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Infected anal glands (Anal Sacculitis)… What can I do to help?


Ok, we’re not going to sugar coat this one… talking about anal sacculitis (AKA anal sac disease) or any other type of anal gland problems for that matter is… a bit gross.

But what are you going to do…

It’s just a fact of life that both cats and dogs have anal glands (anal sacs), and on occasion, those anal glands can become “clogged” or infected leaving us with a condition known as anal sacculitis.

Ok, so what is an anal gland you ask?

Anal glands are a pair of glands that located just under the skin along-side your pet’s anus.  Both cats and dogs have them, but “dog anal glands” tend to have more issues with them than their feline compatriots.

Anal sacculitis…

Refers to when one or both of these glands become infected or inflamed.  Now at this point, you’re probably wondering what could cause one’s anal glands to become inflamed, right?

Potential causes of anal sacculitis.

Anal sacculitis can be caused by a wide variety of factors.  Factors such as:

  • Trauma (anal sac impaction or anal gland impaction).
  • Perianal fistulas.
    • An anal fistula is term used to describe an “infected tunnel” located between the exterior skin along the anal sphincter and the anal canal itself.
  • Perianal cysts.
  • Anal sac abscess or anal gland abscess.
  • Flea allergy dermatitis.
  • Anal sac adenocarcinoma.
    • Cancerous growth within the anal glands themselves.
  • Atopy
    • Which refers to a genetic disorder which tends to lead to certain allergic diseases.
  • Proctitis
    • Inflammation of the anus itself.
  • And parasites.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of “potential” reasons why your furry companion may develop anal sacculitis.

But don’t fret…

The vast majority of patients that get diagnosed with anal sacculitis aren’t suffering from any “serious” medical condition, usually the sacculitis is something that can be taken care of very easily.

Diagnosing Anal Sacculitis

If your dog or cat is suffering from anal sacculitis, chance are, you’ll start to notice that your pet may begin to demonstrate certain behaviors (or clinical signs) that are indicative of having anal sacculitis.

Behaviors such as:

  • Frequent licking of the affected area.
  • “Scooting” or rubbing one’s rear along the ground.
  • Presence of a foul-smelling fluid.
  • Painful bowel movements.
  • Ribbon-like stools.

It’s also quite possible that your pet may not exhibit any symptoms whatsoever which is why it’s always a good idea to have your dog or cat visit his or her vet regularly so that they can be regularly examined just to avoid any avoidable complications later on.

Treatment Options…

At this point we’d like to remind our readers that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not medical professionals and we’re certainly not doctors.  All we are is a bunch of folks who really care about animals which is why we write articles like these.

But this also means that…

If you suspect that our pet may have a health issue that needs to be looked at, don’t rely on the information that you find online.

“Visit your local Veterinarian!”

Because chances are, regardless of what is wrong with your pet, the sooner your vet sees him or her the better!

This is also why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that folks take a look at what a Pet Insurance policy might cost them to ensure that if their pet were to ever get really sick or injured, they wouldn’t have to carry the burden of that cost on their own.  Instead, they could rely on their insurance to help cover some of the cost.

You see…

Even in simple cases where a pet’s anal sacculitis isn’t being caused by anything serious, and only need to be manually expressed (anal gland expression) every now and then, that routine expression can cost up to $50.00 per session and in extreme cases where the anal glands actually have to be surgically removed (anal sacculectomy), the cost of that could run you over $2000.00!

But before you…

Do anything that extreme, we would advise you to first see if you might be able to first change the pet food that your using if it is not a high-fiber diet brand and if be sure to stay on top or your dogs flea and tic prevention program or ask your groomer whether or not there is any flea dandruff present as this too could be causing an unnecessary amount of “scooting” which could plan a roll it in the blocking of the anal ducts near your dogs rectum.

You also ought to…

Take a moment and see what it might cost you to purchase a pet insurance policy on your little buddy as well.  Because while anal sacculitis isn’t necessarily going to cost a “ton” of money to treat, the next medical condition that your pet could suffer from might!


If you have a quality pet insurance policy in place, you may be protected from having to incur 100% of those costs.  For more information about who we “feel” currently offers the “Best” pet insurance policies in the industry, we would encourage you to check out our:  Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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