My wonderful veterinarian made that statement one day as she “expressed” my girl-dog Peaches’ … you know what … anal glands. These anal glands give each dog a unique scent, and that’s why dogs love to sniff each other’s butts.
Many mammals have these glands: bears, possums, skunks, sea otters, something called kinkajous, and many others.
In dogs, the two small glands are on either side of the rectal opening. Each gland holds a small amount of an extremely stinky, brown fluid that is released when the dog urinates or defecates. Not to worry, though, the amount normally released is tiny because dogs have very powerful noses.
The only time you’ll notice your dog’s anal glands is when there’s a problem. Oh, the problems that can develop: plugged anal glands that have to be “expressed” manually! Infected anal glands! Impacted anal glands! Anal gland absesses! And so on.
This is why dogs sometimes scoot around, rubbing their butts on the floor.
What’s this? Humans do have anal glands?
They are, however, very different. They’re located in the wall of the anal canal and they secrete into the anal canal.
In other words, they are much more discreet and private.
Of course, if these glands get clogged or obstructed, problems like abscesses can result. The good news is that in humans, the glands are deep and – for the most part – self-cleaning. For more…much, much more (!!)…more than you ever thought you could learn about human anal glands, go here:
Now for something different: If you would like to see an article about and photos of a dog butt that looks like Jesus Christ, here you go:
But seriously, there is good information about canine anal glands at a web site called Love to know (go to http://dogs.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Dog_Anal_Glands ). According to the site, the reason dogs raise their tails high when they first meet is: this action applies pressure to the anal glands, which inspires all that wonderful butt sniffing. For dogs, that butt sniff is a “howdy, nice to meet you.”
I'm just so grateful. We humans might have some kind of scent glands in our anal canals, but at least we don’t have anal glands like THAT.