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How to Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands
Emptying a Dog's Anal Sacs - Veterinary Partner - VIN
Anal sacs or anal glands are located just inside the anus at the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. Small ducts pass from the sacs to the rectum and empty just inside the anal opening. The glands inside of the sac produce an aromatic liquid that is typically expressed during defecation. As dogs age, this liquid can start to have a thicker consistency, which is more difficult to express during normal defection. Consequently, the sacs can become overfilled which leads to discomfort. You may notice your pet frequently licking their bottom, scooting their bottom on the ground, or walking with a stiff-legged or hunched appearance.
Author: Dr. Beth Turner. This page may contain affiliate links, for which we earn a commission for qualifying purchases. This is at no cost to you, but it helps fund the free education that we have on our website. Read more here.
One of the most common problems we see in dogs are anal gland infections. Each time your dog has a bowel movement the fluid in the anal sacs should be expressed as the feces passes out. In some cases these glands will become infected or obstructed, and many dogs will have recurring problems with their anal glands. The best way to prevent infection and impaction is to manually express the anal glands. Some people are more comfortable having this done at a veterinary clinic but you can also learn how to do it at your home.