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

Ok, we’re not going to sugarcoat this one… talking about anal vasculitis (AKA anal sac disease) or any other type of anal gland problems 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 vasculitis.

Ok, so what is an anal gland you ask?

Anal glands are a pair of glands located just under the skin alongside 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 vasculitis on the other hand refers to when one or both of these glands become infected or inflamed.

You’re probably wondering what could cause one’s anal glands to become inflamed, right?

Potential causes of anal vasculitis:

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
    • This refers to a genetic disorder that leads to certain allergic diseases.
  • Proctitis
    • Inflammation of the anus itself.
  • And parasites.

So, as you can see, there are many “potential” reasons why your furry companion may develop anal vasculitis.  But don’t fret; most patients diagnosed with anal vasculitis aren’t suffering from any “serious” medical condition. Usually vasculitis is something that can be taken care of very quickly.

Diagnosing Anal Sacculitis

Suppose your dog or cat is suffering from anal vasculitis; chances are. In that case, you’ll start to notice that your pet may begin to demonstrate certain behaviors (or clinical signs) indicative of anal vasculitis.

Behaviors such as:

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

It’s also entirely possible that your pet may not exhibit any symptoms whatsoever, so it’s always a good idea to have your dog or cat visit their vet regularly to be regularly examined 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 are certainly not doctors.  We are all a bunch of folks who care about animals, so we write articles like these.

But this also means that…

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

“Visit your local Veterinarian!”

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

This is also why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that folks look at what a Pet Insurance policy might cost them to ensure that if their pet were ever to get sick or injured, they wouldn’t have to carry that burden alone.  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 vasculitis isn’t being caused by anything serious and only needs to be manually expressed (anal gland expression) now and then, that routine word can cost up to $50.00 per session and in extreme cases where the anal glands have to be surgically removed (anal capsulectomy), the cost of that could run you over $2000.00!

But before you…

Do anything that extreme, we would advise you first to see if you might be able first to change the pet food that you’re using if it is not a high-fiber diet brand and if be sure to stay on top of your dog’s 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 dog’s rectum.

You also should take a moment and see what it costs you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your little buddy.  Because while anal vasculitis isn’t necessarily cost a “ton” of money to treat, the following medical condition that your pet could suffer from might!


If you have a quality pet insurance policy, 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 encourage you to check out our article:  Best Pet Insurance Companies.

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