s not my problem…my problem is my small poos. Another reason can be allergies which cause swelling and prevent the anals sacs from secreting properly.

A Vet can show you how to express the anal sacs. My Peeps say “No Thanks” and plan to schedule regular trips to the Vet so they can perform the smelly job!

Please feel free to leave comments about your experiences so that we can educate Pug Peeps. Love you all, my pug friends….Poco

P.S.  My mom drew that horrible picture.  She is certainly NOT an artist.

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