Someone in our house has a smart new haircut today – and it is not me or the kids; Choco our Border terrier has been for his springtime spruce up. Borders’ coats are not clipped, rather they are “stripped” – which involves pulling out the coarse hair leaving them sleek and handsome. This is certainly a job that is best done by a more skilled professional than me and he comes home from the groomer looking fabulous. He also gets to have a run around with his groomer’s own Border terrier – so a haircut and a play – happy days.

As he was having a general spruce up today I thought it was time I gave him a bit of a check over and emptied his anal glands. Choco does not suffer terribly with his anal glands but he does have a bum rub every now and then! His glands were pretty full so he will certainly be more comfortable now that they are emptied. Anal glands are scent glands that fill up with smelly liquid which should empty onto the faeces as it passes out of the bottom – thus helping to mark dogs’ territory.

Lots of dogs that we see have anal glands that do not empty properly and this can cause irritation – hence we have to manually express the glands. For many dogs this is as all that is necessary but some will have such bad recurrent anal gland issues that we opt to remove the glands surgically. Obviously this is quite an involved procedure and requires an anaesthetic but generally has a good outcome and a bum rubbing- free life going forward.