Poor Willow has an anal gland infection and is booked in to see the vet, she is quite swollen but does not seem to be in any discomfort at the moment, she is doing a good impression of a baboon though.
My Maggie is sending many emphathising hugs to Willow -- she went through so many months of infections and weekly deep expressions by the vet that I am shocked I can even get her in the door of the vet's office now. We finally decided enough was enough and removed her anal glands last October. She recovered quite nicely from the surgery and I am sure she is thrilled not to have to deal with that anymore!
Good luck to Willow and hopefully it is just a one-time problem for her.
To answer Gingergoose's question, two of our three have had their anal glands removed and in both cases the surgery went really well and there have been no long-term complications. The main risk with the surgery is fecal incontinence - and let me tell you that concept certainly made me very reluctant to proceed at first! But eventually we decided we had to do it for Moosie, who had infection after infection there, and then a couple of years later for Booker, whose glands were getting more and more difficult and painful to express.
I understand that the risk of permanent problems is very low and is usually the result of either an inexperienced surgeon or anal glands that have been infected, scarred or otherwise damaged to make them more difficult to remove - another thing to consider when deciding whether it is better to wait and see or just have them removed. Many dogs do have a problem with "suprise poops" for a couple of weeks after surgery, though - Booker did for about a week but mostly when barking or when she was just about ready to poop - one little poop would just pop out and she seemed as surprised by it as we were (needless to say she wasn't allowed on the pillows for a few days...)! Moosie had no problems whatsover.
Update on Willow, vets appointment was @ 16.50, I got home @ 16.00 checked straight away to see how she was and her anal gland seemed to be weeping so I got a bit of kitchen towel to check what was going on. As I did the gland burst so I managed to express all the gunk out of the gland.
Willow did not even bat an eyelid.
I took her to the vet, he examimed her to which she did not totally agree with, I held a treat to her nose while the vet went about his business. Willow had the attention to her treat taken away twice by the vet but on the third occasion she gave out a little yelp, looked at the vet in disgust then carried on trying to get the morsel I was holding in front of her.
The vet said that with the gland bursting the infection should clear up much easier, Willow had an anti-biotic/anti-inflamitory jab and a 10 day course of anti-biotic tablets which should clear up everything.
Whilst we were there I weighed her and she is 13.30kg (29.33lb) she is 15.5 inches high this is the lightest she has been since she was a pup no wonder that she is so fast on the agility course.