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How to Express Dog’s Anal Glands Externally – Step by Step Guide

Expressing a dog’s anal glands can be unpleasant but it is often necessary to know how to express dog’s anal glands externally. Squeezing each gland to discharge its matter can ease any pain and discomfort your dog may be experiencing. 

Suppose you notice your dog rubbing its butt along the carpet or on the grass by pulling themselves forward with their front legs. That means they are probably trying to express anal glands externally and that it is bothering them. If your dog is scooting it’s booty on the floor once or twice, it might be due to an itch, but if it continues to do so, you should consider the cause of such uncommon behavior.

Symptoms of Dog’s Built-up Anal Glands

  • Butt Scooting 
  • Painful pooping
  • Straining or whining while trying to excrete
  • Blood and/or pus in their poop
  • Extreme licking or guarding of their anal area
  • Unpleasant fishy smell
  • Swollen glands
  • Less tail wagging

Causes of Dog’s Built-up Anal Glands

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Food Allergy
  • Low- fiber Dog Food

Tools Needed to Express Dog’s Anal Glands Externally

  1. Latex Gloves
  2. Lubricant 
  3. Paper Towel
  4. Washcloth or Tissues

Step by Step Guide to Express Dog’s Anal Glands Externally

  1. Make sure your dog stands on all four legs.
  2. Have someone restrain your dog gently. We recommend having them place one arm below and around your dog’s neck like a baby’s bed and the other arm hugging the rest of its body firmly.
  3. Put on latex gloves and use a lubricant (a Vaseline) to the index finger.
  4. Lift your dog’s tail and insert your index finger into its’s rectum (about an inch).
  5. Locate your thumb on the outside of your dog’s anus and bring your thumb and index finger together, running around your dog’s anus. You’ll feel a firm pea to plum-sized object.
  6. Once you’ve found the anal gland, place a paper towel in front of the area (glands tend to spit outward). Using a fair amount of pressure, smoothly milk the gland’s contents toward you. When you can hardly feel the gland, it’s fully expressed.
  7. Repeat the same procedure for the second anal gland.
  8. Once you’ve expressed both the glands, use a warm soapy washcloth to wash the area. Washing a dog’s anal glands helps clear the strong, fishy smell linked with expressed waste contents.

Check for the color of the expressed fluid to know the situation. A normal anal gland fluid is brown with a thin texture. If the expressed fluid is thick, stocky, or colored green, yellow or gray, this is abnormal and could mean an infection or other problem. You should contact your vet if you find the abnormal fluid.

How Often Should I Empty My Dog’s Anal Glands?

It would help if you only emptied them when you spot the typical symptoms described above. It is always recommended to consult your veterinarian before performing any such task on your own.

Are Some Breeds More Prone to Built-up Anal Glands?

Small to Medium-Sized dog breeds like Poodles, Dachshunds, Lhasa Apsos are more prone to express dog glands. Other dog breeds are also affected, but they are rarely affected.

What Happens if You Fail to Express Dog’s Anal Glands?

If not taken care of promptly, blocked anal sacs can cause many infections.

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