German Shepherds Glands Expressing: When, How and Why They Need?

Do German Shepherds Need Their Glands Expressed? What Does it Mean and The Importance of expressing them?

There are some GSDs that need their glands expressed weekly, monthly, or yearly. However, this is a bit rare. Most GSDs do not need their glands expressed. 

All canines have 2 glands in their anus. These glands produce a special scent when they poop. If the glands fail to function it can lead to infections or discomfort in canines. This majorly affects canines. That is why the glands need to be expressed to function normally. 

German Shepherds Glands Expressing

Why Do Dogs Have Anal Glands?

We all know dogs mark their territory with their pee. However, their anal glands help them mark the territory with their poop. First of all, let us understand what are anal glands/sacs. 

To be honest anal glands are not glands at all. They are sacs. The sacs contain sweat glands and oil. Additionally, they also have small receptacles of bad-smelling liquid. 

Your GSD has 2 glands. They are positioned on the anal opening at 4’o clock and 8 o’clock. When your canine poops or is under stress, the glands can get empty. 

When they are empty or expressed, they can form an unpleasant or sudden change in your canine’s odour. Therefore, when canines sniff each other’s butts, it indicates that they are verifying each other. 

Signs of Issues With Your Dog’s Anal Glands

Some of the most common signs your German Shepherd has an issue with anal glands –

  • Straining to poop
  • Scooting
  • Anal discharge
  • Dyschezia
  • Frequently biting or licking the hind end
  • Avoid sitting
  • Whimpering
  • Crying
  • Redness or swelling in the anal area
  • Avoid eating or drinking
  • Lethargic

If you see these symptoms in your German Shepherd, you must take him to the vet ASAP. If you avoid this, it can lead to abscesses, infections, and gland impactions. 

Causes of Anal Gland Problems in German Shepherds

There are a few factors that increase the chance of your GSD developing anal gland problems-

  • Obesity
  • Chronic skin dermatitis
  • Chronic soft stool
  • Insufficient dietary fibre
  • Genetics
  • Environmental allergies
  • Food allergies

Treating Anal Gland Issues in German Shepherds

  • Your vet must diagnose the condition and severity after a physical examination. This also includes a digital rectal exam
  • Other tests like tissue biopsy, fine needle aspirate, bacterial culture, ultrasound, and sensitivity can be performed. This will help the vet to plan the treatment accordingly.
  • These cases are mostly treated with expressing glands and antibiotics and steroid ointments. However, some cases need anti-inflammatory pain medications and oral antibiotics. 
  • In the case of An@l gland cancer, your veterinarian needs to decide if the cancer is spread to other areas. 
  • In severe cases, the extreme treatments that the vet may need to do include removal of the an@l gland and sac, radiation, chemotherapy, etc. 

How To Express Anal Glands Naturally In Dogs

I have mentioned 2 ways to express anal glands naturally. 

Using Homoeopathic Silica

This is the best homoeopathic solution for anal glands in dogs. It is known as Silica. You can use it when your GSD needs to express his glands.

Silica helps the body eliminate foreign objects and fluids from the dog’s body. Therefore, you can buy Silica 6C from the local store online. Give the Silica 6C two times a day for 2 – 7 days. 

  • Do not touch the pellets with bare hands.
  • Put 3-4 pellets in a small glass full of filtered water.
  • Stir it properly for 20-30 seconds.
  • Use a teaspoon or dropper to place the solution on your dog’s anus two times a day.
  • Before every dose, stir the solution well.
  • After the dose, avoid feeding your GSD for 20 minutes.

Using Calendula Compress

  • Mix one teaspoon of sea salt and warm water in a glass.
  • Add 8-9 drops of Calendula Tincture in the glass.
  • Pour the solution on a cloth
  • Hold it against the area for 1-2 minutes.
  • Repeat the process every hour

Anal Furunculosis in German Shepherd

Let us talk about a very distressing condition that German Shepherds can face. This is one of the chronic deep infections, discharge, ulceration around the anus, and inflammation. It may progress with time. 

What is Anal Furunculosis in German Shepherds?

German Shepherds are prone to this condition. As I have already mentioned, it is through the ulceration and inflammation of the skin around the anus, the condition can become severe. It is a chronic condition that is hard to treat and can cause immense pain and irritation while pooping. 

What Causes Furunculosis?

The exact cause of Furunculosis is still unclear. However, there is little evidence that indicates an abnormal immune system, tail confirmation, and carriage. Other proposed causes include increased numbers of sweat glands near the anus and wide-based tail. 

However, recently it is found that there are many similarities between Anal Furunculosis in canines and Crohn’s disease in humans. 

Anal Furunculosis usually develop because of poor or abnormal immune system defences. These defences are used to protect the perineal skin and intestines from bacteria. A different part of the immune system is exposed to more bacteria and becomes over-activated. This energy of certain components leads to ulceration and inflammation of the local area. 

How is anal furunculosis treated?

Anal Furunculosis is difficult to treat. Although there are many treatments available, still none is 100% effective. The first line of treatment involves drug therapy. The oral drug ciclosporin is used to treat Furunculosis. This drug eventually reduces the activity of the immune system’s defences. 

Other drugs include-

  • Prednisolone
  • Azathioprine

If things go out of hand, the best way to treat it is to surgically remove the diseased tissues. However, this treatment needs to be repeated and is very expensive. Some vets suggest amputation of the tail or removal of anal sacs. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would say that it totally depends on your German Shepherd’s health that he needs his glands to be expressed. In most cases, there is no need to do that. However, An@l Furunculosis is the most common condition your German Shepherd can face. Therefore, it is better to look for symptoms and treat the problem on time.

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with more exciting and informative pieces of writing. Till then stay connected. Thank you. 

Frequently asked questions

How often do German shepherds need their glands expressed?

Once your German Shepherd starts to have problems with anal glands, it is better to express its glands every 3-4 weeks. This will prevent the problem from happening again. Your vet or groomer can also express your canine’s anal glands  

How do you know if your dog needs his glands squeezed?

Signs that indicate your dog needs his glands squeezed include –

  • Scooting on the floor
  • Licking the bottom more frequently
  • Leakage of a pungent and stinky smell

What dog breeds need their glands expressed?

  • Cocker Spaniels
  • German Shepherds
  • Beagles
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Miniature Poodles
  • Basset Hounds
  • Chihuahuas

What happens if you don’t express your dog’s glands?

If you do not express your canine’s glands, there can be a formation of an abscess. Afterwards, they may burst out through the skin leaving a bloody mess. This can be seen commonly when your canine has Diarrhoea.

Can dogs express their own glands by licking?

When canines have issues with their anal glands, they lick or scoot their glands excessively to express naturally. Anal glands are 2 sacs that are located on either side of the rectum. They also secrete a fluid when the canines are frightened. 

Do groomers express dog glands?

It is a fact that groomers express glands in a different way than vets. Groomers usually perform the expressions by putting pressure on the outside to push the stinky fluid out. 

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