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Dog Anal Glands: What You Need To Know Right Now

As a pet parent, it is very important to know about your dog’s anal glands. In the case of some parents, anal glands can become quite problematic. This is why it is necessary for pet owners to be aware of what they are and how to keep them healthy. 

What Are Dog Anal Glands

Dog anal glands are a pair of oval-shaped glands. They are situated below the dog’s tail. They are located in the muscular ring on either side of the anus. 

Dog’s anal glands are not technically glands. They are small sacs. They are the size of a cherry. These sacs are filled with granular cells. They make a yellow fluid. This fluid consists of oil and sweat. It can be creamy, thick, watery, or may not have any solid material in it. 

Dog Anal Glands: Why Do Dogs Have This Organ

Dogs have anal glands for one of the following reasons:

  • Marking Territory: According to a theory, the strong smell of the anal sac secretions can be used by dogs to mark their territory. 
  • Lubricant: Based on extensive research, some scientists believe that the secretions produced by a dog’s anal glands can ease the distress caused due to hard feces.
  • Health Check: The scent of the secretion varies based on a canine’s health. Scientists believe this scent helps dogs communicate with other dogs in health or sickness.

What Causes Dog Anal Glands Problems

Some of the common causes of dog’s anal gland problems are:

  • Allergies: Environmental or ingested allergies can cause inflammation around the duct opening. Dogs suffering from long-term loose stools, irregular bowel movements, or diarrhea are prone to dog anal gland problems. 
  • Prior Infection: If a dog has previously suffered from an anal sac infection, then it can make him more likely to suffer from dog anal gland problems.
  • Past Trauma: Some injuries can cause deformation of the anal gland duct in dogs. This can make it harder for the secretions to exit.

Are Certain Dogs Prone To Anal Gland Problem

Small dog breeds are usually more prone to anal gland problems. However, anal gland problems can also affect large dog breeds. Some of the most commonly affected dog breeds by anal gland issues are:

  • Beagles
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Miniature And Toy Poodles
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Chihuahuas 
  • Basset Hounds 

Some Common Symptoms Of Dog Anal Glands Problem

If your dog is suffering from anal gland problems, you can likely make out his discomfort through the following symptoms.

  • Scooting Butt: Is your dog dragging his butt across the floor? One of the leading causes of scooting might be parasite infection or the dog anal glands disease. Your dog might be scooting due to irritation, blockage, or infection caused by the disease.
  • Bad Breathe:Do you see your dog licking at the affected area? Then, they might be doing this to pick up the anal sac secretions. This is one reason why your dog’s breath smells bad.
  • Distinct Odor:Have you been noticing a strong, constant smell coming from your dog’s behind? While healthy anal sac secretions are not overpowering, a dog who is suffering from anal gland infection might have a distinct odor. 

Most Common Types Of Anal Gland Problems In Dogs

Some of the most common types of anal gland problems are as follows:

  • Impacted Anal Glands In Dogs: Impacted glands in dogs is the initial stage of anal sac disease. It can be easily treated if noticed. If ignored, it can lead to the second stage, which is inflammation. It can create more complications.
  • Anal Gland Infection: Anal gland infection can lead to moderate to severe pain in dogs. If left untreated, it can build up pus inside the dog’s gland. The gland opening can get obstructed due to the dog’s swollen anal glands.
  • Anal Gland Tumours: Anal gland cancer or anal gland tumor is also very common in dogs. It is more commonly found in female and older dogs. Dachshunds and German Shepherds are more prone to anal gland tumors. 

How To Diagnose Dog Anal Glands Problem

You need to head to a vet to diagnose the blocked anal glands in dogs. Apart from checking the common symptoms of dog anal gland problems, he will also perform urinalysis and blood work. 

The vet will take a sample of the anal sac secretions. He will check your dog for any evident blockages. He will examine the liquid concentration. He will check for how long they have been there. 

Veterinary Treatments For Dog Anal Glands

Some of the most recommended veterinary treatments for preventing and treating dog anal glands are:

  • Expressing Dog’s Anal Glands:Most of the time, the vet recommends that manual expression of your dog’s anal glands are required.Whether you want to do it yourself or have the vet take care of it is your decision.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Drugs:The vet would likely prescribe some anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the cause of infection. It will help the dog keep away from additional swelling.
  • Antibiotics: Has your dog been suffering from any infection previously? Then, the vet will likely prescribe antibiotics after draining the anal glands of your dog. It will prevent the infection from occurring once again.


What is the best dog food for anal gland problems?

Pumpkin is the best dog food for anal gland problems. It is very easy to find. It keeps your dog healthy. It makes a great source of insoluble fiber.

How to relieve dog anal gland discomfort?

You can relieve a dog’s anal discomfort by giving him a warm compress. The next best thing is to head to the vet to get it diagnosed. 

How do you know if your dog needs his glands expressed?

You will know if your dog needs his expression if you find him scooting on the floor, licking their behind, or having a pungent and stinky smell.