This is a hot button issue in the Vet and Groomer communities right now. If your dog is having scooting and anal gland issues PLEASE do not express the glands at home. Watch this video:
This is Dr Karen Becker. She has a great explanation of anal gland issues, how they need to be treated, and now YOU as an owner, and ME as a pet groomer should NOT be expressing glands. If your dog is having issues, there is a good chance it is an underlying medical condition such as allergies, a gland is turned the wrong way, the gland is obstructed, inflamed, ruptured, etc. The analogy I like to use with my clients is that the anal glands are glands, just like your thyroid, or your pituitary. We don't go around squeezing our neck to make our thyroid work do we? If it isn't working right we see a doctor.
I have seen dogs that have had their owner try and externally express the gland, only to end up at the emergency vet paying a lot of money to surgically extract a ruptured gland. Its not pretty. Pet groomers have been doing anal glands for decades but no one ever questioned why until recently, when anal glands became a huge issue for many of them. I haven't expressed an anal gland in over 4 years, with over 500 dog clients. If I see an issue, we first talk about diet, which leads to:
I would seriously take a look at your dog's food. Science Diet and Hills are loaded with junk.
is a great resource to see what ingredients are in the food. Keep in mind that allergies and intolerances to ingredients cause inflammation in the bowel and in the rectum/anus area. Wheat, corn, soy, chicken are all things that cause reactions in large numbers of dogs. I do a lot of nutrition counselling for my clients and it's always our #1 place to start regarding ongoing health issues.
One last thing: this is from me the business owner. Another reason I do not do glands and I strongly discourage owners from doing it as well is that you can cause major damage to the gland if you squeeze to hard or in the wrong area. Vets do an internal expression, sticking their fingers inside the rectum. This lets them feel for malformations, blockage, gland location, things that I can't tell but doing external. I do not to glands for 1- liability it would cause if I ruptured a gland and 2- the more the gland is manipulated, the less it will work on its own thereby becoming a cyclical problem. Sure I could charge people a ton of $$$ to express glands, but your dogs health is worth more to me than the couple bucks I could make doing something I am not certified to do.
Sorry, that turned into kind of a rant, but I love my clients and I only want what's truly best for them.