The anal sacs (also known as anal glands) are two small sacs located on either side of the anus at the five and seven o’clock position. Their role is similar to scent glands and they secrete a oily, foul smelling substance which helps other dogs to identify the individual.
When a dog defecates, the sphincter muscle contracts & squeezes the anal glands, emptying them. They are also emptied by forceful contractions of the anal sphincter which happens when a dog is scared or upset.
Anal sac disease begins when the anal glands secretions become thickened & impacted. This causes inflammation. If the anal sacs are not treated at this point, infection may occur which could lead to abscess. This in turn could eventually rupture through the adjacent skin.
Obese dogs are more likely to develop anal sac disease.
What are the signs of impacted anal glands in dogs?
- Scooting it’s bottom along the floor.
- Biting & or licking around the anal region.
- Straining while defecating.
- Pain while defecating.
- Obvious pain in the anal area.
- Swelling in the anal area.
- Rupture around the anal region.
How is anal gland disease in dogs treated?
If the anal glands are simply impacted & haven’t progressed to infection & or abscess then manually expressing the secretions may be all that is required. Your veterinarian will need to do this & it involves inserting a finger into the anus & gently applying pressure.
If the anal sacs have become infected or abscessed, lancing & extraction of the infected material will be necessary. This is followed by flushing & antibiotics are instilled into the sacs to treat infection.
If your dog has repeated problems with their anal glands, surgical removal may be necessary.
Preventing anal sac disease in dogs:
The anal sacs should be regularly checked for signs of impactation, infection or abscess.
Now, that’s how you treat Impacted Anal Glands in Dogs!