Anal Sac Disease in Dogs
Definition of Anal Sac Disease
Dogs, like other carnivores, have a pair of small sacs on either side of their anus (commonly called the “butt hole”), which is the end of the digestive tract. These anal glands produce a smelly, yellowish-gray to brownish pasty material, which normally is expelled when a dog poops or when it is startled or frightened. This is often attributed to territorial marking. The actual cause of anal sac problems is not well-understood. Anal sac “disease” happens when the sacs become inflamed, impacted, infected, irritated, abscessed or affected by tumors. Dogs with anal sac problems can’t properly eliminate the fragrant material that their glands normally produce. This causes lots of itchiness, pain and general discomfort. Unfortunately, anal sac problems are fairly common in domestic dogs.
The underlying causes of anal sac problems are not fully understood. Several predisposing factors have been suggested, including obesity, bouts of diarrhea, poor muscle tone around the anus, chronically soft feces and excessive or retained anal glandular secretions. Normally, the paired anal sacs act as reservoirs for secretions from the glandular tissue that lines them. Changes in the amount or character of those secretions, or changes in muscle tone or the consistency of a dog’s
Canine anal sac disorders are relatively common. The anal sacs are paired structures located on either side of a dog’s anus (the terminal end of the digestive tract through which feces is expelled). Normally, the anal sacs secrete a very smelly substance when a dog defecates, which probably acts as a form of territorial marking. When these sacs become irritated, inflamed, impacted or infected – which can occur for a number of reasons – their
Anal sac problems are fairly common in domestic dogs. Fortunately, they are not particularly difficult to diagnose. Owners usually bring their affected dogs to the veterinary clinic because they have been licking at their rear end and scooting their butts across the floor. They may also complain about a nasty smell coming from their dog’s rear and bad breath. The veterinarian will take a history from the owner about the dog’s general health, including when
When an owner suspects that his dog may have something unusual going on in the area around its anus, he should take his pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. In most cases, an anal sac problem is not an emergency. However, if ignored, the condition can quickly get worse and become increasingly difficult to treat. The goals of treating anal sac disease are to relieve the dog’s discomfort and pain, unplug and empty