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.