Once, my dog Tom was dreaming about something in his sleep. Suddenly, he woke up and started to lick its back. When I went towards him, I could smell some stinky odor. On closer inspection, I found that Tom had discharged a sticky substance on his bed too. When I researched about it, I found about Dogs Expressing Glands When Sleeping. If you too want to know about it, read on!
In this article, we will cover:
- Dogs Expressing Glands When Sleeping- Can It Happen?
- Is It Normal For Dogs To Express Anal Glands in Sleep?
- And more…
Dogs Expressing Glands When Sleeping – Can It Happen?
Dogs can express their anal glands in sleep as their muscles are relaxed. As a result, the anal glands empty themselves naturally. Stress, anxiety, and excitement could also cause the anal gland to be expressed in many dogs when they are dreaming in sleep.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Express Anal Glands In Sleep?
Mostly, large dogs do not express anal glands in sleep. Expressing anal glands in sleep is generally seen in small dogs as their muscles are more relaxed in sleep. But, you do not need to fret over it if everything else is fine with your dog.
The problem occurs when your dogs do not express the glands naturally or are frequently expressing their glands in sleep. Some dogs experience a situation where the glands become clogged. For this reason, they do not express it when they defecate.
In worst-case scenarios, the glands get so clogged that the dogs are unable to express their anal glands naturally. As a result, they may become infected, giving off a nasty and fishy smell around the house.
As a result, the American Kennel Club states that your dog scoots or drags its body down the floor to soothe its condition. This might be a little embarrassing for you but remember your dog will be suffering too. So, you should not scold your dog.
To determine this, if you notice any of the above signs, check the back of your dog and note symptoms such as redness, swelling, itchiness, and blood and pus in discharge. If any of these signs appear, your veterinarian or groomer should be able to relieve your dog by expressing the anal glands manually.
How To Prevent My Dog From Expressing Anal Glands In Sleep?
If the glands are working fine and emptying when the dog defecates, they will not express themselves frequently when the dog is sleeping.
However, if your dog is expressing its glands while sleeping, you must intervene to assist it in clearing the extra discharge from the anal glands and reduce their chances of expressing the glands again in sleep. For this, you can learn to manually express your dog’s glands by following the guidance of your veterinarian.
But, if you are looking for a quick solution, the easiest trick to keep your dog’s glands from expressing themselves when they are sleeping is to make sure they are never overly full at any time. It reduces the strain on the muscles, lowering the possibility of expression when those muscles relax.
3 Signs That Your Dog Needs Glands To Be Expressed
Knowing when your dog’s anal glands need to be expressed could be quite a task. So, here are three signs that will tell you that it is time for anal gland expression in your dog:
1. Difficulty In Defecating
When your dog’s anal glands are impacted and swollen, it means that your dog will not be able to express its anal glands on its own. It is because dogs generally have difficulty in defecating due to the enormous discomfort they endure.
Additionally, if your dog defecates at all, you will see blood or pus in their poop occasionally. It is your sign that you need to step up and express your dog’s anal glands manually.
2. Stains Around The House
If you notice smelly stains on your carpets, beds, couch, or sofa where your dog was sitting, it could be an indication that your dog’s anal glands are full and it is time to empty them.
In such a case, make an appointment with your vet or groomer for anal gland expression if you do not how to do it yourself.
3. Scooting Their Butt
When dogs are agitated or in discomfort, they will start scooting their backs on the floor at random. In most circumstances, a dog will scoot its back multiple times accompanied by licking and biting it.
It’s a sign that your dog’s anal glands have been impacted and inflamed, thus they need manual anal gland expression by a professional.
What Food Can Help My Dog To Express Anal Glands?
Tweaking your dog’s diet slightly can save you from all the pain of expressing their glands manually. It will also make sure that your dog expresses their gland while sleeping.
Increasing the number of high fiber items in the dog’s diet, such as broccoli, green beans, canned pumpkin, and lettuce can help. However, make sure you add in a balanced amount in your dog’s diet. In addition to it, you can try dog food supplements and probiotics as well.
Metamucil is one supplement that some people try. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM at the PetMD Metamucil is a soluble fiber that can be given to dogs. You can find Metamucil in over-the-counter stores in your locality. Feed one tablespoon for every five pounds of weight to your dog.
Other products are available for this purpose, but consult your veterinarian first if your dog has food allergies or your dog is ill.
How Often To Express Dog Glands?
The expression of the anal glands in dogs differs from one dog to the next. It depends on how many a time and how quickly your dog’s glands can empty.
To give you a rough estimate of how often your dog needs anal gland expression, we’d suggest once or twice a year for most dogs. Dogs like Chihuahuas, Miniature Poodles, Basset Hounds, Lhasa Apsos, and Cocker Spaniels, however, require anal gland expression on a monthly basis.
But, according to Dr. Barri J Morrison, DVM at PetMD, dogs with infections and abscesses in their anal sacs require their anal glands to be expressed every three to four weeks manually. You can do this on your own or make an appointment with your vet accordingly.
Why Does My Dog Express Anal Gland On My Bed?
Most dogs involuntarily express their anal glands when their anal sacs are full. If you allow your dog to use your bed to sleep, they might express their anal glands in bed then. However, there could be another possibility too. Dogs engage in territory marking behavior.
The fluid produced by the anal glands has a strong and pungent smell which is distinct for every dog. Thus, they use their anal glands as scent marks to establish their presence as the fluid contains valuable information for them.
So, when a dog defecates, he releases a little amount of fluid from its sacs to leave information for the other dogs in the family, or people in general.
However, the marking behavior should not be encouraged in your dogs. For this, the American Kennel Club advises the use of belly bands or dog diapers for your dogs. Make sure your dog wears them before going up on your bed so that you do not have to clean the discharge.
The All-Absorb Super Absorbent Male Diapers are our recommendation for your male dog.
Can Anal Glands Leak While My Dog Is Sleeping?
Anal glands can leak when your dog is sleeping. When your dog is asleep and their muscles relax, if the anal glands are not emptying properly or rapidly enough, they may leak.
The fact that a dog’s glands were never totally emptied is one of the most plausible causes for its leakage when the dog is sleeping after anal sac expression. Naturally, this occurs when your dog’s lifestyle is not appropriate, i.e., it isn’t eating properly and is sedentary.
Another reason for leakage in your dog’s anal gland while he is sleeping could be that your dog’s anal glands are refilling quicker than you can imagine. Because each dog is unique, its anal glands and sacs function differently.
So, if your dog’s anal glands have started to fill up again after a few days of anal gland expression, it is possible that you will see a leakage when they are asleep. In such dogs, anal gland expression on a monthly or even weekly basis is advisable to remove all of the fluid.
Can Dogs Empty Their Anal Glands When Stressed?
As mentioned already, dogs express their anal glands in sleep when they are watching stressful dreams. However, the same is also true for dogs who are awake. Many dogs express their anal glands when they feel strong and overwhelming emotions like stress, anxiety, fear, fright, and insecurity.
It occurs in various situations like meeting a new person or dog or simply a crowded neighborhood. Some dogs have a hard time sharing the attention of their owner and socializing with others.
How will you know that your dog has expressed anal glands due to stress? You can tell this by the strong fishy smell that your dog releases after expressing its anal glands. Generally, this smell will disappear in a few minutes or hours.
However, if it lasts longer, your dog might have ruptured his anal sacs while expressing glands. In this case, you will have to do the unpleasant job of looking in your dog’s back for signs of anal sac infection and taking him to the vet immediately.