If your dog is scooting around on his booty all over your house, it could be that he's just trying to scratch an area he just can't reach, or it could be a little something more. Dogs have glands near their anus that need to be expressed. Some can do it on their own when they go out to do their business, while small dogs have to have this done for them by a veterinarian or at the groomer (if your groomer provides this service). There are times though that the anal glands do not express on their own and it becomes an issue. See below for tips on how to tell if your dog has a problem with his glands, and what you can do about it.

How To Tell If Your Dog Has A Gland Issue

  • Scooting around on the floor is a sign of a problem. Your dog is trying to scoot to get the gland to express.
  • If your dog is licking or chewing on his hind area he could be telling you there's a problem back there.
  • Mushy poop or constantly going to the bathroom could also be a sign of a problem. Your dog may be trying to go to the bathroom over and over again to get the pressure of the poop to press on the gland in order to get it to express.
  • Swelling around your dog's hind area, blood or pus, or tough skin that may also feel hot to the touch (all are signs of a possible infection).

Problems That Can Occur And Why 

If your dog has a problem expressing his anal gland, it could lead to an infection. The bacteria inside the gland can build up, leading to the infection, which can eventually rupture causing an abscess. This can happen as a result of a few things. One could be your dog food. If it's cheap food, it can have a lot of fillers such as cereal that can make your dog's poop too mushy. Try switching up your dog food to something a little healthier.

What You Can Do About It

  1. See the veterinarian. If your dog is doing any of the things above, you notice blood around your dog's rectal area, or changes in your dog's bathroom habits, contact the veterinarian right away.
  2. Apply a warm compress. Applying a warm compress (warm washcloth) to your dog's anal gland area can help make your dog not only feel more comfortable, it can also help express the gland if it hasn't already ruptured.

Your dog should be able to express his own glands himself, but if he isn't able to do so on his own, or you notice signs of an infection, contact your veterinarian right away. His glands may need to be expressed by a professional, or need to be flushed to get rid of the bacteria that has built up. It's always best to contact the veterinarian for help with this issue. 

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