The dirtiest pet owner task of all: Don't just 'doo' it! - Dr. Marty Becker

The dirtiest pet owner task of all: Don’t just ‘doo’ it!

Monday, Jun 9th, 2014 | By Dr. Marty Becker

Angry ChihuahuaI once had a high-income  producer at a major television network call me up and say she’d just watched a YouTube video on how to clean her Chihuahua’s anal glands on her own, and what did I think?

I almost laughed, but restrained myself and told her, “If you stick your finger up your dog’s anus and squeeze a sore, swollen anal gland, your dog might or might not bite you, but he certainly is never going to look at you the same way again.”

I’m all in favor of helping pet owners learn how to do a few simple care items that will save unnecessary trips to the veterinarian or the groomer, whether to reduce stress on the pet or on the owner’s pocketbook.  Those include routine ear care, nail trimming, and bathing.

But when it comes to cleaning out an impacted or painful anal gland, that should be left to the veterinarians. That’s for the pet’s comfort as well as the owner’s safety, and also because chronic anal gland problems usually have an underlying cause that needs an expert evaluation from the dog’s vet.

In other words, my advice is: Don’t “just doo it”!