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Dog Anal Gland Expression

Anal glands are two fluid-filled glands located on either side of the rectum. When a dog has a bowel movement, the glands contract and empties their contents onto the dog’s stool as it passes out of the body. The fluid provides each dog with his or her own scent identifier. Although the fluid in each gland smells like rotten fish to us, to dogs the smell provides a unique identification like a fingerprint. That’s why dogs smell each other’s bum when they first meet!

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

Generally, there is no need to drain your dog’s anal glands at home because they should be emptying when your dog has a bowel movement. If your dog has a problem with his or her anal glands, our veterinarian will formulate a control or treatment plan for your dog.

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

“Scooting” behaviour can be caused by many things and full anal glands can be one of the causes. When the anal glands are full, they can be itchy for your dog and that causes the scooting behaviour. An occasional scoot is not a concern. However, if your dog is scooting all the time, please feel free to contact our hospital to discuss your dog’s specific needs.

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