Although having a cockapoo in your home will mostly be the source of much joy, there are some less-than-appealing things you will need to face too. When you take on a dog, you need to check them to ensure they are healthy, and unfortunately, one of the areas you need to be keenly aware of is their anal glands. In the following post, we are going to look at what the anal glands are and their purpose, thy they might smell and what can be done about it.
First things, time for a bit of a canine anatomy lesson.
What Are a Cockapoo’s Anal Glands?
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Your cockapoo’s anal glands are two tiny sacs on either side of your dog’s anus. The anal glands are there to apply pheromone-rich secretion around the outside of any stool. This is a form of communication between dogs and marking territory.
If you have ever noticed your cockapoo sniffing another dog’s bottom or vice versa and wondered why now you know. They are trying to learn more about the other dog by smelling their bum to pick up the scent from the glands.
Normally Functioning Anal Glands
When your cockapoo has a normal and healthy poo, it will pass with only the slightest amount of pressure directly on the anal glands. This triggers the secretion that coats the poo and how your dog empties his glands naturally.
When There’s a Problem With Your Cockapoo’s Anal Glands
Problems can occur if your cockapoo’s poo is not firm enough. This can lead to insufficient pressure on their anal glands and the anal sacs not emptying properly. In turn, this can create a build-up of unemptied mess.
Other serious issues that could be causing problems for your cockapoo’s anal glands include tumours and abscesses.
How Can You Tell Your Cockapoo Has An Anal Gland Problem?
Whether it is a minor inconvenience or the signs of something more serious, you will want to know what to look out for to deal with it properly. Generally, as you may imagine, problems with the anal glands are not too difficult to spot. Some of the most common things you need to be aware of include:
- Your cockapoo is smelling and licking its bottom a lot
- Your cockapoo is rubbing or scooting its bottom across the floor or carpet a lot
- If your cockapoo has full anal glands, there is a chance that there may be some leakage or, at least, a very pungent, fishy smell.
- You may even see some brownish matter around areas where your cockapoo has been sitting, like furniture, the carpet or floor, their bed or even your lap
- Your cockapoo having trouble with poo getting stuck or not pooing as easily as it should be able to.
Whereas most dogs should be able to empty their anal glands by themselves, some breeds need help. Cockapoos are one such breed.
What Can You Do About Your Cockapoos Anal Glands Issues?
Now that we have identified some of the most common symptoms that show that your furry friend has an anal gland-related problem, it’s time to discuss what can be done about it.
If your cockapoo cannot empty its anal glands without assistance, it may be time to see the vet or even a groomer.
While that is the best solution, you may also want to consider their diet, as that plays a big part in whether your dog usually has functioning anal glands. Even if you still need assistance emptying their anal glands this time, making relevant changes to their diet could prevent the need for assistance with this matter.
Normally, if you take your cockapoo to the vet’s to have its anal glands emptied, it doesn’t take very long. Our cockapoo, Luna, has been taken several times with this issue, and it normally takes 30 seconds.
How to Empty/Express your Cockapoo’s Anal Glands At Home
The first thing you need to do when emptying your dog’s anal glands at home without a vet’s assistance is to prepare. Work out first where you want to express your cockapoo’s anal glands. In a sink, bathtub or maybe outside? Somewhere that will be easy to clean and sterilise. Also, get ready some old towels, a lubricant like Vaseline and some restraint and possibly a muzzle for your dog, as the process can be a little uncomfortable, which may cause your pooch to snap.
Last but not least, get yourself some disposable gloves because the secretions from your cockapoo anal glands will be very smelly and oily and could leave your hands smelling for a few days, even once you have washed them thoroughly.
Now that you have made all the necessary preparations, you need to express or empty their anal glands.
- Look to the back of your dog and around the area of the anal gland. You should see two little patches darker than the rest of their skin. There will also be hair to the right and left of the anus at seven and five o clock. You may be wondering why you need to know all this – you must understand the part of your dog you should aim for over the next few steps.
- Now lubricate one of your gloved fingers and gently insert it inside your cockapoo’s anus. Have a feel around until you find the first gland. Next, you need to keep that finger inside your cockapoos anus and place your thumb against the area on the outside. Give a little and gentle squeeze and apply pressure in an upwards direction. The anal glands’ opening is close to the top of their rectum, so make sure you press up there and just be aware of the liquid that will be released if you do it successfully.
- Get some kitchen roll next, and you should have a place near where you are carrying this out and use it around the outside of the glands by holding it against your dog to catch any secretions.
- It is crucial, however, that you do not squeeze them too hard, as this could give your cockapoo a lot of pain or make the impacted poo shoot out of your dog’s anus at quite a distance. For this reason, you should also avoid standing or sitting directly behind your dog as you help them.
- Continue gently squeezing and manipulating their anal glands until they have stopped producing fluids, wipe around the area and then start the process again, but this time on the other side.
- After expressing both of your cockapoo’s anal glands, clean away any residual muck, keep all the items that were secreted in a separate pile ready for the bin, and give your cockapoo’s bottom a good wash.
We hope you’ve learned something about your cockapoo’s anal glands. Admittedly it is not the most pleasant task you will have to do for your cockapoo. However, anal glands are important, and pooing is a part of life.
If you choose to do it yourself, but once it has been dealt with, your dog will feel much better, and those unpleasant symptoms will disappear. Follow the instructions further up the page to ensure you do it properly.
If you do not feel confident about doing it yourself or want to have your cockapoo’s anal glands checked and emptied, it’s best to go and see your vet. They will be able to perform the procedure, which will take no more than half a minute to complete in most situations.
Mike is the proud owner of a 7-year-old Cockapoo named Luna. He loves to share stories, tips and information about owning a Cockapoo. With over7 years of experience as an owner, Mike is passionate about helping others own and care for their dog.