Health, advice, and information online community for dog and cats lovers.

Anal Sac Disease in Dogs and Cats

The anal sacs of dogs and cats exist in the rectum, approximately 1/2 to 1 inch from the opening of the anus. They are often misnamed the anal glands, but this is incorrect. The anal sacs are stuctures that collect fluid secreted by the anal glands. As the feces passes through the anal opening upon defecation, the sacs are expressed. and the fluid coats the feces giving it a scent distinct to the animal.

Occasionally in dogs and cats, (more commonly in dogs), the anal sacs do not effectively express, and the fluid collects excessivley in the anal sacs. This causes discomfort and irritation in the anal area. This discomfort leads the animal to lick the area excessively or even exhibit scooting behavior (walking with the front legs while dragging the anus on the floor).

If the sacs remain full for too long, an infection can develop, which can be quite severe and painful. Treatment consists of manually expressing the anal sacs periodically as needed. If the sacs are infected,

Then oral antibiotics should be administered in addition to having the anal sacs manually expressed. In severe infections, the anal sacs may need to be infused with antibiotic ointment.

If anal sac impactions and/or infections become frequent, a surgical procedure can be performed whereby the anal sacs are removed, known as an anal sacculectomy. A rare complication of the procedure is stool incontinence, but in the hands of a surgeon with substantial experience with anal sacculectomy, this type of complication is exceedingly rare.


Roger L. Welton, DVM
Founder and Chief Editor,
President, Maybeck Animal Hospital


Article updated 9/3/2012

19 thoughts on “Anal Sac Disease in Dogs and Cats

  1. As much as your thinking is appreciated, it is very important to have a beautiful mind to write a beautiful post and in fact, you have rarely seen such a beautiful post as the beautiful post you have written, it is very much in my life Beautiful post.

  2. I am really enjoying the design and layout of your post. It is very easy on the eyes which makes it all the more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Have you made your own theme because whoever made the theme here is so beautiful.

  3. ishika says:

    A great post here. I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate you sharing this great post. Keep up your work your post is beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe To The Web-DVM Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Free Newsletter!


Follow Us On Twitter

Follow Us On Twitter


The Space Coast Pet Podcast


Read Dr. Roger’s Latest Book!

The Man In The White Coat: A Veterinarian's Tail Of Love