These two scent glands are located on either side of the lower half of the interior anus. The secretion that comes from the gland is a brownish liquid that has a strong odor.
Dogs use these glands to identify each other and for territorial marking.
Normal working glands express as your dog has a bowel movement; the stool pushes on both sides of the anus and expresses the glands. Dogs will often express their anal glands if frightened or under stress.
EXPRESSING ANAL GLANDS
Most dogs have no problem expressing their own anal glands. However, if you notice your dog licking his anus or dragging his bottom on the ground, those are indicators that the anal glands are full and your dog is having trouble empting the sacs.
The most common reason for glands to get impacted is soft stool. Your dog’s soft stool doesn’t create the pressure needed to release the glands. When this happens you will need to take matters into your own hands and manually express your dogs glands.
HOW TO EXPRESS ANAL GLANDS
1. You need medical or rubber gloves
2. You will need Vaseline or other lubricant
3. Damp warm cloth
There are two ways you can empty glands.
First put gloves on, pinch the dog’s anus from the outside, massaging the glands upwards to the tiny openings.
If this doesn’t work then lubricate your glove on the index finger. Use that finger to insert into your dogs anus. You will feel the sacs on either side of the anus wall. Massage upward applying pressure until the gland releases. Then repeat on the other gland. Wipe the dog anus with warm clean cloth.
If blood or pus is present in the secretion your veterinarian should be contacted. If you are unable to express or if the glands seem swollen your dog may have an anal gland abscess. Seek your veterinarian’s advice.
Learn this and many other Canine care technique by taking Knowthydog Canine Care First Aid course.