Anal Sac Disease in Dogs and Cats
Last updated: October 8, 2021 by the Revival Education Team
Anal Sac Disease (ASD) is a common problem in dogs and cats. Anal Sac Disease happens when anal sacs, also called anal glands, become impacted, infected and abscessed. Anal sacs are two small glands located on either side of the anal opening of all dogs and cats at the five o'clock and seven o'clock position. These glands normally release a small amount of a foul smelling scent marking liquid every time your dog or cat defecates.
What Causes Anal Gland Problems?
Whenever the anal glands become blocked, over-filled or inflamed it causes discomfort for your dog or cat and can lead to further problems. Common reasons why your pet may be experiencing anal sac problems include soft or loose stools, digestive issues, allergies, infection, obesity, poor anatomy or a combination of these things.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of anal gland problems can vary for every pet, however, common signs that your pet may display include scooting, excessive licking of the anal area, straining to defecate, releasing a sudden foul odor, pain or discomfort of the hind end, or bleeding and swelling near the anal area. In cats, symptoms are typically less obvious but may include defecating outside of the litter box.
When Should I Be Concerned?
If your dog or cat is experiencing any signs of anal gland problems you should consult your veterinarian immediately because anal sac problems left untreated can develop into further problems including infection or abscess. If you pet's anal sacs are full, they will need to be emptied by your veterinarian. If there are signs of infection, your veterinarian may prescribe prescription medication including antibiotics.
How Can I Prevent Anal Gland Problems?
It is important to feed your pet a consistent, high quality diet free from excessive fillers. It is also important to maintain your dog or cat's ideal weight. Resolving any underlying causes of your pet's anal gland problems such as allergies or digestive issues is also key. In some severe cases, the anal glands may need to be surgically removed.
Anal sac problems can be prevented in dogs and cats very simply by feeding a quality diet. If your dog or cat is exhibiting symptoms of Anal Sac Disease, contact your veterinarian for treatment.
If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.
-The Revival Education Team
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.