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Dr. Hinson
Dr. Hinson, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1855
Experience:  11+ years experience in the veterinary field. Experience with small, large and exotic species.
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I have a Shih Tzu. Anal glands seem to fill up in about 3 weeks.

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I have a Shih Tzu. Anal glands seem to fill up in about 3 weeks. I would like to express them myself, but don't know how. Can I be taught by reading about it?

When your dog's anal glands are full does he scoot on the carpet?

When you say they fill up in about 3 weeks is that because the groomer is telling you they are full?

Does the groomer say the fluid coming from the glands looks normal or is it thick and chunky?

What food are you feeding your dog?

Dr. Hinson
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I typed a whole answer and the internet timed out:(

She scoots outside usually when we are walking her. Mostly we can smell her, but the groomer has said they were bad before. One time I didn't have them do it, and a few days after grooming we started seeing and smelling signs of it. We took her in and the groomer expressed her in a towell and held it up. 2 - 50 cent sized brown spots. It had only been 4 weeks since the last time. Last night she was sitting on my lap and left a stinky dime sized spot on me. She was expressed 7/27 last. I have also noticed her sit down and scoot a little in the last week, but it was when I was walking her for a poop, so thought it could just be that.

I feed her Beneful dry. I keep the dry down all the time and feed it soaked in warm water every other day. She still seems to only eat every other day anyway. She is 1 1/2 yeas old.

Well, some dogs have chronic anal gland problems no matter what you do. Sometimes it is better to have the anal glands removed all together if they become a constant problem. That being said, I don't think your dog needs surgery to remove them just yet, but keep in mind that there is a surgery that can be done to remove them if necessary.

Now, for you to learn to express them on your own...sure you can. Some people never quite get the hang of it and if that is the case you may always have to have the groomer or your vet do it. Here is a link about expressing them on your own:

Here is a Youtube video to watch. Sometimes seeing it done makes it easier:

You can always ask your groomer or vet to show you how to do it. Most people are happy to show you how.

I would also recommend you increase the fiber in your dog's diet. The extra fiber bulks up the stools which helps to express the anal glands when the feces are on their way out!

You can increase fiber easily by adding about 1 tablespoon of canned pumpkin to her food (or feed it as a treat) twice daily. Most dogs LOVE the pumpkin and eat it readily. Also, since it is mainly fiber it doesn't add a lot of extra calories to the diet. You pure canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Dr. Hinson
Dr. Hinson and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you for your help. I will be able to use the tips.
Your welcome!