Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are common. Your bully’s anal glands can be found on both sides of the rectum at 5 and 7 o’clock. They are flat when empty and hazelnut size when full.
Your bulldog’s anal glands are embedded in the anus muscles, thus not readily visible. Each one of the pairs has its own glandular sac and attached ducts that normally empty into the rectum during defecation.
Bulldog and French bulldog anal glands are notorious for their oily, pasty, grey-colored residue that permeates with a pungent, unpleasant odor.
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs FUNCTION:
The current medical purpose of these glands is not clear, but it’s speculated that during pre-domestication times they served to mark territory and as identification by scent, which might explain why dogs sniff that area.
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs might occur when their normal drainage is impaired. On those occasions, they can become swollen and infected.
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Clinical PRESENTATION:
- SCOOTING: dragging the back end on the floor
- BITING & ITCHING: trying to bite the back end
- REDNESS: redness of the perianal area due to self-trauma and inflammation
- PAIN: cry in pain, bite their hind end
- DEPRESSION: stop eating, act irritable
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TYPE
- IMPACTED: most common bulldog anal gland problem
- INFLAMED (Sacculitis): a complicated form of impaction (redness, swelling, pain)
- ABSCESS: infected, inflamed anal gland that can abscess and rupture (open wound)
- TUMOR: on the rare occasion, the sac can become cancerous
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs IMPACTION
Bulldog anal gland impaction is the most common anal gland problem seen by the veterinary team.
An experienced team member can manually express the bulldog’s impacted anal glands and relieve the impaction.
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Anal Gland Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs RULE OF THUMB:
Expressing anal glands in bulldogs should be done rectally. When done rectally, the veterinary team member can feel if the gland is full or empty and if they are expressible. In contrast, when done by only pressure from the outside, as many groomers do (non-rectal), one can’t tell if they are empty or full, nor can they assure you that they were fully expressed.
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PREVENTION:
WEIGHT: Obesity could be related to chronic anal gland problems, weight loss might help.
DIET: A blended, high-fiber diet might help with healthy BM and natural gland expression.
SUPPLEMENTS: Botanical natural fibers like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Gentle Move & Anal Gland Care can help. They are palatable chews that are easy to administer as treats.
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs IMPACTION SELF CARE:
Most bulldog and French bulldog owners opt to have the glands expressed by an experienced veterinary team member, however, for the brave bully owner seeking “fame & glory” it can be attempted at home.
- GLOVE: Place a disposable glove on your hand, anal gland residue is not pleasant.
- KY JELLY: Place a lubricant on fingers if attempting to express rectally.
- TEAMWORK: Most times, you will need someone to hold your dog and keep her/him upright.
- DIGIT: Insert one-third of your thumb (for right anal gland) or index finger (for left AG) into your dog’s rectum fingernail deep, and with your respective thumb or index finger, grab the outer wall. Move the rectal finger up and down between 4-5 o’clock (rt) or 7-8 o’clock (left) and try to locate a pea to grape size bump.
- SQUEEZE: Try and squeeze it, you should feel anal gland contents coming out.
- INSPECT: Check your rectal finger for the residue and inspect it for abnormalities and blood.
- WIPE: Wipe the area with a bully antiseptic wipes or gel.
- FREQUENCY: Each bulldog’s needs are different, start once monthly, and if empty, you can extend it.
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs IMPACTION CARE:
EXPRESSING GLANDS: I recommend that it’s done rectally, by an experienced, veterinary team member.
SEDATION: In some cases, the pet might need to be sedated:
- ABSCESS: Repair ruptured anal gland abscess
- PAIN: too painful to be expressed awake
- MEDICATE: Flush and medically pack the duct/gland
- ANTIBIOTICS: for abscesses or infected glands
- PAIN RELIEF: such as NSAIDs and Gabapentin
- ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: such as cortisone and NSAIDs
- PAIN RELIEF:: Like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Comfort and Ache Relief
- ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: Like Dr. Kramer’s V4B Bully Fish Oil Immune-Joint-Skin
- AG EXPRESS: Natural anal gland emptying like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Gentle Move & Anal Gland Health
- WIPES: Clean irritated and infected area with Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Antiseptic Wipes
SURGERY: At times, anal gland surgical removal is recommended (sacculectomy). Reasons for this could be:
- CHRONIC RECURRENT INFECTION
- TUMORS OF THE ANAL SAC
Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS:
Tip#1 TAIL, ANAL & PERIANAL: Most common reasons for back-end itching and redness in bulldogs are:
- Bulldog Tail Fold Dermatitis
- Bulldog Anal Gland Impaction
- Bulldog Vaginal Fold Dermatitis (female)
- Bulldog Flea Allergy
- Bulldog Other Allergy
- Bulldog Whipworms
Tips #2 BULLY SKIN FOLD DERMATITIS: The anal gland odor is often described as a “Yeasty or Fishy Smell.” A severe bulldog skin fold dermatitis can have a similar smell, thus, make sure to examine your bully’s tail folds.
Tip #3 BULLY MAINTENANCE: Familiarize yourself with your bulldog’s back end (tail, rectum, perianal area, vaginal folds) and adhere to my “Zen & Bulldog Maintenance” preventive program that includes regular wiping with bully antiseptic wipes, expressing the glands when called for, providing natural ache relief, anti-inflammatory, and anal gland relief supplements.
Tip #4 DR. VISIT: If you suspect an anal gland problem, see your vet before it turns into a bigger problem.
Tip #5 IDEAL: Expressing anal glands in bulldogs should be done rectally, when done from the outside one cannot tell if they are empty. When done rectally, the team member can feel if the gland is full or empty and if they are expressible.
Anal Glands Problems in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNINGS:
Warning #1 PAIN: Expressing anal glands can be painful, at times, mild sedation is required.
Warning #2 GROOMERS: Groomers, and even medical staff, sometimes offer (or are asked by the pet owner) to perform a preventive anal gland expression. It might be best to leave the glands alone if your bulldog is not exhibiting any anal gland-related problems and never exhibited one in the past. Repeated prophylactic anal gland expression might start a problem rather than prevent one.
Warning #3 BULLY TAIL FOLD: Anal gland problems can compound bully tail fold dermatitis in bulldogs and French bulldogs suffering from tight, deep-pocketed, or corkscrew tails. This might happen due to anal gland debris trapped in the fold and self-trauma due to itching and scooting.
Warning #4 SEDATION: Expressing anal glands can be painful, at times mild sedation is required.
Warning #5 SURGERY: Anal sac surgical removal should be reserved for tumors and severe chronic cases. There are some potential risks such as:
- ANESTHESIA: As for any surgical procedure
- INCONTINENCE: The anal glands are embedded near the anal sphincter. Scarring or injury to the nerves and muscles could lead to some degree of fecal incontinence.
- DRAINING TRACT: If the surgeon failed to remove all the glandular tissue, or an infection of the surgical site occurred, then an abscess with a draining tract will form forcing a revision (cleanup) of the original surgery.
“An Ounce of PREVENTION Is Worth a Pound of CURE”