groomingBy Kelli Hlinak, Owner of Aussie Pet Mobile Grooming Houston

Question: I just found out about getting my dog’s anal sacs expressed. What is this and how is it done? Is it safe? Is this done to cats as well?

Every dog and cat has a pair of Anal Glands (or sacs). These pouches are located just inside the anus at approximately 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock. They hold a foul smelling, dark liquid. In normal animals, this liquid is secreted with each bowel movement. However, these glands can also be released when the pet gets excited, nervous or scared. In some instances, the pet’s glands do not empty normally. If they are not expressed by a groomer or veterinarian, the glands can become infected and even rupture, leaving the pet with an open and very painful wound. This process, which involves squeezing the glands on each side, should never be attempted at home by the pet owner. Removing the anal glands is an option for animals that have reoccurring issues.

Also, it is a sign that anal glands may need tended to if your pet is scooting their “bottom” on the ground.