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How to Express Your Dog's Anal Glands

Updated on May 30, 2009

If you've got a dog who needs frequently needs to have their anal sacs expressed, you've got to watch this video -- it will make your dog (and you) very, very happy. There are three key tips in this video about dog anal sac expression, and they are each of them demonstrated, so be sure to watch the whole thing.

Dog anal sac expression is something you can probably learn to do at home (please be careful and please take your time) and thereby save Fido unnecessary (and possibly stressful) trips to the vet. The next time your dog starts dragging his butt on the ground, or seems to have trouble going poo, remember the tips in this video. In fact, I suggest you bookmark either this page or the video itself for quick and easy reference.

Manual Anal Sac Expression

There are two common methods of expressing a dog's anal glands, which are located at 4 and 8 o' clock if you're looking at a clock.

Some people squeeze the glands externally, others digitally express them internally. This video demonstrates the latter method, which will require a latex (or vinyl or polyurethane) glove, safe lubricant (K-Y is used by this vet) and a gentle touch with an appropriately sized figner -- smaller dogs may need a pinky. As you can see, Dr. Andrew Jones slowly inserts his index finger into the dog's anus and then palpates the anal sac gland sitting to the left or right of it, expressing one at a time. It doesn't take very long for an experienced person, but if you're new at, do it take your time.

Video: How to Empty Your Dog's Anal Sacs

Warm Compresses on the Anal Sacs

Another tip Dr. Jones shares is that of warm compresses. He runs a washcloth under the tap and then rests it against the dog's anal sacs in order to help loosen them up from the inside. If your dog is having pain because the sacs are hard and impacted, this should help. He says you should hold the compress there for several minutes until it's cool. He also says you can do this several times a day if needed. Note that he demonstrates this in the video so do see for yourself.

Adding Fiber to a Dog's Diet

Lastly, for dogs with anal sac problems, he recommends adding fiber to their diet and if you watch the video you will hear his recommendations regarding how much and how often. When your dog poos, this assists in the expression of your dog's anal glands as the poo stimulates them whilst passing by during defecation. Sorry to word that so graphically, but that's my understanding. If your dog doesn't poo as regularly as he should, you can see how that might lead to anal sac issues.

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