6 Reasons Dog Still Leaking After Glands Expressed [Resolved]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Is your dog still leaking after glands expressed?

The reasons include incomplete expression, an impacted or infected gland, or a dietary issue. While this might be quite concerning for you, know that there are solutions to turn this situation around.

As a fellow dog owner, I know very well how you can be affected by this.

In this post, you will learn all the reasons causing this mess and the steps you can take to prevent this from happening again.

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Dog Anal Glands Leaking? Why This Happens

Why Do Dog Anal Glands Leak

Did you know that canine anal glands, located near their backside, release a smelly substance for communication?

Sometimes, these glands can get clogged or too full, often because of dietary problems or gland abnormalities.

When blocked or under pressure, they may leak or become infected, causing lots of discomfort for our dogs.

That’s why we sometimes see them resort to scooting or emitting a distinctive odor to find relief from this issue.

In such cases, we need to assist them in expressing their glands or seek professional help.

It’s worth noting that even after expression, some leakage for a day or two can be normal.

6 Reasons Why Your Dog is Still Leaking After Glands Expressed?

Reasons Why Your Dog is Still Leaking After Glands Expressed

So you notice your dog is dripping this gross stuff from its groin area. 

Is it poop?  Is it pee?  Or is it something worse?

The leaking can be caused by a number of things, including:

ReasonDescription
Incomplete expressionThe gland may not have been entirely emptied during the expression.
Anal sac diseasesImpaction, infections, abscesses, and tumors, can all contribute to ongoing anal gland leakage in dogs.
Underlying health issuesVarious health issues, such as allergies, obesity, and hormonal imbalances, can cause anal gland problems.
Dietary issuesA low-fiber diet or certain types of food/treats can lead to digestive issues and anal gland problems.
Behavioral issuesStress and anxiety may lead to constipation and anal gland issues, while excessive licking or chewing of the anal area can cause inflammation.
Anatomical issuesStructural limitations or rectal prolapses may cause problems with the anal sacs.

1. Incomplete expression

Incomplete expression of the anal glands can cause leakage and sometimes cause our dogs to leave brown stains on the bed.

This can happen if the person performing the procedure does not apply enough pressure to express the gland entirely, or if the gland is in an abnormal position that makes it difficult to reach.

2. Anal sac diseases

Anal sac diseases encompass a range of issues that can lead to persistent anal gland leakage in dogs.

These conditions often require prompt attention from a veterinarian.

Here are some common anal sac diseases in dogs:

  1. Anal Sac Impaction: When the anal sacs become blocked or impacted, they can’t empty properly during normal bowel movements, leading to discomfort and leakage.
  2. Anal Sac Infections: Infections within the anal sacs can cause pain, swelling, and the release of foul-smelling fluid, resulting in ongoing leakage.
  3. Anal Sac Abscesses: A bacterial infection that occurs when the ducts of the anal sacs become blocked, abscesses can be painful for your dog and may require drainage and treatment.
  4. Anal Sac Tumors: While less common, tumors in the anal sac area can lead to leakage and other symptoms. A vet can diagnose and recommend treatment options.

If not treated promptly, a dog’s anal glands can infect or expel the contents into other body areas, which may lead to severe digestive problems.

3. Underlying health issues

Anal glands regularly produce fluid and are naturally expressed on the skin’s surface around the anus. 

If your dog leaks fluid from their anal glands, even after expressing them, it could indicate an underlying health issue.

Several issues, including allergies or abnormalities in the anal area, obesity, hormonal imbalances, and immune system disorders, can cause anal gland problems.

And it’s not just that, but certain medications or treatments can also impact the anal glands’ function and cause them to produce more fluid than usual.

4. Dietary issues

Low-quality diets can cause anal gland problems. 

Fiber helps keep the anal glands working properly, so a diet low in fiber can create constipation and other digestive issues, which may cause impacted or inflamed anal glands.

Certain dog foods or treats high in fat or grains can make anal glands harder to empty properly.

Food that is high in fat or contains many grains or fillers can lead to soft stools and make it difficult for the glands to empty correctly. 

Other treats high in sugar or carbohydrates can also impact the glands’ digestive issues.

5. Behavioral issues

It’s rare, but in some cases, behavioral issues can contribute to ongoing anal gland problems and leakage in dogs. 

Dogs with stress and anxiety may hold their bowel movements, leading to constipation and issues with anal gland emptying. 

Some dogs may excessively lick or chew at their anal area due to anxiety or boredom, which can irritate the area and cause inflammation or infection of the anal glands.

6. Anatomical issues

An anal sac comprises two small glands close to the anus. The sac produces a foul-smelling, oily substance that dogs naturally remove during their bowel movements. 

If a dog can’t empty its anal sac due to issues like a narrow or malformed anal canal, it can lead to a liquid buildup, possibly causing infection or inflammation known as anal sacculitis.

Also, dogs with rectal prolapses can irritate and inflame the anal area, which can cause problems with their anal sacs.

8 Signs That Your Dog is Still Leaking After Its Anal Glands Are Expressed

1. Scooting or dragging their rear end along the ground

When your pet drags its back end along the ground, it may indicate discomfort or irritation in the anal area.

This behavior is often a result of anal gland issues such as inflammation, infection, or impaction.

2. Licking or biting at their anus

If your dog constantly licks and chews its butt, it may indicate ongoing anal gland issues from parasites, irritation, or infection. It happens when the anal glands are not emptying properly.

3. Foul odor coming from their rear end

If your dog has a foul odor coming from their rear end after expressing their anal glands, it may indicate an underlying issue that needs to address.

While a certain amount of odor is normal after expressing the glands, a solid or persistent odor may indicate an infection or other issue.

4. Wet or oily fur around their anus

A small fluid is released with glandular material. This fluid is thick and oily and may create a wet or oily appearance around the anus.

It is a normal reaction after expressing your pet’s anal glands.  If this persists for over a day or two, it may indicate an underlying issue.

5. Staining on furniture, carpets, or bedding from the leakage

When your dog stains on furniture, carpets, or bedding, it is a sign that they are experiencing ongoing anal gland problems. 

It is a sign of discomfort in the anal area that causes your dog to rub or drag their tail on surfaces to relieve it.

6. Visible discharge or fluid around the anus

Pets can experience discharge or fluid around the anus after anal gland expression.

You might see clear fluid coming out of a dog’s bum, but the discharge may also be thick, milky, or even bloody in appearance. 

Factors contributing to this are infection, abscesses, insufficient dietary fiber, chronic soft stool, and incomplete expression.

7. Discomfort or pain when defecating or sitting

If your dog has trouble going to the bathroom or sitting down, it could be because of the incomplete expression of anal glands.

8. Inflammation or redness around the anus

Expression of the anal glands can sometimes cause temporary inflammation or redness, sometimes even leading to bleeding in the glands too.

But if it persists or worsens, this may indicate an ongoing infection in the anal glands, which can spread to surrounding tissues.

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What Should I Do if My Dog’s Bottom is Still Leaking After Being Expressed?

What to do if My Dog’s Bottom is Still Leaking After Being Expressed

To prevent further complications for your dog, here are some pointers to follow:

Take your dog to the vet

Proper anal gland expression is the most common way to maintain healthy anal sacs. 

If you notice your dog leaking excessively, take them to your vet for an evaluation.

Persistent anal gland leakage can be a stinking stench, so people seek a veterinarian’s services. 

If you notice your dog leaking excessively, take them to the clinic for an evaluation.

Your vet can remove the debris from the anal glands, find the underlying cause for the stains, and bring it under control.

It prevents further discomfort or complications for your dog and prevents the leakage from becoming a source of infection or irritation for your dog or other household members.

Ask the vet or a professional groomer to express the glands again

If your dog’s bottom leaks after expressing, you may take it to a vet or groomer to express the glands again.

The glands may not have emptied during the previous expression, or your dog may have ongoing anal gland issues.

Keep in mind that excessive or frequent expression of the anal glands can cause irritation or injury, so visit your vet to decide how to address it best.

Follow any recommended dietary changes

If your dog’s bottom is still leaking after expression, dietary changes may help manage anal gland problems.

A high-fiber diet can help promote regular bowel movements and reduce the likelihood of anal gland problems. 

On the other hand, a low-fat diet may reduce softer stools and increase pressure on the anal glands.

I personally recommend that you consider using pumpkin to help deal with your dog’s anal gland issues.

Consider using supplements

If your dog’s bottom is still leaking after expression, consider using supplements to help manage anal gland problems.

Supplements are available to help support digestive health and promote regular bowel movements.

Here are some examples of supplements that may be beneficial:

  • Probiotics: It contains good bacteria that may help contribute to healthy gut flora balance.
  • Digestive enzymes: They help improve the breakdown and absorption of food.
  • Fiber supplements: It promotes regularity and can help improve stool consistency.

Talk to your vet before starting supplements for your dog. Some supplements may interact with other medications or have serious side effects.

Key Benefits

  • For the dietary management of puppies and adult dogs with diarrhea
  • Contains a probiotic to promote normal intestinal microflora
  • Helps reduce flatulence
  • Proprietary microencapsulation process for enhanced stability

Keep your dog clean

If your dog’s bottom is still leaking after expression, keeping your dog clean will help prevent irritation or infection in the area. 

Gently wipe your dog’s rear end after bowel movements, and bathe him regularly using a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo.

Use mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water on your dog’s rear end to avoid irritation.

Keep away human or baby wipes, as they contain fragrances or ingredients that can irritate dogs.

Cut the hair around your dog’s rear end to prevent fecal matter from getting trapped in the fur. 

Use protective covers

Protective covers can help minimize the mess and keep your dog’s bedding clean if it leaks after expression. 

You can use washable covers on your dog’s bedding or any furniture they frequently use, such as a favorite couch or chair.

Also, place a disposable pad or cover on furniture or floors to help absorb any leaks, and don’t forget to change it regularly to avoid bacterial growth or odor.

If your dog leaks excessively, move them to an area that can be easily cleaned up. It also makes it easier to prevent contamination.

Monitor closely

If your dog’s bottom is still leaking after expression, you need to monitor your pet closely for any changes in symptoms. 

Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, appetite, activity level, and any signs of discomfort or pain.

You should also monitor leakage, including frequency, amount, and consistency. 

Watch out for other symptoms, like fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite. If these symptoms are present, contact your vet at once.

Regular monitoring can help you determine whether any dietary or lifestyle changes help manage your dog’s anal gland issues. 

Keeping a log of your dog’s symptoms and behaviors helps track its progress and communicate with your vet.

How to Prevent My Dog’s Anal Glands From Leaking?

Anal gland leakage is a common problem in dogs and can be a sign of health issues. To help prevent leakage, consider the following:

  • Maintain a healthy diet: Feeding your dog a high-fiber diet can help regulate their bowel movements and prevent constipation.
  • Keep your dog’s weight in check: Obesity can pressure your dog’s anal glands and cause them to become impacted, leading to leakage.
  • Regular exercise: Exercise can help keep your dog’s digestive system moving and prevent anal gland problems.
  • Regular grooming: Keeping your dog’s hind area clean and groomed can help prevent infections and other issues leading to anal gland problems.
  • Regular vet checkups: Your vet can help monitor your dog’s anal glands and express them to prevent leakage.

By following these steps, you can help prevent your dog’s anal glands from leaking and keep them healthy and happy.

How Do I Stop My Dogs’ Glands From Leaking?

Here are effective ways to keep your dog’s glands from leaking:

  • Regularly expressing their glands: It can be performed by your vet or you can learn how to do it yourself.
  • Dietary changes: Adding more fiber to your dog’s diet can help regulate their bowel movements. It can also help with anal gland expression.
  • Supplements: There are several supplements on the market that can help with anal gland issues, such as pumpkin seed oil and probiotics.
  • Surgery: In serious cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the gland or fix any structural issues causing the problem.
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How Do I Know That My Dog’s Anal Glands Are Empty?

It can be difficult to figure out if your dog’s anal glands are empty. 

However, here are some signs to look for:

  • Your dog stops scooting: Scooting is a common behavior that dogs with full anal glands typically exhibit. If your dog stops scooting after emptying the anal glands, it is a good indication that they are no longer experiencing discomfort.
  • Your dog’s behavior returns to normal: If a dog’s behavior returns to normal after expressing the anal glands, then it is likely that your dog is no longer experiencing discomfort.
  • There is no discharge: After you empty the anal glands, there should be no discharge from the anal area

FAQs

Why is my dog still scooting after its glands are removed?

If your dog is scooting, it could be due to various reasons, such as an anal gland infection or abscess, dietary issues, allergies, or other underlying health problems. It’s best to consult with your trusted veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can you express glands too often?

No, expressing a dog’s anal glands too often can cause irritation, inflammation, and potential damage to the glands. Generally, only express these glands if there is a specific need.

How do I know if my dog’s glands are infected?

Infected anal glands include redness, swelling, pain or discomfort around the anus, and a foul smell coming from the area. Your dog may also lick or bite at their anus, have difficulty defecating, and exhibit a decreased appetite or lethargy.

Can dogs express their own glands by leaking?

Dogs can’t express their anal glands by leaking alone. Some dogs may exhibit excessive scooting or licking to relieve discomfort, but this is not an effective way of expressing the glands.

What can I give my dog for leaking glands?

If your dog leaks, you can give them food to help him express their glands. Ensure your dog loses weight, exercises more, and has a high-fiber diet. And you can use a warm compress or supplements to help with this prob

Do all dogs need their anal glands expressed?

No, not all dogs need their anal glands expressed. In fact, most dogs naturally express their anal glands through regular bowel movements, and only a few dog breeds may require manual expression if they have glandular issues or blockages.

In Conclusion: Dog Still Leaking After Glands Expressed

I can totally understand that dealing with a dog that is still leaking after having its glands expressed can be pretty frustrating, so hopefully, you will find the steps listed above useful.

Although an anal gland expression is a common procedure, it’s not a guarantee that the leakage will stop completely.

If all else fails, work with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the issue and explore possible treatment options.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

2 Comments

  1. Hey there, any idea why is my female dog leaking brown fluid from its anus? Seems to have been going on for a couple of days now.

    • Hey Ellen, sorry to hear that. In general, brown fluid leaking from a female dog’s anus may be attributed to:

    • Anal Gland Problems: Dogs have scent glands near their anus that can become impacted or infected, leading to fluid leakage.
    • Gastrointestinal Issues: Diarrhea or fecal incontinence can result in brown fluid discharge.
    • Infections: Bacterial or yeast infections in the anal area can cause discharge.
    • Tumors or Polyps: Though less common, growths in the rectal area could lead to fluid leakage.
    • I highly recommend that you visit a vet if this is still not clearing up in order to diagnose the exact problem and get a fix soon!

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