If you do, you definitely know about it. They may show you they have a problem by scooting their bottom on the floor, chewing or biting at their bottom, or looking "back there" like something is wrong.
You may know about this problem because of the pungent odor that you might smell occasionally. Maybe you have smelled it and wondered what it is. Anal glands have a very strong odor that is maybe one of the worst smells you have ever smelled. Literally.
As a veterinarian, in the past I have seen patients every 4 to 6 weeks to "express" their anal glands. This means I squeeze them (much like you would a pimple) and express the smelly contents out. These anal glands are right around the anal sphincter at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock. Sometimes the consistency is like water and sometimes like mud. One thing is for certain, they always fill back up. And I come back and express them again. It was a vicious cycle. And an unnecessary medical procedure.
The first option is that you can elect to have a surgery called an anal sacculectomy. This surgery removes the anal glands and then the problem is solved. One of the biggest drawbacks to this surgery is the potential complication of fecal incontinence. The nerve that controls the anal sphincter is right next to the anal glands so any surgical interference with that nerve results in a dog that can't control his poop.
A second option is giving your dog a supplement. My patients take a supplement called "No Scoot" and it is all natural and 100% guaranteed by the company that makes it. Since I am a vet, I have an advantage. The first patients I put on this supplement, I waited 4 to 6 weeks and checked their anal glands to make sure they were completely empty. They were! So now we recommend this product to all of our patients that have an anal gland problem. It is an all natural treat (you can read the ingredients at the link below) and very affordable. Click here to learn more about No Scoot supplement.