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Anal gland expression is possibly one of the most unsavory tasks performed on your dog. Nonetheless, it is an important part of prevention that will keep your dog healthy and infection free.
Your dog’s anal glands are two small grape-shaped glands located just below the anus to either side. Sebaceous glands, as they are classified, secrete a liquid that is used for identification within a species. The glands produce a foul-smelling fluid that plays a role in scent marking and a small amount of this fluid is then released when a dog defecates. The pheromones from this fluid provide vital information about each other’s age, sex, and health, hence why you find dog’s sniffing each other from behind whey they meet.
The fluid in these glands builds up over time causing your dog to “scoot” his bottom around on the floor or excessively lick the affected area. Other symptoms of full glands include the intermittent releasing of the anal glands at inappropriate times (other than defecation), or red skin, bleeding or drainage of pus around the anus. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your veterinary immediately. Extended irritation can lead to loss of muscle tone in the gland, reducing its ability to function normally.
While some are able to express their dog’s anal glands at home, we recommend that you have them expressed by a medical professional. They are not only experienced, but they are also qualified to identify certain problems or conditions pertaining to unhealthy gland and fluid production. Plus, that frees you up from having to handle this unsavory task.
So, next time you see your pup “adorably” scooting his bum across your bed, you will know that he isn’t trying to be cute or gain your affection, he actually is trying to express his anal glands on your bed. The more you know, the more “paw”some parent you can become!
Animal Health Center at Veterinary Village is a family-owned, state-of-the-art animal hospital located in the heart of Westchester County. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our patients, using cutting-edge techniques, diagnostics and non-invasive methods. We also offer on-premise pet services including grooming, daycare, training, and boarding and veterinary care services including spaying/neutering, second opinions, and superior quality diagnostics including MRI. To make an appointment with on our medical professionals, please contact the hospital at (914) 941-4904. For more information on our hospital and our services please visit our website at www.emergencyvet.org.