Yes, this can be done at home with some training. A fair number of people/groomers/vet techs will only attempt external expression, i.e., using the thumb and forefinger at the anus (approximately 4 and 8 o'clock position if one views the anal region as a clock), and using gentle pressure to extrude the fluid in the anal sacs. This will work in a fair number of cases.
There are many cases where this will not work, and these animals must be expressed internally. Using a gloved, well lubricated forefinger, the digit is gently introduced into the anus, approximately to the second knuckle of the finger, and using gentle pressure via the external thumb and inserted internal forefinger, the anal sacs are collapsed and thereby force the contents to the outside. usually this material is very thick and granular.
I have had some success using a high fiber diet to encourage anal sac emptying without this manual aid. Most dogs with anal sac problems have an
underlying sebaceous gland component, usually allergic in nature.
Dr. Van Lienden
Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124