What Are the Boston Terrier’s Anal Gland Problems?

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Like other dog breeds, the anal gland produces a fluid that helps Boston terriers communicate and mark territories. Learning the Boston terrier anal gland problems can help you know when the glands are infected and need a veterinarian checkup.

What Are the Boston Terrier’s Anal Gland Problems?

Boston Terrier’s anal gland problems are health conditions that cause pain, irritations, or discomfort to the anal sacs of a Boston. The anal sacs are usually found on both sides of the dog’s anus. The two glands produce a unique fluid with a strong smell that is distinguished from other dogs. The dog uses a small amount of this fluid to mark territory.

Anal gland problems are not common in Boston terriers, and your Boston can live its full lifespan without getting the condition. However, your Boston might suffer one of the following anal gland issues due to various infections.

A tri-colored Boston terrier wearing an orange harness while standing on a green grass

Swollen Dog’s Anus

Generally, the swollen anus problem comes when the glands cannot empty the fluid they produce.

As a result, the anal glands swell, and they appear red around the anus of the dog. Sometimes this inflammation gets so painful to the extent of making the dog howl as it struggles with the blocked anus.

Scooting on the Floor

Scooting is one of the ways many dogs, including Boston terriers, indicate their anal glands are itching and making them uncomfortable. If you do not take action, your dog may continue scooting to the extent of hurting its anus and glands.

If you notice frequent scooting behavior with your Boston terrier, it might be an itchy gland. However, this might also result from poop blockage that makes your terrier uncomfortable, making it scoot.

The poop blockage might also come with various infections, allergies, or parasites that can affect the anal glands. It is advisable to visit your dog’s veterinarian for more guidance if you notice any poop blockade. You can also give your dog the following allergy medications to help stop scooping, which can cause gland issues.

  • Steroids: This pill rapidly reliefs allergic reactions without causing major side effects to the dog
  • Apoquel: This pill helps to relieve itching resulting from allergies
  • Cytopoint: This is a safe injection you can use to treat allergies. Usually, the injection is more effective for secondary allergic conditions

Pain Around the Anal Area

The Boston’s anal pain mostly comes from inflammations of the anal glands, making the dog have difficulties pooping. In most cases, the inflammation is visible, and the glands look swollen when you observe the dog from the back.

Usually, the pain is excruciating and tends to become more irritating when you touch the anal area. The dog might struggle to walk or sit. As a result, you might notice your dog lying down more than usual.

Bostons are well known for being relatively quiet dogs. However, the anal pain may exceed and make the dog bark abnormally. It is advisable to use the following prescribed antibiotics to subside the inflammation

  • Cephalexin: This is an oral suspension antibiotic you can use to treat bacterial infections.
  • Clavamox: It’s an antibiotic that can successfully fight infections that affect the dog’s soft tissues, such as the anal gland
  • Zeniquin: Although the drug is mainly used to treat skin infections, it can also help to treat soft tissue irritations.
A black and white Boston terrier dog is lying on green grass while covered in brown mud

Defecation Problem

In most cases, Boston terriers get defecation problems due to dehydration, lack of exercise, neurological disorders, and lack of fiber in their diets. However, this problem can also result from blocked anal sacs.

When these glands swell, they press the anal area and decrease the size of the anal outlet leading to difficulties in defecation. The pain results from the glands when the dog tries to poop, making it stay longer without pooping, leading to temporary loss of appetite.

When the dog stool stays for long inside the intestines, it becomes harder, leading to more complex defecation issues. In such cases, it’s advisable to get a veterinarian’s help to diagnose the problem.

Excessive Licking of the Anal Area

Like other dog breeds, the Boston terrier might lick the anal area to reduce itching and relieve the anal pain. Keeping in mind that gland issues can cause pus discharge at the anus, the dog also licks this pus discharge as a way of cleaning the mess.

Since the glands problem might result from bacterial infections, preventing your dog from licking the anal area is advisable as the bacteria can lead to other stomach problems.

Blood and Pus in the Stool

In most cases, the gland inflammation makes them ooze pus with blood, which can take up to one week even after treatment. The dog feces mixes with this bloody pus during defecation, making the stool look bloody.

In more serious cases, tumors may develop in the gland linings and extend to the intestines over time, resulting in cancer if not diagnosed early and treated. These tumors have infiltrated blood vessels which tends to cause bleeding as the stool passes through the intestines.

However, blood and pus in the stool can also result from other health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and gastroenteritis. It is, therefore, advisable you take the dog to a vet for diagnosis before starting the anal treatment.

A Black and white colored Boston terrier  is playing with a brown and green ball while lying on a brown wood

Related Questions

Can You Empty Your Boston Terrier’s Full Anal Gland?

You can help your Boston terrier empty the gland using your fingers. Hold your dog’s tail with one hand and gently squeeze the glands. It is advisable that you use hand gloves to avoid infections.

Can Dog Anal Gland Be Removed?

Anal glands can be removed if the dog suffers from anal sac cancer. Normally, gland cancers affect one of the anal sacs, resulting in a tumor. In most cases, the removal involves a surgical procedure of cutting off the cancer tumor.

Can Grooming Cause Anal Gland Issues?

Grooming your Boston Terrier can cause gland issues if the groomer expresses the anal sacs manually. These glands are sensitive and can get damaged during manual expression. Usually, the glands lose their muscle tone leading to issues if the manual expression is repeatedly done.


Knowing what Boston terrier’s anal gland problems are can help you recognize the signs and take the appropriate measures to prevent serious health issues such as cancer. If you think the dog’s glands are infected, it is advisable to take the dog to a vet for diagnosis.