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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19767
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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my dogs anus is swollen

Customer Question

The side of my dogs anus is swollen and red. It is about the size of a quarter. i dont know what to do because i am a college student with no money. He doesnt scoot on the floor but he does tent to bite near where he is swollen. I want to know if there are any home remedies and if this is life threatening.Also if i can wait 2 days to take him to the vet. He is very uncomfortable and i feel really bad. It is not pussing or bleeding it is just  very red.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 years ago.

Hi Sir or Madam,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I've been with Just Answer since 2006. It will be my pleasure to work with you.


If the anal area is swollen, your dog might have a problem with his anal glands. Many dogs with anal gland problems will drag their behind on the ground or carpet and their anus area has a bad odor and swollen. This may cause a dog to continue to lick the area.


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 dragging it, 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


An allergy condition might cause localized swelling as well. this can cause itching around the rectal area and some swelling as well. If you believe this may be a problem, benadryl can be given with a dosage of up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours.


With an elderly dog, you might also have a growth in the area. I do think you should have this examined by your vet if an anal glands are not the issue.


I hope you find this information helpful.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
he isnt scooting though. im scared that if i express the glands myself i will do something wrong. is there anything that i can give him to relieve his discomfort? Another thing is that he doesnt want to eat. Not even his favorite foods.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 years ago.



If he isn't eating then he might be constipated. A constipated dog will frequently have a loss of appetite. Be sure and read the important note below before trying any of these methods for helping with constipation. If your dog is experiencing constipation on a regular basis you should add roughage to his diet such as canned pumpkin (not pie filling kind) or Metamucil. A spoon full of pumpkin on the dog's food should keep his bowels hydrated and his feces soft enough to pass.


A one time use of a spoon of mineral oil on his food can also be used but should not be used all the time.


There are two methods I use for young puppies, which may work on your dog. I first try lubricating a rectal thermometer and take the puppies temperature. This frequently stimulates the puppy into going. If this fails and you have a nasal bulb syringe (aspirator), you can put warm water in it and gently squeeze a small amount into the rectum and see if this doesn't help.


You can use a children's glycerin suppository depending on the size of your dog but the other methods are what I recommend you try first.


IMPORTANT NOTE If your dog ate a non-food item, bone or rawhide recently or if your dog is experiencing other symptoms such as vomiting, not eating or drinking, severe abdominal pain, the dog needs to see a vet and not treatment for constipation.. The above signs could indicate an intestinal obstruction, which you can read about here:


Now many times a dog will try and avoid defecating since it can hurt infected anal glands. There isn't much you can do at home to provide any real relief except perhaps some warm compresses if you don't empty the glands.. Many owners will alternate between warm and cool compresses, but I recommend warm ones myself. Groomers will also express the glands.


Since he is a small dog, I would be sure he does not become hypoglycemic by putting a drop of karo/pancake syrup on her tongue or get some nutrical to ensure the dog gets the proper nutrition while he isn't eating.




Jane Lefler and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Would i be able to wait until after 2marrow to take him to the vet? That was the only available appointment. Or do u suggest that its urgent and i should take him to a 24 hr vet?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 years ago.



It doesn't sound like an emergency situation as long as you ensure that he is not hypoglycemic. However, if he has ingested a foreign object, is unable to defecate and starts vomiting, you would need to have him seen as that might indicate an obstruction.


I would probably put him in the bath tub and apply some warm compresses to the area and put some slight pressure on the gland to see if you can relieve the pressure a little I would be very careful to avoid rupturing it. Doing this in the bath tub would help with clean up if the gland should "squirt" and the warm water will ease his discomfort as well.


I also reread your question and thought about rectal prolapse. I also wated to give you information on rectal tumors or growths..


You can read about rectal prolapse here: With a prolapse, you would want to have him seen sooner rather than later. But if you can't get him in, you'd want to keep the section of rectum lubricated to avoid it drying out.


A Perianal Adenoma is also a possibility. You can read about this here: