Dog Owners Guide To Anal Sacs

Anal sacs are 2 fluid filled sacs that are located just inside the anus at the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions. They are designed to squeeze out via a duct, a small amount of scent when animals poo – this is the reason that dogs love sniffing each other’s poo!

Unfortunately in some animals, these sacs can become inflamed (“anal sacculitis”) or even infected (“anal sac abscess”). Some dogs seem to be really irritated by their anal sacs when full and the ducts may become blocked and not allow them to empty naturally.

Signs of irritation to look out for

  • Scooting and itching at the anal region
  • Fishy smell from around the anus
  • Pain and swelling around the anus
  • Difficulty in defaecating

Anal sacs are part of the integument (skin) and they can be more inflamed/problematic when animals have underlying allergic skin disease and for this reason we may discuss food allergy trials or medications for itching.

We recognise that anal sac issues are irritating for both clients and their pets.

There are some things we recommend trying to prevent ongoing issues

1. Diet
Feeding pumpkin, sweet potato and or psyllium husk to help increase the volume of poo.

2. Treating Allergies
Allergies can be an underlying cause and easily treated to reduce the issue.

3. Supplementation
Glandex® supplementation is a new product that works to reduce inflammation and increases fibre which makes the poo more voluminous to squeeze them gently with each evacuation.

4. Expressing
Regular expressing at the vet clinic (some as often as every 6 weeks), we are happy to teach you how to do this yourself if you would like.

5. Surgery
Anal sacculectomy – this is surgery to remove the anal sacs entirely. As with any surgery, there are risks and benefits and we recommend you discuss these with the vet prior to any decision.

If you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us.