- Arthiritis in dogs
- Anal Gland Disease
- Aural haematoma in dogs
- Worming puppies & dogs
- Chocolate, poison for your dog!
- Caution with rat bait
- Whelping. Frequently asked questions
- Dental Disease. Does your pet have bad breath?
- How do I know if my dog is constipated
- Puppy Training
- Puppy Toilet Training
- Cruciate Ligament Problems
- Rat Bait
- First Aid Kit for your Pet
- Ear Infections
- Puppy Pointers
- Toys for Puppies and Dogs
- Diabetes mellitus
- Hairballs in cats
- Arthritis in cats
- Diabetes in cats
- Caring for your old mate
- Frequently asked questions
- Cat fight abscesses
- Caring For Your New Kitten
- Choosing the right food for your cat
- Problem with your cat scratching?
- Feline Aids - Is your cat at risk
- Ear mites and your cat
- First Aid Kit for your Pet
- Constipation in Cats
- Confining Cats in Comfort
- Equine Dentistry
- Hairy caterpillars and abortions in horses
- Can I feed all my horses the same?
- Head Shaking in Horses. KER
- Wounds and lacerations in horses
- Winter check list for old horses
- Resistance to Horse Wormers
- Laminitis - Prevention is better than cure
- Colic - Risk Factors
- Chewing and Biting Habits
- Greasy Heel
- Small Ruminants
- Time to say goodbye
- Prevention Programs
Anal Gland Disease
Anal Gland disease is a common and distressing condition in pets and is one of the common causes of 'scooting' behaviour - where a dog drags its derriere along the carpet.
What are anal glands?
Anal Glands or Anal Sacs are small glands on either side of your dog's anus at roughly the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions.
So, why do dogs scoot along on their bottoms?
If you see the scooting behaviour, it means your dog has some type of irritation around its rear end. This can be due to fleas, an allergic or itchy skin condition, occasionally to worms but mostly the cause is impacted or infected anal sacs.
The swelling and infection hurt. Attempts to pass a motion will cause a lot of pain - so much that the dog may not go to the toilet as often as it should and constipation can occur. The pain will cause your dog to regularly lick its rear end and it may whimper with discomfort.
If your dog’s anal sac disease is left untreated, the sacs will often rupture and an abscess will develop around the anus. Sometimes these are difficult to cure.
What needs to be done to treat anal sac disease?
If your dog has impacted anal sacs, having them properly emptied by your veterinarian may be all you need to do to solve the problem. Your veterinarian will normally do this by placing a gloved finger inside your dog’s rectum and gently squeezing the discharge out. Not a pleasant task!
Sometimes the secretion is too thick to squeeze out or it may cause too much pain. In such cases, the sacs have to be cleaned under anaesthetic.
While one cleaning session will often solve the problem, in some cases, repeated cleaning is needed. If this happens with your dog, you would do well to ask for a thorough flush and clean under anaesthetic. As well as flushing the glands, your vet will usually instil an antibiotic ointment into each gland too. Your vet will usually give antibiotic medication to complete the therapy.
If you are bored and have nothing better to do and you also own a gas mask, it's possible for you to manually empty your dog's anal glands yourself. Ask your vet to show you how. Alternatively, most dog groomers will do the job for you as well.
If your dog is suffering from anal sac disease regularly, your veterinarian may suggest surgical removal of the sacs. They are unnecessary and removal does not cause any side effect.
Changing your dog’s diet is often useful. The goal is to make your dog’s droppings more bulky so that squeezing of the sacs during toileting is more common. The usual way of doing this is to increase the fibre in your dog’s diet by adding bran or grated carrot to its ration.
Many dogs with anal sac disease are ‘over-round hounds’. Obesity in dogs causes many problems and anal sac disease is just one. Thankfully, prescription diets are available to help you reduce your dog’s weight and, as these diets are also high in fibre, they will help with anal sac disease too. Ask for your veterinarian for advice on what food is best.