Anal Sacs Problems In Dogs (And Cats)

By October 30 | See Comments

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The reason behind why some animals have anal sacs are still a topic of wide debate. There has been much research into the matter and many speculations. It’s a tricky area of your pet’s body. They are also often known as anal glands although technically they do not really have a glandular structure. Many pet owners are concerned about the problems that might occur in this undiscovered area of their pet’s body. The anal sacs secrete an oily liquid-like substance which is stored inside the sac.Most veterinarians and scientists still have no clue as to why this liquid-like substance is excreted. You might find yourself confused and concerned if your vet tells you that your dog has a problem with his anal sacs. Anal sacs are likely to be infected as it is located right next to the dirtiest part of your dog’s body.

Treating Anal Sac Infections.

Anal tract infections are fairly easy to treat and diagnose. Your vet will first examine your dog and if he finds a swollen or inflamed spot next to your dog’s anus, he will then recommend treatment. The infection causes an abscess that appears on the dog’s skin. The abscess will look like it is almost ready to pop or breakthrough. To treat this condition, your vet will open the abscess in order to drain the infection from the infected anal sac. He will then flush the sac and check for infection in the other sac. If he finds that everything is as it should be, he will put your dog on antibiotics and simply send him home to rest.

What Exactly Are These Anal Sacs?

There have only ever been theories as to why some animals (cats, dogs, skunks etc.) have these sacs. One theory is that the liquid-like substance that is secreted by these sacs along with the stool acts as a territory marker due to its strong smell. Not unlike how we humans hang up ‘No trespassing’ signs to mark our property. Another theory is that the substance that’s secreted by the anal sac makes the passage of the stool easier by lubricating it. Just like how humans can get hemorrhoids, dogs get anal sac infections.

What Causes The Problems With The Anal Sac?

As the anal sac is an unusual body part, there aren’t specifics to what causes the disorders. The dysfunction of the muscles of the anal sphincter, sacs that appear enlarged due to under-compression by the muscles of the anal sphincter, hypersecretion of the liquid-like substance from the lining of the anal sac, and ducts of the anal sac that may be obstructed or constricted, are all predisposing circumstances that may cause problems with the anal sac.

How Do You Tell If Your Pet Has This Problem?

Only 12% of dogs experience disorders concerning the anal sac. There is an 88% chance that you will never even hear the term ‘anal sac’ from your vet. But if you are part of the unfortunate 12%, there are a few simple ways to recognize this infection. If your dog shows any kind of discomfort while passing stool or frequently turns and tries to bite his rear end, you might want to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

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