Have you noticed your dog dragging their bottom along the floor? Or perhaps a strong, foul odor is lurking around their hind end? Are they licking or chewing their bottoms excessively? This can be due to your pet’s anal glands not expelling fluid properly. The fluid is used for marking territory- hence the powerful odor. Normally, the fluid from the anal glands is expelled during defecation. If this does not occur, the fluid builds up in the glands causing irritation, itchiness, pain and infection. It is also possible for the anal glands to rupture. On top of that, licking and chewing can cause topical infections.
If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors they may need to have their glands manually expressed. This is a simple procedure performed by a technician. Sometimes, an examination with a veterinarian is necessary in order to determine if there is a more serious problem such as infection or an anal gland impaction. An impaction is when a bile duct to the gland becomes blocked. In the most extreme cases, surgery is required to remove the anal glands. This is called an anal sacculectomy. Fortunately, most dogs just need an appointment with a technician to help them out!