A dog's anal glands or anal sacs are situated either side of their bottom anus. The fluid inside has a potent smell that is unique to your dog so it is great for marking territory and giving lots of personal information to other dogs. Most dogs never have an issue with these powerful little sacs and will never need their anal glands emptying but if your dog scoots their bum along the floor or smells a bit fishy, they may have an issue with their anal glands. No, most dogs do not need to have their anal sacs emptied manually. For most dogs the anal sacs will function normally - emptying a small amount of anal gland fluid each time the dog goes to the toilet. But sometimes the anal glands do not empty naturally or do not empty enough and this can lead to the glands filling up and becoming uncomfortable, leaking at inconvenient times or even becoming impacted and infected.
When your pooch sits and licks at his buttocks, it means that the area is either itchy or painful to him. There are many possible causes for irritation of the anal area in your canine companion, all of which require a visit to the veterinarian for treatment of Rover's discomfort. One of the main reasons a dog licks at his buttocks is that his anal glands have become impacted or infected. Rover may also scoot along the ground to help scratch the area because of the itching caused by the impacted glands. A dog's anal glands normally expel a smelly fluid when he defecates. If this doesn't happen, the glands can become swollen and impacted, possibly leading to a bacterial infection or even an abscess. Your vet must expel the fluid from the glands manually and prescribe medications to treat any infections present.
Rectal itching can indicate a variety of issues that could lead to more serious complications. If you feel that your furry family member is experiencing bouts of rectal itching that go on for prolonged periods of time, or that keep reoccurring, you will want to investigate the cause. An anal sac disorder or a tumor may be the problem, which are both conditions that cannot be left untreated.
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