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Expressing anal glands in dogs
Anal glands in dogs are tiny tubules that extend into the anus from the perianal skin. These glands secrete a mixture of fluid that consists mostly of sebum (dead skin cells), small amounts of a mucous-like substance, and a small amount of a clear, thick liquid called anal inspissate (1). This inspissate serves as a buffer against the irritations of the feces, and the liquid also helps contain any bacteria and infectious organisms that are excreted with the feces. The inspissate also serves as an important source of nutrients to the intestines, and allows absorption of nutrients in the gut. The anal glands are present in most dogs, but are only very active at night when they release their anal inspissate (1).
The function of anal glands in dogs is to lubricate the anal opening and prevent the anal opening from becoming sore. The anal glands secrete a mixture of sebum, an oily liquid with some water, and anal inspissate, which is a clear liquid that can be thought of as like mineral oil. The inspissate consists of a mixture of liquid with some sebum, and it protects the anal opening and allows the dog to defecate without being bothered by feces sticking to the skin.
Anal glands have a dual function in the dog. The glands lubricate the anal opening and secrete an anal inspissate that protects the anal opening. While this is important, it is equally important to note that the anal glands also secrete a sebaceous fluid. This sebaceous fluid serves as a natural hair conditioner and moisturizer for the skin.
A small amount of an antiseptic solution can be present in anal inspissate. This is an important component of the anal glands. In addition, because of the size of the anal glands, it is likely that they are in some way associated with the immune system in dogs. When it is exposed to various bacteria, the dog's immune system secretes substances to fight these bacteria. These substances are secreted through various organs including the anal glands. Some scientists speculate that the anal glands may serve as a source of immune system chemicals which may protect the dog against certain types of bacterial infection.
The sebaceous glands are found over most of the skin of dogs. The sebaceous glands have glands in them. They excrete sebum which is a natural skin conditioner and moisturizer. The sebaceous glands are also associated with the immune system. They excrete a substance called β-defensin 2, an antimicrobial peptide, when stimulated. When a dog's skin is infected, the sebaceous glands help to prevent the bacterial infection from spreading.