What are anal glands? Why do they need expressing?

Golden retriever sitting on table What are anal glands?​

You have have had your vet mention to you that your dogs anal glands need expressing. Maybe you’ve even taken your dog to have their glands expressed. Do you know what that means?

To the right you can see a picture of what anal glands are. These are found either side of your pets anus. All dogs have anal glands, and many can go through life without any trouble with them. The purpose of these glands is to produce a strong smelling liquid. The dog can express this liquid to mark their territory. Most dogs involuntary express their glands, and this prevents any liquid building up. 

However, some dogs need help expressing their glands. If you find your dog is scooting, licking their rear end excessively, or their stool consistency has changed then they may have issues with their glands. 

If your dog is unable to express their anal glands then this can lead to many different issues, including anal gland abscess, infection, or impaction. To prevent this happening it is best to make routine visits to your vet. A vet technician can manually express your dog’s anal glands for them.

cartoon image of anal glands What are anal glands?​

If you find your dog paying lots of attention to their rear end, then it is best to get them checked our by your local, friendly, veterinarian.  Once an anal gland has rupture your dog is going to be in lots of pain, and you are looking at an expensive vet bill too. Some dogs need their glands expressing more frequently than others. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian and ask what their advice is. Is your dog spending time scooting along the floor? Call us now and we can get you booked in to speak with our Doctor.