Anal Glands - Country Inn Pet Resort & Animal Hospital

Does your dog scoot often?

All dogs and cats have anal glands (also called anal sacs). The purpose of anal glands is to secrete a scent marking liquid that dogs use to identify each other, the two anal glands are located internally and cannot be seen. Anal glands normally empty during defecation – but if impacted it can lead to infection, abscess, and rupture. All breeds of dogs can have anal gland problems, but it is much more common in smaller breeds.

The most common symptoms of anal gland problems are scooting, swelling/redness, licking, leaking of foul-smelling fluid, or straining to defecate. This may mean that your pets anal gland needs to be expressed to release that fluid, but frequent expressing of anal glands is not recommended because it can lead to further irritation.