French Bulldog Anal Glands: Do Frenchies Need Their Anal Glands Expressed?

Many French bulldog owners, seasoned and new, may not realize this, but sometimes your French Bulldog’s anal glands may need some attention. Most French bulldog owners will opt to have a veterinarian examination and expression done by someone with experience. 

If your bulldog doesn’t seem to experience any problems with its bum, there is probably no need for anal expression. However, if your French bulldog gets anal gland problems, even with being on a properly balanced diet, regular anal sac expression may be necessary. 

So, Do French Bulldogs Need Their Anal Glands Expressed? 

The answer is not that simple. There could be cases where it would, and others where it might not. So if you sense that you have a French Bulldog with bum problems, do some more research and look into anal gland expression and why it is helpful or needed for your dog to function.

French Bulldog Tail Pocket

Why Would I have to Wipe my French Bulldog’s Bum?

Frenchies have folds and wrinkles around their anus, so it is vital to keep the area clean. In addition, their skin requires occasional wiping and washing. Note if your bulldog is expressing any discomfort when you are wiping and washing.

French Bulldog Anal Glands 101

Have you ever wondered why dogs like to sniff each other’s backends? Well, the anal sac secretions let other dogs know things about their companion, such as whether it is a male or female, and other means of communication. 

If you have seen your Frenchie stop to sniff its feces or another dog’s poop, it actually is providing your dog with information about the dog that pooped. When dogs poop, the anal gland sac secretes material onto the fecal matter.

The anal glands are tiny sacs just outside of your French Bulldog’s anus. They are designed to secrete independently, and the scent contains pheromones that allow identification. Therefore, it is not something that you need to worry about unless you notice unusual swelling or secretion.

What is French Bulldog Anal Gland Expression?

You shouldn’t try to squeeze your Frenchie’s anal glands if you don’t need to since it can lead to worsening health problems. Instead, speak to your vet or have your vet show you how to express your Frenchie’s anal glands if it is something that will need to have expressed on a regular basis. 

The tail pocket on your bulldog is a hollowed-out part formed underneath the hard, stiff tail. The tail pocket is the area that requires cleaning often since it collects dirt and dust. Understand where the tail pocket on your Frenchie is and check for any buildup when washing.

If you have a french bulldog that has never had its anal glands expressed, consult with a groomer or veterinarian. If you’ve noticed swelling bumps around your Frenchie’s bum or a fishy smell or leakage in the area when your Frenchie gets scared, they could have expressed their anal sacs on their own, which is perfectly normal (and stinky!). Anal glands have a distinct odor.

What if my Frenchie Smells Fishy Often?

If you have recognized the smell, it is good to take your Frenchie to the vet. Even though your dog may have expressed its sac somewhat, there could still be swollen sacs that need to be expressed further.

Some Frenchies can express themselves on their own and never need it done for them. A vet will assist you in determining this. If you notice your dog doing a lot of scooting or licking around its anus, this is another sign that it could have full and swollen anal glands in need of expression.

You should be able to tell if your French Bulldog’s Anal Glands are full if they are licking and scooting or emitting that pungent smell. In some cases, you may even see spots of brownish liquid on your carpet or where your dog was sitting or laying.

How Does my French Bulldog’s Anal Glands Get Full?

There are plenty of reasons why anal glands get full. If there isn’t enough pressure for the glands to be expressed is one of the most common reasons. They may not express naturally due to a few days of diarrhea, where there is no pressure on the glands. 

When the glands aren’t appropriately emptied or don’t have enough pressure to release, there’s a chance that they might become blocked. The glands can become more swollen and painful for your poor bulldog when this happens.

It is most helpful for you to check often that you don’t see any build-up around the anal glands or notice them becoming too full or swollen. Frequently cleaning and wiping should help with this and allow them to express themselves independently. 

french bulldog butt

What Happens If I Don’t Express My Frenchie’s Anal Glands?

It is your best course of action to speak to a veterinarian or someone trained in anal gland expression with any concerns. Expert veterinarians at the Bond Vet clinic in New York state that when you don’t express your bulldog’s anal glands, and it is necessary due to swelling, or the dog cannot express on its own, it can lead to a painful infection or sac abscess.

On the other hand, if you express your Frenchie’s anal glands when there is no problem, it can lead to painful inflammation or anal gland sacculitis, a bacterial growth within the anal sac that leads to a lot of pain and itching.

Abscessed glands will typically require surgery. However, for more complicated cases where the anal glands are providing chronic discomfort or recurrent issues, a surgical procedure to remove them, called anal sacculectomy, is the best option and only permanent cure. 

French Bulldog Anal Gland Problems

If you are looking to locate the reason behind your bulldog anal gland problems, you should consult with a veterinarian and understand that the root cause is triggering it. Problems could be stemming from:

  • Soft stool (diarrhea) or other bowel issues
  • Contact allergy
  • Parasites
  • Medication
  • Inflammatory response
  • Environmental allergy

When you can identify the reasoning behind the gland problem, you can more effectively treat and prevent further issues.

Have a Discussion With Your Groomer About Anal Gland Expression

Many groomers offer gland expression as part of their hair and nail grooming services. You must understand that dog groomers who go in and milk your Frenchie’s anal glands might be creating unnecessary trauma to the duct, which results in further gland problems. Expressing too often when it is not needed makes it so that your bulldog won’t be able to express itself naturally. 

Discuss with your groomer whether they offer to milk the anal glands and let them know to hold off and tell them not to do it. You are much better off speaking to a vet if milking is needed. Your vet should be responsible for diagnosing the issue regarding gland problems.

Final Thoughts On French Bulldog Anal Glands – Continue with Regular Veterinarian Exams

Chances are, if you haven’t noticed any problems with your French bulldog’s anal glands, there isn’t one. However, French bulldogs can suffer from anal sac impaction or an infection in their tail pocket, so keep a close eye on the anus area and ensure you occasionally clean and wipe. Seek professional advice before doing any milking or expression.

Continue with your regular vet check-ups and allow a professional to determine if there is ever a need for anal gland expression. When Frenchie’s get older, you may eventually have to deal with anal sac issues, but until then, just leave their glands alone!

For more French Bulldog health tips visit here.

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