Anal Gland

Anal Sacs & Diseases

Anal sacs are two hollow structures that serve as a reservoir for an oily secretion that is emptied directly into them.

The purpose of this mechanism are for individual identification and territorial marking. The odor is distinct for each individual. That is why dogs tend to sniff each other beneath the tail.

If the sacs become overly full or inflamed, the dog may suffer considerable discomfort.

Four categories of anal sac disease:
1. Impaction
2. Sacculitis
3. Abscess
4. Neoplasia (tumor)

Impaction
Impaction is most common and happens when the secretion become trapped, stretching and enforcing the sacs. Possible causes of impaction include secretion that is too thick to pass through. Another contributing factor could be weak or sparse muscle fibers surrounding the sacs.

Sacculitis
Sacculitis is when bacteria proliferate in the sacs, usually entering through feces passing over the duct. Secretion turns yellowish, with or without blood, and result to anal sacculitis. Secretion may leak onto the surrounding area, causing anus and underside of the tail to become moist and sticky. 

Abscesses
Is a more advanced stage of sacculitis when the pus is trapped in the sac. This will cause the area to be warm, reddened and very painful. Eventually, it may break through the skin, exuding its contents made up of creamy or bloody thick material.

Neoplasia – Tumor
Tumor of glands are rare and can be a serious problem. It may grow locally, interfering with normal anal tone and function. May also spread or metastasize, to other parts of the body, causing organ dysfunction or even death.

If you suspect your fur kid have any anal sac issue, wait no further. A veterinary visit is a must.

Express Anal Gland

There are two ways to express the anal gland, external and internal. The external technique is done from the outside and is the most common method used. The internal technique we would usually recommend you to get your veterinarian to do it. As it is done with a lubricated finger inserted into the rectum. Usually a preferred method for heavy dogs, tense dogs or dogs with poor muscle tone when the sacs can’t be empty out with external technique.

Expressing anal gland (externally) will release a smelly liquid from the anus. Would advise to do it during shower as you can quickly wash the liquid away and clean your fur baby’s butt.

Steps to do an external technique:
1. Raise the tail to a vertical position.
2. Near the anus at the 4 and 8 o clock position, you might be able to feel a small lump.
3. Using your thumb and index finger, place it at the 4 and 8 o clock position.
4. Push upwards to express the anal gland.

Note: Anal gland may squirt or flow out. Never ever place your face right in front of your fur baby’s rear area when expressing anal gland.

Concentrated Shampoo vs Diluted Shampoo

The Frequently Asked Question

Why do you dilute the shampoo? Is it necessary? Is diluted shampoo easy to use compared to concentrated ones?

We have been diluting shampoo since our groomer starts attending grooming lessons. And owners have been asking about diluting the shampoo and what’s the ratio. And we decided to write this entry to share our own experience about diluting your fur baby’s shampoo.

Concentrated Shampoo

When we mentioned concentrated shampoo, we meant using the shampoo out from the bottle directly onto your pet. This has always been the way most pet owners shower their fur babies. However, not many know that concentrated shampoo may be harsh on their pet’s delicate skin.

Diluted Shampoo

By diluting your pet’s shampoo, it is mild enough to come in contact with your pet’s skin. Cats and dogs have a thinner skin compared to us humans. Thus, the sensitivity of the skin is much higher. With harsh chemicals or ingredients, it may trigger rashes or allergy reaction. Diluting shampoo reduces all of these risks.

If your pet is on medicated shampoo, we advise you to dilute the shampoo as the ingredient used can be a little harsh on their skin. Which may cause your pet’s skin to dry out instead of moisturizing. P.S. It all depends on the individual, not all pet reacts the same way.

Diluted shampoo also helps you use less yet able to give your pet a nice lather which cleans the skin thoroughly. In a way, you save your shampoo by a lot.

How To Dilute Your Pet’s Shampoo

Things to prepare:

  • mixing bottle or a pail (depending on which you prefer)
  • your pet’s shampoo
  • water
  • marbles (if you’re using mixing bottle. 2 pieces will be enough.)

Step 1: Place the marbles in the mixing bottle, add water and shampoo. Roughly around 1:10 ratio. If you’re using a pail, add the shampoo in it then water. Usually, the gushing of the water helps to mix and dilute the shampoo.

Step 2: If you’re using mixing bottle, shake well. The marbles will help with the mixing.

Step 3: After you’ve soaked your pet’s coat, use the diluted shampoo to lather its coat. Rinse well after lather and dry your pet.

How To Clean Your Pet’s Ears

Anatomy of Pet’s Ears

Canine Ear AnatomyPhoto Source: Miles & Emma

Before cleaning your pet’s ear, it is best to understand the anatomy. This is to prevent going too deep while cleaning and hurting your pet’s ear. Above is the illustration of a canine ear. Unlike our ears, their ear’s anatomy is in the form of an L shape. Thus, extra care is needed when cleaning their ears.

Things to prepare:

  • Cleaning solution
  • Ear powder (for dogs that requires inner ear fur removal)
  • Ear Forceps
  • Cotton
  • Treats (for rewarding your pet after ear cleaning)

Inner Ear Fur

Not all breeds require inner ear fur removal. Although there are some groomers who might refuse to pluck out the inner ear fur, the majority still does. Dogs with droopy ears, such as poodle and schnauzer, are prone to hair buildup in the ear canal. This can prevent airflow and trap moisture, leading to an increased growth of bacteria or fungi. These cause irritations and infections to occur.

Removing the inner ear fur can be painful if done wrong and may cause a traumatic experience for your pet. If you’re afraid or unsure how to handle your pet for this procedure, we would advise you to leave it to the professionals.

Steps to inner ear fur removal:

  1. Get you and your pet in a comfortable position. Make sure the area you’re at are well lit and not too dark.
  2. Pour a considerable amount of ear powder into your pet’s ear canal.
  3. Using either your finger or ear forceps, slowly remove the inner ear fur bit by bit in a pulling or plucking manner. Do not pull out a whole chunk as this may cause your pet’s ears to be in pain and inflamed.
  4. Repeat for the other ear. Reward your pet for being cooperative. This is to encourage them as well as giving them a good experience towards this procedure.

If you are unsure if your pet requires removing of the inner ear fur, feel free to consult us.

*Cats do not require any removal of inner ear fur.

Cleaning Your Pet’s Ear

Before purchasing ear cleaning solution, do check on the ingredients and labels. Not all ear cleaning solutions are suitable for cats. Most solutions contain alcohol, which some dogs are allergic or sensitive to.

If your pet has an ear infection, it is best to use the prescribed medicated solution or consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure.

Steps to ear cleaning:

  1. Get both you and your pet into a comfortable position. Make sure the area you’re in is well lit and not too dark.
  2. Pour ear solution in your pet’s ear canal and gently massage the base of the ear. Your dog may want to shake its head, allow it to as a good shake will help loosen the debris inside.
  3. Using the forceps, secure a piece of cotton and wrap the tip. Gently wipe the area that you could see. Do not go too deep as you might hurt your pet’s ear. If you’re afraid of cleaning the inner area, leave it to your groomer and just clean the outer part.
  4. Reapply ear solution on cotton if needed. Stop when the cotton comes out clean.
  5. Repeat for the other ear. Reward your pet for being cooperative. This is to encourage them as well as giving them a good experience towards this procedure.

Do note that ear infection might cause discomfort and pain to your pet. Clean gently and if you are unable to do so, get help from your veterinarian or you may contact us.

How Often Should You Clean Your Pet’s Ears?

If your pet doesn’t have any ear issues such as inflammation or infection, cleaning it once every two weeks should be fine. However, it is best to check regularly. Make sure your pet’s ears are dry after a shower as trapped moisture may cause bacteria growth which may result in infection.

We would recommend a weekly cleaning after a shower if your pet gets ear problems easily. This regular routine also gives you the chance to check on the ears. At least you will know if a visit to the vet is required.

Getting Your Pet To Enjoy Ear Cleaning

Cleaning your pet’s ears should be a positive experience. Unless they had a traumatic experience at the groomer or you might have hurt them when trying to do it yourself. Signing up for a basic grooming course for owners may help you do it the right way. Sometimes infections might be the cause of them being afraid of someone touching their ears. It is possible to get them to enjoy ear cleaning again, but it takes time and effort to gain back their trust.

Gently touching your pet’s ears during interaction allows them to know that it is OK. Frequently touch their ears may help to prepare them for ear cleaning. Rewarding them if they show positive behaviour when you touch their ears may help. Do it on a regular basis and they will learn that it is OK for their ears to be touched. It takes time to gain their trust. So don’t give up if your pet requires a longer time.

To schedule for an appointment for ear cleaning, leave us a text at (+65) 9758 3568.

Oral Hygiene: Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Many owners do not know the importance of maintaining their pet’s oral hygiene. The majority don’t brush their pet’s teeth at all during the pet’s entire life time. While some only had the teeth brushed only during their pet’s grooming session. Apparently, this isn’t enough to maintain proper oral care.

Tools To Aid Proper Oral Care

  • Pet toothpaste (do not use human’s toothpaste as it is not edible and the foams irritate your pet’s stomach)
  • Oral gel to wipe or brush the teeth
  • Pet toothbrush
  • Solutions to be applied to the tooth

How To Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

It is advisable to set a regular routine to have your pet’s teeth brushed. It would be good to have a daily routine, however, if your pet’s teeth seem healthy, three times a week is fine. Although many pets are reluctant to have their teeth brushed by struggling or attempting to snap, all of these can be trained.

Before you start brushing your pet’s teeth, prepare the things that you need.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Treats (rewards as positive training purpose)

Our aim and goal are all the same, and that is to allow your pets to enjoy brushing their teeth. We want them to see this regular routine as a way of enjoyment rather than a torture.

Step 1: Get both yourself and your pet into a comfortable position. Touch their muzzle gently. Let them get used to you touch their mouth area. Reward them with treats or praises if there’s positive response. Slowly move to opening the mouth and reward them for a positive response.

Step 2: Introduce them the toothbrush by letting them smell and get close to it. If they seem calm, reward them with the treats. Next, slowly insert the toothbrush gently into its mouth and gently brush (without toothpaste). Reward if positive behavior is shown. This step may take some time for your pet to get used to it. It is OK if it takes days or weeks, be patient as this may be a new experience for them.

Step 3: Once they’re OK with step 2, introduce them the toothpaste. It is OK to let them taste the toothpaste. Reward for good behavior.

Step 4: It’s time to start brushing their teeth with both the toothbrush and toothpaste together. Remember to do it often to prevent gum diseases, tartar, and plaque.