Anal gland question

We occasionally notice a fishy odor from our Sam. I'm positive it's coming from his anal glands. At first, I thought the glands were impacted, but he's not showing any symptoms aside from the odor. His stools are normal, he doesn't bite his anus, he doesn't rub his bum on the floor, and the glands don't feel hard. He also does not struggle to defecate. The odor comes and goes every couple days. And it's very strong.

I'll have our vet check him out next week. Curious if anyone has had this experience. 


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  • Our girl has a similar issue, no problems with the glands so to speak, but she emits and odor.  Also when she cleans herself at times she gets the same odor on her breath.  I will be interested to follow what ever responses you get to this post.  We had the vet do a check and all was normal.  We feed a single protein Zignature dry, which I had read might help....

    • Thanks, Sheree. Did your vet advise if it is normal to emit some odor? We feed our pup Fromm Large Breed Puppy, but he also gets treats during the day when training (Purebites Chicken and nibbles of string cheese for high reward). 

      I will be sure to update you once we speak to our vet next week.

  • Hi all, we spoke to our vet yesterday.  She said even if he's not showing signs or symptoms, he might need them expressed if we're continuing to notice the odor. We brought him in and the vet tech confirmed one of his glands was enlarged and swollen. Maybe it was a one-time thing or we'll need to schedule regular expressions. 

    Sheree, when you brought your girl to the vet, did they express her glands to see if there was any excess that she wasn't expressing on her own? 

    • The vet said that her glands were empty.  I really think unfortunately for us it’s an ongoing issue.  It may be just “normal for her”. It seem a little cyclical, but I can’t identify the causes or triggers.  Hope your guy is good going forward.  

    • Josh, make sure your groomer is not expressing the glands; some groomers will just do it routinely, and they usually do it externally, which can actually cause them to become impacted. 
      Otherwise, a little extra fiber in the diet can sometimes help. A tablespoon or two of cooked mashed sweet potatoes or pure canned pumpkin added to his dinner may help, and won't cause any harm. 

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