May 26

What’s That Fishy Smell?

What’s that fishy smell?

Ever wonder why your pets scoot their bum on the rug? Or start licking their back-ends, which later smells like they burped a rotting fish?

Well, here’s what that’s all about. There are two very special glands to thank, the infamous anal glands or anal sacs. These are two small glands inside your pet’s anus that secrete a thick, oily, and usually stinky substance. Most animals use these glands in the wild for scent marking and self-defense; hence, the stinky skunk situations. However, our beloved domestic pets have for the most part lost this voluntary behavior, but will express them when doing their usual “number two” business. Nutrition, allergies, infections, and stomach issues can all have an effect on how well the glands express. This may cause our furry friends to focus on their rear sides and scoot. Most of the time, a simple expression does the trick, while other times some additional veterinarian recommendations may need to be made.




nicole-diazDr. Diaz graduated from the University of Florida and joined Friendship in 2015. Dr. Diaz completed her internship at Friendship in 2016 and has been a staff doctor ever since. Her professional interests include shelter medicine and international outreach.


* Image courtesy of Dogs Naturally.


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