The anal glands of a dog are usually about the size of a small grape and are located just inside the bottom. While some dogs naturally empty their anal glands during bowel movements, others may experience blockages. This condition is more common in certain breeds, such as Miniature Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Beagles, as well as overweight dogs.
Blocked anal glands can cause discomfort and pain for your dog, so it’s important to seek treatment from your vet. Fortunately, your vet can easily resolve this issue by manually emptying the glands.
Common signs of blocked anal glands in dogs include a foul odor, discomfort when sitting, rubbing their bottom or dragging it across the ground, and excessive licking of their bottom.
If you suspect your dog’s anal glands need to be expressed, it’s always best to speak to your vet. Don’t hesitate to contact your local vet if you notice any signs of blocked anal glands.
To see how your vet will treat blocked anal glands, watch our video featuring Jules, our vet and practice owner.
Here are some helpful tips for expressing your dog’s anal glands
- It’s recommended to wear gloves and use a lubricant or dampen your fingers with water for easier and cleaner access.
- The anal glands are situated at around the 4 to 8 o’clock position of your dog’s bottom.
- Use cotton wool or a tissue to catch any discharge and avoid any mess.
- Gently apply pressure with your thumb and index finger and push upwards towards the bottom. You should begin to see some discharge.
Remember, it’s always best to seek advice from your vet before attempting to express your dog’s anal glands on your own.
Can I express my dogs glands myself?
While it is possible to express your dog’s anal glands yourself, it is generally not recommended unless you have received proper training and guidance from a veterinarian or experienced groomer. This is because expressing the anal glands incorrectly or too forcefully can cause injury, pain, and infection.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of anal gland problems, such as scooting, licking, or biting at their rear end, it is important to take them to a veterinarian to have their glands checked and treated if necessary. A veterinarian can also provide guidance on how to prevent future anal gland problems, such as through dietary changes or regular gland expression.
In some cases, expressing the anal glands too frequently can actually lead to further problems, such as inflammation or infection, so it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s guidance on how often to express your dog’s glands and to seek their advice if you have any concerns.
Does it hurt a dog to express glands?
Expressing a dog’s anal glands can cause some discomfort or pain if it is done incorrectly or too forcefully. The anal glands are located on either side of the dog’s anus, and when they become impacted or infected, they can cause discomfort, pain, and even infection.
When a veterinarian or experienced groomer expresses a dog’s anal glands, they typically use gentle pressure and massage techniques to help release the fluid from the glands. While this can cause some temporary discomfort or pressure, it should not be painful if done correctly.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of pain or discomfort during or after anal gland expression, it may be a sign that something is wrong, and you should consult with a veterinarian. Additionally, if you are not trained in how to express a dog’s anal glands, it is not recommended that you attempt to do so, as you could inadvertently cause injury or infection.
How can I express my dog’s glands naturally?
It is generally not recommended to express a dog’s anal glands naturally or without veterinary supervision. Expressing a dog’s anal glands incorrectly or too forcefully can cause injury, pain, and infection.
If your dog is experiencing anal gland problems, such as scooting, licking, or biting at their rear end, it is important to take them to a veterinarian to have their glands checked and treated if necessary. A veterinarian can also provide guidance on how to prevent future anal gland problems, such as through dietary changes or regular gland expression.
Some natural remedies, such as dietary changes or adding fiber to the dog’s diet, may help to prevent anal gland problems by promoting regular bowel movements and reducing the risk of constipation. However, these remedies should be discussed with a veterinarian before being implemented, as they may not be appropriate or effective for every dog.
It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s guidance on how to care for your dog’s anal glands and to seek their advice if you have any concerns or questions. Attempting to express the glands naturally or without proper training can lead to injury, pain, and infection for your dog.
What happens if a dog’s glands aren’t expressed?
If a dog’s anal glands are not expressed when they become full, impacted, or infected, it can lead to a number of potential problems, including discomfort, pain, and infection.
When a dog’s anal glands become impacted or infected, it can cause a variety of symptoms, such as scooting, licking, biting at their rear end, foul odor, and difficulty defecating. In some cases, the glands may even rupture, which can cause more serious health problems and require veterinary treatment.
Chronic anal gland problems can also lead to inflammation, infection, and damage to the surrounding tissues, which can cause long-term discomfort and pain for the dog. Additionally, anal gland problems can be a sign of underlying health issues, such as allergies, gastrointestinal problems, or infections, that may require medical treatment.
Regular anal gland expression and veterinary check-ups can help to prevent these potential problems and ensure that your dog’s anal glands are healthy and functioning properly. If you suspect that your dog is experiencing anal gland problems, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.