Your Dog's Anal Sacs (Glands)

Your Dog’s Anal Sacs (Glands)

By Sandy Riordan

My Personal Experience with Anal Sacs!

Well, I know from an up close and personal experience that anal sacs are smelly when expelled! My sister-in-law and I had the unpleasant experience of having them expel, or should I say explode all over us!

One Christmas, we decided to go look at Christmas lights in her neighborhood and her and I were sitting in the backseat with her Border Collie. We came up to a beautifully lit house with a life-size lighted plastic Santa outside. Her dog Moe got so scared and upset seeing that Santa that she went hysterical barking and trying to claw her way out of the car! At the same time her anal sacs released all over both of us. It is hard to describe what it smelled like, kind of like a cross between a skunk and vomit! Needless to say, that cut our holiday lighting festivities short. We couldn’t get home fast enough to shower and wash our clothes!

So, if your dog smells bad and you can’t figure out why, first check to be sure he didn’t roll in something foul, which they love to do! It hides their scent. Check their teeth also; bad teeth can cause bad breath. Check their fur around their rear end. They may have some cling-ons hanging around that need to be removed! If you’ve ruled out all of the above and he still smells, then it is more than likely the anal sacs (glands).

What are Anal Sacs or Glands Anyway?

They are two small glands on either side of your dog’s anus. The material secreted is used for marking territory or for self-defense (against plastic Santas!)

Most dogs empty their sacs by normal walking around and defecation. Some dogs have problems emptying them and they become impacted and sore. If you see your dog scooting across the floor, it may not be from worms; he may be trying to empty the glands. Other signs that they may be having problems are that they will often chase their tails or lick their anal area.

Taking Care of Your Dog’s Anal Sacs

Well, if you’re brave and have a strong stomach, you can try expressing them yourself following either of the two following methods:

The first method is to hold a rag up to the dog’s anus and squeeze both sides of the anal area. This may not work very well if the secretion is thick.

The other method is to insert a gloved finger into the anus and squeeze the gland between the thumb and finger, doing the same thing on the other side. You may have to have someone hold the dog while you are doing this, as I don’t think they’re going to like it very much!

You may have to perform this over a period of several days to get them completely empty.

If you can’t seem to get them expressed yourself, you’ll have to have a vet or your groomer do it for you, which is my preferred method in the first place! If they are impacted, they can get an abscess which can rupture and that’s really a mess!

Now that you know what anal sacs (glands) are and how to take care of them, hopefully it will help you get rid of one of those mystery doggie odors!

Sandy Riordan
Creator of the website – Standard Poodles USA

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