Anal Sacs in Dogs

Anal sacs are located either side of a dog’s anus and contain a fluid that dogs use to identify one another. This fluid is normally emptied from the sac each time a dog defecates, preventing a build up. However, when the fluid doesn’t naturally empty it starts becoming a problem and the sacs need to be drained another way, normally by a vet. A vet can show you how to do it to save a  trip and is easy enough to empty by hand.


The symptoms of unhealthy anal sacs vary and can be tricky to spot. It’s not unusual for a dog’s bedding to start smelling funny before washes and is nothing to be concerned about – it’s when you can smell the odour coming straight from a dog’s back  end that it can start being a problem.

Other symptoms include:

  • Scooting around on their backside
  • Biting around the anal area
  • Chasing their tail
  • Constipation and pain defecating/sitting

Anal Sacs Treatments

If it becomes a continuous problem a vet may suggest a diet higher in fibre to put more pressure on the anal sacs so they are more likely to empty naturally. If not, they may have to either be emptied by hand at home or at the vet depending whats causing the sacs to not empty. It can also be treated by antibiotics and pain relief in cases of infection within the sacs. If left untreated it can become more serious and life threatening so it’s best to go to the vet either way.

Team Shanklinpets

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