About Anal Glands
These are found on all dogs of both genders. There are actually 2 of them, found right under the skin that surrounds the Maltipoo’s anal muscles. There is one on each side. They hold a liquid that is secreted in very small amounts when dogs encounter each other. For this reason, they are also referred to as scent glands. Only a minuscule amount is released during these events; however this is all that is needed for one dog to 'read' the scent of another. It relays information including the dog's gender, health status and even his mood. Additionally, a small amount may be released when a dog pushes out a bowel movement.
If Anal Sacs Swell and Break Open
The glands may fill up with too much fluid. If so, this is referred to as being engorged. If you know what your dog's anal glands normally look like, you will be able to take note if they appear swollen. When this happens, it stretches the sensitive anal skin and can cause itching, discomfort or both. When they are swollen in this way, they may break open. This may happen when the dog scoots or if he pushed out a large and/or stool.
Scooting - Scooting is the motion that a dog makes when they rub their rear end across the floor or ground. Many dogs will do this on either carpeting or grass since this provides a rough textured surface to scratch the 'itch' of swollen glands. The roughness of the surface and the motion that the dog makes can cause the skin to rip open.
Licking - When the skin stretches and the area is itching and uncomfortable, dogs may lick their butt
as a method to scratch at it.
Bowel movements- Sometimes, when a Maltipoo eliminates, if the bowel movement is very hard or large, it will press against the swollen sacs and cause the secretions to come out.
If the glands burst open in this way, the oil will spill out. It has an exceedingly overwhelming bad odor. Some equate this to a skunk smell and others describe it as a thick, musty smell. In any case, it is strong enough to make the most composed person swoon. The liquid itself will be a dark brown color
and strong cleanser will need to be used if this has happened on carpeting.
If the skin breaks in this way, a Maltipoo will feel relief since the pressure is released. However, that skin will now be quite vulnerable to infection until it heals closed. You may wish to dab this with some antibiotic gel right before your dog lies down for the night. Also, keep an eye on the area. This should be checked by a veterinarian is the skin becomes red, swollen or otherwise shows signs of infection.
Troubles can arise if the oil builds up to the point of being engorged but the glands are not expressed either manually by an owner, groomer or vet or by the dog due to scooting. For this reason, as soon as you notice that they are filling up or you see that your Maltipoo is rubbing his rear across the floor, they should be expressed. If not, the fluid may congeal and turn into a thick, paste-like substance that some compare to the consistency of peanut butter.
In these instances, a veterinarian will need to perform a minor surgical procedure. Dogs are first given a sedative. A small incision is made on each sac and a catheter will be put into the duct of the gland. The vet will then slowly inject water into the gland until the thickened substance is removed. They are then flushed out with water and fluids to prevent infection. Most veterinarians will then inject an antibiotic ointment into the glands to protect against any possible bacterial infection. A prescribed oral antibiotic may be given for 7 to 10 days afterward.