Dog Anal Gland Expression

Every dog has anal glands. It is one way for your dog to indicate to other dogs that they are in the neighbourhood. When he or she has a bowel movement, the normal stool will apply pressure to these glands, and they are expressed naturally. This isn’t the only time they express them. It is also possible for them to be expressed when your dog is scared. Some dogs may even express them by scooting, often on a carpet, which is a behaviour that no dog owner likes! However, in some cases (for example, if your dog has soft stool), they may not express naturally. Should this happen, it does not take long for them to fill too much and then there is a risk of infection or rupture.

Should I drain my dog’s anal glands at home?

While it is possible to learn how to express your dog’s anal glands at home, it is generally not recommended. Expressing too often or inappropriately can lead to problems with the glands. We would suggest having our trained staff take care of them for you; however, if you would like to learn, feel free to discuss this with us.

If my dog scoots on the carpet, does this mean their anal glands are impacted?

It can be normal for dogs to feel some irritation or discomfort and they will scoot to try and express their anal glands. However, if this is happening regularly, you may want to contact our office for an appointment, as this may be an indicator of a health concern.

COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing health crisis, we have suspended our pet boarding services until further notice, and we are not accepting new patients at this time due to higher than normal case-loads. Thank you for your understanding.

Note: If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please let us know when you book your pet’s appointment. As the potential to spread to pets is still relatively unknown, it is possible that your pet could create a risk to other people who may be handling him or her. Whenever possible, please send someone who is not experiencing respiratory symptoms to the appointment with your pet.

The following changes are effective as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 604-526-0334. We will bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then call you on your cell phone to discuss the issues with your pet, and you will have a telemedicine consult with the veterinarian to discuss further diagnostics required or a treatment plan for your pet. Following the end of the appointment, we will return your pet to your vehicle. If you do not have a cell phone, please knock on our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. Where possible, we will do our best to accommodate annual vaccinations; however, all other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

In these uncertain times, please see the below link for the most recent information for the public on COVID-19 and animals from the Government of Canada (specifically the Canadian Food Inspection Agency).


Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital