What are anal gland problems in dogs?
What are dog anal glands? These little sacs sit on either side of the dog’s anus, around the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. Located just below the skin surface between the two layers of muscle of the sphincter controlling the anus, they produce an oily, foul-smelling yellow to brown fluid that dogs use to broadcast who they are and mark their territory. These glands are the reason that dogs sniff each other’s rear ends when they meet.
What are the possible dog anal gland issues? Normally when your dog poos, the stool passing squeezes the glands and empties them. When all is well, you hardly notice that they are there. Sometimes the gland does not completely empty and the fluid that is left can become thickened, blocking the duct through which the gland empties. Blocked anal glands in dogs are smelly and uncomfortable and may result in them doing the dreaded ‘scoot’ along the ground, trying to empty them.
The glands can become completely blocked, or impacted, which may lead to infection. This can be extremely painful and make the dog feel ill. If this dog anal gland infection is not treated, abscesses can form and, if still not resolved, the glands can actually rupture. This requires urgent treatment but even ruptured glands can heal, and most return to their normal function.