The Anal Gland Express

img src=”” alt=”” width=”200″ height=”200″ class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-37″ />If your dog scoots its bum across the floor, dragging itself by its front legs and rubbing its whole backside on the floor, or on the ground, you may have an anal sac problem. This isn’t always the case, as the dragging can also be caused by excessive skin around the vulva trapping dirt in the folds and causing itching, infection and irritation.

At any time, if your dog does this frequently, see your vet immediately. This can be a painful (infected anal sacs or rupture) and irritating problem for your dog if not dealt with promptly.

Back to the anal gland question. These sacs are located just inside your dogs’ anus to either side of the opening, and contain a really smelly, obnoxious substance. Generally speaking, most dogs empty their own sacs as they defecate. If they become blocked or irritated, your dog tries to fix the problem by scooting. Other signs to look for if there is a possible anal sac problem is the dog chasing its tail and licking its anal region and the fur around their tails.

How do you fix this? The anal sacs will need to be emptied/expressed. This is accomplished by either gently pushing on the exterior parts of the anus – think clock hand positions and aim for 4 pm and 8 pm. This isn’t the easiest job in the world and guaranteed your dog will squirm like the dickens when you try this. So, when all else fails, take your dog to the vet and have the glands emptied “inside” your pet’s rectum. Yes, you can learn to do this on your own, but the smell, messy liquid and the squirming usually mean the owner throws up their hands in defeat and has someone else do it.

Once the sacs have been emptied, the scooting may stop within a few days. But, do not be surprised if it doesn’t, and it’s common to have it done more than once. Also, be aware that scooting can be caused by other things, such as tapeworms, a back injury or ulcers near the anus. Bottom line is, always talk to you vet to get answers.