Is That An Odor Coming From Your Dog’s Anus? Treatment Tips.

Is your dog rubbing its anus across the floor? While some blame worms, the real cause is the anal sacs. The glands contain an oily liquid that marks territory and helps dogs identify one another. Dogs use the odor as an identifier when sniffing the anus of another canine. Anal gland symptoms include scooting, anus licking and odor.

Where Are the Anal Glands?

The anal sacs are on the sides of the anus inbetween the exterior and interior sphincter muscles. The sphincter holds feces inside the dog until it is released. When feces exit the anus, the sphincter muscle triggers an emptying of the anal glands, causing the oily liquid to empty.

Anal Gland Conditions and Diseases

Canine anal glands range in size depending on the breed and size of the dog. Problems occur when the oily liquid does not empty from the glands. Liquid blocked in the gland will become thicker and thicker. This makes it tough for the liquid to empty and may end up causing anal gland symptoms. As the glands fill they start to swell, making it uncomfortable for the dog. If an infection takes hold, it can cause problems such as glandular abscesses. One sign of infection is unusually bad odor.

In some instances, problems like a tumorous growth may result in a blockage. Tumors affect one of the glands. If the growth is neoplastic, it can move to the lymph nodes, the lungs and liver. If a cancerous growth is blocking any fluid, visit a pet health professional immediately. The typical prognosis for an anal sac tumor is 544 days.


Dog owners can forestall anal gland issues by observing and acting on any early warning signs. Dogs that are suffering from anal gland issues will slide on the rear or try and lick the anus. The powerful odor is also a sign that an issue requires owner attention.


Anal glands in a healthy pooch will drain as a part of a normal bowel movement. In dogs with frequent issues, owners can be trained to empty the glands through palpitation. A groomer or vet can express the glands during an office visit. Dogs with frequent issues are good candidates for surgical removal of the glands.

Ms. Doggins is the author of many articles on dog anal gland health and training. She enjoys teaching owners about puppy and canine care in order to help avoid disease and prevent behavior problems. When not caring for her canines, she can be discovered caring for her very own dogs, or as a volunteer at a small pet shelter.

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