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This blog post was written in September 2014, it has been updated and republished with new information.
Summary: If you're looking for a product to help remove the anal gland scent from fabric, try Nature's Miracle Advanced or a DIY Thieves Cleaner (ingredients below).
- 16-ounce glass spray bottle
- 3 tbsp of organic witch hazel
- 50-80 drops of Germ Fighter by Plant Therapy
- Fill the bottle with water
Last night kind of sucked big time. Rodrigo's anal glands expressed in a round circle the size of a 50 cent piece on the sectional. I've been wondering what happened – he was just laying there and maybe he farted or maybe it just happened – this has happened with Sydney in the past, but it wasn't so much.
All of a sudden J said, “wow, did you fart or do you have [dog poo] on you.” He made Rodrigo get down so that he can check his backside (with his long hair, it's been known to happen if he has a loose or toothpasty poo) and that's when J saw the 50 cent piece.
Surprisingly he touched it and smelled his fingers (hee hee hee) and then all hell broke loose. Not really, but he wasn't very happy and started talking about getting rid of the sofa, that the dogs should be banned from the furniture and whatnot.
I got to work.
A Product Every Dog Owner Should Have
There is one product every dog owner should have on hand and that's Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain & Odor Remover. It must be the “advanced” formula. It was recommended to me by friends when I was about to throw away a chair soaked in cat urine. I sprayed the chair enough for the Nature's Miracle to soak into the cushions (the urine had been there for a bit) and put the chair on the front porch.
I didn't believe it would work.
That was 4 years ago – the chair is Zoey's favorite seat in the house. Update: we kept that chair for a total of 9 more years before getting rid of it (due to old age).
Nature's Miracle Advanced and Anal Glands
Turns out that it works just as effectively on anal gland fluid and the scent. While J was pricing the cost of a new sofa, I started looking for our bottle of Nature's Miracle Advanced and sprayed it on the 50 cent piece area and within seconds, the anal glad smell was gone and the fabric wasn't damaged.
I put my nose to it many times during the evening. It was gone.
I sprayed a few other places where Rodrigo had sat down to make sure.
Expressing Anal Glands
I've written about expressing anal glands in the past. I'm no expert, but I knew Rodrigo wasn't done. He'd been skooching earlier and since a problem with anal glands is unheard of with him, I was concerned.
I cleaned up his backside using hydrogen peroxide (the only thing that will remove the anal gland oils) on a tissue, then pouring it on my hands, because I didn't use gloves or a thick enough wad of tissue. The anal gland smell was gone immediately from my hands, but not from Rodrigo.
He went outside to “work it out” and came back in. I wiped the area again with hydrogen peroxide (using a thicker wad of tissue) and the smell greatly reduced.
Diet and Anal Glands
Should raw fed dogs have issues with anal glands? In a perfect world, no. I had been feeding the dogs food from a source that Rodrigo couldn't eat. The food gave Rodrigo gas and loose stool that can't effectively express his anal glands on the way out.
Read more about Sourcing Raw Meals.
Anal Glands and Dogs Health
So now I'm wondering if Rodrigo needs to make a trip to the vet; could he have an anal sac impaction?
An impaction is when the anal glands aren't expressing naturally or completely when the dogs poop. This could be because a dog's poop is too small to do the job or too soft (which could be the case with Rodrigo). To avoid a potential infection, I would need to take him to the vet to have them manually expressed. I don't want to do it myself because I don't know how to do it effectively.
When the anal gland scent started to diminish and I confirmed that Rodrigo wasn't showing any signs of illness, I decided to wait until the morning to see where we stood. If the smell was still very strong after his morning bathroom break, then I would call for a vet visit in the morning.
In the meantime, Rodrigo gets some canned pumpkin (the pure kind) or Olewo carrots in his breakfast to help make his poo a little more solid and more fermented vegetables (or rabbit fear/ears) in his evening meal will provide more fiber.