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How do you know if your dog has an anal gland issue?

Anal glands are small structures or sacs on the inside of your dogs bottom. Sometimes they can get infected or impacted which can cause problems.

If this is the case your dog will probably be paying attention to the area, such as licking or nibbling around their bottom or the base of their tail. Sometimes they will scoot their bottom across the floor or along the bottom of the sofa to try and find relief. Some dogs can’t reach their bottom easily so may nibble around their back end, tail or back legs.

If the anal glands are very full they may cause some discomfort when defaecating, but it’s unlikely to result in significant changes to their toileting pattern. So, if your dog is struggling to pass faeces this could be a sign of constipation, particularly if the stools they are passing are very hard or pellet-like. It’s worth taking them to your vet for a check-up so they can do a full physical exam, including a rectal exam and check their anal glands. Keep an eye out if there’s been any changes to your dog’s diet, appetite & demeanour.

Answered by: Dr Laura Sullivan MRCVS

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