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.

Last updated: May 30, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!


  • Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
  • 3. OPERATING HOURS We are OPEN with the following hours:
    Monday to Friday: 8 am - 8 pm
    Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm
    Sunday: Closed

    5. NEW PET OWNERS Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - The team at Hull Veterinary Hospital