Why does my dog quite often keep licking under his tail?

Asked by Member 759925 on Oct 27th 2008 in My Account
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It is most likely because his anal glands are full. Dogs have sacs on each side of the anus that release an odorous exudate (scent glands - just like skunks). Each time the dog has a bowel movement, these glands (are supposed to) exude a smelly, liquid substance. The glands will also express when excited or frightened (anything that would cause the anal sphincter muscle to tighten).

Often times, especially since dogs have been domesticated and if they are on a commercial diet composed of primarily grain and carbohydrates, the glands are unable to be expressed without assistance. When the glands become full, the dog may lick excessively at the anus or scoot its bottom across the ground, as this applies pressure to the sacs.

You may want to take your dog to the vet so he/she can confirm that this is what is going on (and that it's not an injury, allergy, etc.). Your vet can then show you how to check and express the anal glands at home (if you choose to do so).

Member 300693 answered on 10/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer