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Has anyone ever used something called ANAL GLANDZ which is brought from America to help your dog empty his anal glands. Can't find it in the UK. 

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I am not a vet, but my feeling is that this product is not really necessary. It is applied by putting drops of it on a very warm compress that is then applied to the anal glands before they are manually expressed. It is my completely unprofessional opinion that the warm compress is what is softening the impaction, offering gentle pain relief to the dog, and making the manual expression easier and more productive. I would be very cautious about placing any chemicals (even mild, herbal ones) on such a tender area. Warm water, possibly with a very small amount of boric acid stirred in should do the trick.

Proper diet (one that allows your dogs' stool to be moderately firm) helps avoid many anal gland issues.
My pup has had anal issues on and off since 4 months old. It was anytime I tried to change his diet over to a new food even slowly. I agree that a product shouldn't be necessay if you try to insure his food is giving him a good firm stool so the glands can express themselves. Some glands are genetically located a bit higher up and without a firm stool, they fill up too much. So many of the new foods that have great ingredients like cranberries, veggies etc seem to make my dogs stool too soft. So I had to empty them out. My dog doesn't show any signs of being in discomfort when I do it, actually I thought he was relieved to have that pressure removed. It is so fast to empty too. We only have one that fills actually so I usually don't even bother with the other one since it never has been a problem and we have gone quite a few months now without any problems.
I agree - the secret's in the stool.
My boys are fed raw meat and bones and one of the many advantages I have found is that the anal glands express themselves with no intervention needed which is a bonus!
Anal gland issues can also be a sign that the dog has a allergy to the food or an ingredient in the food. I groom dogs for a living and I have had clients that the dog started getting anal gland issues after a food change so she changed food and has not had an problem since.
Thank you all for the advice. Riley only ever has one that is full when the vet empties it and it is runny and not thick so don't really know why he can't empty it himself. His poos are solid and I do feed him raw meat, veggies and some biscuit food plus I am now putting some pet bran on his food which someone uses for her dog and seems to have done the trick with her dogs anal glands. She also puts goats yoghurt on her dogs food so maybe a mixture of the yoghurt and bran is helping. I have managed to find the Anal glandz stuff in the UK and I spoke to a man on the telephone and he said I have nothing to lose as it is money back guarantee if it doesn't work for my dog. It has silica in it which apparently helps open up the glands so the dog can express them himself.
forgot to ask is it easy to empty the glands as I have never attempted this and wouldn't unless I was shown properly. It makes sense to know how to do it especially if its a weekend and the dog needs his glands emptied because its causing discomfort.
Christine our vet charges 20.00 dollars per expression and actually had me learn from the vet tech to do it myself. First time didn't go well at all. I was afraid to press to hard. But you do have to apply some decent pressure and you will feel it just pop or release. Learning where they are located on your dog is key. I went back for what we called "anal expression 101". I was determined to learn to do it. I keep plastic gloves and use a tad of vasoline and put him in the tub. It takes a second to do. And if careful, you don't really even need to bath them back there afterwards. Depends on your dog. Some might think it gross but I just figure it is no different than changing baby diapers or other motherly duties. My dog doesn't seem to act like it bothers him at all. No pain for sure. The first time I was successful my husband and I clapped and then laughed at the strange situation that brought such an accomplished feeling. I said to him "there is $20.00 saved". And just like Riley, Cash only has one that won't empty but that is due to it being higher up. Only really solid stool expresses that one. And it is suppose to be runny when emptied, not thick. Those glands are used to mark their scent when they poop. Each dog has his own unique scent. That is why dogs smell each others backside upon meeting and also seem to sniff others "droppings" so intently. We are on a good streak right now and I haven't had to deal with it for over two months now.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKH-419L4CY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8Cr1MQaGHc&feature=related

Here are two videos that show the process ... it is kind of hard to see exactly what they are doing, especially with the black dog. It is also easier to express little dogs, as it is normally not necessary to actually put a finger inside their anus ... but that is neither here nor there when discussing irish setters.

Essentially, you need to wear a disposable latex glove, lubricate your index finger with ky jelly, hold up your dogs tail and gently insert your index finger about half an inch or so and feel for the glands ... there is one on each side at approximately 4 oclock and 8 oclock (usually!) ... gently "milk" each gland by applying squeezing and downward pressure using your finger and thumb. Have a cloth nestled in your palm to catch the fluid and do NOT stand directly behind the dog. Have him stand outside or in the bathtub. It is something that takes a bit of practice, so expect it to feel awkward and take a bit longer the first time. It really helps to have someone to help hold the dog still and talk reassuringly to him (and YOU)!! Hope this helps.
Because our 8 o'clock is at the 10 o'clock position, I had trouble finding it at first AND that is why it doesn't release as well on it's own at times. I find if someone else holds up the dogs tail, you can use the other hand to cover the dogs skirt with a towel so you avoid the bathing part afterwards. Years ago our second irish had major anal issues. If you even bent his tail the wrong way he would release on his own. Sprayed walls and cars often. It was awful. And our vet used to do him all the time and no matter where that poor guy stood, our dog got him. It was like he could aim for the vet as payback.
Oh dear! Given some of the discussions we've had here regarding "to neuter or not to neuter," I hesitate to mention that the anal sacks can be removed IF they are causing the dog undue difficulties. I would like to think that my own convenience would not lead me to do it ... rather if it was causing frequent pain/infection for the dog ... BUT I think if my walls and cars were getting sprayed very often, I would be signing up fairly quickly!!

Sue is exactly right, though, about the sacks not always being in the "correct" spot and that is a big part of the problem, often.
ROFL Gigi!
I do not recall it even being an option back then. It was about 22 years ago. We just learned to be careful around him and his tail. Thankfully his were never infected or anything close. He was our only dog with anal issues. We have been lucky I guess. I will say that some groomers will express them for you when you have your dog groomed/bathed etc. Dogs of ours that never had problems with them...I would insist they left them alone. I wouldn't do it just because, I always thought why open a can of worms.
I have had two setters that have needed their anal glands emptying about every six months. They get exactly the same food as the rest of my dogs, including raw food and bones
Just seems like those two dogs were going to have a problem, regardless of food
And I gladly pay my vet to do it, its one of few chores with dogs I would rather not do!
It is important to get it done regularly , if neglected it can lead to painful inflammations and abscesses, even affecting fertility and willingness to mate

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