Hope this helps!Infection of the anal glands is not uncommon especially with chronic impaction. When one or both of the glands become(s) infected they often will rupture to the outside and drain, similar to any other abcess. This can be quite painful when it occurs, but fortunately most patient's anal glands will heal in a short time (several days).
In uncomplicated cases this is treated by cleaning out (flushing) the ruptured anal gland with antiseptic solution and placing the patient on antibiotics when indicated. After the ruptured gland has healed over we express it periodically to try to insure that it's not becoming impacted again.
The main factors which predispose patients to have problems are (1) small body size and (2) obesity. Dogs under 20 lbs. have a higher incidence of anal gland impaction and other anal gland problems than larger dogs. The smaller the dog is, the more chance of anal gland problems. Tea cup poodles, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians have an unusually high incidence of impaction. As with all generalities, of course, we will see exceptions with many small dogs never having any anal gland problems and some large dogs occasionally having severe problems. Overweight dogs also occasionally have a mechanical problem with getting the glands to express well.
There is some evidence indicating that a diet higher in fat will cause more anal gland secretion and thicker secretion and therefore more potential problems but this is not certain. Also, some have advocated a high fiber diet to increase the frequency and the bulk of the stools, thereby stimulating the glands to express more often. Here again, no studies as of yet have conclusively proven this to be of benefit, so dietary approaches are strictly on a "trial basis".
You should have your dog's anal glands expressed (or express them yourself) as often as needed. Some dogs never need the anal glands expressed while some need them expressed as frequently as every couple of weeks. On the average, dogs under 15 lbs need the anal glands expressed about every couple of months. It's a good idea to have your groomer express the anal glands along with routine grooming (or have us do it).[/B]