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Does your dog scoot? What you need to know about anal glands

Why does my dog scoot along the ground on his bottom? Although often attributed to worms, the main cause of scooting is blocked anal glands.

What are anal glands?

Anal glands are two grape sized scent glands that sit just inside their bottom (typically in the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions), and are used by dogs to mark their faeces with their own special scent.

They may become blocked, becoming intensely itchy and painful. Left untreated, impacted anal glands can lead to serious infection.

How can I tell if my dog’s anal glands are full?

In addition to scooting, you may also notice:

  • A stinky, pungent smell.

  • Spots of brownish material where your dog has been sitting.

  • Your dog licking their bottom more than usual.

Do all dogs get blocked anal glands?

Usually when your dog passes a stool, their anal glands express themselves naturally. Unfortunately for some dogs this is not always the case and the material builds up and causes a blockage.

Any dog can suffer discomfort from impacted anal glands, however smaller dog breeds such as Chihuahuas, Toy Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos and Beagles are more susceptible. In these cases they are likely to need monthly, manual expression of their anal glands.


If your dog suffers from regularly blocked anal glands:

  • Ensure that your dog has enough fibre in their diet. Our vets can advise you on the best premium foods for your pet.

  • Make sure your dog gets regular exercise (15-30 minutes each day)

  • Book a vet consultation to investigate possible allergies and to prevent infection. Anti-inflammatories or antibiotics might be prescribed in these cases.

  • Ensure that the anal glands are emptied regularly. We can assist you with this too!

Questions? Give our friendly team a call on (03) 9568 2211.


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