The first article for you to read is here.
Licking the area, foul- smelling, scooting over the floor; all these could be signs of troubles.
The anal sacs are located right and left of the anus, right under the skin. Normally they have small passages to the outside, and get emptied of their substance , when the dog has a bowel movement.
Most likely these glands were meant to be for territory marking, but our pets of today do not really need them any more.
These glands can get blocked, more and more liquids are produced, and none of it can get expressed. Besides scooting, and a strong odor, you may encounter bloody stools, and-or a swollen anus.
Look at the wonderful clip art above again: expressing the glands is not a difficult task. Take a tissue , or clean cloth, hold your fingers right over the sacs-anal glands, and apply firm pressure (just don't go "over board" so you do not rupture these glands). The glands should empty out into your tissue.
If there is already an impaction, it will be more difficult to empty. The substance is then more pasty, colored grayish or black, where the normal substance is yellow, and more in a liquid form.
I mentioned: impaction.
There are 3 groups of anal gland diseases:
- Impaction: this is, when the sacs do not empty out. (more common in smaller dogs).
- Infection: this is when an impaction is not taken care of, and infection sets in. Consult your veterinarian.
- Abscess: swelling at the site of the anal gland, color: red to deep purple. It is very important to seek your vet.