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Symptoms and Treatments of Anal Sac Disease in Dogs

Sacculitis (Anal Sac Infection)

Anal sac infection complicates impaction. Infection is recognized by a painful swelling on one or both sides of the anus. The anal secretions are thin, yellowish, or blood-tinged. The dog will scoot, lick, and bite at his rear.

Treatment: Begin by expressing the anal sacs. Repeat in one to two weeks. For recurrent infection, empty the sacs weekly. After emptying, an antibiotic is instilled into the sacs. This procedure should be done by your veterinarian.

Dogs with recurrent anal sac infections should have their anal sacs surgically removed. This is best done during a period between infections.

Anal Sac Abscess

Abscess is recognized by fever and the signs of anal sac infection. The swelling, usually on one side, is red at first, then later turns a deep purple. Unlike anal sac infection, the swelling of an abscess cannot be reduced by emptying the sac. An abscess often ruptures through the adjacent skin, producing a draining tract.

Treatment: If the abscess has not ruptured spontaneously, it should be lanced by your veterinarian when it becomes soft and fluidlike. The cavity is flushed repeatedly and the dog is placed on an oral antibiotic. Your veterinarian may ask you to flush the cavity twice a day with a topical antiseptic such as dilute Betadine solution for one to two weeks, and apply warm compresses to the area.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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