Anal Gland Secretion in Dogs Leaking: Complete Guide

Every dog has anal glands. As the name suggests, these glands are located in the dog’s anus.

The secretion is the individual scent of each dog.

Many dogs have problems with their anal glands at some point in their lives. In one dog, the anal glands are blocked, in the other dog, the anal gland secretion is leaking.

In this article, you will learn everything about anal gland secretion in dogs.

Anal gland secretion from the dog leaks – what to do?

You can easily remove leaking anal gland secretion from your dog’s rear with a cloth.

However, you should always take your dog to the vet if the anal glands are leaking. He can then investigate more closely what is causing the leakage.

All dogs secrete anal glands when they defecate. This is a natural process and part of territory marking.

If the anal gland secretion leaks in dogs, it is usually a result of blocked anal glands. If the anal glands are clogged, the secretion can no longer flow properly.

The secretion gets a tough consistency. Due to the thickening of the secretion, the anal glands no longer empty properly.

The veterinarian often expresses the anal gland secretion by hand. However, more secretion is produced as a result. In some cases, the secretion then runs out unhindered.

Inflammation of the intestine is also partly responsible for this. Depending on the cause, antibiotics may be necessary.

In many cases, however, a change in diet is sufficient. A good diet is also the best prophylaxis so that problems with the anal glands do not arise in the first place.

Recognize anal gland secretion: appearance and smell

The anal gland secretion is reminiscent of liquid and greasy feces. The smell of the secretion is particularly striking. After all, the scent of the secretion is the dog’s identifying mark.

For us humans, on the other hand, the secretion smells very unpleasant. After all, the smell is no coincidence when the glands are in the anus.

As long as everything works smoothly with the anal glands, we humans don’t really know anything about their existence. The secretion is only secreted during bowel movements.

We only become aware of this when there is a blockage, leakage, or inflammation of the anal glands.

How to remove the anal gland secretion and odor?

To remove the anal gland secretion, the anal glands can be expressed. However, this should always be done by a veterinarian.

If you put your hands on it, it can lead to inflammation. Also, expressing is a painful process for dogs. With the wrong technique, this pain can be exacerbated.

If it happens that furniture, floors or the dog itself are smeared with anal gland secretion, a simple cleaning will help. To neutralize the odor, some baking soda can be put on the affected area.

How often do you have to express a dog’s anal glands?

If the dog is healthy, the anal glands do not need to be expressed at all. They empty themselves when they have a bowel movement.

However, some dog breeds are prone to clogged anal glands. This means that their anal glands should be expressed more frequently. Other dog breeds, on the other hand, have few problems with it.

The dog breeds Maltese, Spaniel, Beagle and Chihuahua are particularly affected by blocked anal glands.

If the anal glands are blocked, expressing the anal glands can provide relief.

However, the anal glands should only be treated in the case of acute constipation. Because the expression increases the production of the secretion.

If the secretion is still too viscous, it still cannot drain and the blockage persists.

Another consequence can be the permanent leakage of anal gland secretion. The veterinarian can best weigh up whether and how often expressing is necessary.

What happens if the dog’s anal gland is not emptied?

If the dog’s anal gland is not emptied, constipation can worsen. This means the anal glands are thickening. Inflammation can also occur.

Many dogs also suffer from itching and pain due to the obstruction of the anal glands.

If left untreated, the anal glands can also become a chronic problem. The anal glands can then become permanently clogged or simply leak.

How does a dog behave when the anal gland is full?

Dogs exhibit some behaviors when the anal gland is full. He usually starts licking and nibbling his anus. He shows this behavior very intensely.

Because it is a sign that the anal glands are itchy and painful. Otherwise you can see problems with the anal glands because they are swollen. The skin in this area is also often scaly.

Good to know

Many owners think that if the dog slides around on the buttocks, also called “sledding”, this is a clear sign of a full anal gland. The anal glands can be massaged by sledding and actively emptied by the dog itself.

However, sledging is not always a clear indication of a blockage of the anal gland secretion.

In many cases, this simply means that the mucous membrane in this area is irritated and the dog suffers from itching as a result.

Prevent problems with the anal glands

It is best if the dog’s diet is adjusted so that problems with the anal glands do not arise in the first place.

If your dog’s stool is too soft over a longer period of time, there isn’t enough pressure to empty the anal glands during bowel movements.

Firmer stools can prevent diseases of the anal glands.


Problems with the anal gland are often very uncomfortable for dogs. The glands itch and hurt. In this case it can help to have the anal glands expressed by the vet.

It can happen that the anal glands develop a chronic dysfunction. In this course, they usually run out unhindered.

A suitable diet, so that the faeces does not remain too soft and firm, can have a preventive effect.

Has your dog ever had problems with the anal glands? What behavior did he show? Write it in the comments!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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