Why Is My Dog In Pain After Their Glands Have Been Expressed

Why Is My Dog In Pain After Their Glands Have Been Expressed?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Your veterinarian may not have removed all the anal sac material due to the anal gland impaction being too severe. Additionally, an injection or shave may be required after surgery, which may cause discomfort, itching, or irritation. Your dog may also have an abscess or a tear, which are painful conditions.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why Is My Dog In Pain After Glands Have Been Expressed?“.

You might have already smelt your dogs anal glands if you have never heard of them.

Why Is My Dog In Pain After Their Glands Have Been Expressed

There is a malodorous fishy odor associated with anal gland problems but what purpose do they serve?

In the event that something goes wrong what should you do?

You can find two small oval glands on either side of your dogs anus called anal glands.

Your dogs glands release pheromones that inform other dogs about your dog and they keep your dogs stool healthy.

A veterinarian is sometimes required to check out express or treat the anal glands if something goes wrong. 

What happens when a dog has its glands expressed?

You can either take your dog to the vet for the procedure or do it yourself at home if his or her gland needs to be expressed.

Expression of the anal gland is very easy and does not require any special skills or tools.

However if you have never expressed glands before it is best to have a qualified veterinarian demonstrate how to do so. 

During gland expression slow gradual drips of liquid will be released from the anus.

Fish-smelling liquids often have a strong odor.

There are many different types of liquids and they can range in consistency from a clear liquid to a grainy brown substance.

When the anal glands are expressed the important thing to look for is blood pus or a pasty consistency.

Any of these things occurring at home should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. 

How can I tell if my dog needs its glands expressed?

It is most likely that your dog will let you know when there is a problem with its anal glands. Dogs exhibit a variety of symptoms that you should be aware of.

Even after being told to stop your dog might continue to scoot across the carpet in your living room.

Furthermore they may lick their bottoms excessively and show that they are uncomfortable sitting down. You may also need to express your dogs glands if you occasionally smell fishy odors on furniture in the car or on the carpets.

There is an odor associated with the occasional release of anal glands when they should not be released and its a sign that your dogs anal glands are full. 

Why do some dogs need their anal glands expressed?

Approximately twelve percent of dogs do not naturally release the anal glands during defecation so the glands must be expressed manually.

Weight age diet exercise and sometimes some inclination to small breeds may contribute to this problem. We’re not quite sure why it happens but some factors can be weight age diet and exercise.

It is possible for the anal glands to occasionally become blocked or for your dog to produce too much fluid even if your dog is in perfect health. 

Anus swelling or inflammation is the most common reason for dogs to have their anal glands expressed.

This swelling can prevent the dog from defecating as it blocks the flow of liquid through the anal glands.

These liquids will accumulate over time and cause your dog discomfort and pressure. 

Is it normal for a dog to be in pain after having their glands expressed?

Something might be wrong if your dog appears to be in pain after having their anal glands expressed.

The expression of anal glands is a natural process performed by most dogs on their own. Its important to contact your veterinarian if your dog has swelling or redness in the anal area.

If a dog is to receive anal gland expression it should be monitored afterward to ensure that it is acting normally happy and free from pain. 

Why might a dog be in pain? Dog sore after glands expressed 

Sometimes dogs may become uncomfortable after the anal gland has been expressed. After anal gland expression discomfort is commonly caused by incomplete emptying of the anal glands.

A swollen dogs anus can make it difficult to tell whether all of the liquid has been released.

Dogs with a severe anal gland impaction may need to have the liquid expressed again a few days after the first expression. 

In addition to gland expressions anal abscesses are another cause of pain for your dog.

The anal gland gets infected with an abscess a painful infection.

It is possible that your dog is still dealing with the effects of infection after your vet visit if an abscess was the cause of the gland expression.

Even though swelling and redness should reduce it may still be worthwhile to see the vet if your dog is still suffering from a sore bum. 

What other side effects might a dog suffer after having their glands expressed?

It is also possible for dogs to suffer other side effects after their anal glands are expressed. If the vet needs to use a special softening injection the anal sacs can sometimes become sore after expression.

If the anal sacs become hard after injection this injection can help release the fluid but the injection site can be uncomfortable afterward causing some butt scooting and excessive licking even after the liquid is released. 

There is a possibility that your dog also had to have their bum shaved before the procedure if they had a lot of butt floof.

Even though this is not uncommon razor burn in this area can be extremely uncomfortable.

Some dogs may have redness or soreness in the area for a few days until their hair begins to grow back.

Increasing itchiness can also occur when hair grows back. 

What sorts of dogs or breeds of dogs are more likely to need their glands expressed?

While dogs of all ages and sexes are susceptible certain breeds are more susceptible to problems with the anal glands.

Though no one really knows why it seems that small breed dogs are more likely to have problems with their anal glands.

Some of the breeds that are generally prone to these problems are Toy and Miniature Poodles Chihuahuas and Lhasa Apsos.

Medium-sized breeds can also have issues in a similar way to these small ones.

Regular problems with the anal glands are known to plague Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds. There is also evidence that beagles are predisposed to anal gland expression problems. 

A condition called a perineal fistula may also affect some dog breeds.

Breeds like German Shepherds Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels can suffer from this disease which causes chronic foul-smelling wounds near their anal tissues.

Due to this condition the dog will need to be treated repetitively for their anal glands and will often require veterinarian intervention throughout their life in order to remain healthy and comfortable. 

Why do dogs have anal glands?

There are many reasons why dogs might have evolved to have anal glands.

Anal glands are one of the more commonly known reasons why dogs mark their territory with them.

Anal glands release pheromones which provide information to other dogs when they are released.

The scents that dogs pick up from each other or the circles they make before greeting each other provide them with knowledge about the individuals age sex and health. 

The anal glands of dogs might also assist them in defecation.

It has been proposed that the anal glands lubricate the anus so that hard stool can pass without help. 

Can I soothe my dog’s glands?

Anal gland problems are common in dogs and they need expressions every few weeks. There are a few things you can do to help soothe the area and prolong expressions.

Your dog can benefit from getting more fiber in their diet by increasing the amount.

A simple easy way to do this is to buy one hundred percent canned pumpkin from your local grocery store and add a few tablespoons to your dogs meals.

For dogs pumpkin is a great source of fiber and it can improve the health of your dogs stool which in turn triggers the anal gland liquid to release naturally during defecation. 

Putting a warm compress on the anal glands of your dog is another way to soothe them.

Veterinary professionals believe that holding a warm washcloth up to the glands can stimulate them to express themselves more often resulting in longer intervals between expressions.

Each time you brush your dog hold the washcloth up to it for five to ten minutes.

The washcloth can also be infused with Epsom salt or witch hazel to relieve discomfort. 

Besides decreasing your dogs weight and increasing their physical activity a longer-term solution is to decrease your dogs weight and increase their amount of exercise.

A number of health initiatives can be beneficial for dog breeds that are not predisposed to anal gland problems which could reduce their anal gland problems in the long run.


Talking about your dogs anal glands seems odd but its important to pet owners are aware of some of the symptoms and signs associated with anal gland dysfunction as well as the causes of the problem.

When your dog experiences repeated anal gland problems he or she might need to see a veterinarian to determine the cause and how to treat the problem effectively. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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