clogged anal glands“All of a sudden our dog keeps scooting her butt across the carpet. It’s disgusting. What’s going on!?”
To be blunt – it sounds like clogged anal glands. Most pet owners don’t know very much about their pet’s anal glands until there’s a problem. Do you know how to recognize a blocked anal gland? The symptoms are:
1. Your dog scoots his rear end across the floor or ground.
2. Your dog continues to lick or bite at her rear end.
3. Your dog’s stools are soft and mushy.
4. Your dog’s rear end has a fishy odor.
Here are a few common questions we encounter regarding anal glands:
1. What are anal glands? Where are they exactly? Anal glands are two small glands on either side of your pet’s rectal opening. Each gland contains a bit of foul smelling brownish liquid.

2. What’s the brown liquid for?
Your dog expresses or releases a little bit every time he poops and also every time he meets another dog. Think of how dogs always sniff each others’ rear ends when they meet. To them, it’s as natural as kissing cheeks in Paris or shaking hands in Dallas. The chemicals released in that smelly brown liquid answer every question a dog may have about the new (or not so new) mutt on the block. Male? Female? Is she in heat? Is she pregnant? Inquiring dogs want to know!
This also explains why your dog can’t pass by dog poop without sniffing when you two are out for a walk. To you, it’s a disgusting pile of poop. To your pet, it’s a thumb drive of information.
3. How do you relieve a pet’s blocked anal glands? Call your vet and make an appointment to have her anal glands expressed.
4. Is this something we need to have done for our pet every month? Talk to us about your pet’s case, but In most cases, no. Most pets can do this routinely without human intervention. If expression is done too frequently, pets can lose the muscle tone to do this for themselves.
If you have further questions regarding anal glands or anything else regarding your pet, don’t hesitate to consult with your any of us at Town ‘N’ Country Animal Hospital.