Anal Sac Disease in Dogs

It could be an indication of anal sac disease if you’ve noticed your dog scooting across the room on their bottom.

On either side of their anus, dogs have two small pouches. They produce a smelly, oily brown fluid that dogs use to identify them and mark their territory. It’s for this reason that they frequently sniff each other’s behinds.

Anal sac illness starts as a painful impaction and can escalate to an infection or abscess if not treated.


  • Scooting
  • Licking or biting their rear end
  • A bad smell
  • Constipation or pain when pooping/sitting

When a dog poops, the fluid in their anal sacs is normally squeezed out as well. The troubles arise when they aren’t entirely drained. The fluid inside can dry out and thicken to the point where it shuts up the apertures. This is referred to as impaction.

Fortunately, affected sacs are simple to treat. You can gently empty or express the glands with your fingers. You may need to perform this on a regular basis, and your veterinarian may show you how to do it to save time & expense.

If your dog has impactions on a regular basis, your veterinarian may recommend that you supplement their diet with additional fiber. This makes their excrement larger, placing greater pressure on the sacs to empty naturally.

You don’t need to empty your dog’s sacs if they don’t have a problem.

The impaction will become infected if not handled. Look for pus leaking from their sacs that is yellow or red. Your dog may become scared or furious as a result of this painful condition. The sacs will be washed out and antibiotics will be given to your dog.

If left untreated, an infection can turn into an abscess (a large, painful mass of pus) that can break. The abscess will be opened and drained, and antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines will most likely be recommended.

If your dog’s problems continue, your veterinarian may recommend surgery to remove the anal sacs. Although it is a simple operation, it can lead to consequences such as fecal incontinence (when their poop leaks uncontrollably).


Make sure your dog eats a healthy diet and gets enough of exercise. Anal sac illness is most common in small, fat dogs. Also, if your dog’s anal sacs are causing problems, have your vet check them at every checkup.

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