All About Dog Anal Glands

If you own a dog you may have heard the term ‘anal glands’ and wondered what it is, and if it is a normal part of all dogs. The answer is yes; all dogs have anal glands. In most cases there are no problems associated with these structures, unless they become filled, and in which case, they become uncomfortable. In fact, infections and other problems can result from this situation.

Anal glands are small sac like structures that are located near the anus. There is one gland on each side of the anal region. The glands have openings that are located just inside the anus. Anal glands hold a liquid substance until the animal defecates, and at that time the liquid is normally secreted, or expressed from the glands, along with the feces.

Fear, nervousness, or even excitement can also result in the expression of this foul smelling, dark colored liquid. As a result it may be seen under the animal’s tail, or near the rectum, or even on the floor near the pet.

Over-filling and/or inadequate emptying of the anal glands is not uncommon in dogs. When the glands are full the pet will begin to feel a discomfort in the anal region and strive to relieve that distress. Dogs are sometimes seen scooting their behinds across the floor in an effort to relieve the symptoms. Other times they will bite or lick at the area surrounding the anus and under the tail. Additionally, some dogs will keep their tail tucked down and under, or between their legs when they feel discomfort related to their anal glands.

Fortunately, the liquid can be manually expressed from the anal glands. One method is external manual expression. This involves squeezing the area on either side of the anus to ‘milk’ or force the fluid out of the anal glands. The other method is internal manual expression which involves inserting a finger inside the rectum of the dog and using another finger on the outside, with the anal glands between the fingers. Execution of either method should result in visible excretion of the fluid exiting the anal glands openings. Groomers and veterinarians are experienced in this procedure.

Allowing the fluid to continue to build without emptying the sacs can eventually result in the fluid changing consistency, from a fluid liquid to a much thicker substance that is even more difficult to express. At this point it is best to seek professional assistance from a veterinarian. If left unattended the anal glands can become infected and other problems can develop.

Depending on the severity of the resulting problems the dog may need to have flushing treatments of the anal glands and treatments with antibiotics, which may involve sedation, as well as pain medication. If the anal glands become repeatedly filled and problems continue it is possible that surgical removal will be suggested. The removal can sometimes result in (temporary or permanent) fecal incontinence.

All About Dog Anal Glands courtesy Dog Articles.

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Dog Health – Essential Diet Guidelines

You need to make sure your dog is getting the right balance of foods each day.  The different considerations are protein, carbohydrates and good fats.  Eating a well-balanced meal will ensure a long and happy life, a beautiful coat, and a lot of energy.

Many people are unsure of the proper balance for their dog’s diet.  The general rule includes the following:

– 2-25% protein
– 20-35% fat
– 40-60% carbohydrates

In addition to those important elements; dogs also need vitamins and minerals.  Their needs are a bit different than human needs, however.  One of the most important needs is vitamin B1.  This is one that dogs do not store well in their bodies and is not often found in dog food.

It is necessary to note that feeding your dog a diet of lean meat alone will not help them meet the requirements.  Dogs in nature eat their prey whole, which does contain everything they need.  It’s your job as a dog owner to come as close to nature as possible.

There have even been studies about the habits of dogs and what they eat.  These studies have revealed that dogs prefer to have their food cooked and mushy rather than raw and meaty.  Even so, dogs will likely eat most things that are put in front of them so you must do the job of differentiating for them.

Most people tend to feed their dogs commercially available food.  These are often fortified with the necessary vitamins and mineral.  Manufacturers know that these foods need to be easy for buyers to store.  That is why they come in simple cans or bags and are a favorite of dog owners everywhere.  The downside here is that this food can get expensive.

More and more people are starting to make their own dog food.  It can be hard to balance the food just right, and you can’t base it solely off of what you eat.  You need to extensively study the subject in order to make sure you’re giving your dog the best possible health.

There are some health issues that might pop up if pet owners are not careful.  For example, putting too much milk powder in the food can cause scouring because dogs have a hard time digesting lactose.  Instead of creating your own recipes it’s important to find ones that are time tested.

Another thing to consider is that while dogs enjoy chewing on bones it is important to avoid many of them.  If they are small and have been cooked the bone is a lot more likely to splinter and cause problems.  Avoid cooked chicken, lamb chop, and fish bones, as they are the biggest culprits.  Be extra careful if you’re one who likes to feed their dog from the table.

You will live and learn about what is best for your dog.  If he has a bad experience with a certain meal you will probably notice that he avoids it in the future.  This is a natural instinct of survival that you should pay attention to.  Following the unique diet requirements of dogs is the best way to ensure that they are healthy and happy for a long time to come.

Dog Health – Essential Diet Guidelines courtesy Dog Articles.

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Breeding Golden Retrievers

For beginners, breeding Golden Retrievers is nearly impossible.  Breeding can be very complicated, although it can be easy as well.  You should never attempt to breed unless you know a lot about requirements for hobby breeders, as it is simply unfair to the breed if you have a litter of puppies that simply aren’t what they should be.  People who look to buy Golden Retrievers only want top quality, which is why you shouldn’t attempt to breed just have a puppies or make a few bucks.

Breeding Golden Retrievers is a very serious hobby, one that should be left to those who know how to make the right choices.  There is a certain amount of cost and care involved with breeding, especially if breeders are going for a certain quality.  There is also a lot of responsibility involved as well, which can take quite a bit of time to say the least.

Breeding can help to fulfill the need of a Golden, although the dog still has no knowledge of it missing, no regrets, or no guilt towards living a life without having been breed.  A pregnant Golden Retriever female doesn’t gain anything in regards to health, as it instead causes problems.  Golden females that have been spayed on the other hand, cannot be bred.  If you have chosen to have your Golden spayed, always remember that she will be unable to breed.

When looking to breed, quality breeders will have a lot of choices in front of them.  They will need to determine the pair, such as the mother and the father.  To get the highest quality possible from the litter, the breeder will need to determine the traits of both dogs, temperaments, and how well they seem to react to one another.  The breeder will also need to determine in either of the dogs have any type of health problems, to prevent any diseases or ailments from being passed on to the litter.

Sometimes, when breeding Golden Retrievers, the mother of the litter will prove to be unfit, which requires more work for the breeder.  If the mother isn’t doing her job of nurturing her young, the breeder will need to do it for her.  This can be the most time consuming aspect of breeding, as the breeder will have to feed the young and make sure that they turn out as healthy as possible.

Aside from that, breeders also face quite a bit of costs as well.  The prices for daily care, food, and vet bills can be very steep to say the least.  When you crunch the numbers, you’ll quickly realize that breeders don’t make much money at all when they sale.  Most breeders do it for a hobby, not looking to make money.  Quality breeders on the other hand aren’t concerned with money at all, as they are more concerned about the quality of their litters.  Quality is better than quantity, as even the best breeders out there have problems selling puppies from time to time.

Although breeding is fun for hobby breeders, it is something you really shouldn’t be doing if you don’t have the experience.  Although your Golden may get knocked up by a dog of a different breed without you knowing it, you should do your best to avoid it at all costs if you can.  A pure bred Golden Retriever should be bred only with dogs of her breed, to help preserve the breed and keep their bloodline going.  If you have thought about breeding in the past – you should really study long and hard before you actually make a reality of it.

Breeding Golden Retrievers courtesy Dog Articles.

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Post Whelping Care Of Mother Dogs

After a mother dog (bitch) successfully whelps her puppies, there are specific things you as an owner want to look for to make sure both the newborns and their mother are doing well. Here are some tips on what to expect and what you should do to care for the new family.

Within twenty-four hours of birth, have the pups and mother checked by a veterinarian. The doctor will check for signs of congenital defects in the pups, such as cleft palates or limb deformities. He will also make sure the bitch’s mammary glands are producing enough milk for her babies.

He may administer an injection of oxytocin to start the uterus contracting and shrinking back to pre-pregnancy size. This will also reduce any bleeding from where the placentas were attached, and help expel any remaining material from the uterus. Mom may continue to have some discharge for up to eight weeks after birthing babies, but as long as it doesn’t smell or look foul, there is no cause for alarm.

Keep an eye on the new mother to make sure that she is caring for all her puppies and knows what to do with them. In some cases, bitches that give birth for the first time become aggressive or confused over their role, and she may lie on her puppies, accidentally crushing them.

New mothers will also need good nutrition to feed her pups, so small, frequent meals are a great idea. Her milk production will reach its peak at around three weeks after birth. She will be especially hungry at this time, so feed her puppy food for a few weeks. It has more energy per ounce than regular adult dog food so she can get plenty of nutrients without over filling her stomach.  You will also need to weight the newborn puppies regularly to confirm they are growing and getting enough milk.

Watch for any signs of  mastitis. Red, swollen, or painful mammary glands are the classic signs, but mom may also be very lethargic, feverish and off her food. Another potentially dangerous condition is metritis, an infection and inflammation of the uterus usually caused by a long or especially difficult labor.

If the mother starts to pant, tremble, or have seizures, she may be suffering from a calcium deficiency called eclampsia, which is a serious condition that needs immediate attention and treatment. It’s more common in smaller breeds of dogs, and tends to occur when pups are two to five weeks of age. This is when they’re growing fast, and drinking lots of milk. Mom puts lots of calcium into her milk, which leaves her deficient.

A vet must treat eclampsia quickly because it can be fatal. Treatment is intravenous calcium supplement, and mom may also need sedation to stop the seizures. If your bitch develops eclampsia it’s usually a good idea to wean the pups and hand raise them.

In the majority of cases, moms and pups do just fine and don’t need human intervention. Even so, be sure to keep a good eye on them so if a problem develops, you can get on top of it straight away. This will ensure the best outcome for mom and babies.

Post Whelping Care Of Mother Dogs courtesy of Dog Articles.

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Dog Whelping

The whelping process will be easier for both you and your bitch if you know what to expect and plan ahead for any potential problems.

Your bitch will indicate to you that she’s approaching labor. The more obvious signs of laboring behavior are restlessness, panting or shivering, and preparing a nesting area.

It’s a good idea to provide a proper whelping box to keep mom and her babies warm and clean. A sturdy cardboard box lined with clean newspaper is an inexpensive solution, and is easy to dispose of after the pups are weaned.  When your bitch starts to shred the newspaper and arrange her nesting area, delivery is only a few days away. It is  a good idea to have supplies such as tissues, paper towels, clean towels and garbage bags set out ahead of time to prepare for whelping.

Just before whelping, your bitch may lose her appetite and become very clingy. Her temperature will drop in that last day before birth, from a normal rectal temperature of between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit to around 98.5 degrees. She may also begin to leak milk from her nipples.

The birthing process has three distinct stages. During the first stage, regular uterine contractions begin, and become more frequent as her delivery gets closer. Your dog may vomit and she may begin to discharge clear, mucoid fluid from her vagina.

The second stage begins when the bitch’s abdomen starts contracting hard, and pushing the puppies out. She will either lie down or squat to deliver her pups. Normal deliveries usually begin within ten to sixty minutes of the onset of hard contractions.

The puppies may be born in their amniotic sac, and your bitch will immediately begin to break the bag, clean her babies and chew through the umbilical cord. If she doesn’t, you will need to  step in to make sure the puppies are freed from the sac and breathing properly. Once the babies are dried off, the cord can be carefully tied off and snipped  so the mother can continue to care for her new babies.

The final stage of whelping involves delivery of the placenta, or afterbirth, for each puppy. The placenta may or may not still be attached to the pup. The bitch may attempt to eat her placenta, which sounds gross but is quite normal behavior. If she doesn’t want to eat it, that’s fine too, there’s no specific nutritional value in it.

Newborns may attempt to suckle their mother during her delivery. This is a good thing, because it stimulates the production of oxytocin. This hormone helps the uterus to contract, and speeds up delivery of any remaining pups. Keep a close watch on your bitch, so she doesn’t accidentally lie on her newborns as she delivers the remainder of her litter.

This is what happens in a normal delivery. If complications arise, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian. If your bitch has a fresh bloody discharge from the vagina, a rise in rectal temperature beyond 102 degrees, or hard contractions that don’t produce a puppy for more than thirty minutes, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If your bitch becomes depressed or exhausts herself to the point where she stops delivering, she may need a cesarean section to deliver her litter.

The birthing process can be long and arduous for both dog and owner. By being prepared for any eventuality before your bitch gives birth will help make the process as stress free as possible.

Dog Whelping courtesy of Dog Articles.

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