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January 02, 2007

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James Neuner

Greetings: My dog is an 8 yr old Beagle. He had numerous small Rice-like pellets and long strings of creamy lines shoot out of his anal glands as I was cleaning him today? Any idea what this could possibly be & can it be contagious.
Thank you for your assistance. James

Doc

Hello, James,

When the secretion doesn't get emptied for a long time, it can get dry and hard. Sometimes it comes out like caulking compound, or peanut butter.

I have seen what you describe a number of times, and it doesn't seem to be an active infection. Rather, the sacs have not been emptying regularly, and the opening is a little small.

I believe that I would try keeping them emptied more often, at least every 4 weeks to start with.

Good luck.

Joani Scott

We have an airedale terrier who has had infected anal sac/gland issues with strong odor and discharge. We have inquired about anal gland removal and have also found that there is a procedure for an anal sac/gland infusion. Which would you recommend as the best option for success with the least amount of discomfort to our "baby". Thanks

Doc

Hello, Joani,

We usually don't recommend removal unless there are chronic recurring problems. The surgery doesn't often have complications, but it sure can have.

The infusion process may require some sedation, but is not very traumatic otherwise. A small, blunt-tipped tube is inserted into the openings of the sac, and those holes are small and hard to see. The patient needs to be pretty relaxed, which is unlikely with a wide-awake dog who has a finger in his anus.

The sac is flushed to remove debris, and then a soothing ointment (antibiotics and cortisone, usually) is squirted into the sac. This may have to be repeated, and it may be accompanied with systemic (oral) antibiotics. Hot compresses on the area may help, also.

Good luck with this yucky problem.

Kim

Hi there
My 11 year old calico cat has been acting weird lately. She has a swollen bottom and we found some nasty, smelly, bloody,sticky poop like substance around the house. What should I do? What could be wrong?

Doc

Hello, Kim,

You could have anal sac problems, colon problems, parasite problems, bleeding disorders, or a combination, or something else.

Your cat really needs to see her veterinarian. Sorry that I cannot do the long-distance diagnosis.

Best wishes.

Sarah Donald

Hi I have a male 3 year old English Bulldog. He has had to have his anal glands released before. He does not rub his behind on the ground but he has alot of gas. Alot of gas. anyway. Ive noticed on our bed cover were he sleeps theres always spots of poo with a little bit of blood stained on the sheets. I think this is where he is letting the gas but not sure. should I be worried that this is a gland thing? Thanks Sarah

Doc

Hello, Sarah,

Gas is a frequent problem, and there is a great discussion on Veterinary Partner. Here's the link:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2856&EVetID=3001962

The blood is more of a concern. I would highly recommend that you take your Bulldog to see his veterinarian to get that checked out.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Murphysmum

Hi, I have an 11 month old Great Dane who on and off was having 'the oily bum smell' (as we refer to it), but also never really having hard poo, so wetook him to the vet to have his anal glands done, vet said it was the fullest she has ever seen them on a dog, even for a great dane. Anyway, he was given antibiotics for a spotty/itchy chin, probiotics for his bad tummy and we have also stopped topping up his dry food with water. Hes definately got harder poo, now to the point, he's only doing half the job at a time. But I expected the smell to go, but now its as bad as ever within a day of having the glands emptied. Are we going to have to take him to the vet every week to get this done?

Doc

ello, Murphysmum,

It sounds like you have been addressing a lot of the dog's problems. If you still have the odor, I would recommend a recheck with your veterinarian.

It is possible that the odor is something else. It is also possible that the anal sacs need to be infused with some antibiotic/steroid ointment.

This really needs a little more hands-on recheck.

Good luck.

Peter

Hi

My 7 year old GSD bitch has had her anal sacs washed out twice in the last 12 months, The last time was two months ago. On Tuesday we took her back for a check and the vet expressed them but just 2 days later she started to smell again we took her back and a diffrent vet expressed them again and found both sides full again. The vet was sure they were not infected but again just 2 days later she is leaking this light brown golden fluid and the smell is terrible . She does not seem to be in any discomfort but if she lies on her back with her tail out we see the liquid seping out. not sure what to do. can expressing them to often cause problems. can they fill up in a day. The risks of removal seem very high. Thanks for any advice you can offer

Doc

It certainly sounds like you have an excessive problem there. It would be unusual for them to fill in a day if they were not infected or abnormal in some other way.

They may need to have a sample taken for culture.

It is possible for them to grow tumors, but that usually makes a lump, rather than lots of fluid.

Removal takes a skilled surgeon. I've taken out a few and done well, but had one that was a nightmare. It is certainly possible to have complications.

Consult with your veterinarians. If they don't have a good game plan, then ask them if there is a specialist they could refer you to.

This is an unusual situation, and I am not comfortable trying to advise you "long distance".

Good luck.

Peter

Hi
many thanks for your guidance. Roxy had her sacs washed out and packed with antibiotic cream. She seems a lot happier and has not reacted to the sedation like she did last time. They said that one was empty and the other was full of pus and discharge. We are going to ask how often they should be expressed but we are still worried that the expressing might be causing the infections. I have found reading your pages very intresting. Peter

Doc

Expressing the sacs might cause inflammation only if excessive pressure is used. This is most likely to occur when the secretions are really hard and dry. Sometimes we try to just squeeze it out, when we should be sedating the dog to flush them and loosen it up first. That can be problem.

Just emptying the sacs without too much pressure should actually be helpful.

Margaret Skidmore

Well after reading all of the responses I feel at home. I have four dogs all rescue. One lg part Coon-St. Bernard, wgt 110lbs a lg baby, has been releasing anal secretions lately in his sleep. I have been looking for the "Butt Fresh" Pfizer's Canine Eliminodor everywhere can't seem to find it. I need something to spray on him before the soap & water. Seems like the odor is worse when I just try soap and water..Suggestions?

Doc

Hello, Margaret,

The Pfizer company quit selling most of their products through distributors, requiring veterinarians to order them directly from Pfizer. Thus, fewer doctors are carrying the product.

I have it in my clinic, but not in our on-line store.

This is a similar product that we have on-line.

https://kennettvet.vetsfirstchoice.com/Detail.aspx?view=26323661&w=191778

If you use it and are unhappy with it, please let me know.

Dustyne

Tonight I found blood on my carpet and when I inspected my Lab I found icky slimy stuff on her rectum and it was bleeding and very swollen looking. Now I don't normaly look at dog butts but I'm pretty sure this didn't look normal. But it wasn't smelly at all.

Doc

Hello, Dustyne,

Despite the lack of odor, it still could be a ruptured anal sac. Your dog needs to go to the veterinarian.

Wish I could help you long distance, but this takes "boots on the ground".

Good luck.

marefab1@comcast.net

Thank you very much for the prompt response and will be getting the neutrolizer. I have read all the comments and in your message where you talk about the dogs that have to have their anal sacs squeezed, my daughters beagle has to have this done. The vet told her to give the dog powder fiber to make the stool form better, this would help the dog. He has to be squeezed on a monthly basis, I think it is foolish. So what can you give a dog to make its stool firmer to helps the sacs secrete normally? Thanks Again Margaret

Doc

Oddly enough adding fiber to the diet helps both with constipation and with diarrhea. Giving the intestine more fiber to work with tends to "normalize" its function.
My usual guideline is one teaspoon of Metamucil (generic psyllium mucilloid, unflavored, actually) per 20 pounds of body weight per feeding.
Unfortunately, I am not sure that will help so much with the anal sac thing. Worth a try, though.

I have patients that just need help periodically. When the owners see them scooting, we empty them out.

J

Hello there, your Q&A session has so far been the most useful internet source on anal sac infections. My dog has a ruptured anal sac abscess. I'm a broke and stubborn medical student, and wanted to try to take care of the problem myself. My question is, generally speaking, does cephelexin provide good coverage for anal sac infections? I know it's impossible to state either way for sure without a culture, but I'm wondering if this is something that vets typically end up giving dogs for this condition or whether this drug is just not strong enough for this type of infection? I only ask this because it's the only non-prescription medicine I can get my hands on, and it's sold as fish flex in different doses.

My other question is, I was planning on cleaning the site of rupture thoroughly with normal saline, and applying triple ointment into the wound and then applying a dressing. Would it be overdoing it if I were to do this 3 times a day? Sometimes with humans, we do it every 8 hours, especially with large wounds that are kept open. I figured since this is an open wound maybe it's appropriate to do it that frequently as well. Oh and after expressing the fluid from the anal sac, is it appropriate to pack the wound with iodoform packing strips, would that aid in the healing process, or would I be going overboard again?


I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me advice in a general way. I know you can't answer questions specific to my situation without seeing my dog, but any information about the general concepts involved in the standard algorithm for treatment would be greatly appreciated.

Doc

Gentle flushing would be okay, but be careful not to force stuff into the tissue planes. Packing it with iodoform is certainly overkill.

Using warm water (as hot as you can stand to put your own hands in it) to apply a warm compress for 10 to 15 minutes three times daily is really all the local/topical treatment you need. This stimulates the circulation and simultaneously removes drainage as you take the towel off and re-soak it to re-warm it.

I usually use trimethoprim/sulfa systemically (i.e. Bactrim). Cephalexin is commonly used for skin infections in dogs, so it may work here, as well. 15mg/pound twice daily is an average dose.

Good luck.

J

Thank you for the response. I did the warm compresses, and gave him cephalexin. After administering the antibiotic, there was visible improvement in just two days. The area is healing very nicely. Again, this was the most useful source on the subject, thanks!

Doc

I'm glad to hear that your dog is doing well.
Best wishes.

Samantha

Jackie,
My dog has had to anal sac ruptures, why hasnt the vet ever given me the option of removing the sacs, it just seems odd. and what is the recovery like with getting them removed? I have a 6lb, 2 year old yorkie poo.

Doc

The surgery is pretty delicate, especially on such a small patient. It would be easy to damage the anal sphincter and become incontinent (leak poop). I wouldn't be crazy about doing it myself.

If you have continual problems, you might ask for referral to a surgical specialist. They will charge more, but it might be worth it.

Good luck.

Nicole

I have a 1 year old male dacschund. He's never scooted or had any anal gland symptoms before. Tonight though he was on my lap and started to lick his rear end and when he got up and jumped off my lap, I noticed a large wet spot on the couch that I thought was from him licking but it's got a very strong metallic odor!! Any ideas on what this could be???

Doc

Hello, Nicole,

It sounds as though he spontaneously emptied his anal sacs on the couch.

You'll need some kind of odor eliminator. That stuff is nasty.

The sacs should empty automatically at the end of each bowel movement. Sometimes a dog that is stressed has a sudden contraction of his anal sphincter ("butt-pucker moment"), and the stuff squirts out.

If this happens a lot, you should have your veterinarian examine the dog.

Good luck.

Fifi

My dog keeps licking his bum hole and i smell a slightly metallic smell coming from there. But he is acting normal eating normal otherwise. Do I need to take him to a vet?

Doc

Hello, Fifi,

It sounds like there is irritation in the anal sac area. I would definitely let your veterinarian take a look at it. It could be as simple as needing to be emptied, but sometimes there are more serious problems.

Sorry about the late reply. I was out of the country for two weeks visiting my daughter who is a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia. We had not seen her for 17 months.

ema

Yet another anal sac question, Ye Lords, this world didn't exist for me until yesterday. My elderly Golden Retriever (14 years) had a ruptured anal sac three days ago. Understandably, she was pretty distressed. The vet diagnosed this and gave her anti-biotics ( or equivalent of) and sent us on our way. Tonight, however, she is in mortal distress: yowling periodically, pacing about, can't settle, really upset, panting constantly and in obvious pain. I am taking her back to the vets first thing tomorrow (it is 3.00 a.m now and i am up nursing her) but for an impartial diagnosis - should the sacs have been flushed, bathed or dressed? All the vet did was look (smell) and diagnose. Why would the pain become more severe three days on, after anti-biotics, and the pus has stopped leaking out? Many, many thanks, Ema

Doc

Hello, Ema,

It is possible that the abscess sealed prematurely on the outside, trapping pus on the inside. As it builds up again, it creates pressure, and pressure is painful.

It is also possible for these things to rupture internally, spreading infection into deeper tissues.

Hot compresses (like a small towel soaked in water as warm as you can stand to keep your hand in) applied for 10 to 15 minutes three times daily help to improve the circulation and stimulate drainage. It can also help the discomfort.

There may be a need to change the antibiotic. It certainly sounds like some pain medicine is needed.

Please do NOT give over-the-counter pain medicines to your dog, as many have serious side-effects.

DO contact your veterinarian with your concerns as soon as possible (as you planned).

Good luck.

Scarlett

Hello,
My dog has been having anal glad problems for 4 weeks now. She is a 4 yr old wired hair dachshund. Four weeks ago we were out of town on vacation and she started to smell bad so I expressed her anal glands. Afterwards, she still smelled bad and was scooting and licking her butt. I took her to the vet once we got back into town and the vet tech. expressed them again and said that they were very clogged up. (she does not seem to be in any pain) A week passes and she is still scooting and licking her butt. I was concerned because she has never had any problems before, the leakiness was a lime green color and I thought she may have an infection. I took her back to the vet, they confirmed that she did have an infection in her anal gland. Also, now one of our male dogs in the house is after her as if she is in heat (but she's fixed). She has been on antibiotics for almost 2 weeks now. I thought she was doing better but she is still leaking a little. We go back to the vet Wednesday. I'm concerned this has been going on for too long, also the male dog is driving us all nuts. What could be wrong?

Doc

Hello, Scarlett,

The male dog may simply be confused, mistaking the unusual odor for a female in heat, or he may just love a nasty odor. He is a dog, after all.

While many anal sac infections respond to oral antibiotics, some do not.

When the veterinarian re-examines your dog, he/she may find it necessary to infuse the anal sacs. This usually requires some sedation of the patient. A small, blunt-tipped needle called a cannula is inserted into the opening of the anal sacs. They are flushed, and then medication is put directly into the sacs.

Without actually examining the dog, it is difficult for me to advise you. Share your concerns with your veterinarian.

Worst-case scenario would be needing to remove the anal sacs surgically. This is seldom necessary, though.

Good luck.

Liz

Our 7 year old German Shorthaired Pointer was recently diagnosed with Toxoplasmosis. Our vet had never before seen an adult dog with toxo, but Mandy was the second he had seen in 7 day. She is taking clindamycin. It has been almost a week. She is much better, seems more like herself. But she has an occasional foul odor. We bathed her today, but she still stinks. My brother asked if she was ok, he says he thinks she is expressing this odor, that it is not in her skin/hair. It smells like she rolled in a dead critter. But when we put our nose to her coat, she smells fine. Could it be her sacs?

Doc

It certainly could be the sacs, as the odor is quite strong with even just a little of the stuff leaking out.

If the problem persists, be sure to tell your veterinarian when he/she rechecks her for the Toxoplasmosis.

Good luck.

Jane Franks

Hello,
We have a 1 year old chow. She has never been welcoming to company. She doesn't bark at people walking by outside or people we pass on a walk, but gets really upset and barks if people approach us/visit.

During her barking fit (when company first arrives) or if we give her a bath, she squirts this smelly brown fluid from her butt. I have seen this can be a result of being scared, nervous, territorial,etc. Is this something to be concerned about? Is there any way to prevent it, especially when company comes over? I would appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks :)

Doc

Hello, Ms. Franks,

This is a stress response.

The anal sac liquid is discharged when the anal sphincter tightens down. This usually happens at the end of each bowel movement, causing a few drops to fall on the stool as a scent territorial marker. That's what is supposed to happen.

Your dog is getting upset enough to have a "butt-pucker moment", causing the sacs to empty at that time.

Solution #1: Have his sacs emptied manually on a frequent basis -- not a great solution.

Solution #2: Have his anal sacs surgically removed. Expensive, and there is a potential for complications with the operation. Not a great solution.

Solution #3: The most difficult solution: work with a behavior specialist to lower the dog's stress level. This is no small difficulty, as there are a lot of things that may be stressing your dog. On the other hand, a good behavior specialist may make your dog's life (and yours) a lot easier in the long run.

It is true that there are a higher percentage of Chows that are aggressive and territorial than in other breeds. This does not mean that they should be excuse and no effort made to salvage their behavior.

It will take someone who is expert in the field, though, I suspect.

Good luck.

Katie Manthey

On Wednesday night our dog was scooting around, running around, licking herself too much and rolling around like a crazed dog. We took her to an emergency vet at the local University who did an exam and found her to be healthy. They did empty her anal glands and said they were easy to empty and the liquid looked normal but they were very full. She seemed improved but not totally improved. She seemed a little uncomfortable over the last few days. Tonight is Saturday night and she ran around and scooted a lot again. We are wondering if we should take her back to a vet, or is it possible that her glands could just still be recovering from getting them emptied on Wednesday? Would you recommend we try the hot compress thing or should we take her in to the vet again? Several notes, she has been under a lot of stress lately from starting an obedience class and being terrified of the furnace! She is an olde English bulldogge. Also, we've been messing around with her food which maybe was a bad idea, going from Blue Buffalo lamb and rice to Blue Buffalo grain free chicken, and now Blue Buffalo grain free duck. Maybe she needs the grain to have enough fiber so maybe we should get off the grain free diet.

Katie Manthey

Hello,
Just wanted to update you- we found out she is having a skin allergy and it just happened to coincide with having her anal sacks emptied a few days ago, and she is acting the same way that prompted us to bring her to have them emptied. Now we are wondering if that was why she was upset a few days ago too, and her anal sacks were full but the main problem was the allergy. That explains all the running around,and rolling around and her lower tummy area and legs have pink spots as well as other areas of her body. Our first guess is it is because we switched her food, so we are going to try lamb and rice which she used to eat and work on getting her to feel better. Thanks!

Doc

Hello, Katie,

Sorry to be slow in replying, but I was at a Boy Scout campout all weekend.

Sounds like you are on the right track now.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Julie

My 2 1/2 year old English Bulldog was acting very strange yesterday morning.. she was doing like an army crawl and plopping down every few steps.. eating normally and drinking, using bathroom normally- but I took her to the vet & anal glands were expressed. She was acting normal the rest of the day and very playful-- back to her old self! but this morning, she is doing the same thing as yesterday & acting like something from behind is irritating her. I bathed her with medicinal soap for her tail and vaginal area (the vet had given it to me for that); and it did not seem to help.

is it normal after anal gland expression for the dog to act this way? She used potty this morning as well,but I had to bring water and food to her- she's very uncomfortable :( Please help Maisy.

Doc

Hello, Julie,
Sorry to be late replying, but have been covered up.

The expression of the anal sacs shouldn't make things worse. Sometimes there is residual inflammation that responds to infusing the sacs with a soothing ointment.

There may be another problem. Skin-fold dermatitis is common in this area.

Sometimes a trial therapy for allergy may help determine if that is part of the problem.

Let your veterinarian know what is happening. When he/she doesn't hear from you, they just assume that the dog must be doing great now.

Good luck.

Arlene Dix

Hi my 4 year old pug dog had a horrible problem with leaking anal gland fluid on a daily basis. It was small quarter sized brownish clear liquid. Over a year ago I decided to pay to get his anal glands removed. He healed perfectly & never had a problem with going to the bathroom. I thought the problem was fixed but I've noticed that I still find these same spots on my bed sheets of a brownish clear liquid. Its not as often as before when he still had anal glands but it still happens weekly. Why is this? Do dogs still have anal fluid after their glands are removed? I thought getting his anal glands surgically removed would completely solve the problem..it only reduced it. Can you please help me.Thanks

Doc

Hello, Arlene,

Generally I would say that removal of the anal sacs relieves the dog's discomfort and stops discharge.

The glandular tissue that produces the secretion is not removed. It is microscopic and diffuse in the area. There isn't something you can see to remove. It is the collecting sacs which are removed.

I would be wondering if what you are seeing is actually anal sac discharge or some type of problem with a little bit of runny stool.

If the only place that you see the discharge is a spot on the sheets once a week, this is going to be difficult to pin down.

I will post a query to the surgeons on Veterinary Information Network. If I can find out more I will relay it to you.

Doc

Hello again, Arlene,

Without examination, again it is hard to tell you a lot.

The surgeon says:

"If the anal sacculectomy was done correctly and the problem persists, it could be something else. It is possible that following the sacculectomy there is some fecal incontinence."

So, not a lot of help from "long distance doctors". You really need to discuss this with your veterinarian and have the dog re-examined.

Good luck.

Angie

I have a little poodle mix who has been scooting his butt across the floor here and there. I didn't think much of it until I started seeing him do it several times a week. I attempted to empty his anal glands myself with some gloves, paper towels and ky jelly. I felt these things in there..almost like a pea and when I squeezed them a kinda gritty lookin peanut butter stuff came out. The two things that felt like peas went away...so I'm pretty confident that I emptied them entirely. My question is I thought this was supposed to be like a clear color and actually squirt out. And if this is something I can do on my own is there anything I should look for that would signal a bigger problem and require me to take him to the vet?

Doc

Hello, Angie,

Emptying the anal sacs is not rocket science, and it sounds like you did get them empty.

On the other hand, the secretion was not normal. It should have been a watery, clear to tan fluid. (just aside from the fact that the dog ought to be emptying them spontaneously with every bowel movement)

Because you don't have experience emptying a lot of them and looking at the secretion, you don't have anything to compare it to.

If you have to squeeze too hard, you can actually damage the sacs.

The next time they fill up (i.e. your dog is scooting), I would recommend a trip to the veterinarian for evaluation. This is one time that it would be worth having an experienced observer give his/her opinion.

Sometimes the sacs need to be infused with medication.

Your veterinarian can help you work out a plan to manage this.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Steph

Hi, I have a 12 pnd Shih tzu that has been on chicken,rice and carrots for stomach problems and allergies.... sometimes a brand of dry food that's organic.I'm dealing with more constipation now and now her stomach seems tight and her rectum is sore.She wont let me near it.Also looks kind of swollen. I have tried a warm bath,heating pad and everything I can think of. She is drinking water,actually more than normal and eating some. Plan to take her to the vet if it isn't better by tomorrow. Just wanted to know if there's anything I can do to help her. She used the bathroom yesterday but it wasnt what I'd consider normal for her.She means the world to me and I'm usually told that I'm overreacting....better safe than sorry!

Steph

I forgot to mention my shih tzu is 4 yrs old

Doc

Hello, Steph,

Many dogs will accept the addition of psyllium mucilloid (Metamucil, or generic, unflavored equivalent thereof) mixed with the food. This is a very safe laxative for dogs with constipation problems. I usually add 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of dog per feeding. This can be done regularly, or as needed for constipation.

I would be surprised if the signs you are seeing are simple constipation, though. I would be concerned about her anal sacs, a perineal hernia, or maybe severe constipation, where the colon is dilated.

I think a trip to your veterinarian is highly indicated. He/she may be able to make the diagnosis from a physical examination, but the swollen belly may indicate a need for X-rays or ultrasound exam.

Good luck.

Crystal Rogers

This has been a wonderfully informative thread. I took my 2 dogs, a Pomeranian and a Keeshond, to the groomer at a chain store on Saturday at 9am. I picked them up at 1pm and the moment we returned home, my 3 year old 10lb Pomeranian started scooting, acting uncomfortable, whining, etc. I called the groomer who told me it was normal behavior after having their anal sacs emptied because hers was really full and it must just feel weird now after being emptied and that the weird feeling would go away in a couple hours. 3 hours go by and it's the same behavior. I took my Pomeranian to the vet where a vet tech said everything looked normal (which it did, no inflammation or discharge) and that she felt the anal sacs and they felt empty so to wait 24 hours and come back if nothing has changed. 24 hours later, still the same behavior. I go back to the vet where the Veterinarian performs a rectal exam and says everything still looks normal, feels normal (empty), and gave me no explanation, medication or recommendations for my dog's obvious pain / behavior. I decided to trust the vet and try and stop overreacting.

This morning, 48 hours later, my Pomeranian was still scooting (although not as much - before it was almost constant now it's a couple times every hour or so) and acting a little lethargic. She eats and potties normally, but she doesn't seem as energetic or happy as she did before the appointment at the groomers. Also today, the fur around her back end has been hard like it was wet then sticky, but there's no foul smell. The skin of her anus seems to be a darker color now when it looked better yesterday and even the day before. I'm about to get a second opinion at a different vet, but you have been so knowledgeable about this issue in general so I thought I would check here first. I have metrodinazole on hand and can do the warm compress if you think that may help. I just don't know what is wrong or why she would be acting weird all of a sudden AFTER the grooming appointment where they expressed her anal glands. She has NEVER had an issue before this. Maybe it's sore because she has never had it done before? Maybe the did it incorrectly? My other dog is fine. I'm so worried about her lethargic behavior now in addition to the scooting. Ideas?

Doc

Hello, Crystal,

Once upon a time, I had a patient whose anal sacs were really full of really thick,dry secretion. In emptying them, I squeezed the dog hard enough to bruise the tissues.

When they are that difficult to empty, it is really better to sedate the patient and infuse some oily medication to loosen up the junk.

It is possible that this is what happened in your dog's case. Initially, there wouldn't be much to see or feel on examination. Later, one may or not be able to see the bruising from the outside.

I'm just guessing, since I haven't had the opportunity to see the dog. I think that getting a second opinion is a good idea. Please remember that the situation may look a lot different when the second veterinarian sees it (compared to when the first doctor saw it). We can only go by what we see at the time (and what you tell us). The second doctor will have the advantage of knowing what has occurred over several days time.

I'm guessing that you may need some anti-inflammatory pain medicine, and perhaps the anal sacs will need to be infused with medication.

Good luck.

Caitlin

My poor dog is starting to feel left out of everything because of her stink. She's an 11 y/o labrador who in the last year has gotten really stinky. This stuff literally drips down her butt while she's just lying down with no excitement or stimulation, so you can imagine when something gets her going (like mommy coming home). I've brought her to the vet, the groomer, they can't get anything out of her glands and say they aren't impacted, so are they just overactive? I'm tired of wiping her butt every 2 hours. Please help. I feel so bad that no one wants her in the same room anymore.

Doc

Hello, Caitlin,

The sacs are supposed to empty spontaneously at the end of each bowel movement when the sphincter contracts to finish it off.

When a dog gets frightened enough to have a "butt-pucker moment" they often blow out spontaneously.

Steady dripping and drainage is quite unusual. I will put it up to a dermatology specialist and see if we can get more info.

The only thing I can think of to do would be a cytology exam on the secretion (looking at cells under the microscope) and possibly infusing the sacs with an anti-inflamatory medication to slow the production of the stuff.

Surgical removal of the sacs is another option. You'll want a good surgeon who is experienced in the procedure so that they can minimize the anesthetic time for your older pet.

Shanda


I have a Chihuahua around 8 years old. About two weeks ago I noticed she was acting more sluggish and laying around more than normal. She also had a very bad smell, kind of like old feces and iron, with some brownish red discharge coming from her bottom. That same day I realized she had worms. I went to the vet to get wormer and they informed me that she should not be smelling like that with just worms and if it did not go away in a couple of days to bring her in. I came home gave her the wormer and a bath. I haven't really noticed anything else until the last couple of days. The smell came back, gradually stronger. Today I noticed the discharge was back. It is getting on things where she sits. Both smell and discharge are worse than before. She is not scooting around but is licking a lot. She seems to be going to the restroom regularly. I also noticed that she has two small bumps beside her anus. I have recently moved and know she has been more stressed than normal. She is usually very timid and doesn't socialize well with people, just a chosen few. She also seems to be eating and drinking normally.

Doc

Hello, Shanda,

It certainly sounds like your dog is having anal sac problems.

You really should let your veterinarian examine her. She may need antibiotic treatment, she may need to have the sacs infused with medication.

Good luck.

Skye

Hi Doc,

Do you have any idea how great it is of you to take the time to do such Q&A with us worried, anxious, nervous wreck Humans with Pets? I just hope you really do realize what a wonderful thing it is you have done!! This is one of the BEST resources I have come across and am in awe of a very busy doctor taking so much EXTRA TIME. And I'm sure many animals, if they could, would thank you as well. And you have a daughter in the Peace Corps. Sounds like being helpful healers runs in the family :)

I did wonder as I read through, though, if it wouldn't make things easier on you to collect your most frequently repeated advice efforts and put them under a category with a title like "Dog Got Bad Butt?" or something ( j/k about the category title ). I know my pets vet is one busy lady, even with two other veternarian partners, so your extra mile efforts are really very impressive - but...do you ever sleep?

I do my dogs anal sacs after watching my vet and my dogs near angelic willingness to tolerate my anxious prodings ( I tend towards extreme gentleness so don't always get it on the first go ). 'Normal' discharge for him seems to be dark tan and with an odor, well, it probably wouldn't do well as a designer perfume.

ONE pets specific detail did jump out at me though and that was regarding her dog seeming to sit in such a way that it appeared as if his rear legs were giving out, and you suspected possible spinal cord something...a bad back possibly that should be checked out.

OK, well, my dog does something similar but passes neuro exams ( physical ). My vet doesn't feel that any test NEEDS to be done past that and she's a good country doc.

Butt, I think sometimes when his glands are pestering him he just does not want to stand. He does sort of 'plop' his butt instead and looks at me. It's obvious he WANTS to play, and tries, but will pain in the rear get worse with such efforts, and so the dog opts to just sit? Why would they want to sit on an area - apply pressure - that is swollen or painful?

I am going to try warm compresses tonite. He did expel some fluid, strike that, he SHOT FLUID OUT lol ( that's a first btw ), last night with external expression. With his little fat butt, it's not always easy to tell if both sacs are empty, or at least emptiER.

Which is better? Assume they didn't completely empty and prod at a painful area to achieve that, or give it a couple more days or get him into the vet ASAP? If the dog is plopping or folding his butt in and acting more sedate, it's kind of hard to determine wether to get brave and noodle around at the other sac or let the dog suffer till the vets can squeeze him in ( as they won't see it as an ER, it could be a week! We're in a rural area and this practice, even with three vets, serves MANY pets ).

Oh...if the dog is sleeping, but you think it's a sac problem, do you wake them up to get the problem 'solved' or just let them sleep? That may seem like a weird question but it's hard as a neurotic, worried, but loving pet friend to determine how fast sacs 'go bad' once full or not totally emptied :( Does ever hour 'count' or are they cool to leave alone for a few hours or more?

THANK YOU x 100 if you answer this worried owners post. I'm sure you're probably tired of or feel you like you do say the same things over and over, or have worked a normal 12 hour day and then take even more time to reach out to an online presence of humans stressing out over their furry friends!

P.S. The Metamucil tip! OMG, I never even heard of that and am going to try to sneak it into my dogs green beans :)

Bless you and your family!!

Skye

Doc

Hello, Skye,
Good thing this is email instead of paper, or you'd have killed a few trees with that one. Just kidding.

While there may be other problems, I think that sometimes a swollen sac is more uncomfortable versus painful. The scooting is simply an attempt to relieve the pressure caused by being over-full.

It is possible that the position in some way makes it feel better.

With overweight dogs, I often have to do a rectal exam in order to fully evaluate and empty the sacs. Sometimes I find a lot of tissue swelling that is internal and not visible from the outside.

I certainly would not wake my pet to work on some uncomfortable problem. Let them get what rest that they can.

If you are having persistent problems, then I would say that another trip to the veterinarian is in order.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Emily H.

My pug is about 3 years old and in the past year or so we have been experiencing an odor. It smells like dirty old pennies, metallic, a hand full of change... If he lays, sits or merely has his rear on a surface there is a small spot the size of a nickle that is absolutely putrid! However, this is the only time you smell it. Is this the smell of full sacs??? He is 25 lbs and is stocky build, will more exercise or a change in diet help???

Doc

Hello, Emily,

That certainly does sound like anal sac drainage.

I would recommend that you have your veterinarian examine your dog.

Dogs that are a bit overweight can have more problems with their anal sacs than they would otherwise.

Also, these dogs are more difficult to evaluate without a rectal examination.

There can be other problems in the area that are affecting the anal sacs, too. Again, a rectal examination by your veterinarian can be very helpful.

With chronic problems, sometimes the best solution is to remove the anal sacs surgically.

Good luck.

Annkrestene.blogspot.com

Very helpful, thank you! After reading all the comments I was sure draining the glands was the first thing we need to check after my 7-year-old asked why Molly, our 6-year-old Black Lab smelled like pennies. Whew! Talk about a metallic/fishy stink! We've taken her in a few times this last year because she was scooting, but this time there was none of that, just the smell. We just got home from the groomers and as expected they did need draining, so hopefully that will take care of the problem. (gladly pay $10 to have someone else do the dirty work) I will update with any pertinent developments.

Doc

Hello, Annkrestene,

Thanks for reading and writing.

stephanie

i believe my dog chance a 9yr old Siberian Husky has Perianal Fistulas... he has 3 openings around his anus. And he stinks horribly, they look like tunnels and they bleed every now and again, is there anything i can do since i can't afford surgery or to take him into the vet at the moment. He isn't scootching, and acts like himself just a little more liking of his rear. If there is anything you could give advice to help me out i would love it thanks a bunch

Doc

Hello, Stephanie,

Some of these require antibiotic therapy, some require immunosuppressive drugs, some require surgery.

The only home remedy that may be of benefit would be to apply a hot compress to improve circulation and keep the area clean.

I usually run a pan of water as hot as I can stand to put my own hand into, and use a clean cloth to apply moist heat for 10 to 15 minutes, three times daily.

Your dog really needs to see the veterinarian.

Good luck.

Skye

Don't want to write too much ;) but visited back by and noticed the post about being unable to afford veternarian care by one poster.

There are options sometimes but you have to dig for them AND your vet, or one you inquire to, must be willing to accept the payment. I'm referring to organizations such as PetSamaritan ( I forget the url - Google it :)), who can sometimes help with costs for owners who are in a serious pinch. They do not pay the owner. They pay the vet directly. Org's such as theirs are good ones to donate to when you have extra money again, or now.

The other is your local pawn shop. Seriously, if your dog needs to see a vet try to find something you can pawn to pay the bill. Don't be embarassed about it, that's almost universally what pawn shops see in terms of customers and our pets shouldn't have to suffer because of something like ego.

Also check with your local SPCA about what you might do. They may be able to recommend a vet who can work with you on a sliding scale or be willing to work on a payment system.

You can also Google around and see if there are any 'no kill' adoption orgs in your area. If you call them too, they may have some ideas about how to get your pet needed health care.

IMHO, doing stuff like the above is better than waiting till the pet is REALLY in a bind because something got worse, and you're going to wind up looking at a bigger bill anyway.


Thanks Doc for letting me share this info, especially during this awful recession that's impacting people and then their pets. I've seen too many people 'dumping' their pets, literally, and this dooms the animal to potential abuse, starvation ( a painful thing ), and often death. It's sad because it's an avoidable decision but a lot of people just don't know there are resources out there to help.

Doc

Thanks for reading and writing.

Rachel

My 4 year old lab has seemed to always let "bombs" or secretions. They are an unmistakeable odor. Lately this seems to be happening at least once a day and he is ruining whatever he is sitting on at the time. These have been in the past but mostly not stress related. In fact hell be sitting there and randomly start smelling towards his butt sit up and start licking the fishy odor. Why is this happening every day? He is on high end dog food and has relatively hard stools. If we milk the glands I fear it will only be band aiding the problem. Anything we can try before popping meds and certainly not surgery to try and fix?

Doc

Hello, Rachel,

You really should have those anal sacs checked by you veterinarian. From you description, it sounds like they may be infected.

It is possible that infusing the sacs with an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory ointment (like Otomax) may be what is needed.

Surgical removal is usually not necessary, but sometimes is the only remedy.

I really can't give you much long-distance advice on this one. It's a hands-on situation.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Teresa Kirby

I have a chinese crestepoo (dad was chinese creste and mom was poodle) she will be year old Jan. 8. I took her to vet today because she was gagging and throwing up white foam liquid and stopped eating today. She had eaten a halls cherry cough drop...paper and all. She also has a strong odor coming from her anus. The vet gave her fluids and amoxocillin. She has eatin some chicken/rice and has kept down fine. No bowel movement yet. She did pee and it look like it had a pink color. My vet is closed and the nearest one is an hour away. Could the pink come from cherry cough drop or is this definetly blood in urine now?

Doc

Hello, Teresa,

I would not expect the red food coloring in the cough drop to show up in the urine. You should let your veterinarian know about this.

Blood is the most likely explanation for the red color. This could be anything from a bladder infection to a stone, to hemolysis (where the blood cells rupture and the red stuff comes out in the urine).

This is new information that your veterinarian did not have when he/she saw your dog, and you should let them know about it.

Good luck.

Natalia

Hello, just a quick question, my dog has had a 'sour' smell, no matter how often we bathe her it does not go away, i started research and thought this may be the cause of her smell however the smell is more concentrated to her fur, smell transfers to your hands when you pet or scratch her, its really a disgusting sour dairy-ish smell, i was sure that this was her problem however she is not rubbing her butt on the floor or showing discomfort of any kind, but the smell persists despite above normal frequent bathing, not to the point of drying her skin out, but definitely more then you should be washing your dog.... what could this be?

Doc

Hello, Natalia,

I would not think that anal sac odor would be "all over the dog". I don't recall dogs with a "sour" smell, but it would be easy to have a misunderstanding as to what that word signifies to each of us.

The overall body odors that I have seen in clean dogs have been more related to seborrhea, which I would call a "rancid" smell.

Seborrheic dogs feel kind of greasy or oily. Most of them are secondary to excessive scratching, though there are cases of primary seborrhea.

My recommendation would be to take her to your veterinarian when she is in full stinky mode. If you take her right after a bath, the doctor won't be able to tell much about it.

Good luck.

Angela Jenkins

Hi, I have a Yorkie with a smelly rear-end. I was wondering can some dog foods be to rich causing her to smell bad. She smells bad after going outside to potty-she smells when she has laid around in her bed most of the day-she only licks her self when I leave her at the house by herself to go to town. I have purchased a collar so she can't get back there and lick and waud her hair up in a knot-I have recently shaved her tail and rear area. I had switched foods and she has been on this food for almost year and have been noticing the smelly rear coming back-there is no scooting or such going on-I will bathe her once to twice a week because of the smell-since the collar is on when I leave her I was hoping that would control some of the smell like from her licking and just her smelly bum mixture but have found that I still have the smell but no licking. And it is wierd that she will only lick when I leave her at home. Hope you can help, Angie

Doc

Hello, Angela,

I have not seen a problem with any particular foods causing an odor in the dog.

Anal sac odor is very potent. Even a small leakage, if on the dog rather than the ground, will give a persistent and unpleasant smell.

My best recommendation is for you to have your dog examined by you veterinarian to rule out medical sources of the odor, including the anal sacs.

Good luck.

Skyler

Hi!
My 9lb. dog had an anal gland rupture and we visited a new vet who gave us amoxicillin for 7 days and an ointment. He didn't clean out the abscess and I actually expressed a lot of pus out of the wound when I got home after leaving the clinic. I have been applying hot compresses 2x/day, as well as the ointment into the wound. Do you think this will work out okay? I haven't seen any more pus since yesterday (first day of treatment). This morning redness was better around her wound, but sort of reddened again, once I applied the ointment into the wound. I was thinking of flushing the wound with some saline solution? What do you think? If so, what ratio of solution would be good? I have also wondered if applying honey (or adding into a saline solution) would help the healing hasten? I was not pleased that the vet didn't clean out the wound so not sure if I want to return to this clinic again. What do you think about my dog's situation? Thanks!

Doc

Hello, Skyler,

I can't really prescribe for you without seeing your dog.

Generally speaking, you have to be careful about flushing, as too much pressure can force junk into other tissue planes, actually spreading the inflammation and infection.

Saline should be the same concentration as body fluids, so this is 0.9% sodium chloride in water.

I have used honey on broad open wounds under a bandage. It is helpful in some cases. I have no experience packing it into a cavity, so I cannot advise you on that. Totally different situation.

Continuing the hot compresses for 10 to 15 minutes 2 to 3 times daily will probably do as much to clean the wound as anything. I usually just run a pan of water as hot as I can stand to keep my own hand immersed in. Then I soak a towel and use that. As the towel is taken on and off to re-soak, it carries away most of the drainage.

If things do not appear to be steadily improving, be sure to let the veterinarian know. They may need to re-evaluate the situation, or change antibiotics.

Skyler

Thanks a lot for the information. I will continue with the compresses and forget about the flushing. She's gotten antsy about me even applying the ointment, so I was only able to apply it to the outside of the abscess tonight. The abscess still looks open and is still a bit red. I only started with the antibiotics Monday, so it's just been 3 days. When should the redness be expected to go away or should I reconsult considering the timeline? I only have a 7 day course of antibiotics. Again, thanks!

Mary

Hi:) please don't hate me!

My dog:

13 year old , staff mix ( an actual staff:)) and is in very good shape.
So the Bad dog mom that I am, I noticed my dogs anal gland infection, too fullness, abscess whatever it is. Sat night, so I wasn't gonna take her to our emergency clinic and was gonna wait till Monday plus Murphy's law happened to me last week and yea... So I doctored myself.. Under the condition i would see improvement by Monday.
I tried to express it internally and I got it all out with little trouble through the duct. It was soft but still gritty blackish stuff, after all that was out there was a pinkish fluid which I'm guessing was the infection?
After all was said and done, I guess she had an abcess , bec it ruptured the day later the same pinkish fluid came out .. But no dark gritty stuff.
So I put her on amoxicillin & metacam which I had at the house...I flushed the abcess and the gland with chlorhexidine ( that wasn't the best to use?. After the swelling went down , I check to see if the duct was still open , it is, I kept the abcess open with warm compresses and cleaning it with that chlor stuff. It looks grand! Beautiful butt.. Basically back to normal , except for the abcess which I fought to keep open .so now I started filling it with neosporin... I'm so freaking out about the neosporin bec I wasn't able to get my hands on panalog! I'm about to crawl back to my very handsome vet and confess what I did! what about the sac, what if it did rupture? Will it still heal up. See also I still feel the enlarged kinda hard sac in there although u can't see it on the outside at all anymore, it went from lemon size on the outside to a raw almond size on the inside with the empty pocket above it... Wait... If the sac was ruptured , would the neosporin come out of the duct? Hmm

I'm a total mess...

I really appreciate your time spent on me! Thank you!

Mary

Oh I forgot , it's been almost six days now... , I stopped giving her the metacam , she usually only gets it for bad day joint pain...

Doc

Hello, Skyler,
It's really hard for me to estimate your dog's progress, since I've never seen it. I'd say average recoveries are 7 to 14 days.

If it's not looking pretty great at 5 days, as in much improved, I'd be going back to the veterinarian.

Greg

Thank you so much for your service! I have an 13.5 year old basset hound, bogie. He is normal weight in good health and muscle tone for his age. He has reoccurring problems with his anal sacs filling. sometimes the stuff is yellow and rarely it has some blood and other colors. We have treated him with the main wide spectrum antibiotics with no relief. His glands usually only one, but sometimes both fill as often as a few days after being expressed by a vet. I am beginning to fear cancer and have had him to several vets. None have said the C word. Anyway one vet wants to express his glands on a weekly basis and give him an injection of NSAIs and antibiotic cocktails at a tune of $60-80 per week. Another wants to do a urine culture (? why not a culture of the anal stuff?). Another thinks a surgical removal would do the trick even though he is elderly. I am of modest means and am ready to jump off a bridge with bogie...just kidding but its depressing and making me crazy to see him in pain. The pain seems mild his appetite is ok, but drinks a lot of water (again C raises its head)and is energetic begging for his mile long walks times two a day.
I was hoping for a pain relieving suppository, even a opiate was available. Then if I could find a tech to express his glands PRN ? Please advise on what you think would be a plan?

Doc

Hello, Mary,

I'm not sure how much you are helping by cramming the abscess full of neosporin. You have to be careful not to force inflamed junk out between the other tissue planes.

Generally speaking, systemic (oral) antibiotics work better than topicals on an abscess.

I'm thinking it's time to see your veterinarian. These things aren't rocket science, but when you don't have a lot of experience to compare your situation to, it's just really hard to know how things are going.

I can appreciate wanting to do your best for your pet with what you have, but I do think you need some professional help here. If it's on the way to getting well, it should be a pretty reasonably priced visit.

Good luck.

Doc

Hello, Greg,

It is really not possible for me to give specific advice for a pet I have not seen.

Generally speaking, a situation like you describe would often require systemic (oral) antibiotics, and flushing out the anal sacs with saline, then infusing an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory ointment. That can sometimes require mild sedation. Sometimes more than mild, depending on the dog. It often has to be repeated.

Surgery finishes the problem, but occasionally has some complications.

I suspect the urine culture was suggested because of the excessive water drinking (usually secondary to excessive urination). Sometimes old dogs have trouble concentrating their urine, and there is not too much wrong otherwise. You do want to rule out urinary tract infections, and culture is more definitive than urinalysis. UA can look okay on a particular sample, but you still grow bacteria. They'd also check for sugar in the urine to rule out diabetes.

It just sounds like you need to get more communication with your veterinarian. Keep asking questions until the answers make sense (which should be easier than finding advice on the internet).

Skyler

Don't want to clog up your blog posting over and over again, but wanted to say an extra thank you for being here and helping to relieve our stress over our ill pets. You are very appreciated!!! Thanks so much!

Doc

Hello, Skyler,
You are welcome. Thanks for the "attaboy".

Mary

Hi Doc,


By the time i saw your reply everything healed good and is back to normal. Thank you for your answer!!!
This isn't something I would have done if I wasn't in a bind and i was pretty embarrassed writing to you bec I know it's not right. , it was a day by day choice and i made to see how the wound healed. I guess i was lucky!

I really appreciate all the info and your personal time spent for me and others!

Thanks again!

Doc

Hello, Mary,

I am glad that your dog has healed. Thanks for the update.

Brittany

My 15 year old lhasa apso poodle mix recently developed a sore near his anus. I am away at college and when I was home for the weekend my Mom asked me to check his rear because he had been spending excess time 'cleaning' down there. I cut back some hair that was by the sore, because there was a small mat. I am assuming it developed because of discharge from the sore. Was I was doing this I notices the tissue around his anus appeared swollen. Could he develop a sore because of his anal glands? He gets groomed every month, and they are supposed to be expressing the glands.

Doc

Hello, Brittany,

The anal sacs can abscess and rupture, even if they have been emptied regularly.

Also, in a dog of that age, I would have concerns about a peri-anal tumor.

This guy needs to see his veterinarian.

Thanks for reading and writing.

maressa

I have a one and a half year old female siberian husky. She has had issues with her anal gland smell since she was about a year or so old. I noticed the liquid coming out of her bum and that it smelled bad, and eventually found out it was her anal sac. We were feeding her blue buffalo, and a few months ago switched her to Natural Choice. The food doesn't seem to be making a difference, as she is still leaking from her bum almost daily. I can smell it any time she comes near me. The vet has expressed her glands twice, the second time within a week of the first time, and he said they were full both times. I don't know what else to do besides surgically remove them. But I cannot deal with this odor for the rest of her life, and the surgery is very expensive. Any advice? Is this a common problem in Siberian Huskies?

Doc

Hello, Maressa,

I don't see a lot of Siberian Huskies. I have only had one patient of that breed who had such persistent problems that we surgically removed the anal sacs.

Some individuals will respond to infusion of something like Otomax into the sacs (this is an oily ointment usually used for ear infections - antifungal, antibacterial, and with cortisone for inflammation).

That would be a job for your veterinarian (as in "Don't try this at home.").

I doubt that the food will make any difference in the condition.

Good luck.

Cam krafthefer

Hi!
I have a four month old cocker spaniel who has been bum scooting since I've gotten her. She has just finished all of her shots and has been on trifexus for the past two months. She has been dewormed and her anal glands were expressed about 6 wks ago. But now her booty has a strange metallic smell and I've noticed that all of her business has been soft and yellow/pale brown. Should I have her glands expressed again? Is this common for her age? I dont want to get surgery but I do want her comfortable. Do you think adding fiber to her daily diet will harden her business and express her glands naturally? Help me please! I am worried about my Sadie. I try to do everything to make sure she is healthy. But I can never seem to keep the little princess well!! Thank you for your time.

Doc

Hello, Cam,

It is certainly not common for a dog that age to have persistent anal sac problems.

Trifexis treats hookworm, roundworm and whipworm, but there are other intestinal parasites that it does not treat. It also may not be 100% successful in treating hookworm.

When you take her back to your veterinarian, be sure to take a good spoonful of fresh (within 12 hours) stool for analysis.

Your veterinarian can check the anal sacs and their secretion. It is possible that the sacs are infected (though why, I don't know) and will need medication infused into them. This would require some sedation.

Adding fiber to the diet may help, and some dogs need to be on a hypo-allergenic diet, such as Purina HA, or Royal Canin HP, or Hill's Z/D.

I would recommend a visit to the veterinarian and a stool analysis first, in order to rule out medical problems.

Good luck.

Priscilla

Hi there, I have a 4 year old Boston Terrier and I know how normal it is for dogs to have the anal secretion but my dog releases it about 3 to 5 times a day. Is this normal? He doesnt seem to be in any pain and does not drag his butt at all.

Thanks!

Doc

Hello, Priscilla,

The sacs should empty spontaneously at the end of each bowel movement.

If they are emptying at other times, that is not really normal. There are certainly some dogs that seem to have "butt-pucker moments" when they get excited. This is not something that usually happens in the course of a normal day at home.

I would ask your veterinarian to examine the area and check the secretion for signs of infection. If his anal sphincter muscles and sacs seem normal, there may be no real solution other than deodorizing him or having the sacs surgically removed.

Good luck.

Tracy S

I have a three year old shih tzu who has been having reoccuring anal gland problems. Her gland orginally ruptured about a month ago and she has been going to the vet every week for this problem. The area will heal over and then swell and rupture again. She has tried multiple antibiotics and has the glands expressed weekly by the week, but I am worried as to why this has not healed completely. Should she have the gland removed?

Thank you,

Tracy

Doc

Hello, Tracy,

It sounds like this is quite a bit worse than the usual situation. It is possible that irrigating the glands and infusing antibiotic ointment directly into them might help, in addition to the systemic antibiotics (oral) that you have been doing.

If this were my patient and I just wasn't making any progress after doing all I know to do, my next step would be to consult with a dermatologist.

Surgical removal of the glands can certainly be done, and is sometimes the best option. Ideally, this would be done when you didn't have a roaring infection going on, though. The operation can have complications, even under the best of circumstances, too.

I can only speak generally here. It is best to stay in communication with your veterinarian. He/she is the person best equipped to answer you questions, as he/she is actually seeing your dog.

Good luck.

Lucy

Hi,

I have a 5 year old Miniature Pinscher, male, who stinks. He stinks bad. He makes our other dog, usually odor free, stink, too (because they sleep in the same bed). We have tried everything - changing diet (to an expensive, high quality dog food), bathing frequently, changing sheets on the bed frequently. Recently, I noticed that there was a pee-like stain on the sheet over the dog bed. I've seen it several times now. I am convinced that this is anal gland leakage rather than marking. He has no signs of infection; no swelling and does not scoot or lick the area. The stain is clear and smells horrible. What is causing this? What can be done? He smells so bad (stinks up the entire room) that we keep both dogs locked away from the rest of the house/family until we can bath them and change the bedding. Do you think adding fiber would help? He is a rescue dog and has "issues" - could it be fear? Also, he used to itch and appeared to have allergies but that seems to have gone away since we changed his diet.

Thanks!
Lucy

Doc

Hello, Lucy,

As you may have read, the anal sacs are supposed to empty spontaneously at the end of each bowel movement. They are not supposed to leak at other times.

Some dogs when stressed to tend to leak some fluid.

The first thing would be to have your veterinarian examine the dog, doing a rectal exam to evaluate the area.

There could be some other problem putting pressure on the anal sacs.

After a thorough exam, your veterinarian should be able to advise you on this.

Good luck.

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