Have you ever found your pet scooting or dragging their bottom along the ground?
If so, your pet may have an issue with their anal glands. Anal glands are 2 small pouches located on either side of your pet’s anus at approximately the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions. Each time your pet passes stool some of the secretions are squeezed onto the stool. Anal glands are occasionally referred to as “scent glands”, because they enable the animals to mark their territory and identify other animals. If your pet has any issues with their anal glands they may scoot or drag their bottom along the ground or excessively lick or bite at the base of their tail. You may also notice swellings at the 4 and/or 8 o’clock positions.
What are the causes of anal gland issues?
Well there are a number of possible causes, and one common reason is that your pet’s stool may be too soft. Animal feces are normally firm, and the anal glands usually empty when they defecate. A soft stool doesn’t exert enough pressure on the glands for them to empty which can cause your pet discomfort if the glands become too full. The position of the glands in an animal’s body and genetics are other causes of anal gland issues. Should you notice any of the above symptoms, it is recommended to have your pet examined by your veterinarian.
For more information on anal glands see our Illustrated Articles section (click here).