Anal glands provide lubrication for the passing of stools and also function as scent glands. The sacs that produce these secretions are located on either side and slightly down from the anus. They normally empty when the dog defecates, but may have a tendency to fill or even become blocked in some dogs, and so should be checked from time to time.
When a dog scoots along the ground, it may be a sign of worms or it could mean the anal sacs are plugged and the dog is trying to empty them. They are irritating and can make the dog uncomfortable. And, left untreated, a nasty infection can develop.
Expressing the sacs can easily be done by any JRT owner. Using a soft cloth or tissue, take the skin of the anus and pull it outward with a gentle, twisting motion. This gentle action encourages the sacs to empty. Be warned that the contents of the anal glands possess a very powerful disagreeable odor. You will not want to get it on you or your clothing.
If you see any blood or pus in the secretions, take your dog to the veterinarian.
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