Anal Sacs Impaction In Dogs: What You Need to Know Why does your dog's anus smell and how to treat it?

Anal Sacs Impaction In Dogs: What You Need to Know

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Anal sac impaction in dogs is a condition where the dog's anal sacs become impacted or may not empty. The anal sacs are the glands that produce and store anal gland secretions.

The anal sacs are located on either side of the anus and open through small holes called pores, which may become blocked. They secrete a foul-smelling fluid containing pheromones used in communication between dogs and cats but may also contain other waste material.

The contents of the anal sacs can become impacted as a result of overgrown hair surrounding it or other causes such as diarrhea or constipation. This condition is most common in young dogs but can occur in any age or breed.

They produce a foul-smelling liquid that is normally expelled when a dog defecates. If impacted, an animal may have difficulty passing stool and develop diarrhea and an unpleasant odor around its rear end. 

Anal sac impaction has the highest recurrence rate and reoccurs in 4–5 months. The recurrence can cause chronic irritation due to toxins being released into his system whenever he defecates or urinates, which could lead to infection of surrounding tissues. 

How To Check For Impacted Anal Sacs?

If you think your dog may have inflamed anal sacs, take him to the vet for an exam. Your vet can tell if there are any lumps and if your dog has impacted anal sacs by examining them. Your dog may have impacted anal sacs if:

  • He is scooting on the floor and/or licking the area between his tail and hind legs.

  • The area between his tail and rear end smells like ammonia or feces.

  • The sac must be large and swollen.

  • The dog may also paw at the area upon touching it. 

Is The Treatment Painful?

Anal Sacs impaction is treatable and is not generally painful. But you should not wait before starting the treatment, as if you do, the bacteria can spread to the anal sacs and cause infection.

There are many different ways you could go about treating your dog's chronic ANS problem. The treatment options available for chronic anal sac problems include medication, usually with antibiotics for dogs, surgery, or dietary manipulation to relieve intestinal gas and prevent constipation

Surgery is sometimes necessary, but it depends on whether your dog has high-grade or low-grade chronic infection-causing conditions. It requires an anesthetic to be performed, with a small risk associated with this procedure. 

How To Prevent Anal Sacs Impaction?

To prevent your dog from getting impacted with anal sacs, you must ensure the anal sacs are empty. You can do this by manually expressing the fluid that collects in them. This can be done with a gentle thumb and forefinger massage or by using a special tool called an anal sac scoop.

If you know that your dog is prone to developing impacted anal sacs, it’s important to make lifestyle changes to prevent this from happening again. There are a few things you can do for prevention:

A healthy diet and regular exercise will keep your dog fit and active, which helps with digestion and bowel movements. It also keeps their muscles strong to hold in their poop when needed.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach and Salmon for dogs are good options. This product contains a high percentage of protein, which is essential for dogs who have stomach issues like those that come with anal sac impaction.

Hill's Science Diet Dog Food is an excellent choice. It is formulated specifically to meet the special nutritional needs of dogs with sensitive stomachs and help relieve the symptoms associated with an impacted anal gland.

Try feeding them smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of one large meal at night. You can use a slow-feeder dog bowl; it will help reduce the chances of having an impacted anal sac if they cannot get rid of their waste as quickly as usual due to a full stomach.

If your dog experiences difficulty passing stool or develops diarrhea, you can opt for having them in diapers for dogs, as this will help them stay clean and reduce your work burden.

Applying hot compression for 15 to 20 minutes every 8 to 12 hours will also benefit your pet. 


Anal sac impaction can be a very dangerous condition for your dog. It occurs from time to time in all dogs, particularly in young dogs. The most common reason for a dog to have impacted anal sacs is inflammation of the colon by parasites or bacteria.

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