Dog Still Leaking After Glands Expressed: Expert Solutions and Tips

Has your dog recently had their anal glands expressed but is still experiencing leakage? This issue can be worrying for pet owners, especially if they are unsure what is causing the problem.

In this article, we will explore some common reasons why a dog might still leak after their glands have been expressed, helping you to better understand this unusual situation.

One possible reason for continued leakage could be due to an incomplete expression. This can happen if the person performing the procedure does not apply enough pressure or if the gland is in an abnormal position that makes it difficult to reach.

Another potential cause could be an infection or inflammation in the anal glands, which may persist even after expression. Lastly, grooming procedures or gland injury might also be responsible for the ongoing leakage.

Key points:

  • Anal glands are small sacs located on either side of a dog’s anus that produce a strong-smelling liquid.
  • When a dog’s anal glands become full, they can become impacted and cause discomfort or even infection.
  • Expressing the anal glands is a common procedure to relieve this discomfort, but sometimes a dog may still leak after the procedure.
  • This can be due to underlying medical conditions such as allergies, infections, or tumors.
  • Dietary changes, supplements, and medication may be recommended by a veterinarian to help manage the condition.
  • In severe cases, surgical removal of the anal glands may be necessary.

Why the Glands Are Expressed

dog still leaking after glands expressed

When it comes to your dog’s health, it’s crucial to understand the importance of anal gland expression. The anal glands, also known as anal sacs, naturally produce a pungent fluid used by dogs to mark their territory. Normally, this fluid is released when your dog defecates. However, in some cases, the fluid may not be properly expressed, leading to discomfort and potential health problems.

There are a few reasons why your dog’s glands might still be leaking after being expressed:

  • Incomplete expression: If the person performing the procedure did not apply enough pressure, or the gland is in an abnormal position, then the gland may not be completely emptied. As a result, your dog may continue to leak brown stains on bedding or furniture.
  • Anal sac impaction: When the fluid inside the anal sacs thickens and accumulates, they may become swollen and difficult to fully empty. This is called anal sac impaction, and it may cause your dog to continue leaking even after the glands have been expressed.
  • Health issues: Certain health issues may impact your dog’s ability to properly express their glands, leading to leakage. If the problem persists, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying conditions.

If your dog’s glands are still leaking after expression, take these steps:

  1. Assess the situation: Observe your dog’s behavior and check for any swelling, redness, or unusual discharge around their anus. This will help you gauge the severity of the issue.
  2. Clean the area: Keep the area around your dog’s anus clean, and consider using a pet-friendly ointment or hydrocortisone cream if redness or irritation develops.
  3. Consult with your veterinarian: If the issue continues, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss potential underlying issues or further treatment options.

By understanding the possible causes of lingering gland leakage and taking appropriate steps to monitor and address the issue, you’ll ensure your dog’s comfort and overall well-being.

Possible Causes of Continuous Leakage

Several factors can contribute to your dog’s anal glands leaking even after they have been expressed. Here are some possible reasons:

  • Incomplete expression: Sometimes, the glands may not be adequately expressed, leading to a small amount of fluid remaining in the glands. This residual fluid may continue to leak out. In these cases, a second expression might be required.
  • Anal gland impaction: If your dog’s anal glands don’t empty completely, they can become impacted and uncomfortable. This could lead to ongoing leakage even after an initial expression. Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and appearance to identify any signs of impaction.
  • Infection or inflammation: An infection or inflammation in your dog’s anal glands could cause continuous leakage. If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge around your dog’s anus, consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
  • Grooming procedures: Sometimes, bruising or injury to the glands or surrounding tissue by improper external pressure during the grooming process can cause your dog’s glands to leak more fluid than expected.

To address these possible causes and minimize your dog’s discomfort, consider the following steps:

  1. Clean the area: Use a gentle pet-safe wipe to clean the area around your dog’s rectum to keep it sanitary and reduce the risk of infection. Make sure to do this regularly until the issue is resolved.
  2. Schedule a follow-up appointment: If your dog continues to leak after a few days, arrange a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian to determine if further treatment is necessary.

Remember, it is essential to observe your dog closely to identify any signs of pain, discomfort, or distress that could indicate an issue with their anal glands. If you are unsure or concerned, always consult your veterinarian for guidance and professional advice on how to handle the situation.

Medication and Therapy Options

When your dog is still leaking after having their glands expressed, there are some medication and therapy options available. In this section, we will discuss two common treatments: antibiotics and steroids. These treatments might help resolve the issue and provide relief to your furry friend.


If the leakage is caused by an infection, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection and reduce inflammation. Commonly prescribed antibiotics for anal gland issues include Amoxicillin and Clavulanic Acid. Remember to follow your vet’s dosage instructions and complete the full course of treatment to ensure the infection is entirely cleared.

  • Make sure to provide your dog with plenty of water while taking antibiotics
  • Contact your vet if you observe any side effects or if the condition does not improve after a few days


Sometimes, steroids can be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort associated with anal gland leakage. These medications can be administered orally or as an ointment applied directly to the affected area. Talk to your veterinarian about whether steroids are a suitable option for your dog and what precautions you should take.

  • Steroids should be used only as directed by your veterinarian
  • Monitor for any changes in your dog’s behavior or appetite while on steroids treatment
  • Inform your vet if your dog has any pre-existing health conditions, as steroids might not be the best choice in some cases

By exploring these medication and therapy options with your veterinarian, you can help your dog find relief from persistent gland leakage. Always consult your vet before starting any new treatment and monitor your dog’s condition closely throughout the process.

Alternative Treatments

dogs anal sac keeps leaking

Dietary Changes

One possible step to resolve the issue of your dog still leaking after their glands have been expressed is to consider adjusting their diet. A healthy and balanced diet plays a vital role in keeping your dog’s anal glands functioning properly.

  • Adding more fiber: Increasing the amount of fiber in your dog’s diet can help to promote regular bowel movements and maintain the health of their anal glands. Foods rich in fiber include pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and peas. Check with your vet before making any significant dietary changes.
  • Choosing grain-free food: Some dogs may benefit from a grain-free diet, as grains can cause inflammation and further exacerbate anal gland issues. Speak with your veterinarian to determine if a grain-free diet would be beneficial for your dog.
  • Providing high-quality dog food: Ensuring your dog is eating high-quality, nutritious dog food can lead to overall better health and help prevent anal gland issues. Look for dog food with natural ingredients and minimal fillers.

Natural Remedies

In addition to dietary changes, consider exploring natural remedies to help alleviate your dog’s anal gland issues. These remedies may provide relief and prevent recurrence of the problem:

  • Epsom salt baths: A warm bath with Epsom salts can soothe your dog’s irritated anal glands. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions on how to prepare the bath and how long to soak your dog.
  • Herbal supplements: Some herbal supplements, such as slippery elm and turmeric, can help reduce inflammation and support your dog’s digestive health. Always consult with a veterinarian before starting any new supplement for your dog.
  • Regular exercise: Daily physical activity can help stimulate your dog’s bowel movements and aid in keeping their anal glands healthy. Ensure your pet is getting an appropriate amount of exercise based on their breed, size, and age.

Remember to always consult with your veterinarian before implementing any new treatments or making significant dietary changes for your dog. Consider these alternative treatments to improve your dog’s anal gland health and prevent leakage after gland expression.

Potential Risks and Complications


In some cases, your dog’s anal glands may become infected or inflamed, causing them to continue leaking even after expression. Infection can arise from bacteria entering the gland or from a blockage preventing proper gland drainage.

Some signs of infection to watch for in your dog include redness, swelling, and pain around the anal area, as well as an unpleasant odor and discharge. If you suspect your dog has an infection, it is best to consult a veterinarian who may prescribe antibiotics or recommend further treatment to help clear the infection and prevent complications.


If an infection is left untreated, it can progress into an abscess, which is a more serious condition. An abscess forms when pus accumulates within the infected gland, causing further swelling, pain, and discomfort for your dog. In severe cases, the abscess may rupture, leading to a discharge of pus and blood from the anal gland.

A dog with an abscessed anal gland may show signs of severe pain and reluctance to sit or defecate. They may also excessively lick or bite at the area. If you notice these signs, it is crucial to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. Treatment for an abscess may include antibiotics, draining the pus, and in some cases, surgery to remove the affected gland.

To help minimize the risk of infection and abscess formation after gland expression, ensure your dog has a balanced diet with sufficient fiber, maintain regular grooming, and keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or changes in behavior.

Letting a professional groomer or veterinarian express your dog’s anal glands can also help minimize the risk of injury and complications.

Follow-Up Care and Prevention

Regular Check-Ups

To help manage your dog’s anal gland issues and prevent future problems, it is essential to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian. These appointments will allow your vet to monitor your dog’s health, evaluate any changes in their condition, and identify potential issues before they worsen. Incorporating a high-fiber diet can help promote regular bowel movements, reducing the likelihood of future anal gland problems.

Grooming and Hygiene Practices

Proper grooming and hygiene practices can also be vital in managing your dog’s anal gland issues. Regular bathing with a gentle shampoo can keep the area around the anal glands clean, preventing irritations and infections. Additionally, it is important to maintain a consistent exercise routine for your dog to ensure they maintain a healthy weight, as obesity can contribute to anal gland problems.

By following these preventive measures, you can help your dog stay comfortable and healthy:

  • Schedule regular veterinary check-ups
  • Provide a high-fiber diet
  • Maintain a consistent exercise routine
  • Practice proper grooming and hygiene

Remember, monitoring your dog’s behavior and consulting your veterinarian when you notice any changes is crucial for managing their anal gland health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there smelly discharge from my dog’s anus after gland expression?

Smelly discharge from your dog’s anus after gland expression could be due to incomplete expression or inflammation in the anal sacs. During the expression process, not all the fluid is always removed, which might cause some discharge to leak afterward. If you notice smelly discharge, it’s crucial to observe your dog’s behavior and the area around their anus to determine if there’s any swelling, redness, or unusual discharge.

Is it normal for my dog to bleed after gland expression?

It’s not normal for your dog to bleed after gland expression. However, if there’s some blood mixed in with the secretions, this could indicate anal sac inflammation or infection. In such cases, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for advice and proper treatment.

How can I prevent my dog from expressing glands frequently?

To prevent your dog from expressing glands frequently, consider the following:

  • Maintain a healthy diet for your dog, with sufficient fiber to ensure firm stools
  • Regular exercise to help strengthen their anal muscles
  • Regularly monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior

Why does my dog still scoot even after gland expression?

If your dog continues to scoot even after gland expression, there might be other underlying issues, such as irritation from incomplete expression or inflammation. In some cases, scooting could be due to allergies, infections, or parasites. It’s important to consult your vet if your dog is still scooting after anal gland expression to identify the cause and ensure appropriate treatment.

How often should I express my dog’s glands?

The frequency of expressing your dog’s glands depends on various factors, including their diet, activity level, and individual needs. Some dogs may require gland expression every few weeks, while others might need it less frequently. Always consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate frequency for your dog based on their specific needs.

Can excessive licking by my dog lead to gland expression?

Excessive licking by your dog could indicate discomfort or irritation around their anus, potentially caused by an issue with their anal glands. Frequent licking may not directly lead to gland expression, but it can be a sign that something is wrong, and gland expression might be necessary. If you notice your dog licking excessively around their anus, consult your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and discuss appropriate treatment options.