The anal glands are two small structures on either side of the anus that secrete an odorous, “fishy”-smelling fluid. The purpose of the fluid is to provide identification information that other dogs can detect. Typically, the pressure that naturally occurs when dogs defecate is sufficient to empty the glands. Some dogs can have problems with these glands when the fluid does not empty naturally, and this can lead to impactions, infection and one or both glands rupturing. Dogs with full anal glands that are not emptying well often begin “scooting” (dragging their behind on the ground) and/or turning quickly to bite at their behind. A ruptured anal gland can be very painful for your pet and requires veterinary care. Please give us a call if you have concerns that your dog could be dealing with this health issue.

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

Not all dogs require drainage or expression of the glands. If your dog has issues with their anal glands, consult with our vet. In some cases, owners can learn how to properly empty glands while other dogs will need their glands expressed by a professional.

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

Scooting is often a symptom of anal gland issues, but other problems can cause a dog to scoot. If your dog is scooting a lot, it is best to schedule an exam with your veterinarian.

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