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Why do dogs need their anal Glands expressed?

There is no need for anal gland expression for every dog, but only a few dogs need. Why do dogs need their anal glands expressed? Some dogs who are particularly predisposed either due to conformation or from being overweight, or facing some infection or health issues. Below in the article, we are going to discuss the anal glands express in dogs.

Why do dogs need their anal glands expressed?

A question of dog owners around the globe How to know your dogs need anal gland need to be expressed?

How to know when to express a dogs glands?

Generally, when your dog anal gland need to be expressed they will give you signs like 

  • Rubbing her butt on the floor (scooting).
  • licking her bottom area obsessively.
  • pungent odor coming from your dog’s anus.
  • brownish residue left where your dog was sitting.
  • Sitting uncomfortably.
  • Having difficulty sitting or standing Even chasing his tail.
  • Loose stools, diarrhea

Reasons Why do dogs need their anal glands expressed

Anal sac problem:

The most common reason found by the vets for anal gland expression is Anal sac issues. The anal sacs, commonly called ‘anal glands,’ are two small pouches.

If you raise your dog’s tail to the flagpole position, the anal sacs are located on either side of the anus at approximately the four o’clock and eight o’clock 4 and 8 o’clock around the anus.

Why do dogs need their anal glands expressed

Almost 12 % of the dog population is suffering from anal sacs issues.

The most common symptoms of dogs suffering from anal sac problems are scooting, biting at the rear end, constipation, snapping and growling while touching the tail or anus of the dog.

Types of anal sacs issues: 

1. Anal Glands Blockage:

The anal glands blockage mostly happen in dogs suffering from diarrhea.

The anal glands are most likely to be blocked if the stools are soft because the stools contents will not be squeezed out correctly and will remain in the anal glands.

If you want to diagnose the Uncomplicated blocked anal sacs, squeeze the sac to feel if they are full. To unblock the full anal gland, internal or external pressure is required.

2. Anal Sac Infection 

Anal sacculitis, commonly known as Anal sac infection, suffer your furry friend form an unpleased health issue.

The Anal sac infection causes a painful swelling on the affected side of the anal gland. Usually, only one side of the anal gland is affected. It may be the right side or the left side.

To diagnose the infection, generally, bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity tests are required.

This Infection is treated by flushing the sac with an appropriate antiseptic or use of antibiotic like clindamycin, pain medication like meloxicam.

3. Anal Sac Abscess 

The blockage of anal glands for a long time leads to Anal Sac Abscess.

If the anal sac canal inside the anus is blocked, the chances of painful swelling and burst increase skin on either side of the anus, producing a draining abscess. 

Anal Sac Abscess  in dogs

How to express the Anal gland of dogs?

If you observe the dog anal glands are blocked, then you need to express the anal gland.

How to express dog’s glands externally?

Follow the below precaution and methods to express the gland. 

  • Only express the anal sac when they need emptying. Ask your vet for guidance. 
  • Learn from your vet first how to express the glands. Or watch the video below.
  • Use your forefinger or thumb, Gently but firmly squeeze each sac milking upward and outward until they complete the squeezing action. 
  • If you notice that the method is not working then visit your vet because Some time external pressure cant help so, your vet will help to empty the sacs using internal pressure
  • Offer a treat immediately after completing your dog’s glands expression to reward him for allowing you to do next time without any problem.

How to prevent your dog from anal gland issues?

If you want to prevent your dogs from anal gland issues like Anal gland blockage, Anal sac infection and Anal Sac Abscess. Follow the below instructions. 

  • Maintain your dog body weight and prevent them from obesity. 
  • Make a proper schedule for a regular exercise regimen.
  • Feed fiber rich food to Promote healthy stool formation.
  • Feed foods containing anti Supplementary properties like fish oil.

Main causes of anal glands issues in dogs

Poor nutrition

Poor nutrition is one of the leading cause of Anal gland issue in dogs. Their fore proper nutrition is required for puppies.

Foods rich in fiber promote a good wide push of the anus during defecation, passes the stools easily and prevent the risk of anal sac blockage. 

Over Use of drugs

The overuse of drugs, chemicals and vaccines can lead your puppy to anal gland issue. 

The body of the dog tries to get rid of the toxins produced by the drugs through the skin, liver, and even the anal glands.

Be Aware: Removing the anal gland is the worst decision in minor issue because it can cause permanent damage to the anal sphincter.

By removing the anal gland, Toxins that would normally exit through the anal glands go deeper into your dog’s body and lead your puppy to severe health issues.

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How to express the anal gland of dogs?


What are anal glands in dogs?

The anal glands aren’t glands, but their sacs look like skunks which contain oil and sweat glands and receptacles of foul-smelling liquid.

There are two anal glands, near the anal opening, at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock.

What dog breeds need their glands expressed?

Anal glands expressed are recommended for those dogs suffering from Anal gland issues. The anal gland issues are common in all dog breeds.

Certain breeds like Chihuahuas, Toy and Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Basset Hounds, Lhasa Apsos, Basset Hounds, and Beagles are more likely to need monthly, manual expression of their Anal glands.

Can a dog express their own glands?

Yes, Many Dogs normally express a small amount of anal gland secretion when they defecate or when they are nervous or excited.

But a pet owner should express their pooch anal glands manually when it needs to be express to make sure fully empty the glands.

How often do dogs need anal glands expressed?

The schedule of anal glands expresses depends on dog breeds. Some dogs get their anal glands expressed twice a year. While some need to be empty once in a week. Also, dogs suffering from recurring issues need more often to express their anal glands.