Our Sudbury Vets Ask: Is Your Pet “Dragging Behind??”

By April 17, 2013 Uncategorized

A Discussion on Anal Sacs by Our Sudbury Vets

WARNING – If you are reading this blog article while eating, STOP RIGHT NOW or proceed with caution!!! 

Have you ever wondered why your furry companion has started to drag their hind end on the ground??  This is not some new dance craze affecting our four legged friends.  Often, this is a sign that your pet is having an issue with their anal sacs.  They will frequently start to lick or bite under their tail as well.  

Every dog and cat has 2 anal sacs that sit at approximately the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock position around the anus. You may not be aware of their existence until the day you smell a very unusual odor from the hind end! They are in essence scent glands.  

Our Sudbury Vets commonly hear the statement, “I think my dog has worms because its anal area is itchy.” In most cases they have full anal sacs, anal sac impaction, an inflamed anal sac or abscess. 

These sacs normally secrete a typically brown watery substance. This liquid is usually excreted during a bowel movement. If this liquid becomes pasty it will not easily pass through the ducts that connect the anal sacs to the outside. Grossed out yet??  Keep reading it gets better!! As a result, if the ducts become blocked and the liquid that is continued to be produced does not have an exit point, then the gland can rupture forming an abscess. This is not pleasant for either pet or pet parent. Our Sudbury Vets state that at that point, you will see an ulcer that may be oozing blood or creamy material on either the right or the left of the anus.

 Why do some dogs have more issues with anal sacs than others? Good question. The answer is Our Sudbury Vets really don’t know.  Two possibilities are a food allergy that lead to inflammation of the glands or smaller/soft stool that do not promote emptying of the sacs. You may not realize this but bowel function is often a common topic for Our Sudbury Vets as it can be an indicator of your furry friend’s health.

 Some dogs need to have their anal sacs periodically expressed to prevent discomfort, impactions and abscesses.  For some dogs this may need to be done every few months while some dogs will never need to have these sacs expressed. If you think that your furry friend is having issues with their anal sacs please contact Our Sudbury Vets as it is best if the procedure is done by a professional. 

If inflammation or abscess occurs your dog will need to be evaluated by Our Vets at The Barrydowne Animal Hospital.  Often antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anal gland flushing or surgery may be advised.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call Our Sudbury Vets at the Barrydowne Animal Hospital at 705-566-4243 or visit our website at www.barrydowneanimalhospital.com or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BarrydowneAnimalHospital No butts about it, our primary goal is to keep your furry friend healthy and happy throughout their lifetime!!

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