Anal Sacs and the Wellbeing of Your Pets

Sylvano Bitencourt - Thursday, March 24, 2016

I pay a lot of attention on the wellbeing of pets their owners entrusts me to groom. I feel obligated to share my knowledge with my clients parents if I find anything that looks out of the ordinary. I love pets too. And after all these years I obtain valuable informations on how to keep my pets healthy.


When you drop off your loved one(s) to me to groom, I check everything that I know is important. If i find something concerning, I share my findings with you. I am looking at the skin and coat condition. I check the inside of the ears. I check their teeth and smell their breath. And I also check and clean their anal sacs if necessary. Why checking their anal sacs is important? To best answer this question, I would like you to read the following professional opinion from Dr. Brian Hunter from Hunter Veterinary Clinic:



Located on either side of the anus, anal sacs, or anal glands as they are frequently called are found in most animals. In skunks they provide defense, and in many species they are used as a scent marker to communicate who is using a given territory. In our domestic dogs and cats that usefulness has been lost and for some pets they are a source of irritation, and occasionally infection.


Normally the anal sacs are compressed, and some of this stinky material comes out when a pet has a bowel movement. However for some, particularly older animals, the material becomes too thick to pass, or bacteria make their way into the sac and the pet scoots or licks the bottom trying to relieve the pressure. If unsuccessful in emptying the sac, an abscess may form which may subsequently rupture and bleed.


Your groomer will usually be able to express the contents of the anal sacs when your pet is groomed. However, there are a few animals where due to body shape, or the dry consistency of the material where they can’t be successfully emptied from the outside and your veterinarian will need to empty them with internal rectal pressure. Those patients may need more frequent emptying to prevent problems from developing. In rare instances the problem anal gland can’t be resolved, or an abscess has formed and surgical intervention may be necessary to treat the problem.


Should you have any question about this article, you can contact Dr. Hunter at 509-327-9354.


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