Anal sacs (AKA Anal Glands) , are small oval-shaped, located inside dogs rectum on both sides of the anus. They reside in the muscle of the anal sphincter and arenít easily visible. The glands produce a smelly, oily substance that collects in tiny ducts. This fluid probably serves as a territorial marker, relaying biochemical information to other dogs.
When dog defecates, if the stool is of normal consistency, the fluid-filled ducts in the anal glands will empty with the pressure of the feces as it passes through the rectum and anus. This is how nature designed things to work, but modern day pets often have loose stools or irregular bowel movements that donít press against the anal glands during evacuation.
Other contributors to anal gland problems can include obesity where there is insufficient muscle tone and excess fatty tissue, certain skin disorders, and infections. But in my experience, there are three main causes of anal gland problems: diet, trauma to the glands, and the position of the glands.
Common types of anal gland disorders : Impaction
Impaction is the most common problem associated with anal glands. This occurs when the oily substance builds up in the glands and thickens, and isnít expressed, resulting in enlargement and irritation of the glands. Anal gland infections
These infections are usually bacterial in nature and cause irritation and inflammation. An anal gland abscess is the result of an unaddressed anal gland infection. As the infection progresses, pus accumulates within the anal gland. The abscess will continue to grow in size until it eventually ruptures. Anal gland tutors
classified as adenocarcinomas, are usually malignant.
Occasionally anal gland tumors can result in elevated blood calcium levels, which can result in significant organ damage, including kidney failure.
Symptoms and Types
- Straining to defecate
- Tail chasing
- Discharge from the anal glands
- Licking and biting around the anus
When an abscess ruptures, a purulent discharge may be seen draining from the lesion. The area surrounding the abscess may appear red, swollen, and painful.
- Possible predisposing factors which include:
-- Chronically soft feces
-- Recent bout of diarrhea
-- Excessive glandular secretions
-- Poor anal muscle tone
- Retained secretions
And sometimes it happened with no known reason.
If your pet is having anal gland issues, your veterinarian should work to determine the cause of the problem rather than only treating it symptomatically by manually expressing the glands.
Itís important to try to re-establish the tone and health of malfunctioning glands, using a combination of dietary adjustments, homeopathic remedies, and natural GI anti-inflammatories. Sometimes manually infusing the glands with natural lubricants or herbal preparations can help return them to normal function.
The goal should be to resolve the underlying cause and return your petís anal glands to self-sufficiency.
Your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical exam on your dog, into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition. You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. Your veterinarian will order a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis to rule out other causes of disease.
The sacs are considered enlarged if during the physical exam, the anal sacs are easily palpable. The normal clear or pale yellow-brown secretion will have turned to a thick, pasty brown fluid if the anal glands have been impacted. Abscessed anal sacs will have a red-brown exudate, and show signs of swelling and redness. The anal sacs may also be clearly ruptured. The anal sac exudate will be sent to a laboratory for culture and sensitivity testing.
Your veterinarian will express the contents of the anal sacs if they are not already ruptured. Abscessed anal sacs will be opened in order to allow drainage. The anal sacs will then be cleaned and flushed, and antibiotics will be infused into them. If your dog is suffering from chronic anal sac infection, the anal sacs may need to be surgically removed. However, if your dog is suffering from severe fistulation (abnormal openings in the anal sacs), it may benefit from oral cyclosporine therapy.
Living and Management
Your veterinarian will schedule a follow-up appointment 3 to 7 days after diagnosing and beginning treatment for you dog. Your veterinarian will schedule subsequent follow-up appointments as necessary to treat your dog's condition. If your dog is constantly licking at its anus after treatment, you will need to ask your veterinarian for an Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog from reaching its anus. Also, contact your veterinarian for further treatment if the anal glands continue to drain after a few days of treatment, or if they appear to be red and swollen.
- Some parts are taken from :petmd.com
- Some parts are written by Dr. Becker at healthypets.mercola.com