How Much Does It Cost to Express Dog Glands?

Pricing varies for anal sac expression. If you are scheduling the procedure during a normal check-up appointment, the cost is usually cheaper. To book the procedure on its own, you will have the additional cost of the consultation as well as the procedure itself.

Cost to express dog anal glands

The cost for expressing a dog’s anal glands is usually $25 – $40 but this depends on your vet clinic’s fees, whether the procedure is being done alongside other treatment and how often the procedure is required.

If your dog requires this procedure regularly, your vet may agree to a small discount.

How do you know if your dog’s glands are full?

There are a few symptoms you can watch for, including butt scooting, licking or chewing around the rear end or an unusual smell.

It is most common for anal sacs to need expressing if your dog has experienced episodes of diarrhea or soft stool.

Can I express my dog’s glands at home?

Yes, you can express your dog’s anal sacs yourself at home. It is a good idea to ask your veterinarian for advice so you know how to do it safely.

Is it painful to express a dog’s glands?

It may be a little uncomfortable, but it is a relatively quick procedure and most dogs tolerate it fairly well. If the glands within the anal sacs have become impacted, the procedure can be painful and you should seek veterinary help.

How can I express my dog’s glands naturally?

There are 2 methods of anal sac expression: the internal or external method. The external method is easier or more comfortable for the animal. For both methods, you will need to wear latex or rubber gloves.

Have your dog stand in front of you with their butt towards you. Lift the tail upwards and squeeze the area on either side of the anal opening with your thumb and index finger. You should see liquid slowly leaking from the opening. Ensure you wipe your dog clean and dispose of your gloves afterwards.

The internal method of expression is a little more involved and you should get advice from a vet before attempting it.

Lubricate your index finger with a little Vaseline, lift your dog’s tail and gently insert your finger into the anal opening no more than one inch.

You should feel a small grape-sized gland that would be positioned at 5 o’clock or 7 o’clock.

Apply a small amount of pressure on the gland towards yourself and slowly increase this until you see the liquid.

You must never use more force than you would to itch your own eye. As with the first method, ensure you wipe your dog clean and dispose of your gloves afterward.

How much do groomers charge to express dog glands?

Expressed dog glands are usually a small part of a groomer’s routine business. Most groomers only charge about $10 or so to do it for you, and then it is added into the cost of the grooming job.

When your dog’s anal sacs need expressing, you might be tempted to do it yourself. But here’s why you might want to have a groomer do it: Groomers are trained. They know how to identify the sacs and where they’re located. They know how to control the dog and prevent him from biting or kicking. And they have a place to work that’s clean and relatively sterile. Do you?

Groomers have tools. Their equipment includes lubricants, gauze pads, gloves and forceps designed for this purpose. If you use household items, they might not be the right size or shape for safe gland expression or comfortable for your dog. If you use too much pressure, you could rupture a sac, which isn’t good. A groomer will do it more carefully and gently than you can on your own.

Groomers don’t charge much. Groomers typically charge $10 or so for this service, which is a lot cheaper than an emergency vet clinic visit for this problem — and safer than doing it yourself at home.

Does PetSmart do gland expression?

Yes, PetSmart Grooming has highly trained groomers who can safely and gently express your dog’s anal sacs. They also use high-quality products and equipment specially formulated for dogs. By bringing your pet in for regular grooming visits you can help them stay healthy and smelling fresh all year long!

What causes anal sac disease in dogs?

All dogs have a small sac on either side of the lower margin of the anus. The sac contains a greyish, strong-smelling exudate which is discharged through ducts at the external opening of the anus.

The precise function of these structures is not understood, but they seem to be associated with the marking out of territorial boundaries and are the subject of great interest when two dogs meet for the first time.

The owner becomes aware of anal glands after some abnormality of the structures develops. When a dog is suddenly frightened or injured, the muscles around the base of the tail contract and often express the fetid contents of the glands to the outside.

Occasionally the dog may suddenly begin to lick vigorously the area beneath its tail. It may be in obvious discomfort and examination of the area may reveal an intensely red area quite swollen and painful to touch. This is caused by an acute infection of the gland, producing an abscess.

Small breeds of dogs such as poodles and terriers seem more likely to suffer this problem, possibly because the opening of the sac is quite narrow and is easily obstructed. Treatment of this uncomfortable condition involves opening the abscess, draining the infected contents and administering antibiotics.

The more common type of anal sac infection is a chronic infection of the lining of the sac, usually resulting in a thin, very foul-smelling yellow exudate. The dog attempts to relieve the irritation of the area by rubbing its anus along the lawn or carpet.

If the condition is unrelieved, the hair may be rubbed from the region and the skin may become inflamed from the constant friction.

Treatment of the chronic form of anal sacculitis involves irrigating the sac and packing it with a soothing antibiotic ointment. If this does not control the condition, consideration should be given to the surgical removal of both glands.

Many owners, when observing signs of the irritation of their pet, assume that it is caused by worms. Of course, tapeworms do cause similar symptoms but, by inspecting the feces, one should be able to see signs of tapeworm segments if the problem is due to these parasites.

Some breeders encourage owners of new puppies to regularly empty the anal glands by pinching the tissues underneath the tail between the thumb and forefinger. If done too roughly or too often such a procedure may encourage inflammation of the glands. To empty the gland, the veterinarian gently inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the anus, everts the opening of the sac and then gently expresses the contents.

Many dogs go through life never needing any attention to the anal sacs, so that these regular attempts at emptying what is probably a perfectly normal structure may be counterproductive. The sac is naturally emptied by the stretching of the tissues when the dog is passing a normal bowel motion. Any foods which result in very soft motions or any prolonged period of diarrhea, by reducing this normal emptying of the sac, may predispose it to infections.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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