Quality of Life Vet Care in Walnut Creek
In addition to our core veterinary services, Ygnacio Animal Hospital offers pet maintenance and quality of life services for your pet (and for you). We offer anal dog gland expression and nail trimming for dogs and cats so you can leave some of the more unpleasant and anxiety-inducing elements of pet care to professionals.
It can be easy for an amateur to accidentally hurt their pet when helping them with their anal glands or overgrown nails; fortunately, the professionals at Ygnacio Animal Hospital are experienced in restraining animals without causing them undue discomfort and will make the service as pleasant an experience as possible for your cat or dog.
Anal Gland Expression for Dogs
Caring for a canine companion is one of the greatest joys in life, but it also comes with a handful of less pleasant responsibilities! One of the most common dirty jobs involved in caring for dogs is helping them with their anal gland expression.
- What are anal glands? What do dogs use them for?
Dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ways of life share in having two small pouches which collect secretions in their anus. These are called anal glands. The purpose of these glands is to help out with inter-dog communication; if you've ever wondered what dogs are doing when they greet each other by swapping sniffs of their nether regions, now you know, they are sniffing each other's anal glands.
When functioning properly, a dog's anal glands are released when they defecate, but dogs can develop issues with expressing the oily substance from their glands. Small and toy breeds are especially susceptible to anal gland dysfunction.
- Causes of anal gland dysfunction
There are a number of known causes for anal gland dysfunction in dogs, these include:
- Chronic skin dermatitis
- Insufficient dietary fiber
- Chronic soft stool
- Food and/or environmental allergies
- Genetics: While it’s more common for smaller breeds to develop issues with their anal gland no breed is immune.
Your Walnut Creek vet will offer nutritional or dietary advice when relevant to try and resolve the ongoing anal gland issues in your dog. When the challenges are purely genetic without external cause, the best option is to make it a regular habit to manually express your dog's anal glands before they have the chance to cause too much discomfort. Your vet will advise you on the recommended frequency of expression. Also, while we do not recommend attempting the procedure without having first spoken to a professional, our team is happy to teach clients how they can express the anal glands themselves from home - though many pet owners still prefer to leave this delicate job in the hands of professional animal caregivers.
- Signs and symptoms of anal gland dysfunction
The following symptoms are all signs your dog may be experiencing anal gland dysfunction:
- Scooting the rear end along the floor or lawn
- Excessive licking or itching the anal area
- Straining or difficulty with defecation (pooping)
- Blood or pus in the stool or near the rectum
if you observe any of these behaviors listed above in your dog, contact a vet immediately
Nail Clipping for Dogs and Cats
Our Walnut Creek vet team provides excellent nail trimming services. Our professionals ensuring your pet has a low-stress, pain-free experience. Our clients can rest assured their pets are in good hands during their trimming.
- Why get a nail trim for my dog or cat?
Nail clippings for dogs and cats serve a dual purpose. For owners, they protect floors, furniture, and our delicate skin from unnecessarily sharp nails and claws. More importantly, however, is that properly performed nail clippings are good for our pets, preventing painful accidental breaks from occurring down the line.
If left untrimmed, over time your dog might develop spine and posture problems (like sitting or standing oddly) due to frequently shifting weight because of overgrown nails. Too-long nails can lead to difficulty walking, lameness, or serious injury; especially if they’re so long that they touch the ground. In general, nails that are too long can limit your dog’s movements.
- Benefits of professional nail trimming services
Despite being in everyone's best interest, dogs and cats often virulently opposed to letting anyone trim their nails. This is in large part because it is easy to accidentally hurt one's pet while trimming their nails.
In humans, it is easy to tell where our nail ends and our finger begins, but with animal paws, it is not so clear-cut. Cat and dog nails are composed of an outer shell that needs trimming, and an inner portion composed of nerve endings - it's imperative that this inner portion not be clipped or your pet will experience intense pain. The vet care professionals at Ygnacio Animal Hospital are able to provide these clipping safely and stress-free!
- Signs your dog or cat needs a nail trimming
Dogs and cats have very different nail clipping needs. With dogs, you want to watch for when the nails have grown long enough to touch the floor. If you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the ground or if they begin to grow sideways, it’s time for a trim. Ideally, you should be able to slip a piece of paper between your dog’s nails and the floor.
Cats can retract their claws and bring them out only when needed. Because of this, outdoor cats should not have their nails trimmed as they need their claws to serve important functions like climbing, scratching, and marking their territory. Indoor cats should have trimmings done every 10 to 14 days. Every cat is different, your vet can help you determine the best schedule for regular feline nail clippings.