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Dog Anal Gland Expression

A lot of people never think about their dog’s anal glands, until there’s a problem with them. Anal glands are located on each side of the anus, and naturally express when dogs have a bowel movement. They fill with smelly material, varying in consistency and color depending on the individual dog. A lot of dogs will never experience problems with their anal glands, provided that they express themselves naturally. Other dogs, however, for unknown reasons, are unable to do this. Their anal glands need to be manually expressed on a regular basis. When anal glands get full, they become uncomfortable for the dog. They may exhibit signs such as scooting on the carpet or licking at their hind end. If not expressed, the glands will continue to grow and can become infected. Sometimes the abscessed anal gland will burst, and you’ll notice an open wound beside your dog’s anus. Dogs are often very painful and are in need of pain medication and antibiotics.

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

It is recommended to have anal glands expressed by your veterinary professional. This makes sure that the glands are being drained completely, and also screens for any abnormal material that may show signs of infection. Expressing anal glands is a smelly and often messy job that involves inserting a finger in the anus to isolate and express the gland.

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

Scooting on the carpet is often a sign of uncomfortable anal glands, though dogs may also do it when feces are stuck to their fur, or to irritated skin back there. It’s always a good idea to have your dog checked out if you are noticing this. Scooting on the carpet is often a sign of uncomfortable anal glands, though dogs may also do it when feces are stuck to their fur, or to “itch” irritated skin back there. It’s always a good idea to have your dog checked out if you are noticing this.

 

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