Zoo Anal Glands

Your pet may require their anal glands to be expressed at some point. Without express, the material produced from secreting anal sacs can become trapped within them causing pain and discomfort for both pet and owner, leading to behaviors like scooting their rear over the ground or licking at their anus.

Anal glands, also called anal sacs, are located on either side of the anus at 4 and 8 o’clock positions and look similar to grape-sized balls. Their secretions produce an oily fishy scent which helps your dog recognize other dogs by their scent; during defecation this fluid pushes its way through a tiny duct directly into his or her anus and into their noses.

However, due to diarrhea or another issue that impacts digestion, this process may become disrupted and anal sacs become overfilled or blocked up. Signs that your pet’s anal glands have been negatively impacted include them scooting their rear on the ground, biting their rear end, refusing to climb stairs or chase their tails and emitting an unpleasant odor from their anal area.

Manually expressing anal glands is something many veterinarians do, yet many are uncomfortable doing it themselves. It can be an untidy task for the person helping and even the calmest pet can bite or squirm when being restrained; typically an experienced veterinary technician in animal restraint should control your pet during this treatment session.