Anal Gland Disease (Sacks)



The anal sacks contain two small glands located inside the anus of dogs and cats, on both sides of it, responsible for releasing a substance, with lubricating characteristics for better defecation. Each anal sac serves as a store for the secretion of the glands. The only excretory duct of each of the glands, of the two sacs, opens in the anal canal.

Its unpleasant but functional smell is very characteristic since the liquid they produce is their identity signal. They are susceptible to inflammation and infection producing a clinical picture of pain and discomfort that produce a fairly characteristic behavior in the dog. It is a problem that is repeated over time. It can affect one or both glands.

Infection anal glands. Why?

The cause of infection of the anal glands in dogs is not known with certainty, but it is known that there are several predisposing factors, such as race, recent diarrhea or chronically soft stools, glandular hypersecretion associated with seborrhea and poor muscle tone in obese dogs. . Retention of the fecaloid content predisposes to infection and immune reactions that cause abscess formation.

In cats, anal sack diseases are rare, with impaction being the most common presentation when this type of condition occurs.

Anal sack diseases can occur in three different ways:

1. Impact of the anal sacks: It is characterized by the accumulation of pasty fluid, or a paste that comes out very difficult due to the digital pressure of the inflamed anal sac.

2. Saculitis: inflammation, infection of this fluid.

3. Abscess formation: It is characterized by the discharge of purulent material (mixed with blood) when the inflamed anal sac is pressed.

It is probably three forms of clinical presentation that correspond to different stages of evolution.

Treatment of anal sac abscesses

Most animals are able to empty their anal sacks alone. However, many of them lose this ability, and can then cause a health problem, as explained above.

Treatment varies according to the clinical stage of the infection. Thus, in cases of impaction and saculitis it is convenient to drain the contents of the bags manually, being able to do it internally (less painful) or externally. Also, if possible, we should treat with antibiotic ointment and corticosteroids inside the sacks. On the other hand, in cases with abscesses, the administration of oral antibiotic therapy such as amoxicillin-clavulanic acid is necessary and to cure the area like any abscess (hydrogen peroxide, iodinated povidone, antibiotic ointment). In cases of recurrent abscesses, the removal of the anal sacs by surgical or chemical cautery techniques is indicated.

In addition, for those animals that frequently suffer impaction of the anal glands, a diet rich in fibers and maintaining good hygiene of the perineal area is recommended.


The prognosis is usually good, even when the excision of the glands is necessary, since there are usually no post-surgical complications. Complications of surgery include permanent fecal incontinence. In the case of fistulization and tumor pathology the prognosis is reserved.

We recommend you access our interactive platform to expand information on the subject from

The content of the comments is the opinion of the users or netizens not of

It is not allowed to pour comments contrary to the laws, insulting, illegal or harmful to third parties.

You'll Love This Curly-Coated Kitty

The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.