Small dog owners everywhere, after enough years with their petite companions, learn about the dirty duty. Occasionally big dog owners cross into this territory, although often not with the same frequency and familiarity of their smaller buddies. Its even more rare for a feline to need for the stinky relief. Of course we’re talking anal glands!
Why does this happen all of a sudden? In Dr. Nancy Kay’s blog on Anal Sac Disease she mentions many potential contributors in the section referring to possible treatment and predisposing factors. I believe there may be another connection.
Over and over, I have seen dogs that began their life seeing the groomer regularly. After the grooming visits are discontinued or reduced, they develop a scooting and/or anal gland impaction issue. This was especially apparent as the economy shifted and families were adjusting where they spent their income. In the first few waves of our last recession, I noticed I was getting quite a few calls to see why Fido was scooting all of a sudden.
Now the question… Which came first the issue or the expression?
These dogs may have had anal gland issues their whole life, and the family would have never known. The groomer was expressing the glands as a part of their basic service. After the service was discontinued, the dog’s body, scooting and excessive grooming in that area were insufficient to express the glands.
Is it possible by manually expressing the glands, the anal sacs came to rely on the manual expression? Or would these pets have had issues earlier in life, if the groomer hadn’t been expressing them?
What do you think, can grooming history affect anal sac health in dogs?