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Dog Anal Gland Ruptures and Treatment

I noticed on Wednesday that my 7-year-oldChihuahua started scooting around on her bottom. She had not had any problems in the past with this area, but when I looked she had a huge blister looking growth on the right side of her bottom. The following morning when i got her up the blister/growth had burst leaving what I thought was a small hole.


I took her in the morning to the veterinarian, and they cleaned the wound and expressed the left gland that the vet said was very full. This did not seem to hurt my Chihuahua and the vet gave her an injection and a course of antibiotics and told me to bathe it for a week in a special solution that they had given me and told me to return with her in a week.

But I am really worried as he said that there may be a growth/tumor in the gland and that he would not be able to tell until the swelling has gone down. Is it ok to leave it for a whole week? My Chihuahua is fine and is eating drinking and going to the toilet. If it is a tumor isn't it dangerous to leave it? The vet said she will probably have to come in and be sedated and have the wound cleaned.

Is there anything else I can do? I have started my dog with extra fiber. Please help. I am so worried that it may be cancer and that I didn't notice this quick enough. I have other Chihuahuas. How can I stop this from happening to any of the others?



Veterinarian Suggestions for Ruptured Dog Anal Gland Care


Hello there,

Your veterinarian’s plan for treatment and monitoring sounds very good to me. It is next to impossible to determine if a small tumor is present in or around an anal gland when the area is swollen and infected. Treating these problems first and rechecking in a week or so is exactly what I do in cases like these. In the meantime, take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of anal gland infections in dogs are NOT caused by tumors. There is an excellent chance that your veterinarian will be able to put your fears to rest at your recheck appointment. Worst case scenario, delaying treatment for an anal gland tumor by a week will not have an adverse effect on your dog’s condition.

Preventing anal gland problems in dogs is relatively straightforward. You have already increased the fiber content of the diet, which is helpful since it bulks up the feces, encouraging the glands to express when the dog defecates. If you notice any of your dogs scooting in the future, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Expressing the gland early in the progression of the condition will usually prevent impaction, infection, and rupture.



Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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