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Dog Anal Gland Expression

The anal glands are two small sacs located on either side of the anus. Anal gland secretions act as territorial markers and are usually expressed by muscular contractions whenever your dog passes a bowel movement.

Anal gland disease is very common when the sacs frequently become impacted (plugged) due to inflammation of the ducts. This impaction can lead to infection and abscess formation. The first sign of full anal glands is often scooting or dragging their rear along the ground. They may also lick and/or bite excessively at the base of their tail.

The treatment for impacted anal glands is to express or empty the sacs fully. If there is a severe infection in one or both sacs, the veterinarian may infuse them with an antibiotic.

Should I drain my dog’s anal glands at home?


No, expressing anal glands is determined to be a veterinary procedure by the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Act. Groomers are no longer permitted to perform the procedure as underlying infections may go unnoticed to an untrained professional. We would be more than happy to express your dog’s glands for you!

If my dog scoots on the carpet, does this mean their anal glands are impacted?


The first sign is often scooting or dragging their rear along the ground. They may also lick and/or bite excessively at the base of their tail.

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