Good Dog Blog

Anal Glands: To Express or Not to Express

Share This


Anal Glands: To Express or Not to Express

Anal glands are located inside the anus of most carnivores, as well as a few other mammals. These glands secrete a foul smelling fluid-like material. Normally, as an animal defecates, the glands empty some of this material for the purpose of scent marking. When an animal is stressed or scared, he may express his anal glands resulting in a noticeable foul odor.

Some animals may have a difficult time expressing their anal glands on their own. The quality of your pet’s food may contribute to problems with the anal glands. The glands are expressed physically as stool passes. If the stool is not firm enough, the glands will not properly express. What a pet eats may affect the material that builds up in the glands. If the material is too thick it will be difficult to express and may block the duct that drains the material leading to impaction.

Dogs are more likely to suffer from complications with their anal glands than cats, and small breeds are more likely to have problems than other dogs. Alternatively, pets with medical issues causing chronic soft stools or diarrhea may also have trouble expressing their anal glands. Some dogs may benefit from the addition of 100% canned pumpkin (which is a good source of fiber) to their diet. The fiber helps to firm up and add bulk to the stool, which in turn will help to express the glands.

Signs that your pet may need their anal glands expressed:

  • A common sign is scooting, or dragging the rear end on the ground. This is most often an attempt to relieve the discomfort of full anal glands.
  • Many pets will excessively chew or lick at their hind end which can cause the glands to express a small amount of material and a foul odor may be noticed.
  • Some pets will circle and chew at their tail
  • Others may sit abruptly at times, which may be followed by scooting, licking, or chewing.

If the anal glands are not expressed they will become impacted. This leads to infection within the glands. The gland will then become painful. At this stage, it will require veterinary treatment to heal properly, and in many cases requires a pet to be sedated to have the glands flushed. If the infection is overlooked, the infected glands will abscess.

This is why it is extremely important to have your pet’s anal glands expressed when he or she starts to show signs that they are full. Please make sure your vet and/or groomer are checking your pet’s anal glands regularly!

Tanera Swan owner of Strutt Your Mutt Grooming

2 Locations to serve you! 2077 Beaver Ruin Rd, Suite 90-1, Norcross 678-691-7151 and 5550 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite 4, Lilburn 470-395-7701

Call Us Now!
404-422-9832 or simply Click on the button below and fill out the form. We will contact you! IF YOU ARE A CURRENT CLIENT, PLEASE VISIT OUR LOGIN PAGE AND CLICK

Get In Touch!

Click Here

Follow Us!

Fully Bonded & Insured!

Good Dog! Pet Care inquiries