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Dog still smells after gland expression

Dog Still Smells After Glands Expressed

Does your dog still smells after glands expressed? If so, this article goes over the 13 reasons why that could happen. In addition, the article covers 9 reasons that are unrelated to anal glands. It could just be a considered that your dog needed their glands expressed. One of the most common reason is digestive gas. 

What Are The Anal Glands?

Anal glands are two pouches located internally to the left and right of the anus. The glands empty through narrow tubes in your dog’s anus each time they poop. Oil lines the glands. The glands secret an oily, brownish, musky fluid with a distinctive odor.  

What Is The Function Of Anal Glands In Dogs?

  • Lubricate Hard Stool To Empty More Easy
  • Territorial Scent Marker
  • Attract Mates
  • Indicate To Other Dogs They Are Stressed or Scared

Why Are Glands Expressed

One reason your Does your dog still smells after glands expressed is that there is still build up. The anal gland secretions can build up and become thick and pasty. This can lead to anal gland blockage. In other words, the glans are plugged. The glands need to pe released to prevent infection or rupture.

Who Can Express Your Dogs Anal Glands?

When your dog smells because he needs anal gland expression there are three ways to do it: Vets, DIY, & Natural

Professional (VETS)

Previously groomers would perform this procedure. But they were getting sued due to infection. However, Dr. Baumgartner at VCA Hospital said that “this occurs regardless of who performs the expression” However, many groomers no longer offer this service due to this issue. 


Dogs express their glands every time they defecate, when they are scared, and when they have issues. Most dogs do not need their anal glands expressed manually more than once a year. 


You can express your dogs anal glands manually yourself. There are two ways to do it. Internally and externally. Externally is the safest and easiest way to do it. External means you do not go inside the anus but instead press on the outside. Internal requires you to go into the anus cavity and is more prone to infection. 

How To Express Your Dog's Anal Glands Yourself?

  1. Wear gloves
  2. You can locate the glands at the nine & three o’clock position of the anus
  3. Lift Tail
  4. Take your pointer and finger and place them at the nine and three positions
  5. Squeeze on both size
  1. Wear gloves
  2. Take pointer finger and place inside the anus (gentle)
  3. Hook your hand towards the three o’clock position
  4. Use Glandex wipes to clean the area (deodorizer and vitamin E, & allow for soothing them)
  5. Repeat for 9 o’clock position

How Often Should The Glands Be Expressed

Self-expression should occur every time your dog poops. Properly functioning anal glands will not need their glands manually expressed frequently. However, dogs who cannot self-express their glands daily will need manual expressions. Manual expression depends on the dog. A healthy functioning adult dog will only need it once a year. However, some dogs need it monthly. 

My dog Loki is six years old. I have never had his glands manually expressed except for last week. He was butt scooting, which is unusual behavior for him. It is unlikely he would develop that behavior out of nowhere. We took him to the vet, and his right anal gland was full. The vet emptied it, and he stopped butt scooting.
Colby Lehew

Signs Your Dog Needs Their Anal Glands Expressed

It would help to compare the following behavior to your dogs’ normal behaviors. For example, my one dog licks her butt when she has to potty. So, butt licking would not be a sign of a gland issue. Yet, my boy dog does not. Therefore, it concerned me when my boy dog started licking his butt. 

Signs that your dog needs a vet visit for anal gland expression

Consequences Of Not Expressing Glands

How Much Does It Cost?

When Is It Normal For A Dog To Self-Express Their Glands?

Smaller dogs have smaller sacs. So, they will self-express more often. Excitement or nervousness can also cause some dogs to empty their anal glands. Emptying their glands is a way for dogs to communicate with other dogs that scare them. This smell tells the other dog to leave them alone. Also, the anal glands self-express every time a dog goes poop. Outside of these reasons are considered abnormal expressions.

13 Reasons Your Dog Still Smells After Glands Expressed

Does your dog still smells after glands expressed? If that is the case review these 13 causes. If they still do not apply you might not have a anal gland issue and will need to review the 9 outside causes for a smelly butt. 

Anus irritation, redness, or swelling shows that the glands are becoming diseased. For example, blood or puss in your dog’s feces are signs of anal gland infection. Besides, you may see blood on your carpet or furniture after they have scooted. Another cause of recurrent anal sac disease is a change in stool consistency. In addition, their anus may be swollen.

If this is the case, your dog will be unable to express its glands at all. Therefore, they will need a biopsy and an ultrasound to diagnose the problem.

Abscesses are painful and requires surgery, antibiotics, and pain medicine.

Anal secretion may get stuck on your dog’s fur. This liquid is why bathing your dog after the vet has expressed the glands is essential. Fluid in hair is common in long-haired dogs like Shelties, Aussies, & Border Collies. If this is the case, you will see the smell disappear after a bath and 24 hours.

Sometimes to save money, vets will only express one gland. This is because glands do not fill up equally. Therefore, the vet might need to express the other gland.

Small dogs’ glands fill up quicker than larger dogs. This is because smaller dogs have less physical space in their glands than bigger dogs. This is why small dogs express their anal glands at unusual times due to their limited size. 

Your dog may have a different structure than other dogs. Therefore, your dog’s anatomy could cause the glands to be abnormal. Sacs located one inch off what is normal could cause issues with expression. 

Dogs who have excess fat could express their glands at abnormal times. This is because fat tends to push the glands too far internal, which causes them not to empty correctly.  If your dog is overweight they may need to joint a canine fitness program. 

Dogs with allergies or digestive problems may not be able to empty their glands. If the glands do not function well, they could leak while running, lying down, or sleeping.

Most vets use some chemicals to neutralize the smell. If this is not the case give your dog a bath. You will see the smell disappear after a bath and 24 hours.

Most vets inform patients that they must wait 24 hours for the smell to disappear.

Liquid or soft stool prevents the dog from having pressure in its glands. This is because the glands need the pressure to express correctly. 

Dogs At Risk For Frequent Expressions

Does your dog still smells after glands expressed? If so, it could just be your particular dog’s genes. Review the top common reasons why a dog still smells after glands expressed

Dog's at risk for anal gland infection
  • Smaller Breeds
  • Old Age
  • Poor Muscle Tone
  • Abnormal Anatomy
  • Obesity
  • Food and Environment Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Bacterial Or yeast Skin Infection

How To Prevent Anal Gland Infection?

Identify the symptoms of anal gland filling before an infection can occur. Take your dog out more often to go potty and change their diet.

10 Causes To A Smelly But Beside Anal Glands

If you have already expressed your dogs anal glands and are confident it is not any of the other reasons listed above you need to explore other options. If your dog still smells it might be due to gas or a medical condition. 

Anal glands smell like fish. However, if you are smelling something else, it could just be gas. Your dog may be gassy. If this is the case, your dog might have an underlying condition.

Allergies and food that cause excessive fermentation in the colon can cause gas. Reduce the number of soybeans, milk products, and spicy food from your dog’s diet. The most common food allergens in dogs are protein. These proteins come from dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, soy, or gluten (from wheat).

Other symptoms include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, facial pain, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, watery, red, or itchy eyes, and skin rash or hives.

Treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs, fatty acid supplementation in diets, steroids, or antihistamines.

Dogs love rolling in poop because it covers their scent from prey. In addition, some dogs do it to rub their smell on their territory (like their backyard).

Many dogs eat too fast. Speed eating can cause a dog to have excess gas. Use a slower feeder to help reduce gas in your dog.

When plaque builds up, it turns into tartar. Bacteria can lead to bad breath. Bacteria can cause halitosis, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. An internal condition could also be the culprit. For example, kidney and liver failure can cause bad breath with a fishy smell.

Canine colitis is the inflammation of the large intestine. Stress colitis is one of the leading causes of diarrhea in all dogs. Bacterial infections can also be the cause of canine colitis. It includes salmonella, clostridium, and E. coli. Parasite infection has giardia, cryptosporidium, and whipworms. Other causes include trauma and allergic colitis. Colitis may also occur after ingesting contaminated food, being in contact with infected dogs, or after chronic exposure to a wet environment.

Other Symptoms include straining during and after defecation, blood in stool, urgency, frequency of poop increases, and vomiting. Weight loss is rare.

Treatment includes fasting, low fiber diets, and relaxation. Canine massage can help dogs with stress colitis which is the leading cause. Dogs usually get back to normal within 3-5 days.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in dogs is a condition where the intestinal muscles do not function normally, and it causes diarrhea and constipation. True IBS is not common in dogs.

If your dog has intestinal parasites, you will notice them in their poop. You would see white specks in their feces. 

Tumors can also cause foul odors to waft from a dog’s nose or tail end.

Pancreatitis is the swelling of the pancreas. A high-fat diet, obesity, hypothrydosim, severe blunt trauma, diabetes, and genetic predisposition causes pancreatitis. 

Other Symptoms include hunched back, repeated vomiting (either several times within a few hours or periodically over several days), pain or enlargement of the abdomen (dog appears uncomfortable or bloated), diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, weakness/lethargy, and fever.

Immediate Treatment includes intravenous (IV) fluid therapy in severe pancreatitis, vigorous monitoring of a worsening condition, antiemetic medication for vomiting (to prevent dehydration), resting the pancreas (withholding food and water for 24 hours)

Long Term Treatment includes vigilant monitoring of fat intake. No table scraps are allowed. Instead, a prescription diet is recommended and f

10 Remedies For Smelly Dog After Expression Of Glands

Add fiber to their diet. Fiber can include pumpkin, beat Pulp, ground flaxseed, kelp, lettuce, apples, carrots, green beans, brown rice, strawberries, blueberries, artificial supplements, and probiotics topper.

You should change food for one of two reasons. First, your dog has an allergy, or the current food does not have digestible proteins.

Your vet will prescribe antibiotics if the glands are infected.

If you have not done this already or right after an expression, this is the case.

Your vet would need to perform surgery if the gland ruptured.

Schedule your dog for an extra vet appointment. Your dog may be another expression.

A hot compress is needed if your dog has an abscess.

If your dog cannot express their glands normally, you may need to track its weight. Weight tracking can include limiting food and exercising more. 

Your dog may need frequent potty breaks if they are a smaller breed. 

If your dog is just gassy he might have build up. Canine Massage has been proven to release gas. If that is the case check out this blog that teaches you how to massage gas out of a pet

Dog still smells after gland expression

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