Is Your Dog Scooting? What Is Anal Gland Expression And Why Does Your Dog Need It?

dog scooting

Is Your Dog Scooting?

Does your dog scoot his/her bottom around on the floor? Do you ever notice a foul odor coming from their backside? If so, it’s possible that your pooch is having some issues with its anal glands. Anal gland expression is an important component of canine hygiene and health - although it can be smelly and unpleasant for both pet owners and groomers alike! In this blog post, we’ll explore how to identify when a dog needs an anal gland expression, why they require it, the risks associated with not expressing them regularly, as well as the different methods available for doing so.

What Is An Anal Gland And Why Does It Need To Be Expressed?

Anal glands are two small sacs found on each side of a dog’s anus that produce a fluid with a foul odor used for marking territory and also help to pass hard stools. Dogs naturally express a bit of their anal gland fluid whenever they poop, but if your dog has frequent soft stools or diarrhea, the glands may not be expressed at all. If not expressed in a timely manner, the anal glands may become swollen, and cause pain and itchiness, which is why you may see your dog scooting their bum, trying to relieve itself. If your dog is scooting too much with severely affected anal glands, the anal gland sacs can rupture. Literally, explode, and cause bleeding. This would then require expensive vet bills to treat, making prevention key. 

What Are Signs My Dog Needs Anal Gland Expression?

  dog scooting

If you observe any signs of distress around their rear end, act fast to prevent further issues from arising! Common clinical indicators include:

- scooting across the floor 

- discomfort or excessive licking near their hind end

- straining while defecating

- sudden foul odor released from stress or excitement

- bleeding or swelling near the anal region

If your dog’s anal region looks swollen or red, this is a big red flag your pet needs to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Benefits of Regular Expression With Grooming Services 

We recommend that all dogs receive regular anal gland expression during their grooming appointments. Regularly expressing your pup’s anal glands can help improve their quality of life by relieving any pain or discomfort they may experience in this area while providing them with much-needed relief overall.  This procedure should not be painful for your pet; however, they may experience some mild discomfort because of the pressure applied during the massage. Since dog groomers can only express these glands externally, an internal expression by a veterinary technician may be required if your dog’s anal gland sacs are further inside or are too painful to squeeze from the outside. 

Regularly expressing your dog’s anal glands is an important part of their health care routine that should not be overlooked. Not only does it reduce potential issues from developing, but it provides immediate relief of discomfort they may already feel in this area as well as improving their quality of life overall. At our grooming services, we recommend all dogs receive regular anal gland expressions in order to keep them healthy and happy!

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