Should anal glands be extracted if no symptoms?

Alex has had his anal glands extracted only once because he was "scooting" across the floor. The vet checked him and said they did it. Abby is going for her yearly check-up this weekend, and I was wondering if her anal glands needed to be checked. Hers have never been extracted, but she has also never "scooted" or shown any other symptons.
Is that something they do only when neccesary or should it be done once a year for prevention?


Asked by Member 497436 on Apr 7th 2008 in Other Health & Wellness
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Best Answer


Definitely only do this if it is needed. Some dogs have problems with anal glands from puppyhood. Others have issues later in life, and some dogs never need them extracted.

Signs of needing anal extraction do include scooting, but that is also a symptom of fleas, alleriges, parasites like worms or an intestinal infection. Usually, a dog with an anal gland problem has a distinct - ahem - odor that can't be mistaken for anything else. :-)

Messing around with the anal glands when they are healthy can actually cause problems. Less is definitely more in this case.

Some groomers offer this service, but...If you suspect that your dog needs her anal glands extracted, and that dog has never had a problem before, then take the dog to the vet first, to get a totally accurate diagnosis before having it done.....just like you did with Alex.

Hope that helps!

Jack answered on Apr 7th.

Other Answers


Mia Muah!  Kisses from Heaven

If nature is doing it's job you shouldn't have to worry about it. Some dogs go their entire lives never needing to have their anal glands extracted. Unless there is a problem, I wouldn't worry about it. :)


Mia Muah! Kisses from Heaven answered on 4/7/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


He he, I just had to snicker because i've never heard them called "extracted" but rather expressed. Extracted makes it sound as if you removed them and they grew back!!

Layla answered on 4/7/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Bam Bam

My 10 month old Chi has not needed them expressed yet. Some dogs can express it on their own, others cannot. If your dog is scooting alot or biting at his rear they may need to be checked. Sometimes my dogs scoot when they have dingleberries. lol.

Bam Bam answered on 4/7/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Hallelujah Praise God

I am a professional groomer. IMO If expressing anal glands wasn't started, it usually does not need frequent expressing. I alsom feel it is a Vtes' job, not a groomers'. Done wrong or too late can cause absesses. If it ain't broke....don't fix it. Anals can be removed by vet operation. It is a messy experience...heels slowly and not recommended, especially in your case. A good groomer can visible see if glands full. Or of course next vwet visit have em check.

Hallelujah Praise God"Halle" answered on 4/8/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer