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Dog Anal Gland Expression

“What is that smell?!” Have you found yourself wondering this aloud before only to find your furry friend looking sheepishly at you? Could there be a problem with his/her anal glands? Signs that may suggest an anal gland issue include: “scooting” (dragging their bum) on the floor, quickly turning their head to their behind (with or without chewing around the tail), releasing their anal glands (that yummy fishy smell you’re smelling), and/or redness and swelling around the bum/under the base of their tail. Anal glands can be easily expressed to provide relief when dealing with a simple issue of a bit too much fluid. If the problem has progressed, however, they can end up with a painful infection or “anal gland abscess”. If you are concerned that your dog may be experiencing issues with their anal glands, it is best to call your veterinary clinic to schedule an appointment. Once diagnosed and treated, follow up appointments for easy anal gland expression can be made with one of our clinic’s Registered Veterinary Technicians.

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

We recommend that anal gland issues first be assessed by your veterinarian. After the initial appointment, you can discuss if a home expression is a suitable option. Or, if you would prefer to keep your interactions with your dog positive ones, you can leave the dirty work to us!

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

Scooting is most often a sign of anal gland issues. Glands may or may not be impacted. It is best to have your dog seen as soon as you notice scooting behaviour to ensure you catch any problems early on. Your veterinarian may recommend dietary changes or other treatments if there are continuous problems with your dogs’ anal glands.


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