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Anal Glands-I refuse to do them!

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  • Anal Glands-I refuse to do them!

    I went to dog grooming school in 1988. We were NEVER taught to do anal glands and were told it was a vets job, which I still believe to this day. Vets want us to do them because they do not!

    It is an internal condition that should be off limits to groomers in my opinion. I learned from my grooming instructors that glands that are expressed in excess can do harm. It's like fixing something that isn't broken.

    Vets want us to do anal glands, well where do they draw the line? How about giving shots? I won't even give vet advice, which they should appreciate. I refuse to do their dirty work.
    della

  • #2
    I'm researching Abdominal surgery. Maybe I could add that as an add on.

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    • #3
      I'm with you on that one! I really don't think I need to be messing with something that has to do with the "inside" of the dog. Some people think its supposed to be done all the time. I don't know who told them that. My dog that I have now has never had it done and it has never been an issue.

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      • #4
        We do express anal glands at the shop I work at. However, the owner is informed that they must ask for it, we don't just routinely do it. Also, if there is a problem then they need to go to the vet. I try not to do it, but sometimes just have to. I've been grooming since 1981 and it's always been an issue with owners and vets.

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        • #5
          The shop I bought does do it.

          I do it because the clientele is use to us doing it. And I was also taught that it is best to do it and hopefully they are emptied before doing the finishing work on the dog, because you don't want them to express after they have been all cleaned up. I had no idea about it before I got into grooming, but I know the last owner kind of used it as a tool for weeding out potential employees that couldn't get over having to do something so revolting. I just think of it as popping a zit. But I will say I am on the fence as to the extent of how beneficial it is, or maybe harmful for that matter. After having expressed I don't know how many to date, I do notice especially on older shh tzus and llhasa that their bums get that hardened feeling. As though they have been expressed too often throughout the years????? I dunno, enlighten me. I was gonna give up the practice, but too many clients would call back and ask if we missed doing their glands. So I just stick with it.
          Last edited by BIG M; 12-08-09, 07:44 PM.

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          • #6
            Can't anyone give shots?

            My vet never gives the shots. I am not sure who does it, I just know I have been speaking with him and out comes my cats vaccinated and ready to go.

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            • #7
              I will do them externally only. If they cannot be done with minimal pressure externally, then they need to see a vet if they have a scooting problem. I had a vet wanting to teach me how to do them internally, but I said no thanks, the insides are off limits for me. I dont want that kind of liability... Most of my clients expect me to do the glands when I groom their dogs. The vets around our area have told the owners that ear plucking and anal gland expression is something that should be done by their groomers.

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              • #8
                Geddy, have you lost clients by not doing anal glands? Every groomer here does anal glands. I didn't know how to do them either, as I wasn't taught how when I was learning to groom. I did have a vet show me, but I still have some problems. I wish there was more of a guide line for this. I believe to, that this is a vet's job that they don't want to do.

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                • #9
                  The school I went to, they never did them for the reasons you mentioned and I was taught never to do them. However, I think I've changed my mind because of some exceptions: I adopted a 10 yr old maltese and began to notice her "hiney" seemed to be bothering her. I checked anals and they did seem to be enlarged so I expressed them. Good thing too, I was shocked at how thick it was and she seemed to feel better after. I think she had been very uncomfortable. Also, I know Suzy64 found a tumor that way one time. So, I've decided that on some of the smaller dogs I would at least check. I won't do it as a regular practice though and in fact rarely do it. But I learned from my own dog that some dogs do need help.
                  Last edited by MydogMissy; 12-08-09, 06:30 PM.
                  A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                  • #10
                    Internal expression of anal glands is a veterinary procedure, according to our local vet. Therefore we inspect, but do not express. It states that on our web site.

                    No, we have never lost a customer because we decline to do anal gland expression.
                    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
                    Laura Lee Ray
                    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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                    • #11
                      I do it at the shop that I work at but just externally, and just very lightly. Some do ask for it not to be done, but most people expect it. I really would prefer not to do it as I feel it is for a vet to do, but like I said, most expect it.

                      Of course if they seem sensitive or I notice something that doesn't seem right I leave it alone and recommend they head to the vet.
                      Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                      • #12
                        I honestly think it's best if you learn the proper method of external expression under the guidance of a Veterinarian and internal expression should be completely off limits for typical groomer. I learnt how when working at a clinic as a bather/tech. Gently using the right technique is no big deal. In fact, by expressing anal glands I've given owners a heads up on a problem, like impacted or ruptured glands. I ask my clients if they want me too and yes, they usually do. I express my own dogs' when they are bathed. If I don't they'll express them at inappropriate times, like on the sofa or my pillow. Ew!

                        Either way it's not a big deal. If you're not comfortable with the procedure, don't do it. If they want it done, the vet can handle it for a small fee. The down side for the pet owner- the dog usually stinks horribly without a bath.
                        That Tenacious Terrier!
                        www.thattenaciousterrier.com
                        https://www.facebook.com/ThatTenaciousTerrier

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                        • #13
                          hell -to- the -no I will not do them.

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                          • #14
                            Della,

                            ***I apologize if you get 2 responses from me. My computer is giving me issues. GRRR***

                            It is only logical that a vet would think it was fine for a groomer to do the glands. Nation wide, most vets feel that a groomer is competent enough to do anal glands. If most vets think this, I would assume they are correct in that it is not "that" big of a deal.

                            You're implying the vets are lazy and just don't want to do them. While I can't speak for 100% of vets, I can say that this is just not the case. The vet gets PAID while the vet TECHS actually do the glands. The vet is making money on something he/she doesn't even actually do. And if the vet techs can do them, certainly a groomer can do them externally.

                            Why would a vet want or expect a groomer to do glands? Because the groomer has the dog in the tub where the dog can be properly cleaned up after the 5.2 second procedure. For the vet, he/she would have to glove up, lube up, and hope they don't gunk on them. Then they spritz the dog with lovely "waterless" shampoo, rub it all over, and then a nice mist of grandma-smelling perfume. I'm sure this impresses the owners.

                            Don't let your school scare you. It is likely they are teaching you what they were taught. But really, any competent person can do anal glands, it's just not that big of a deal. If you dont' want to do them, that is fine, but don't generalize the vets who are clearly sending you a signal: "You are capable, you have the right tools, you can do them and send the dog home smelling better than we can!" Oh, and charge more if you do them. The vets do!

                            Tammy in Utah
                            Last edited by SpikeyTheYorkie; 12-08-09, 08:57 PM.
                            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                            • #15
                              I totally do anal glands and I'm not ashamed of it! I've even had clients leave their current groomer because the glands weren't being done and one or both got impacted. It can help prevent a vet bill and-if you do it externally and correctly-is safe, quick, and easy. I do it because it's my personal opinion it's beneficial, especially for the little guys. My Chihuahua begs for his to be done sometimes if I let it go too long. As others have noted it's a great way to find existing problems. And I use common sense and not squeeze if the dog's in pain or nothings coming out! Or, if I can't find 'em on the fat little sausage dogs, haha.

                              I'm definitely not demonizing those who don't do it, because if you're not comfortable, you shouldn't. Just offering a different perspective from "one of those" that do.
                              There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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