Anal glands in animals are located just under the skin at about 4 and 8 o'clock on either side of the anus. These 2 small grape-shaped scent-sacs empty their contents into the rectal area by way of a small connecting duct. They generally are called "marking glands", or "scent glands" because they mark territory. Each side fills up with a thick, foul smelling, oily brown fluid that is normally expelled when the animal has a bowel movement. Sometimes the anal glands become too full and this causes discomfort or itchiness. When this happens your dog or cat will lick under the tail, or drag scooting the rear end along the floor, carpet, or grass. Scooting the anus on the ground has the effect of expressing the anal glands.
Canine Anal Sac Disease in Dogs
Our dogs are adorable in so many ways. But not everything about them is cute. If your dog has chronic problems with their anal glands, you know what I mean. As you can see from the photo, a tiny duct leads from the gland under the skin, to an opening right next to the anus.
Anal Sac Disease in Dogs
Overview Anal sac disease is a common and very smelly problem. If you have ever experienced an atrocious odor coming from the backside of your favorite pooch, you have probably had the pleasure of smelling anal gland discharge. This fluid, used to mark territory, is normally expelled during defecation.
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.