Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs

Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Licking / Odor / Pain / Redness / Swelling

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Rated as moderate conditon

31 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Licking / Odor / Pain / Redness / Swelling

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Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Anal Sac Disorders?

The anal glands on both sides of the anus are usually drained naturally when your dog has a bowel movement, but sometimes the fluid becomes too thick to be expressed and it will become impacted (clogged up). After the anal gland has been impacted for a while, it becomes infected and swollen. Finally, the infection will cause an abscess that is very painful for your dog. You will need to take your dog to the veterinarian so he can drain and clean the anal gland. The veterinarian will probably give your dog antibiotics in this case. The sooner you get this painful illness treated, the better the outcome will be for both you and your dog. Even though impacted anal glands are not a risk to the health of your dog, they are very uncomfortable and your dog may harm himself trying to clean the area by scooting on the ground. Once the anal glands get inflamed it is painful for your dog to have a bowel movement and he may become constipated. Once the anal sacs become abscessed, your dog is in danger of the infection spreading to the rest of the body.

Disorder of the anal sacs is the most common disorder in dogs and it can be caused by several different ailments. Anal sac impaction, infection, and abscess are the three stages of anal sac disorder. It starts out with one or both of your dog’s anal sacs becoming impacted (unable to express fluid), then it becomes infected and swollen, and finally, the infection will cause an abscess which can be very painful. Even though all breeds of dogs are susceptible to this condition, it seems to be seen more in small dogs. Some of those dog breeds are Chihuahua, Dachshund, and the Miniature or Toy Poodle.

Symptoms of Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs

  • Scooting on the floor
  • Excessive licking or biting of the affected area
  • Pain during bowel movement
  • Brown or red spots on your floor
  • Bad smell from your dog (in the rear end) that gets worse with each stage
  • Swelling and redness in the anal area

 Types

These are not separate illnesses, but different stages of the same disorder:

  • Anal sac impaction
  • Infection
  • Abscess

Causes of Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs

The causes of anal sac disorder vary, but the most common cause is the inflammation of the anal ducts. This is more common in older and obese dogs because their anal glands do not empty as well as they should. Once your dog has had an anal sac impaction, it will usually recur and with every incidence, the ducts will be more damaged so the problem will happen more often until it becomes chronic.

Diagnosis of Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs

Your veterinarian will need a complete medical background, including any recent illnesses or injuries, changes in diet or behavior, when the anal sac problem started, and if it has gotten worse. A thorough physical examination will be done, which includes body temperature, weight, heart rate, and blood pressure. The veterinarian will do a rectal examination and if it is the anal sac that is causing the problem, he will be able to notice it right away. Some tests they will most often do to rule out other illnesses are complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry panel, urinalysis, fecal examination, and anal swab. They may also need to do some digital radiographs (x-rays) to be sure there are no tumors or other issues causing the anal sac disorder.

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Treatment of Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs

The veterinarian can go ahead and empty the anal sacs by gently using his finger to push up on the gland starting at the bottom to squeeze out the material. If the glands are infected, he will usually flush them out with saline or a softening solution to remove the hardened material. In the case of anal gland abscesses, your veterinarian will lance them and prescribe one or two weeks of antibiotics. Your dog will most likely be put under anesthesia or sedation for any treatment because they are painful and your dog will already be in enough pain. Antibiotics and hot compresses will be required for treatment of the abscesses after the glands are emptied. The veterinarian may want you to come back weekly to empty the sacs again and may then prescribe a topical steroid and antibiotic ointment.

If the problem continues to happen the veterinarian will most often suggest surgery to remove the anal glands, which will stop the problem permanently. It is a simple procedure, but it does have a risk of fecal incontinence (not being able to control his bowel movements).

Recovery of Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs

After treatment, you will need to use warm compresses on your dog twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes for about 7 to 10 days to relieve pain and swelling. Be sure to give your dog the high fiber diet that your veterinarian will suggest to make it easier for your dog to have a bowel movement. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a stool softener if he thinks it is necessary. Be sure to follow all instructions and return to the office for the follow-up visit.

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Anal Sac Disorders Average Cost

From 46 quotes ranging from $75 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

Anal Sac Disorders Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Poopadoo

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Chug (chiuahua/pug mix)

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5 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Lethargy,Loss Of Appetite,Nausea

I took my dog to the vet yesterday for a lump on his hind quarter (right side) and he has an MCT which he will be having surgery on. Today I now notice that his left anal region is quite swollen but wasn't yesterday and his rectum is swollen and red. He keeps licking his rectum but there isn't a foul smell coming from there. He doesn't want to eat or drink very much and seems nauseated a bit, which I'm not sure is a result of the MCT or his anal problem. Do you feel this is his anal sac needing to be drained and if so, how long does it go from swelling to a rupture? I don't want to wait to long.He seems warm to the touch but his nose is wet cool.Also, if in need of draining does that need to be done before his MCT surgery or can it be done while he is sedated for surgery? I don't want to do to much to him at once and cause him complications or extra discomfort with his surgical procedure. I'm a very concerned mommy that wants to help him and also keep him safe in the process. Much thanks to you and for your time!!

Aug. 13, 2018

Poopadoo's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If one side of the anus is swollen it may be more serious than just an impacted anal gland, if the swelling is bigger than a pea then you should return to your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side to determine whether it is a swollen gland or another cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 13, 2018

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Tobi

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Beagle

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8 Years

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

Recently my beagle began showing signs of discomfort. Holding tail down between legs, not wagging tail, lethargic. I researched his symptoms and thought at first it could be broken tail, but now I am thinking maybe his anal glands need expressing. He had been dragging his butt across the floor more, and often he would have a foul odor coming from him. Could this be his anal glands or a more severe problem?

July 27, 2018

Tobi's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It is possible that Tobi may have an anal gland issue especially if there has been some bad odours coming from his backend, without examining him and inserting a finger I cannot know for certain. You should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side as tumour and other serious conditions may occur in this area. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 27, 2018

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Brady

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Beagle boxer German Shepard

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1 Year

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Licking
Chewing

My dog doesn’t seem to be able to release his anal glands. He often will lick or attempt to chew in the area. Sometimes he will scoot on the ground. He has never had a solid poop (they are always a little soft). He needs us to relieve his swelling about every week. Is there a long term solution? We have tried changing his food and even given medication in an attempt to harden his stool.

July 22, 2018

Brady's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Typically, forming a more firm stool needs to happen to express those glands normally, and if he always has a soft stool, that may be the problem. I'm not sure what foods or medications you have given Brady, but more fiber in the stool often helps, either in a higher fiber food, or a fiber supplement like canned pumpkin. Since I cannot see Brady and don't know anything about his condition or history, it would be best to call your veterinarian and ask what might help him. In more extreme cases, surgical removal of the glands is possible.

July 22, 2018

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Wrinkles

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English Bulldog

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6 Years

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

My English bulldog has been diagnosed with anal sac infection and was prescribed amoxicillin for ten days. He shows pain right after pooping. He stays in his bed all day, very unlike him. He does not move even to eat or drink water. However, eats and drinks water fine if I bring it over to his bed. His poop seems normal and there’s no crying while doing it, but seem to be right after. He’s been on antibiotics for 4 days now without major improvements. Two months ago, he got his tail amputated due to an infection that became resistant to all antibiotics. He was great after but for the past two weeks he’s not doing well. The vet recently did X-rays, blood test and everything came out normal. How long before I see him better if he’s taking antibiotics? Could this be a side effect from the Surgery? Many thanks

July 21, 2018

Wrinkles' Owner

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3320 Recommendations

The antibiotics may take a another day or two to kick in, I would at least keep giving the antibiotics until the course is completed and monitor for improvement; if there is no improvement after the antibiotics are completed you should return to your Veterinarian for a culture and sensitivity test especially if there has been a history of antibiotics resistant infections (especially recently). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 22, 2018

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Sebastian

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Pit bull mix

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6 Months

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Tender
Slightly More Sleepy
Whiny

Hello. I have a dog, I am not sure what the breed is. I know he is half pit. But hes 6 months old. He has had loose stool for quite some time. His first stool of the day is usually quite normal and solid looking but throughout the day, the stools are loose. When we woke up this morning, I noticed he has a small red bump on the excretory anal duct/exterior anal sphincter. He has not scooted on his bottom at all. But he does lick himself regularly. Just all around the genitals and he will nibble above his tail. He also passes gas often that smells to high heaven. I feed him well. He eats Pure Balance brand food.I usually stick to the Brown Rice and Pea recipe. I am just getting worried.He has also been more whiny than usual. I know that sounds weird, but he will talk to me to get my attention. And he will come up to me and start whining but I can't figure out what he needs/wants. Do you think its possible he just got bit by something or do you think it is something more serious? I live in Florida, so he is around fire ants and what not but I would love to hear your advice on this as well. Thank you!

July 12, 2018

Sebastian's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Any new lump or bump should be treated as being suspicious, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two to see if there are any changes in size, colour or shape; it is possible it may just be a bite or something similar, but if it is a bite it should disappear within a day or so. If it is still there Friday afternoon you should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 12, 2018

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Izzy

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Pit bull

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4 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Anal Glands Rupture

So my female dog had her glands ruptured about 1.5 years ago. Had to be put under and flushed. Finally healed. Now 1.5 years later again the same anal gland has ruptured. Due to Covid-19 I have to wait 2 days to be seen at our vet. I'm nervous about having the surgery to have the glands removed as the vet said she would leak poop all over. I hate watching her go thru this and it's costly and keeps reoccurring. Please help?! Have you had the sacs removed?

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Maya

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Belgian Malinois

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2 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Scooting Licking Bum Fishy Smell

My dog has been scooting, not frequently but sometimes she licks her bum which then results in the foul odor. I’ve tried to express her glands but find it hard to do, and also nothing comes out. She eats normal and is very playful. Her stool used to be soft but not anymore since I changed her food. Now I feed her Kirkland signature dog food healthy weight dog formula. Also, I have been giving her for two months Zesty paws probiotic bites. The symptoms don’t seem to go away. Her bum also looks normal no redness or swelling. Doesn’t seem to have trouble pooping either. I have been applying a warm compress for two days since I read that it helps encourage natural drainage. Are these symptoms maybe due to anal gland impaction?

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Doodle

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Mix

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12 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Green Pus From Anus

My dog had pus coming out her but. Vet prescribed clindamycin for 10 days. At the end of that she still had pus coming out butt. she isn't biting and licking at her but like before. She acts fine but the pus isn't going away. What should I do? She did have the foul odor from her bottom for over a month, which prob were blocked glands. The smell went away then a few weeks later a thin watery brownish fluid began to leak and leave spots on her pallets. She ate and drank fine. Another week past and I was trimming the fur around her but and noticed pus. I dont know how long she had this and it took a few days to get her in at the vet. They expressed her (the vet said there wasn't much in the glands) my dog had a little fever as well. Clindamycin was been prescribed for 10 days I still see pus so clindamycin was prescribed another 7 days which we are on right now but I still see pus and I'm getting really worried why will the pus not go away where is it coming from what is our next step?

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Roxie

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Boxer

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Pain
Urinary Incontinence

My dog the past 2 years has had blood in her stool. It was understood that it was anal gland issues and that they could worsen some day. Some days there was a lot of blood, others there was no blood for days in her stool. Well 2 days ago, my dog was taken out to go to the bathroom, had a bowel movement and urinated like normal, there was no blood this time. About 2 hours later we noticed an egg sized lump next to her anus. We took her to the emergency room, they lanced the anal gland and sent her home. She seems not be in pain anymore but the swelling hasn't decreased as much as I would like to see. I've done warm compresses and kept her away from the area very well. I'm just worried that this was a way to only buy more time for my dog and that in a week this could happen again and we will have to lance it again. So what are my chances that this helped enough to get her through the rest of her life that she may have with us? This has also caused her to urinate in the house a couple times because I believe the pressure of the anal gland being abscessed put so much pressure on her bladder.

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Shopie

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Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

19 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Anal Itching

So yeah l come from parents that no matter how its hurts it will clear up. So that how they treat my dog shopie but l discovered that my dog could have this but 100% sure she does. I will take to the vet soon but does the infection effect me? Can sit with her on the sofas and sleep with her on my bed? Can it transfer to me?

Anal Sac Disorders Average Cost

From 46 quotes ranging from $75 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

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