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For the health of your dog: Anal Sac Maintenance

Anal Sacs – what are they?  Are they a problem? 

Anal sacs also known as “scent glands” arefound on the left and right  sides of  theanus at 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions respectively.  Cats and skunks have them too – although they are less developed than those of the skunk!  What is their purpose?  Their primary function is to enable dogs and cats to mark their territory.

Normally, semiliquid, fetid material is squeezed out passively when pets defecate, but sometimes things can go wrong and the glands become impacted, then infected, and can develop abscesses or neoplasia where infected tissue is walled off with a fibrous capsule as the body seeks to defend itself.  Generally, toy breeds are more prone to anal gland problems.


Impacted glands can often be expressed during grooming or by your vet.  This will give relief to your pet and should be part of his regular maintenance if he is prone to this problem.

Ever seen your dog “scoot” or gnaw at his rear?  Pain associated with abscesses, impaction and infection can be very troublesome for our four footed companions.  If left untreated, abscesses could rupture, causing more pain and discomfort.  If an abscess were to drain into surrounding tissues, consequences could become severe.

Be aware of signs your dog may be experiencing problems.  These include scooting, tail chasing and excessive licking or biting around the tail and anus.  To learn more, check out the following video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6sFKrQyBX4

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