Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Anal Sac Disease

Animals Affected – Dog, Cat

General Information
The anal sacs are located on each side of the anus, just under the skin. They open to the outside by tiny passageways or ducts. Glands within the anal sacs produce a dark, foul-smelling substance. The sacs normally empty as the animal has a bowel movement. Their purpose is unknown and your pet can do well without them.

Diseases of the anal sacs fall into three categories:
1. Impaction: The anal sac fluid is abnormally thick and cannot escape.
2. Infection: Bacteria produce a yellow or bloody pus. Infection may also exist in other areas, such as the eyes, ears, tonsils, and/or skin.
3. Abscessation: As a result of infection, a hot, tender swelling near the anus may rupture and discharge pus and blood.

Signs of anal sac disease include “scooting” (dragging the anus on the floor), excessive licking under the tail, tenderness near the tail or anus, and/or bloody or sticky drainage from the anal area.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Treatment for anal sac disease may include the following:
• Manual expression (squeezing) of the sac contents.
• Flushing the sacs and instilling antibiotics into them.
• Surgical drainage or removal of the sacs.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.