Anal Gland Expression

Many pet owners are unaware that cats and dogs have a set of anal sacs (also called anal glands) on either side of the anus. They contain a liquid that helps lubricate stools when the animal defecates and gives them their own unique smell.

Most dogs do not have trouble with their anal sacs. However, some of them require regular manual expression to prevent sacs from becoming impacted (blocked). This can cause infections, discomfort or abscesses. Signs you should look out for in your cat or dog: excessive licking or rubbing of their rear end, lethargy, anorexia, pain or a wound near the anus. Contact us if you notice any of these behaviours in your pet.

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

We do not recommend expressing the anal sacs yourself. A qualified member of our staff will be happy to do this for you.

If my dog scoots (dragging his bottom across the carpet), does this mean that his anal glands are blocked?

A dog that scoots or is constantly licking its perineum may need anal gland expression. Call the clinic if you notice this behaviour in your dog.