Does your dog scoot her bottom on the carpet? Does he suddenly and violently turn toward his rear or try and chew under the base of his tail? Does she lift her tail and rub her bottom against the couch or recliner? Does it leave a strong, putrid fishy smell? These are all signs that your dog’s anal glands may be full and uncomfortable. Few other problems will cause these behaviors in your dog. Anal gland care is an important part of your dog’s skin health.
What are anal glands?
Anal glands are scent glands under the skin near the anal opening. If you visualize the face of a clock, the anal glands are located at 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock below the anus. The glands produce a thick liquid or pasty secretion whose smell is unique to every dog. That smell lets other dogs know your dog’s name. That is why dogs sniff each other’s rear when first meeting. Dog’s squeeze the muscles surrounding these glands squirting the liquid on the ground, vertical surfaces or scenting their feces. In this way they mark their presence and territory. But many dogs have lost the ability to clear their glands of the secretion. This is caused by:
Without the ability to naturally express their glands, dogs must use other means of expressing the glands. That is why they scoot, rub or lick and bite the glands. If your dog cannot relieve the glands, the liquid builds-up in the gland, becomes infected and rupture through the skin to the outside. So how do you prevent problems with the anal glands?
Anal Gland Health
Here are some guidelines for maintain healthy anal glands.
Expressing the glands by squeezing them from the outside is the least effective method of relieving them. The internal expression method is preferred for optimum relief. Internal relief can only be done by veterinary staff. However, if you would like to do it yourself, most veterinary hospitals are willing to teach you. Ask your veterinary nurse.