A dog who tends to scoot a lot or tries to bite his or her rear might try to tell you that he or she suffers from anal sac disease. The anal sacs are essential parts of your pet’s anatomy, as their primary role is to secrete a fluid that is afterward used in communicating with other dogs. That fluid is what the dogs smell on one another when they meet and try to learn more about their new friends.
The anal sac disease is not something to take lightly. When the anal sacs become too full, and they cannot be relieved, that is when this disease occurs. If left untreated, it can progress into an infection or an abscess.
What are the most common symptoms of anal sac disease?
You can tell, even before visiting your vet, if your dog shows signs of anal sac disease. Excessive scooting is one of the most common symptoms. Because the sacs become too full with fluid and the skin around begins to stretch, your dog will feel the need to scoot, as if he or she is trying to defecate. If nothing occurs, and the scooting does not lead to the elimination of the feces, that is a clear sign that something is wrong.
Another symptom you will notice is biting of the rear end. Your dog feels something bothering him or her, so it will try to reach that area and somehow get rid of the sensation. Do not overlook such symptoms, as they will show you what is happening to your dog.
Typically, the odor eliminated with the fluid from the anal sacs smells awful, but, when your dog has issues, it becomes more pungent and impossible to tolerate. That should also trigger the alarm.
A dog suffering from anal sac disease will also suffer from constipation and pains during defecation. If you observe some or all of these symptoms in your pet, be sure that it is time to take your furry friend and pay a visit to the vet.
How does anal sac disease manifest?
Knowing more about this disease will help you understand how to take care of your dog properly. When the anal sacs become full with liquid, but no relief takes place, the said liquid becomes darker and more viscous, reaching a point where it obstructs the glands, and no elimination is possible in a natural manner.
That is what veterinarians call impacted anal glands. Relieving impacted glands is not at all difficult. Your vet can show you how to do it, and it is something you can do at home if your dog suffers from such problems on a regular basis, and you don’t want to pay visits to the vet too frequently.
When your dog suffers from impacted anal glands quite often, your vet might recommend high-fiber dog food for anal gland problems to help promote a healthy stool. If your dog eliminates the fluid regularly, he or she will have fewer issues to deal with, and that will also make your job, as a pet owner, easier.
How can you tell if your dog’s situation worsens?
The manifestations of the disease explained earlier are related to a stage that is easy to treat, through the regular expression of the glands and a healthy diet. However, there can be situations when, for various reasons, your dog’s condition may get worse.
If you notice blood and pus in the anal area, that is a clear sign that the disease has started to progress into an infection or an abscess. Take your dog to the vet for a full treatment. This consists of opening the abscess and draining it of puss. The follow-up treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory medication and warm compresses in the area.
Should the situation continue to get worse, your veterinarian will recommend surgery for removing the glands completely. While the intervention in itself is not complicated, there are risks involved. If there is cutting of the nerves in the area that might occur by accident, the dog may start to suffer from continuous leakage of feces.
Protect your dog’s health
Feed your canine friend a healthy diet, and keep him or her well exercised. Dogs who are obese and do not get enough physical exercise are the most exposed to this disease.