Treating a Dog with Overactive Anal Glands


Q:  My two 1/2 year old small breed (mix) dog keeps having problem with his “anal gland” 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’ve described – regular expression or emptying of his sacs every 5 weeks by your groomer, with visits to your veterinarian in between,  may not be cutting it.  Frequency beyond that level is unusual, especially if your pet is having regular and firm bowel movements.  For problems such as this with anal sacs, a visit to your vet is necessary.  If you don’t have a veterinarian, you can use our Vet Finder tool to find a vet in your area.

Credit: Reviewed by Dr. Amy Attas

(WEBVET  2.10.09)

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