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Dog Anal Gland Expression

All dogs have anal glands which secrete a fluid that expresses out when they pass a bowel movement. It may also inadvertently come out when they are startled! The scent left behind is unique to them and will let other animals know the stool is theirs. Sometimes anal glands can become impacted or infected. In these situations, your dog needs to have their anal glands expressed by a trained professional and may require antibiotics. Left untreated, a painful abscess can occur and can sometimes rupture. If you notice your pet scooting their hind end along the floor, contact your veterinarian to have their glands checked.

Should I drain my dog’s anal glands at home?

We do not recommend expressing your pet’s anal glands at home unless you are trained and comfortable doing this procedure. The area is quite sensitive, and it is important to do so without causing unnecessary discomfort. Seek guidance from your veterinarian, veterinary technician or professional groomer. It is important to know what the expressed liquid should look like and if there may be a concern for infection. Expressing the anal glands may become something you can do at home but not until you and your pooch are both ready!

If my dog scoots on the carpet a lot, does this mean their anal glands are impacted?

Scooting on the carpet or flooring is a common sign that the anal glands may need to be expressed. If you see this happening with your dog, call your veterinarian to see if this may be the case. There are other reasons your pet may be scooting but it is best to start with contacting your veterinarian to ensure the problem doesn’t worsen. Dogs with anal gland impactions may also lick or chew at their hind end a lot.

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