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Dog Anal Gland Expression

Anal sacs, or anal glands, carry some smelly fluid and occasionally need to be expressed/emptied. Many dogs express them by themselves every time they poop, but sometimes the sacs fill with secretions, and your dog needs some help to release these fluids.

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

It is usually safe for you to express your dog’s glands yourself unless your dog is bleeding or oozing pus around his/her anus. Normal anal gland fluid is brown with a thin consistency. If the expressed fluid is thick, chunky or coloured green, yellow or grey, this is abnormal and could indicate an infection. You should contact your veterinarian in the case of an abnormal fluid or non-easy expression.

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

Yes and no; scooting is very characteristic of anal glands impaction/infection, but it can also be a sign of a few other diseases. If your dog suddenly takes scooting along the carpet to wipe his/her bum, he/she needs to be checked. Lots of licking or chewing of his/her rear or tail is another sign that it’s time to get rid of fluid build-up.