How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18959
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
2361900
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

The area under my dog's tail is swollen and irritated. This is unusual, and he is ve

Customer Question

The area under my dog's tail is swollen and irritated. This is unusual, and he is very nervous and licks the area a lot.
We were in an open, country area yesterday and he ran around a lot. I wonder if he picked up some sort of parasite.
How can I treat this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. The original expert you requested is not available so that did cause me to be unable to respond until that request expired.
It's possible your dog has a problem with his anal glands. The anal glands are 2 sacs on either side of the anus at about the 4' o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. If your dog is continually licking their anus and there is swelling in the area, it could also indicate that they are full. This problem can usually be resolved by emptying out the glands. To empty them or express them, you will want to cover the area with a tissue and press your finger on the dog's anal glands with an upward motion. A foul smelling liquid should come out. If nothing comes out and your dog appears to be in pain, you should take him to the Vet. Your vet can do this easily, as he is experienced at it.
Excellent site on anal glands
http://www.dr-dan.com/analsac.htm
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_anal_sacs.html
You do want to make sure there is no dried fecal matter blocking the rectum area as this can lead to a loss of appetite and redness and discomfort for the dog. If you find any, a warm water bath can help loosen the dried feca matter so it can be removed. Trimming the hair in the area can help prevent that from occurring.
Dogs can pick up tapeworms usually by ingesting infected fleas, but that wouldn't happen in one day. You would likely see dried rice like objects in your dog's stool as well.
If it is the actual tail that is swollen, you will want to check up and down for a break. If you find one, you should have him seen by your vet. There is a condition "cold tail" that Labradors, English Pointers, English Setters, Foxhounds and Beagles sometimes get which causes them to hold their tail close to the body. You can read about it here.
http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/coldtail.html
http://www.thelabradorclub.com/oldsite/cold.htm
It is possible that this is what you are seeing with your dog if it is the tail and not around the rectum.. With cold tail it sometimes takes up to 2 weeks for the tail to recover. Some owners feel the administration of anti-inflammatory medication aid in a faster recovery.
Dog's have sebaceous glands and perianal glands at the base of their tails. Sometimes, these glands can become clogged and swollen. A warm compress on the spot and cleaning with Benzyl peroxide gel may help with the problem. I would also use some Neosporin or triple antibiotic cream on the area as well. Dogs with this swelling of the sebaceous gland may have a problem with hypothyroidism or a hormonal imbalance, so I would suggest you have your dog seen by your vet if you do not see improvement.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.