Have you ever wondered why dogs always greet other dogs by smelling their rear ends? It’s because they have anal sacs that excrete odors that are unique to each dog. Each time dogs have a bowel movement, the anal sacs are emptied. Occasionally, the anal sacs can become clogged—which can cause the sacs to fill with fluid.
When that happens, your dog can experience a feeling of fullness or discomfort. Small dogs are prone to anal sac clogs. If your dog is scooting around the yard on its bottom, it may have clogged anal sacs. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions that will help you drain the sacs.
Head for the Tub
The fluid inside the anal sacs can be quite pungent. You’re going to want to wash your dog as soon as you’re done draining the fluid. Therefore, the bathtub is the best place to drain your dogs’ anal sacs. If your dog refuses to get inside the tub, take your pet outside and place a bucket filled with warm, sudsy water near you.
Wear the Appropriate Attire
Draining the anal sacs can get messy. You’ll need to wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or throwing away afterwards. You’ll also need to wear a pair of rubber surgical gloves, which you can purchase at any drug store.
Assume the Position
Have your dog stand up. Kneel down at your dog’s side. Holding a cloth or paper towel, place one hand in front of your dog’s anus. The cloth will allow you catch the fluid as it is excreted from the sacs. Don’t kneel in back of your dog, or you may get covered in secretions.
Drain the Sacs
Carefully place your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of your dogs’ anal opening. You should feel two sacs about the size of peas. Press down on those sacs and move your finger and thumb upward towards the anus. You should see a mucus-type discharge flow from your dogs’ anus. Continue pressing until there is no more discharge.
Call the Vet
If you can’t get any secretions from the anal sacs or they don’t empty completely, you should contact a veterinarian. In some cases, anal sacs can become infected, which may require surgical assistance.
Anal sacs usually empty on their own. Occasionally, they can become clogged by hair or body oils. If your dog is exhibiting signs of discomfort—such as increased scooting or licking—it may need to have its anal sacs emptied. Contact a facility like the Northwest Animal Hospital for further information or to set up an appointment for your dog.