• Let’s begin at the end. Anal glands are sacs located just inside an animal’s anus. They secrete a brown, foul-smelling fluid, likely used for marking territory and as an identifier to other dogs. Issues with anal glands are common problems in dogs. Proper care, during regular grooming or veterinarian visits, reduces the risk of problems. When dogs do their business, pressure on the glands forces secretion. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes those poor little sacs need help with expression. Some dogs are more prone to frequent anal gland problems than others are. Some dogs never have problems.

    So, why is expression so important? When anal glands build up fluid without expression, it can lead to discomfort. Beyond that, the glands can become impacted, infected, and in extreme cases, can rupture.  Fortunately, with experience and strong stomachs, your expert groomers are up to the task. Anal gland expression is a simple process that only takes a few moments. Professional groomers know how to perform the delicate work in a way that causes your pup the least amount of discomfort possible.

    In between grooming visits, watch for signs that your dog may have some anal gland troubles. Watch for excessive scooting. This could just be a sign that hair around your dog’s rear is giving him a little tickle; or it could be a sign that his anal glands need expressing. Either way, it’s a good time to get to the groomer for attention. If your dog spends a lot of time licking his rear, he may suffer from anal gland discomfort. If you notice blood or pus around the area, it’s time to see your veterinarian for an exam. This could mean infection or rupture. Sometimes dogs with impacted anal glands will secrete small amounts of pungent fluid when they are not defecating. You can’t miss it, as the odor is strong and foul.