All dogs have anal glands. When your dog has a bowel movement, they secrete a lubricating material. Dogs can also express their anal glands when they are feeling threatened or scared. Sometimes, the anal glands do not excrete properly during bowel movements and they can become too full. This can cause the anal glands to become infected or in extreme cases, even rupture.

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

We do not recommend trying to express your dog’s anal glands at home. It takes training and practice to be able to fully empty the anal glands and not cause further trauma. Please contact Cumberland Veterinary Clinic if you suspect your dog is having trouble with his/her anal glands.

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

Scooting doesn’t necessarily mean that the anal glands are impacted, but can be a sign that they are not expressing normally during bowel movements, or maybe a secondary symptom of an underlying allergy. Our veterinarians will perform an examination on your dog to determine that anal glands are the cause of your dog’s symptoms and properly express the glands if so. If these symptoms are left unaddressed, it can cause the licking and scooting to get worse.

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