My vet wants to remove my dogs anal glands. Is this a good solution? What is the purpose of the anal glands in a dog?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 3
Type of Animal: Cavachane
Name of Animal: Reese
Ointment, medication by mouth
Welcome to Just Answer. I'm sorry to hear about this situation with Reese. Has she been having constant anal gland infections / abscesses / or expressions? What is their reason for recommending this?
She is constantly scooping and licking her bum.
Ok. The anal glands are basically glands (two of them) that are located next to the rectal opening and they empty through a duct on each side right next to the rectum. They basically produce a very foul smelling liquid that serves marking purposes for territory and such. So from a functional need, they aren't needed for anything more than communication purposes with other dogs. To remove them is a very valid decision for those dogs that are having constant anal gland issues - blockages, infections, or need for expressions. I always say that this surgery is one that owners have to be aware of the very small chance of the complication of being incontinent after the surgery due to a nerve being injured during the surgery. For those owners that are ok with this small risk, the surgery can be one that eliminates a persistent problem. Those that don't want to risk this are then in a position of trying different diets to see if that can help. They can also learn how to express the anal glands to help keep their pet comfortable. Here is a great link on anal glands with diagrams.