Reader Canine Anal Glands Problems and Vet Answers

Learn from these canine anal glands problems described by readers and suggestions from our veterinarian. If you can't find the question or answer that will help your dog or puppy, please submit a question of your own here and we'll answer it as soon as we can.

Dog Anal Sac and Glands Health Questions and Answers

Reader Question #1:

Dog Scooting and Anal Gland Infection

My dog is scooting all over the floor causing to form blister on the right side of her rear. The Vet cleansed the area and expressed one of the anal glands. The Vet completed the procedure with an injection and antibiotics. The Vet also suggested that I give her a bath in a solution that they provided. I was asked to return with my dog for a followup visit in a week to check for anal gland tumors that couldn't be seen due to the swelling.

Is there any way to prevent the from happening?

Veterinarian Suggestion for Reader Canine Anal Glands Problems - Infection and Impaction

The recommended and treatment makes sense. When the anal glands are swollen it is near impossible to check for the presence of a small tumor either around or inside the gland. Rechecking the area is exactly what I'd do.

Know that an anal gland infection is not caused by a tumor. In most cases the Vet will check the area and provide a clean bill of health. One suggestion would be to add fiber to your dog's diet, since this adds bulk to the feces. In turn, this will encourage the anal glands to express when your dog defecates.

I'd also suggest visiting the vet as soon as you notice any dog scooting behavior. Expressing the anal gland early will help to prevent any ruptures, infection and impaction.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

Still have questions about canine anal glands problems? Try asking a question of your own here.

Reader Question #2:

Dog Expressing on People

My best friend's dog (with whom I spend a lot of time with) has expressed while sleeping on my lap more than a few times now. She doesn't show any of the other symptoms of impacted anal glands and seems to only express on my lap and on my friend's fiance's lap and it's always when she's relaxed or sleeping.

My friend is going to take her to the groomer to make sure that her glands are properly expressed, but we were just curious if dogs do this as a way to show possession of people or something to that effect.


Vet Suggestion for a Dog That Expresses on People


Well, that is one question I’ve never had to answer before! A dog’s anal glands are supposed to release during defecation, not while they are sleeping. Anal gland material is used to mark territories, not show affection, although the glands can also release when a dog is scared or stressed.

Emptying the glands (either with your groomer or with a veterinarian) is a good place to start. If the material looks abnormal, the glands might be infected and antibiotic therapy could certainly clear up the problem if that is the case.

If the glands are overly full, I recommend that you try bulking up your dog’s stool, which can encourage the glands to release during defecation. Adding a little psyllium or canned pumpkin to your dog’s current food is an easy way to do this.

Good luck!

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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