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Beaver Lake Animal Hospital
26325 SE 39th Street
Issaquah, WA 98029
(425)557-0752


Anal Sac Disease


Anal Sac Disease

 

General Information

            The anal sacs are located on each side of the anus, just under the skin at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. They open to the outside by tiny passageways or ducts. Glands around the anal sacs produce and secrete a foul-smelling substance into the sacs. The sacs normally empty as the animal has a bowel movement. Their current purpose is unknown and your pet can do well without them.  These sacs are vestiges of sacs that skunks have.  If a dog or cat is stressed, they may (uncontrollably) discharge the contents from the sacs.  Some pets may do this when they are dreaming.

            Diseases of the anal sacs fall into three categories:

1. Impaction: The anal sac fluid is abnormally thick and cannot escape.

2. Infection: Bacteria produce a yellow or bloody pus.

3. Abscessation: As a result of infection, a hot, tender swelling near the anus may rupture and discharge pus and blood.

            Signs of anal sac disease include "scooting" (dragging the anus on the floor), excessive licking under the tail, tenderness near the tail or anus, and/or bloody or sticky drainage from the anal area.  Some pets may even just suddenly turn and look or bite toward their rear ends.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Treatment for anal sac disease may include the following:

  • Manual expression (squeezing) of the sac contents one or more times.
  • Flushing the sacs and instilling antibiotics into them.
  • Oral antibiotics may be required.
  • Surgical drainage or removal of the sacs.
    • Surgical removal is recommended for pets that have persistent problems.

2. Medication: If medication is prescribed it must be given as directed. Notify the doctor if you cannot give the medication as prescribed.

 

Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur

Your pet is reluctant to eat.

Your pet is depressed or listless.

There is a sudden swelling or drainage near the anus.

Your pet constantly licks its anus.

Your pet vomits.


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