This is a pretty drastic surgery for something that can usually be controlled by diet and chiropractic. But, first, let’s back up and talk about anal glands. Dogs and cats have two glands, one on each side of their butthole (about 4 and 7 o’clock). Anal glands fill up with wonderfully stinky, clear, brown fluid that lubricates the feces and tells other dogs “I was here.” Basically, a scent gland. When things get messed up, the glands don’t empty with each poop, they fill with bacteria (I mean, if you were a bacteria, wouldn’t you want to live there?) and get infected, swollen, painful, and may even rupture. Most dogs tell you their anal glands are messed up by scooting their butt on the ground – this scratches their butthole, and helps empty out some of the fluid (and leaves a smelly streak on the rug). So, if we take out the anal glands, this won’t happen anymore. But, have we really treated the issue? No, we’ve just cut off our nose so it doesn’t run any more when we have a cold though. So, what is my solution? Normally, three things make messed up anal glands: food allergies, ultra short-tails, and an out of alignment rear end. My fix: chiropractic, work on food and leaky gut issues (you’ll have to read that blog J) and hope your dog didn’t have its tail docked as a pup. For some doggies, we flush their anal glands under anesthesia so we start fresh. For some dogs, we correct a food allergy. For some, it’s all of the above and a good chiropractic adjustment. One size does not fit all for anal gland treatment, but I reserve removal for severe cases where the rest just doesn’t work.