Anal glands are two very small, oval-shaped glands that are located just under the skin in the back of a dog around the anus.
One of the most common issues with anal glands is inflammation, which can cause many problems including odor and potential discomfort for Fido. Typically, a healthy gland will empty any fluid when the dog has any kind of bowel movement. When a dog’s anal glands are inflamed, the gland’s indwelling continues to accumulate causing a distinct fishy, coppery odor. Since anal gland inflammation causes discomfort, another common signal something is wrong is that Fido will often times scoot their butt across the carpet. In these cases, a gland expression is what the doctor orders.
A gland expression is simply a manual release of the fluid inside the anal glands. The fluid is squeezed out in, what can be, an extremely smelly process. If a dog has frequent anal gland inflammation issues, it is often recommended that a diet change is considered. In extreme cases, anal glands can be removed.