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What is Anal Gland Expressing

Posted on February 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM

What is Anal Gland Expression?

Pet Grooming
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Anal gland expression is a procedure which is performed on cats or dogs when fluid inside the gland builds and the animal is unable to express the fluid themselves. A professional pet groomer may offer to perform this quick procedure if needed, but it is essential that you take your pet to an experienced groomer who can identify possible infections or situations which require veterinary care.

What is an Anal Gland?

Cats and dogs have a very small anal gland located on each side of their rectum. The purpose of the gland is for scent marking, and each time an animal defecates, or needs to leave their signature scent, a very tiny amount of fluid is expressed from the glands. Most pet owners never notice their pet’s anal glands, fluid expression or any problems with the glands. It is only when the animal seems to have difficulty periodically clearing fluid from the gland that a problem may develop.

How to Tell if Your Pet Needs Anal Gland Expression

When the anal glands become filled with fluid, and the pet is unable to express them, the glands can become uncomfortable and painful. Symptoms which are associated with packed anal glands include:

  • Dogs scooting on the floor or chasing their tail.
  • Cats and dogs repeatedly licking or chewing around their rectum.
  • A foul odor around the cat or dog’s rectum or tail area.

Anal Gland Expression and Professional Grooming Services

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it is best to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to tell if the anal glands need to be manually expressed or if perhaps the glands have become impacted or infected. Some pets only develop an anal gland problem occasionally or never at all, but other pets may have lifelong problems with their glands which require periodic expression.

In cases where a pet needs expression of the anal glands, the glands are pressed from each side to squeeze the fluid from the glands. The glands may also be cleared by applying pressure from the inside of the rectum to the outside of the glands. If a pet needs regular anal gland expression – and no infection is present – than a professional groomer may offer this service. The procedure can quickly be performed while the pet is groomed, and the groomer can ensure that all of the fluids have been removed from the pet's fur.

Tear Stain Solution

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Causes and Solutions To Unsightly Eye Staining
by Shannon Lynnes, CMG, NCMG

As a professional groomer, I am often asked how to remove those awful eye
stains that some light-colored dogs are prone to. These dogs are easy to spot, with their
raccoon-like masks around their eyes. There are dozens of products on the market that claim
to take these stains away with regular usage. Be forewarned; they do not work. Unfortunately,
there is no magic potion that will remove the dark stains from around a pet's eyes.
Many different breeds suffer from excessive eye drainage. It is more noticeable with
lighter-colored dogs because of the hair color change that takes place. The telltale
reddish-brown stain is easy to spot, but hard to cure. As in many things, prevention is
the name of the game.

First, it is important to rule out any health problems that may be causing the eye irritation.
The purpose of tears in a dog's eye is to cleanse and lubricate the eye. If there is excessive
tearing, this may be caused by a medical condition that would need care from a veterinarian.
The first step in solving this dilemma is to rule out any health reasons for the tearing.
The reddish-brown stains are caused by iron in the dog's system. It actually dyes the hair
that color, just like a rust stain you might find on a recently laundered piece of clothing.
These stains can show up not only around the eyes, but around the dog's mouth, too, or also
in any area that he might be licking excessively. The saliva acts like the tears, staining
the rust color permanently onto the dog's coat.

One of the easiest ways to reduce staining is to give the dog only distilled water to drink.
This is an old trick used by many white poodle breeders to reduce the staining problem, and
it is usually very effective. Filtered water will not work; it must be distilled water, and
it must be given to the dog consistently. Other things can contribute to staining also.
Some of the inexpensive commercial dog foods contain high levels of food coloring, which can
also add to the staining problem as well. Feeding a premium quality food with fewer dyes and
preservatives can sometimes dramatically reduce the staining.

In addition to the unattractive appearance of the staining, often the eye matter collects and
dries around the dog's eyes, leaving a hard lump in the corner of the eye. Not only is this
unsightly, but, if left untreated over time, it can become quite odorous and the area around
the eyes can become infected. This can be horribly painful for the animal, and usually means
a trip to the veterinarian for oral and topical antibiotic treatments.

Finally, there are other common sense issues that can indeed help with the staining problem.
Keeping the dogs face clipped short is an obvious solution. If the hair around the eyes is short,
the tears then don't have anything to cling to. Also, wiping the dog's face two or three times
per day with a warm washcloth will do wonders in reducing the amount and severity of the staining.

Trim Your Dog's Nails Regularly

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 2:05 PM

This style trimmer is convenient, but can cause damage to your dog's nails.

  • Dog's nails need to be a part of regular grooming, every 3 to 4 weeks. Short nails prevent scratching of both you and your floors as well as preventing harmful diseases and pain for your dog. A Dremel is an electronic tool alternative to nail clippers.

Avoid Cutting Nails Too Short

  • Cutting your dog's nails too short can cause pain.

    Dremeling a dog's nails allows you to remove small layers of nail at a time, avoiding pain. According to Daily Puppy, Dremeling your dog's nails will not cut the quick--the sensitive cluster of blood vessels inside the nail. The Dremel will gently sand off small layers of nail, allowing you to stop before getting too close to the quick. If your dog's nails are very long, begin sanding off just a little of the nail at a time. Follow up on the trim a week later to help the quick recede back into the top of the nail, allowing you to shave off more of the nail over time.

Bottom Line

  • Dremel your dog's nails to avoid cutting the quick.

    Dremeling provides a quick, painless alternative to clippers for trimming your dog's nails. Dremeling can be used just as often as clippers--every 3 to 4 weeks. Dremeling makes for a smoother nail and a happier pet.