Dog Gland Removal Pros and Cons

Dog anal gland removal is a common procedure for dogs with recurrent anal gland problems. It involves surgically removing the anal glands to prevent future issues. This procedure can offer many benefits for dogs and their owners, including relieving discomfort and reducing the risk of infections. However, it is important to consider the potential risks and drawbacks associated with this procedure before making a decision. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of dog anal gland removal to help you make an informed decision.

Can a dog’s anal glands be removed?

Dogs have two small glands located just inside their anus, called anal glands. These glands produce a smelly, oily substance that is used for marking territory. Sometimes these glands can become clogged and infected, causing pain and discomfort for the dog. In some cases, the vet may recommend removing the anal glands.

Removing the anal glands is a surgical procedure that is typically performed under general anesthesia. The vet will make a small incision near the anus and carefully remove the glands. The recovery time for this procedure can vary depending on the dog’s overall health and the extent of the surgery. Some dogs may need to stay in the hospital for a few days, while others may be able to go home the same day.

Anal gland removal is considered a permanent solution and after the procedure, the dog will no longer produce the smelly, oily substance. This can be beneficial for dogs that have chronic problems with their anal glands, such as frequent infections or abscesses. However, the removal of anal glands may not solve the underlying problem that caused the glands to become infected or clogged in the first place.

This procedure carries risks like any surgical procedure, such as bleeding, infection, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Therefore, consult with a veterinarian with expertise in this area and weigh the pros and cons of the procedure before making a decision.

Pros

Relief from discomfort and pain: One of the main advantages of anal gland removal is that it can provide relief from discomfort and pain caused by infected or blocked glands. This can be especially beneficial for dogs that are prone to recurring anal gland issues.

Reduced risk of infection: Removing the anal glands can also reduce the risk of infection, as there is no longer a gland present to become infected. This can lead to a healthier and more comfortable dog.

Improved hygiene: Anal glands can produce a very unpleasant odor, and removing them can improve your dog’s hygiene and reduce the overall smell in your home.

Better quality of life: By eliminating the discomfort and pain associated with anal gland issues, your dog’s overall quality of life can be greatly improved.

Cons

Surgery risks: As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with anal gland removal. These can include bleeding, infection, and complications from anesthesia.

Cost: Anal gland removal can be a costly procedure, and it may not be covered by pet insurance.

Incontinence: In rare cases, dogs may experience incontinence after anal gland removal. This can be caused by damage to the sphincter muscles that control the release of urine and feces.

Recurrent issues: Although anal gland removal can eliminate the discomfort and pain caused by infected or blocked glands, it may not prevent the issue from recurring.

Risk of malignancy: As anal glands have a risk of malignancy, it is important to have an experienced veterinarian to diagnose and remove any malignant tumors.

How much does it cost to remove dog anal glands?

The cost to remove a dog’s anal glands can vary depending on the location, the veterinarian performing the procedure, and the dog’s individual needs. On average, the cost can range from $300 to $1,000. However, in some cases, the cost may be higher if the dog requires additional tests or treatment before or after the procedure.

The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and involves the removal of the glands through a small incision in the dog’s anus. The recovery time for the dog can vary, but most dogs are able to return to normal activity within a few days.

Anal gland removal is considered a major surgery and should only be performed by a veterinarian with experience in the procedure. Additionally, it’s essential to follow post-operative care instructions provided by the veterinarian to ensure proper healing and recovery.

In general, it’s also recommended to consider other options before resorting to surgery, such as changes in diet, weight management, and regular expression of the glands by a professional groomer or vet.

My dog still scooting after glands removed

Here are some possible reasons why a dog may still be scooting after their anal glands have been removed:

Impacted or infected anal glands: Even though the glands have been removed, the area can still become impacted or infected. This can cause discomfort and the dog may continue to scoot in an attempt to alleviate the pain.

Sensitive skin: Some dogs may have sensitive skin in the anal area which can be irritated by certain types of food, grooming products, or even certain types of poop. This can cause discomfort and lead to scooting.

Allergic reaction: It is possible that the dog may have an allergic reaction to the surgery or the materials used during the procedure. This can cause itching and discomfort in the anal area, leading to scooting.

Post-surgery complications: In rare cases, there may be complications from the surgery such as an infection or wound that has not healed properly. This can cause discomfort and lead to scooting.

Behavioral issue: Scooting can also be a behavioral issue and not necessarily a medical one. In this case, work with a behaviorist to determine the underlying cause and address it.

If your dog is still scooting after their glands have been removed, consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan. This may involve additional testing or medications to alleviate discomfort and address any potential complications from the surgery. Proper follow-up care is crucial to ensure the best outcome for your pet.

Free or low cost dog anal gland removal near me

These programs and services may have eligibility requirements, such as proof of income or residency, and may have restrictions on the number of pets per household. It is best to check with the specific program or clinic for their eligibility requirements and restrictions.

VCA Charities – This is a nationwide network of veterinary clinics that offer a variety of low-cost veterinary services, including dog anal gland removal. The services are available to low-income pet owners, and the cost is based on a sliding scale based on household income.

PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) – PAWS offers free or low-cost spay/neuter services, including dog anal gland removal, to eligible low-income pet owners in the Philadelphia area.

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) – The ASPCA has a number of programs and services aimed at making pet care more affordable for low-income pet owners, including a low-cost spay/neuter program that includes dog anal gland removal.

Humane Society of the United States – The Humane Society of the United States offers a number of programs and services aimed at helping low-income pet owners, including a low-cost spay/neuter program that includes dog anal gland removal.

Local SPCAs and Humane Societies – Many local SPCAs and humane societies offer low-cost spay/neuter services, including dog anal gland removal, to eligible low-income pet owners.

Community Clinics – Some local community clinics offer low-cost veterinary services, including dog anal gland removal, to eligible low-income pet owners.

Private Vet Clinics – Some private vet clinics offer low-cost or reduced-cost services, including dog anal gland removal, to eligible low-income pet owners.

Conclusion of dog anal gland removal

Pros:

  1. Relief from anal gland issues: Removal of the anal glands can relieve dogs from various issues like pain, infection, impaction, and rupture.
  2. Improved hygiene: After removal, there will be no more gland secretions, which can reduce the risk of infections and unpleasant odors.
  3. Better quality of life: Dogs will no longer have to experience discomfort or pain, allowing for a better quality of life.

Cons:

  1. Invasive procedure: The removal of the anal glands requires surgical intervention, which can be invasive and carry risks.
  2. Potential complications: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, or adverse reaction to anesthesia.
  3. Lifetime care: Without anal glands, dogs will require lifelong care, including regular cleaning and monitoring of the area to prevent infections.

In conclusion, anal gland removal is a surgical procedure performed to remove the anal glands in dogs experiencing problems with them. It is performed under general anesthesia and requires a period of recovery. It may be associated with some complications and after-effects, and it is a permanent solution. It is always best to consult with a veterinarian to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure before making a decision.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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