How to clean a dog's anal glands

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Anal glands really have no purpose in dogs. These archaic organs are located beneath the skin just inside the anal opening. The secretions that collect are very unpleasant and can cause problems and infection in the dog. Here is how to clean a dog's anal glands.

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  1. 1

    Express the anal glands regularly during bath time. The anal glands or sacs are located just inside the anal sphincter muscle at the five and seven o'clock positions, just inside the anal opening. These glands are about the size of a kidney bean normally. As they impact, or become full, they enlarge to the size of grapes.

  2. 2

    Wear latex gloves. Wet the glove or work in the water and insert the index finger gently just inside the dog's anal opening. This is uncomfortable for the dog, so do this slowly and gently.

  3. 3

    Use the thumb of the same hand and place it on the outside of the anal opening at approximately 7 o'clock. You should feel the anal gland between your fingers.

  4. 4

    Gently pinch the anal gland between your fingers and the accumulated secretion should squirt out. You should be able to feel the anal sack shrink in size as you're gently squeezing.

  5. 5

    Move your fingers to the 5 o'clock position and gently squeeze in the same way.

  6. 6

    Repeat the procedure regularly during bath time to keep your dog's anal glands in optimal health.

Tips and warnings

  • If your dog is scooting on the floor, it is a sign that his anal glands need to be cleaned. Anal sac problems are extremely common and can cause extreme pain for your dog. Clean the dog's anal glands regularly or seek help from your vet.
  • Bath time is a good time to express the unpleasant smelling fluid and this can be done while the part is underwater to cut down on the odor.
  • If you can feel the swollen or hardened sacs and the fluid cannot be expressed, then you need to have your veterinarian do it. The secretion may have thickened and hardened too much to remove yourself.

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