by ANDREW M. STREIBER, DVM

Q:  This is probably a very an unusual question but it has become a problem. My two and-a-half year old small mix-breed dog’s anal gland is continually expressing on its own at home.

A:  Generally speaking, a dog’s anal sacs or anal glands will be “expressed” anytime that animal defecates.  However, there are instances when a dog, either out of excitement, fear, stress, or even perhaps, due to the presence of a parasite burden in the gastrointestinal tract, will express its anal sacs when not defecating – excitement at seeing a family member or a stressed filled visit to the vet.  From what you described – regular expression or emptying of his sacs every 5 weeks by your groomer, with visits to your veterinarian in between, is unusual in its frequency, especially if your pet is having regular and firm bowel movements.

Credit: Reviewed by Dr. Amy I. Attas

(WEBVET  3.1.09)