Anal sac problem

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby Val » March 9th, 2008, 7:36 pm

Hi everyone,
I am not much of a poster, but I do lurk around and this site is
great, anyway to get to my question here goes.

Abigail has terrible anal gland problems. She has thickening of the sac on
the right side. Which means the opening is smaller and she can not express them herself. Also the fluid is thick so even if she has normal sacs it would be very hard for her to express them. She has gone sometimes as little as one week between Dr. visits. At the last 2 visits the Dr. has put in a holistic cream, hoping that would help. She gone 2 weeks this time without any scooting, licking or tail chasing.
If the sac wall does not get any thinner, she will need to have surgery, not only to stop the problem, but also to rule out anything "bad".
Has anyone had any experience with the surgery or any other holistic ideas?
Any in put would be great. I don't want my baby girl to have surgery.(Money isn't a problem)
But I do want to do what is best for her.

Thanks, Val
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Postby blabsforbullies » March 9th, 2008, 7:55 pm

Hi Val,

Anal gland adenocarcinoma is the most common "bad" thing, and it is USUALLY easily palpated when the glands are expressed. Not to say it is ruled out, but having trouble with anal glands is fairly common. The more problems they have, the more thick the sacs become, unfortunately. :oops:

The biggest problem that I advise my clients is the possibility, although VERY, VERY rare, of fecal incontinence. If the surgery doesn't go as expected, there is a very dlight possibility that the muscle and/or nevers can be severed and thereby causing incontinence. I personally have yet to see this happen, but that is the biggest risk.

Having said that, however, the surgery is usually very, very successful and the thought of no further office visits and pain/discomfort, I would do it for one of my pets if the need should arise. :wink: I am not a homeopathic vet, but to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing that offers a better success rate. :neutral:

Here is a handout we give to our clients about anal glands...

ANAL SAC DISEASE


What are the anal sacs?

Popularly called ‘anal glands’, these are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions. The sacs are lined with numerous specialized sebaceous (skin) glands that produce a foul smelling secretion. Each sac is connected to the outside by a small duct which opens just inside the anus.

What is their function?

The secretion acts as a territorial marker – a dog’s ‘calling card’. The ‘glands’ are present in both male and female dogs. Normally they empty when the dog defecates. This is why dogs are so interested in one another’s feces.

Why are they important?


Anal gland (sac) disease is very common in dogs. The sacs frequently become impacted, usually due to blocking of the ducts. This is followed by thickening and hardening of the secretion. It is then painful for your dog to pass feces. The secreted material within the anal sacs (glands) forms an ideal medium on which germs can multiply so that an abscess can easily form. Pain increases and sometimes a red, angry swelling will appear on one or both sides of the anus indicating abscessation. These abscesses often burst and release a quantity of greenish yellow or bloody pus. If untreated, the infection can quickly spread and cause severe damage to the anus and rectum.

How will I know if my dog has anal sac problems?

The first sign is often scooting or dragging the rear along the ground. There may be excessive licking or biting, often at the root of the tail rather than the anal area. Anal sac impaction and infection is very painful. Even normally gentle dogs may snap or growl if you touch the tail or anus when they have anal sac disease. If the anal sac ruptures, you may see blood or pus draining from the rectum.

What should I do?

Problems with the anal gland are common in all dogs, regardless of size or breed. If you are concerned that your pet may have an anal sac problem, do not hesitate to call us. Treatment for impaction involves flushing and removal of the solidified material. Since this condition is painful, many pets will require a sedative or an anesthetic. Antibiotics are often prescribed and sometimes instilled into the glands over a period of several days. In advanced cases, surgery may be necessary.


Is the condition likely to recur?

Many dogs will have recurrent anal sac impaction due to blocking of the secretions in the ducts or the sacs themselves. If this recurs frequently, surgical removal of the sacs is indicated since repeated treatment often results in scarring and narrowing of the duct.

Are anal glands unnecessary for my dog? Will removal have any adverse effects? Will my pet miss them?

Anal glands produce the pungent smelling secretion that allows the dog to define his or her territory. For our domesticated dogs, this is unnecessary and will not adversely affect your pet.

Are there any other risks attached to surgery?

This is a specialized surgery. Many veterinarians perform this procedure routinely; however, veterinary surgical specialists may be recommended depending on the severity of your dog’s condition. The primary concern is permanent damage to the nerves that allow the anus to close. This can result in fecal incontinence or the inability to control bowel movements. While this is rare, we want to minimize the risk of any complication for your pet.

Some dogs will experience loose stools or lack of bowel control for one to three weeks following surgery. This resolves without further treatment in the majority of pets.

As with any surgery, there are risks and potential complications. Today’s modern anesthetics and surgical techniques ensure that these risks are minimized. For dogs suffering from chronic anal sac infection or impaction, surgery is the only permanent cure.

My dog is very nervous and sometimes seems to express his own glands. Is this normal?

It is common for dogs to express their anal sacs, particularly if frightened. Some dogs even appear to lack control of the anus or anal sac ducts so that small quantities of fluid will drain out when they are resting. This, of course, leaves an unpleasant lingering odor in the home. For dogs with this condition, surgery may be recommended.
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Postby Marinepits » March 9th, 2008, 8:33 pm

Thanks, Ali! :smile:
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Postby madremissy » March 9th, 2008, 8:44 pm

Thanks, that was very informative to me. Sammy has some problems sometimes, but it is right before he goes and gets grooms so she does it for me. I wish I knew how to do it myself.
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Postby amazincc » March 9th, 2008, 8:48 pm

Ali should get a "sticky"... unless there already is one.
It's great to have reliable facts! :wink:
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Postby Marinepits » March 9th, 2008, 8:53 pm

Done!
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Postby madremissy » March 9th, 2008, 8:55 pm

:greenWave: I vote for that.
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Postby blabsforbullies » March 9th, 2008, 8:57 pm

Thanks guys! :oops: I hope it is helpful. :bounce:
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Postby Val » March 9th, 2008, 8:58 pm

Thanks so much for the quick response!
You guys are awesome!
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Postby gayrghts » March 9th, 2008, 9:34 pm

ok, so how do i find out where the anal glands are, and how do i know if they have problems or not?
Heather

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Postby amazincc » March 9th, 2008, 9:39 pm

On March 09 2008, 8:34 PM, gayrghts wrote:ok, so how do i find out where the anal glands are, and how do i know if they have problems or not?


1.
Popularly called ‘anal glands’, these are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions.


2.
The first sign is often scooting or dragging the rear along the ground. There may be excessive licking or biting, often at the root of the tail rather than the anal area. Anal sac impaction and infection is very painful. Even normally gentle dogs may snap or growl if you touch the tail or anus when they have anal sac disease. If the anal sac ruptures, you may see blood or pus draining from the rectum.


:wink:
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Postby Malli » March 9th, 2008, 9:48 pm

you'll know Heather ;)

Its better NOT to express them if its not necessary ;) Oscar's stools got a LITTLE loose and he started smelling like them occaisionally and I expressed them a few times, was warned not to if I could avoid it, switched his foods and firmed up his stools and its not an issue.
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Postby gayrghts » March 9th, 2008, 9:59 pm

all 3 of mine lick their butt's on a regular basis.... and their urinary openings as well, and ask each other to do the same...

but.... no odor... or drainage....

all 3 on occasion will scoot on the floor, but no odor and no drainage....

so i'm assuming they are all ok?
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Postby Malli » March 9th, 2008, 10:00 pm

The smell is pretty well unmistakeable. I *believe* butt scooting can be just scratching an itch as well, if its occaisional.
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Postby gayrghts » March 9th, 2008, 10:02 pm

On March 09 2008, 9:00 PM, Malli wrote:The smell is pretty well unmistakeable. I *believe* butt scooting can be just scratching an itch as well, if its occaisional.


yeah that's what it appears to be.... heck if i could butt scoot, on occasion i might also... :)
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Postby amazincc » March 9th, 2008, 11:05 pm

On March 09 2008, 9:02 PM, gayrghts wrote:
On March 09 2008, 9:00 PM, Malli wrote:The smell is pretty well unmistakeable. I *believe* butt scooting can be just scratching an itch as well, if its occaisional.


yeah that's what it appears to be.... heck if i could butt scoot, on occasion i might also... :)


lol
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Postby blabsforbullies » March 10th, 2008, 8:25 am

On March 09 2008, 8:59 PM, gayrghts wrote:all 3 of mine lick their butt's on a regular basis.... and their urinary openings as well, and ask each other to do the same...

but.... no odor... or drainage....

all 3 on occasion will scoot on the floor, but no odor and no drainage....

so i'm assuming they are all ok?


A lot of dogs will scoot and are able to express them on their own that way. Malli is right though, you only want to express them if there are problems. It is if your dog continually scoots/licks, cannot seem to get comforable in a seated position, or is having pain while deficating, then you should be worried. :wink:
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Postby madremissy » February 18th, 2009, 10:46 pm

Help!

Tonight Kinzyl had an accident on the couch with her anal glands. :puke: I am concerned because she hasn't been scooting, licking or acting like they are bothering her. First she did it just laying there and it wasn't that bad. I cleaned it up and then about and hour later she was laying the other way and OH MY NOSEHAIRS!!!. She just let loose. But she was just laying there. :| She looked at me with the funny look and I smelled it. I went and looked and it was clear but :puke:I also looked at her butt and it is not swollen or red or tender to touch.
I broke out the steam cleaner and cleaned the whole couch. I let her out and she didn't have to go potty, she already went tonight.
She has been going to the potty fine, same food, everything. I am just concerened if I should take here in or is this normal to all the sudden let loose with no signals.

I need some advice. I have tornadoes on the way and I do not need to go into the closet with her having anal issues. :o

She has been eating a lot of dirt lately, does that have anything to do with it. :? :?
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Postby Marinepits » February 18th, 2009, 11:04 pm

If there's no redness/pain, she's not scooting, and it's not bothering her, I wouldn't worry. Sometimes it just happens. With Shorty it happens all the time. :neutral: :puke:
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Postby Marinepits » February 18th, 2009, 11:04 pm

Oh, and good luck with the tornadoes! :shock:
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