Anal Sac Problems

Warning: This post describes disgusting bodily functions.

When I was starting veterinary school, I visualized myself as "the boy-wonder equine surgeon".  I really thought that I’d be doing nothing but horse-work.   Not only do horses not have anal sacs, at that time I wasn’t aware that these particular disgusting anatomical structures even existed.  Had I known how much of my life would be involved with anal sacs, I might well have made a different career choice.

Sometimes people call them "anal glands" instead of "anal sacs".  I believe this may be to avoid the aural confusion between "anal sacs" and "anal sex". Believe me, that is not nearly as funny as you think it is when it really happens in the exam room.

Dogbutt2_ Dogs and cats both have these things.  The actual anal glands are very tiny and surround the anus.  Their secretions accumulate in the anal sacs.  At the end of each bowel movement, the animal gives things one last squeeze and this empties a few drops from the sac. They fall freely and land on top of the waste-pile.  The pheromones (hormone-like chemicals) act as a scent territorial marker.

In skunks and ferrets, the anal sacs become more specialized as the main musk glands.  The skunk has a special expelling mechanism.  In dogs and cats, they don’t generally squirt the stuff across the room.  The exception would be the large and frightened German Shepherd (aka "anal glands with teeth").  Any dog or cat experiencing an extreme "butt-pucker" moment (like… looking at me) may squirt the secretion onto the floor. The volume is more impressive when the Shepherd lets go.

The more common problem is the dog who doesn’t spontaneously expel his anal sacs.  This is most common in dogs with generally poor muscle tone: very small dogs, very old dogs, and very fat dogs.  When the sacs don’t empty, the secretion accumulates.  This stretches the sacs, which creates pressure, which creates discomfort.  That’s why these dogs scoot around on their butts. They are trying to empty the sacs and relieve that discomfort.  This (NOT worms) is the most common cause of butt-scooting.  In order to relieve the dog’s discomfort, a groomer or veterinary technician (OR a veterinarian, like me) empties the sacs by squeezing.    If the dog is very fat, this may require a rectal examination to complete.  Sometimes the secretion gets thicker and harder over time, making it harder to empty.  Alas, this is a very common problem.

Analsacsbad_2_ Worst case scenario is rupture of the sac.  This is a painful and nasty mess, but is generally salvageable.   Conservative care with warm compresses and antibiotics is often all that is required.

Dogs who have continual or recurring problems can have the sacs surgically removed.  They are not a necessary structure, as their only purpose is to provide a scent territorial marker.  Our pets have their territories marked by the fences and sidewalks.  They can get along without these sacs.

One thing I failed to mention: this stuff stinks powerfully, much worse than mere feces.  A few drops are supposed to last weeks outside.  When the dog succeeds in squeezing a little out by scooting, it gets smeared on his hiney and you can smell him a mile away.  When it all gets emptied in one spot, it is mighty stinky.  Just washing doesn’t fix it up.  You’ve got to add some odor neutralizer, something a little like this: Buttsofresh_1

549 thoughts on “Anal Sac Problems

  1. Jackie says:

    The last time I went to the vet he said my dogs glands were full and he emptied them. This was a couple months ago. Now she is scooting around and she also smells. Is the odor these glands give off a sour smell – because it is different then “wet dog” smell?

    • Chloe says:

      My dog and starting to dig holes in the backyard and putting his butt in it to get relief… Does anybody else have their dog do that? Also the vet did an internal check of his glands and told me not to have anybody else to it but him but he is still suffering the same symptoms

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Chloe,
        I have never heard a story like that before. If your dog’s anal sacs were not infected, and secretions seemed normal when your doctor emptied them, there may be something else going on. Please give your doctor some feedback on how your dog has responded.

        • Kim light says:

          I have a different question I have a dog that I got because it had been sexually abused and he come up to my store and I took care of it and it has a problem with using the bathroom all the time just dropping out of them abnormally he don’t know how to go to the bathroom by herself she just I guess it hurts broke what can I do and what kind of surgery can she have to fix this problem

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Kim,
            I don’t know any way for me to advise you. This will require a hands-on examination with your veterinarian to evaluate the source of the problem.

          • Laura says:

            My dog was throwing clear liquid and foam. Before that she had soft stools. She went to the bathroom again. It was diarrhea and blood with mucus. Brown liquid and it smelled horrible. After that she was better. I gave her a bath and her left gland was swollen. Should I still bring her to vet.

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Laura,
            If you haven’t already taken your dog to see her doctor, I would recommend that you do so.

          • DLHamer says:

            I’ve been doing my Pyper’s for the past 5 years ever since a new vet charged me the normal $10 for it when I am sure he hadn’t done it because once done, that pungent odor what I’m assuming is what skunks spray out, is always extremely strong no matter what, so due to being over charged for so many decades by numerous vets since 1972 as a dog owner, I decided to learn how to do it myself on YouTube like I did when I dropped my new HP laptop ???? saving my $100s, it’s still working since dropping it 2013, where that pungent odor has become the most rewarding smell ever after knowing I’ve just relieved her again from dragging her clean white furry poodle ass everywhere including on filthy dirt! ????

            Always put our thumb & index fingers at 7 & 5 when squeezing upwards.

          • Doc says:

            Hello, DLHamer,
            I agree that draining anal sacs is not rocket science for most dogs. Actually most dogs don’t need attention — the sacs express spontaneously at the end of each bowel movement.
            In the dogs where they don’t, a “milking” action, as you describe usually empties the glands. It is not difficult to learn. If one were working in a dog-grooming parlor doing it all day, most people could develop the skill. Unfortunately, when you just have your one dog and don’t really know what you are doing, it can be pretty challenging to get the hang of it.
            Then are the dogs where the sacs cannot be easily felt or grasped because the dog is too fat. One had to glove up and insert a finger into the rectum to get a grip.
            Then there are the patients where the secretion has become dry and thick and it takes more pressure to express it than is safe to apply. These patients need to have some liquid infused into the sacs to loosen up the stuff. Squeezing too hard can rupture the sac under the skin, and that is a mess.
            The advice they give mechanics is good: don’t force it.

        • Kelsey Whitener says:

          Hi Doc. I have a 3 year old female chihuahua. I’ve noticed for a month or so, she gets uncomfortable when I pet her lower back, as well as her butt/vaginal area. She doesn’t whimper, or cry and hasn’t shown me any indication of pain. If I pet the area she just tenses up, and follows my hand and looks at me as if she’s telling me to stop. Not having money to take her to the vet, I googled the symptoms which led to anal gland issues. Which then also led me here. I would really appreciate any advice, or suggestions on what can be wrong, if your able. Thank you.

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Kelsey,
            I wouldn’t think that anal sac problems would cause pain as high as the lower back. You describe things that sound more like lower back pain. She is awfully young to be having intervertebral disc problems, and Chihuahuas don’t often have that problem anyway.

            All I can really say from what you tell me is that it sounds like something painful is going on, but I don’t know how to help you long distance.

            Please do not give over the counter pain medicines, as they can cause problems. Some can be safe, when properly dosed, but others are quite dangerous.

        • Nicole G. says:

          My dog is nonstop leaking his anal glands everywhere he rests. We have had to put blankets on all our couches. We have been trying to release the sacs from the outside ourselves or when he gets his nails cut and he’s on special medicine that adds fiber….Sadly nothing is working.

          Is it normal for him to release this fluid 2 to 4 times a day?

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Nicole,
            It is definitely not normal for this to be happening. If you continue to have problems, I would certainly ask your veterinarian to evaluate the area. If there is no obvious reason for this, you may have to opt for surgical removal. The sacs serve no purpose other than territorial marking, and the dog has no real need for that.

          • Jill says:

            My dog has the same issue. Lies down then a pool of clear watery odourless fluid is left on the floor from his bottom. Dripping down to back of legs. Vets have tried to express his anal glands which are always empty, they don’t know the cause. Changing clean towels 3-4 times a day. This can’t go on. Did you find the right treatment or cause eventually?

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Jill,
            Is there enough of the fluid that you could collect it in a syringe for analysis? I’m sure your veterinarian would be happy to provide you with a syringe and a specimen tube.

        • Shawnee says:

          My great pyrenees/mareema sheepdog mix had an itchy behind. I took her to the vet 3 days ago and they expressed her anal sacs saying they were full. It’s been 3 days, her bottom looks dirty and red, no bad smell, no itching or licking just ugly to look at lol I’m just concerned and need to know if this is something to worry about and get checked or if it’s normal after this is done. She’s only 2 yrs old so this was her 1st time getting it done. My daughter says it’s not as bad as I make it sound. I’m use to her being very clean so this stands out to me. What should I do?

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Shawnee,
            It is not common to see inflammation after draining the anal sacs. On the other hand, the dog does not seem to be bothered. I would keep the area clean with mild soap and water for a few days. If the problem gets worse, then you should contact your veterinarian about it.

      • Brenda says:

        My cat went to see the vet, I wasn’t sure what the vet was doing to my male cat, but he screamed like some one hurt him really bad, not sure if the vet squeezed the anal sack of my cat or not. But my went crazy, he was not the same sence he left the vets office. He has never ever severely attacked me. Especially me accidently dropping my phone on the floor I tryed to get my phone but my cat jumped up at me continued to attack & rip at my skin on my arms I have severe bruising & bleeding a lot. I tryed to calm him down he attacked me again a couple hours later. I had to quickly go into my bedroom & call some one for help. My cat has never ever acted like this being this aggressive towards me & the attacking I couldn’t take no more. He is in a different home & a really nice man is working with him. Found out after he is neutered he will be going to farm & be enjoying living outside with other cats that’s at the farm. It breaks my heart I will never see him again but my family was really concerned about me, because I am going blind they don’t want my cat hurting me any more

        • Doc says:

          Hello, Brenda,
          We don’t typically squeeze the anal sacs on cats. They rarely have problems with the structure. They are more likely to spontaneously empty the sacs on their own if greatly stressed, having a “butt-pucker” moment.

          I am sorry that I cannot offer you any explanation for what happened. I am mystified by your description of the cat’s changed behavior.

    • Kate says:

      My dog has the opposite problem and no one can tell me how to fix it. Shes a rat terrier mix. She can just be laying in her bed and her sacs leak. No impaction, they just leak. All the time. I have no idea how to fix this. Her stools are fine. Shes not overweight. How can i stop this nasty leaking problem?

      • Jen says:

        My Sharpei has the same thing! It’s almost every morning when she wakes up… it’s not a whole lot. I brought it up to the veterinarian and he checked her and said she was fine. I got her as a rescue so I don’t know much about background, but I heard she was used just for puppies sadly. Was thinking maybe they probably should be removed. The smell is awful.

        • Doc says:

          Hello, Jen,
          If you are having such frequent leakage problems, removal of the sacs is probably your best option.

        • Doc says:

          Hello, Abby,
          If the sac is an inch wide, that is VERY large, even for a very large dog. I would be suspicious of an anal sac tumor in the area. I haven’t seen yhour dog, but it sounds like a biopsy/surgical removal might be what is indicated.

  2. Doc says:

    Dear Jackie,

    I don’t know that I would describe the smell as “sour”, but it is extremely pungent. It is a bad smell that is neither “wet dog” nor feces. Typically it will be worst when the stuff first comes out, but the smell can linger for hours. The anal sacs could certainly have refilled in two months. The over-filling causes pressure, pressure causes discomfort, and the dog scoots on its rear in an effort to relieve the discomfort.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Lois says:

      I have always called it , the sour butt smell. Potent, yes. But pungent and sour and just nasty… ironically, I have always called it, the sour butt smell. As a Nurse, sometimes I smell something from humans that reminds me of this as well, and for them, I say the same, it’s a sour butt smell.

      • Zodie says:

        My dog recently when you scratch her back on either side squirts a brown liquid from her bum
        There’s no smell
        Can u advise pls

        • Doc says:

          Hello, Zodie,
          I would suggest that you see your veterinarian on this. It would sound like the anal sacs, but they usually have a pungent odor.

        • sandra edwards says:

          I took my dog to my vet because he was having pain on his right hand flank area . He said that he believed it was probably anal glands issues . He did squeeze the glands. But the next day he still is in pain and actually secreted more today ???? his leg is still hurting and is on pains

    • Alice Mazzucco says:

      Um so this happened a long long time ago,but I call it blown butt one of her gland is swollen and red she was fine all day nothing see my dog is old very old she only will eat chicken and mashed potatoes but I tried her on one can dog food a omg she’s been craping her brains out but she started dragging three days ago nothing was there what do I do what can I feed her so she can poop normal she gets sick off alot of dog food and we can’t find our vet please any help much appreciated

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Alice,
        Your post is a little hard to follow with no punctuation.

        I think that you are asking two questions. The first being what to feed her to help with a normal bowel movement. Feed her regular food, but try adding some metamucil powder (psyllium) to each feeding (1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight).

        The second is what to do about an infected anal sac. I would recommend a warm compress on the area three times daily. Run a pan of water as warm as you can keep your hand in it comfortably. Use a clean cloth to apply heat to the area for 10 to 15 minutes, three times daily.

        These often need antibiotic treatment ( by mouth), and sometimes they need to have medication infused directly into the sac.

        These would be things that would require your veterinarian’s help.

    • Jane says:

      It smells like rotten shrimp! I just lost my dog to anal gland adenocarcinoma cancer (not sure if I spelled that right) but he was 14 and for months his anal glands would leak and finally his last visit the vet was able to check him there & she said it was a very aggressive form of cancer and he was way to old to treat but she was right, he went down so fast he passed less than a week later. Just wanted to share incase anyone else had this issue and they can afford to please bring them to get checked by the vet.

  3. Derek says:

    When my dog gets nervous, usually when someone enters the house, he lets go this awful smell. It usually lasts like 30 minutes. I’m wondering if this is what is happening, he also often licks his butt when her gets nervous. Its quite embarrassing when guest come over and they are greeted with this awful smell. Is there anything I can do about this besides having them removed? Thanks

  4. Doc says:


    It sounds like your dog’s nervous excitation causes him to have a “butt-pucker moment”, which squeezes out some of the anal sac secretion.

    I think having his sacs surgically removed is probably overkill.

    Aside from trying to work with his nervousness (a big task), I believe in your case you should invest in some deodorizer. Just wipe his anal area (and the underside of his tail) to get the odor under control sooner. The combination that works best for me is clean him with Pfizer’s Canine Eliminodor (an odor-neutralizing compound), followed by a spritz of Lambert-Kay Fresh-n-Clean (the can doctored up to look like “Butt-so-Fresh” in the post).

    Good luck.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Doc. I’ve taken my Chihuahua mix to the vet several times over the last year because of his glands, and again last week to have them expressed- once infected even. This time nothing changed though. Our two other male rescues are obsessed with him.. like he’s a female in heat! I am at my wit’s end. The behavior of the 3 is out of control. Please any suggestions I’d be sooo grateful. Not sure if you’ll see this as I didn’t know how to post correctly. Thank you!

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Lisa,
        I don’t know how to explain the behavior of the other males, unless this guy has a a sertoli cell tumor. These are testicular tumors that secrete estrogen. If he is having constant problems with his anal sacs, then they can be surgically removed.

        • Lisa Nowak says:

          Thank you SO much for the reply and info I’ve not found anywhere. Got him back to the vet again today. (very limited veterinary services in Fl. Keys) We’ll see.. now unexpectedly diagnosed with an UTI. Was given an antibiotic injection. Crossing my paws!

          • craig streetzel says:

            ???????? I hope ???? all is well as I have a chiuahaua too and I have always had very big dogs but I was at the pound and the unadoptable after the 15 second exam was almost as frustrating as the big puddle of antifreeze in the middle of the only way in and out of the animal services in Pinellas county Florida st Pete and I assured the woman I was not trying to get out of the fees but they have just said that he was going to get a ???? and I said I want all of him and not having his full reproductive organs are not a healthy way leading to obese and the easiest way to be a good owner and don’t let them run around loose it’s been almost 10 years and he is the best thing ever to happen to me and more protective then when I had 140 lb rottweiler and 100 lb doberman female and I can home and it looked like he had 2 holes under his tail and I will never forget that day I ran a bath and used towel to be able for him to have a little more traction and the second it burst he licked my face and I will say that he said thank you daddy and the next morning at our vets he was like that bath just saved you a bunch of money and not having to put him through any more pain and runs from food and the stuff that is in the glands are not even close to the same as it is a puss type of thickness and the other dog his expression well just say that the Dr had to go get a different shirt because he got blasted and it was so pungent made the office smell like a truck of manure in like 5 second’s and they went and opened the door and started spraying ozium to be able to stay in the same room and he said he was able to tell that’s first time he’s had them done because basically it’s bacteria and not taking care of it can take a$20 procedure the groomer can do into having to go through surgery and now I know what to do warm sink or even a plastic tote if you only have shower and not a tub but it will definitely help as well as comfy as possible for your furry kids after the wrestling to be kissed on my nose I can just imagine how much he was saying ????

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Craig,
            Not every patient is the same on this. I am glad that the warm soak worked for you. It can be a lot more complicated for some dogs.

  5. Derek says:

    Thanks for replying so quickly! I agree that it doesn’t warrant surgery. I guess I’ll have to keep trying to get him over his anxiety. Until then I have a bottle of odor neutralizer at the ready!

    • Heidy Van Horn says:

      I have a year old female morkey and she just had her period for the second time during that time I noticed that her anal area is puckered out and appears to be swollen. There isn’t any smell and she doesn’t drag her bottom. We just took her to the groomer and its still very puckered and swollen. She been sleeping a lot. What can I do to help her? Sorry I’m a first time morkey owner.

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Heidy, I don’t think that Morkies have any different anatomy in that area than other dogs. If it looks abnormal to you, then the best thing would be to get an examination by your veterinarian.

  6. Andrea says:


    My chocolate lab’s anus smells extremely bad. We have taken him to the groomer and he still smells awful. He also appears to be bleeding or secreting excrement from his anus. We have called the vet and they just recommended taking him to the groomer to get his anus squeezed. Could there be a bigger problem than his anal sacs being full?

  7. Doc says:

    Dear Andrea,

    The anal sacs can become infected, needing treatment with systemic (i.e. oral) antibiotics and sometimes infusion of antibiotic ointment directly into the sacs. There is also a condition called perianal fistula.

    I would call your veterinarian and tell them that you followed their advice, but you are still having problems and would like to bring your dog in for an examination. I don’t think they can fix this over the telephone.

    Good luck

    • Vivian SOUTH says:

      We have a mini Goldendoodle and he will be a year old December 5th. We have never had any problems whatsoever with his anal sacs busting or secreting any liquid…smelly or otherwise. We had him fixed about 12 days ago. He just had an episode with odor. Could this be a side effect of being fixed?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Vivian,

        I do not see how the odor would be associated with neutering surgery. If his incision doesn’t look good, then you should certainly take him back to his doctor to be rechecked. Dogs that get stressed will sometimes spontaneously empty their anal sacs. They have a “butt-pucker moment”, and that empties the sacs somewhat, which really stinks.

  8. Carol says:

    My dog was diagnosed with perianal fistula in August. She was succesfully treated with Atopica and Protopic. She was spayed a month ago and the vet decided to decrease her dosage of Atopica from once a day to every other day. She now has an odd odor. She has no discharge, there are no fistulas visible to the eye, is not in distress, no visible symptoms of pain. Could this odd odor be caused from her anal glands themselves? The smell is not a feces type odor. It almost smells like a yeast infection. Have any suggestions for me vets or techs out there?

  9. Doc says:

    Hello, Carol,

    Anal sac secretions are very strong (and foul) smelling. That is certainly a potential source of the odor,and should be checked (possibly by rectal examination). It is also possible to have yeast (Malassezia sp.) infections in the skin. You have been using drugs that suppress the immune system to control the fistula problem. It is not unreasonable that you might have an infection as a result. Both possibilities should be checked.

    I hope this helps.

  10. Julie says:

    Hi there,

    We have a 10 1/2 year old male beagle. He has been scooting for a long time (years) but we never knew that this was a symptom of full anal sacs. He’s never really had any foul odors until about 3-4 weeks ago. He smelled absolutely putrid. We kept bathing him, but the smell would immediately return. The scooting was increasing as well. After a bit of internet research, I learned that he may need to have his anal sacs expressed and took him to the groomer who tried to express them externally with no luck. I then took him to the vet and he was only able to get a very small amount out of one side with an internal expression. The smell seemed to go away for a couple of days but has returned and is more foul than ever. I have also noticed decreased energy and his anus even looks a bit prolapsed. I called the vet and am bringing him back in tomorrow but wondered if what I’m describing sounds to you like infection or something else? I have heard that cheaper dog foods (with a lot of fillers) can contribute to plugged anal sacs because the stools are not firm and the sacs don’t get expressed with a bowel movement. We feed him Beneful by purina. Do you think we should switch foods? If so, what would you recommend?


  11. Doc says:

    Hello, Julie,

    While an anal sac problem would be the first thing I would think of with scooting and a bad odor, it does not appear to be your dog’s problem. If the sacs were empty, there may be something else going on. It is possible that the dog had partially emptied them, and they were just still very irritated when the doctor checked them. In that case, it may be necessary to squirt some medication into the sacs to treat this. Your veterinarian will need to do this for you.

    It is also possible that there is irritation in the rectum or colon. Clostridium infections can do this (a type of bacteria). Sometimes symptomatic treatment with a combination of Metronidazole and Sulfasalazine will be helpful. Long-term treatment with an antibiotic called Tylosin is another possibility. The Metronidazole and Sulfasalazine are very inexpensive and your veterinarian can prescribe these for you.

    Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate the cause of this problem without a little trial therapy.

    Good luck, and thanks for reading and writing.

  12. Melissa Spradlin says:

    My 8 month old black miniature schnouser has a really strong dog odor on a daily basis, he needs about 3 to four baths a week to keep him from smelling.Some times even just after a bath he smells & If i take him out even for just fifteen minuets, & after a bath he comes in with a really strong dog smell.He is a house dog and dosent stay outside. I only bathe him once maybe twice a week, he does have a skin allergy and is taking medacine.what other symptoms should i look for if its due to internal issues, or what can i feed him or bath him with to get rid of the smell.

  13. Doc says:

    Hello, Melissa,

    Check out this posts on possible causes of dog stinkiness:

    If your dog’s allergy is not controlled well, and he scratches excessively, this can cause an excessive skin oil problem. The oil gets rancid and the dog smells bad just from that. The odor will return rapidly after bathing. Also, dogs that scratch a lot and develop the excessively oily skin frequently have secondary yeast infections on their skin.

    Share your concerns with your veterinarian.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  14. Christy says:

    We have an english bulldog. He gives the foulest smell, a mixture of dead fish and metal. We take him to the vet to have his glands taken care of regularly..but we just had it done last week and he is already giving off the foul smell again. We just moved, do you think this could be causing him stress?
    Thanks for any info or tips on how prevent or treat this awful smell from our lovable bulldog.

    • Micki Allen says:

      My dog, a Great Dane, anal glands were leaking. Took her to the vet who expelled her glands. One was bloody. Dr. Put her on anti-biotics and Carfonell? She has been on these medications for over 2 weeks and continues to leak bloody smelly discharge although not as bad & has quite eating. Does this take a long time to clear up or do I have a different issue?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Micki,

        I think that if this treatment were going to work, it would have worked by now. In cases that don’t respond to systemic antibiotics, we sometimes have to flush out the infected sac and place medication directly into it.

    • Michelle Depte says:

      My French Bulldog scoots all over the floor and constantly I find her rubbing her bum on a chair to wear the top of her bottom is even bleeding she’s constantly itching and scratching she doesn’t have fleas and she doesn’t expel all this odor that you were talking about. We have been bathing her often we have changed her diet although she is very picky and it is hard for me to get her to eat any dog food except Purina moist and meaty. We also have to add Instinct raw boost mixer powder for picky eaters or she will not eat it. Please help, she is like one of my children I love her very much and I want to help her. I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Michelle,
        I would recommend that you let your veterinarian examine your dog. It often takes a rectal examination to evaluate the anal sacs properly. I would be very concerned about allergic problems, and your veterinarian can help with some trial therapies.

  15. Doc says:

    Hello, Christy,

    You say that your dog goes to his doctor to have his glands taken care of “regularly”. Is that once a month, once a week, once every two weeks, or what?
    If the odor is from his anal sacs, and you are having to have them emptied every week or so, you might consider surgical removal of the glands. While the operation is a bit delicate, most dogs do well afterwards and then you don’t have to deal with this anymore.

    A move to a new environment could indeed be stressing the guy. Stress may be producing “butt-pucker” moments, which would spontaneously empty his anal sacs, producing the foul odor.

    I would ask your veterinarian to help you be sure that the odor is indeed from the anal sacs, and ask his/her advice about what to do.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  16. Teresa says:

    I have a 11 year old pekingese. She has never had any problems with her anal sacs before. She got a lump beside her rectum it had a purplish color to it. Then a few hours later it ruptured and oozed out some brownish sticky liquid. There is no blood or green pus and no smell. She doesn’t scoot or seem to be in any pain. She is using restroom normally.
    Does this sound like a anal sac rupture to you. Thank you for reading and for any advice you can give.

  17. Doc says:

    Hello, Teresa,

    This does indeed sound like a ruptured anal sac. Most will respond to hot compresses and antibiotic therapy, but other diagnoses are possible and so are complications. You should take your dog to see her doctor.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  18. Shaun says:

    I have an 11 year old cat, very healthy, but has these 3 small black projections around her anus all the time. She is a very clean cat, active and eats dry food. Like previous readers it’s hard to miss when they present their backside to you.
    Are these clogged glands, do they need treatment? She has none of the ‘scooting’ behaviours

  19. Doc says:

    Hello, Shaun,

    I really couldn’t say without seeing and doing a touchy-feelie. They could be serious black-heads (or comedones, as we scientists say). They could also be skin tumors. Maybe they are just black spots.

    When she has her next checkup, be sure to ask your veterinarian about them.

    Good luck, and thanks for reading and writing.

  20. Tracy says:

    I have two mini-Dachsunds and both frequently “scoot”. They will “scoot” within two weeks of being at the Dr’s. When I’ve taken them into the Dr. in the past, I’ve always asked to have their sachs suppressed. How often should I take them in for this procedure? They don’t seem to be comfortable when they are scooting around the yard or carpet. And is it something that an everyday person can learn to do themselves so as not to have to take the dogs to the vet? Thanks for your input!

  21. Doc says:

    Hello, Tracy,

    I have one patient who comes in every 14 days to have his anal sacs drained. If this were my dog, I would have his sacs surgically removed. While the procedure is delicate, it is not “major”. These folks would rather come see me every two weeks. Who am I to complain? ME, that’s who.

    It does not take a rocket scientist to express anal sacs. It does take practice. If you worked in a grooming shop all day for a few days, you’d get good at it quickly. When you only try your own dog on rare occasions, it will be difficult for both of you. You just have to learn where to squeeze, and how hard is “hard enough” and how hard is “too hard”. Fat dogs often have to be done with one finger inserted in the rectum. That’s probably one of those “don’t try this at home”.

    In any event, you need some instruction and practice. Don’t just grab them and start squeezing. It actually is possible to cause damage with excessive pressure.

    Talk to your regular veterinarian about this.

  22. Jesse says:

    My dog is not scooting, but definitely has a sour odor emitting from her posterior. I have tried to expell the sacs myself, to no avail. I’m starting to wonder if the smell may be due to something else?

  23. Kathy says:

    I have a 10 year old Shih-Tzu that has a right lymph node under her chin that is swollen about double size, it has been aspirated and the results were inconclusive, so we are treating her with doxycline for 2 weeks to see if that decreases the swollen lymph node. In the past week I have noticed she has swelling on her anus, one side is pink/red and the other side is black. Could this be a tumor, therefore causing the lymph node swelling? It doesn’t seem to bother her, she doesn’t mess with it at all or scoot on the carpet. What do you think?

  24. Doc says:

    Hello, Jesse,
    Sorry about the delay, but I was gone to Scout camp.

    While emptying the anal sacs is not a difficult task after one has learned and practiced the technique, it is likely that you would not be completely successful in your attempts, being self-taught.

    You should really take your dog to the veterinarian.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  25. Doc says:

    Hello, Kathy,

    I feel sure that your veterinarian will want to biopsy that lymph node (by surgically removing all of it or a piece of it) if your dog is not much better after the doxycycline.

    I suspect you have a recheck appointment scheduled and you should certainly take that opportunity to call your doctor’s attention to the dog’s anal situation.

    Tumors are certainly possible, and they can be related to the other problem, or coincidental and unrelated.

    Get that kid back in to the veterinarian.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  26. christie says:

    i have a 5 year old mix, shes part daschund, shitzu and mini poodle. recently she has started pooping in the house, at first we thought it was because we had shrunk her running area, but after having returned it to her normal size she was still pooping in the house. next we noticed that she was starting to have diahrea mixed with red blood. her area around her butt seems to be swollen on both sides, but i think shes always been a bit puffy there. we have never had her sacs expressed. last night she acted like she was having a hard time going and when i brought her in she was oozing red blood out of her butt. i havent actually seen her scoot on the floor, but im pretty sure she did since next her mess in the house there was brown spot like she either sat down or scooted. i am taking her to the vet today, but wondering what your thoughts are.

  27. Doc says:

    Hello, Christie,

    That doesn’t sound like anal sac problems, though she could have those, as well. Seeing your veterinarian is the correct choice, here. Don’t forget to bring a tablespoon-ful or more of stool (less than 12 hours old) if possible.

    There are many causes of colitis, everything from an infection to bleeding tumors, so don’t let this slide.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  28. Lori says:

    We have a old english sheep dog and we had her anal glands removed about 8 months ago. She is 2 years old. She would express the glands when she was groomed or bathed everytime. Prior to the surgery she now after being groomed or bathed her butt swells up on one side and it burst (bloody puss like stuff) I think like an infection. The vet just gives us amoxil each time it happens. So I am wondering if he didn’t remove it right or if something else is wrong. Or is this going to happen everytime we bath her. I think I need to get another opinion Thanks for any ideas you have!!!!

  29. Doc says:

    Hello, Lori,

    This is the sort of thing that is impossible to evaluate “long-distance”. I would be suspicious that a portion of the anal sac was not completely removed. The secretion builds up, eventually causing a foreign-body type reaction and breaking open.

    I would start by asking my regular veterinarian what he believes the cause of the recurring problem actually is (versus just amoxicillin over and over again). If you are not satisfied with the answer, then it may be best to seek a second opinion.

    I must stress that long-distance diagnosis is fraught with errors and I may be completely misinterpreting the situation. I urge you to get in better communication with your veterinarian on the matter first.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  30. Kim says:

    I have a 12 year old maltese. A couple of months ago she had to have one of her anal sacs emptied. Lately her back end has been wet, but there’s no foul stench. The skin of her anus is also a dark color. Thoughts?

  31. Doc says:

    Hello, Kim,

    I’d like to help you, but this sounds like a job for your regular veterinarian. It needs “touchy-feelie” in addition to looking at. I don’t think a picture would be enough to tell much.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  32. Esmee says:

    Hi Doc, very informative thank you! I had been a little concerned about my min pins anal sacs because he sometimes has attacks of fish butt in the car, when that happens he seems fairly concerned and licks the seat, it sometimes happens at other times and it is pretty stinky but sounds like I have nothing to worry about. No scooting, no discernable discomfort. It is kind of gross when he sits on my arm or my chest and has that problem going on but no one is perfect I suppose.

  33. Melissa says:

    My 1 1/2yr old Standard poodle seems to express her own anal sacs regularly (every 10 days or so) unfortunately she does it on the couch or on our clothes instead of with her stools outside. It is a clear very foul smelling liquid that comes out even when she’s just napping or hanging out. She doesn’t scoot or lick/bite her rear end and doesn’t seem to feel any discomfort. We had her sacs emptied by the vet 10 days ago and sure enough I stuck my hand in a wet puddle yesterday! She eats only the best quality food and treats and the vet didn’t detect any infection or problem, but $25 every week for them to empty her sacs would be a lot of money. Any suggestions (besides doing it myself) to avoid her doing it in a place where we all smell it?

  34. Doc says:

    Hello, Melissa,

    I can appreciate the unpleasantness of your situation.

    The only suggestions that I have are:

    1. Regular emptying by veterinarian or groomer (too expensive?)
    2. Learn to do it yourself (too gross? nobody wants to teach you?)
    3. Have them sacs surgically removed. A significant expense, but it’s one time only. The dog certainly doesn’t need them for anything.

    Sorry I’m not much help here. Good luck.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  35. Celina Malabanan says:


    We have a 10 mos. old American Pitt Bull and he releases the smell you are describing when he is stressed or really excited. This morning we were both laying around half asleep on the couch and i noticed that he was releasing “the smell”. Why is he doing so when he is clearly in a relaxed state of mind? Does this mean that his anal sacs are full. If so, how is the proper way to help him empty them? Also, we have to wipe his anal area every time he poops, or else he will come inside and scoot on the carpet. Is this contributing to his anal sacs being too full?

  36. Doc says:

    Hello, Celina,

    It is very unusual for the anal sacs to leak while the dog is at rest. It is possible that they just do not fully empty in the natural fashion that they should, resulting in them being over-full and leaking.

    I do not think that your wiping his bottom is contributing to the problem.

    I do think that you should have your dog examined by your regular veterinarian. This is one of those things that is going to need a hands-on (and finger-in) exam.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

    • Carolyn Victor says:

      My Golden Retriever will pass gas while she is sleeping and some will ooze out. She has a liver shunt though and is on Lactulose. That might be why. My poor baby. I’m doing the best I can to keep her alive and comfortable.

  37. John says:


    Thanks for all the info here. Am concerned about our 8 month old neutered male Beagle.

    This afternoon for the first time our Beagle acted like he had a quick pain near his rear area and just sat down. This continued for some time, almost looking like it was becoming more frequent and more painful. He seems quite content lying down when normally in the evening he’s playfully attacking our older dog or chasing us around with a squeak toy. He has had no injuries, neutering was near two months ago, doesn’t seem to be bothered with me poking around trying to pinpoint the source of discomfort. I haven’t re-checked his anal area after reading this, but nothing appeared out of the ordinary when first looking. There is no odor. He did do the ‘scoot’ thing a couple times.

    Could the anal sacs be the issue with a dog this young, and does it just come on suddenly like this? Will it pass in time or should we try and get in the Vet first thing tomorrow?

    I realize I probably wont be getting an immediate response here, but worse case it will provide advice for others in the future! For now, we’ll plan on seeing a Vet tomorrow. Thanks again!

  38. Doc says:

    Hello, John,

    This is one of those times when you really wich the dog could talk. Most of the time the answer would just be something like, “I don’t feel good”. Sometimes, though, they might actually tell you where it hurts… IF it hurts.

    Anal sac problems can come on in a hurry, and they can happen in young dogs, although they usually don’t. Usually it’s an older dog, a fat dog, or a little dog with very little muscle tone in the area.

    I think you’re right on target in getting a checkup from your regular veterinarian as soon as you can. It doesn’t sound like a life-threatening emergency, but how long do you want him to hurt?

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  39. Jennifer says:


    I think my chihuahua, Frankie, may stump you as he has done to his current vet. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible. Approx. 2 weeks ago, I woke up to find Frankie in his bed, shaking and refusing to come to me. He has a reputation for being sassy at times (he has a HUGE personality!) so I let him be. I noticed that he was extremely lethargic and didn’t want to get up. When I took him outside, he would walk normally on a leash but was very sluggish. I noticed that his hind legs collapsed a couple of times, but he would still walk fine, no limp, would still stand on one leg to pee. Obviously I poked and prodded him all over, I assumed he had hurt his leg (my other chi does this all the time with luxating patella) but I couldn’t find a source of pain. I know the usual Rx for this is “keep him off of it.” So I did. 3 days later, he was no better. He just layed around, acting miserable. I brought him to the vet and they found he had an anal sac infection. They emptied them, and sent me home with Clavamox and some pain meds. Over the next few days, he still had no improvement. He is SO lethargic! I brought him back to the vet, and they said that his anal sac infection had greatly improved so he really shouldnt still be that uncomfortable. They emptied what little was in his sacs, gave me a different pain med and sent me back home to monitor him. Few days later, same miserable Frankie. Back to the vet. This time, he has a 103.9 fever. They put him on IV for fluids to get his fever down, and did bloodwork along with every test they could think of (Addisons, Cushings,etc), and even did xrays to make sure he didn’t have some type of mild obstruction. Every test was normal. Frankie is still mopey, and in the past couple of days I have noticed that his hind legs have kind of given out a couple of times, but again I can find no pain or injury. I also noticed since this whole saga began that he had tremors, mainly concentrated in his back legs. He’s had a lot of them over the past couple of days. I brought him back to the vet today, where they are monitoring him again. The vet said that if nothing shows up today and she’s still stumped, she will refer me to a specialist on MOnday. Said he could possibly have some type of spinal cord inflammation or somthing. What does it sound like to you? Just to summarize, here are his current symptoms: Extreme and constant lethargy, leg tremors, very occasional leg lameness (doesn’t want to climb stairs, up or down), has had a normal temp for about 5 days, no vomiting or diarrhea, will eat soft food if I feed it to him though won’t eat a ton, will drink water on his own. He just seems like he’s in pain…He lies there shaking looking at the ceiling with glassy eyes and when I call his name sometimes he won’t look at me. And when we come in from walking he either immediately goes to his bed or will sit under the coffee table like he’s hiding? I just want him to stop suffering from whatever it is, and I want my little Monkey back!!! Please help!

  40. Jennifer says:

    Just an additional bit of info on Frankie: He was diagnosed with anal sac infection on Wed Oct 1st. The vet told me that the infection was better at our second visit on Oct 3rd. On October 9th, they said it was pretty much clear. Is it possible that he is still in a great deal of pain from this infection? Or should I go ahead and see a specialist? I can’t take him suffering…

    • Jenni McMahan says:

      First off, thank you for taking the time to write all that you did. It saved me a ton of time. I greatly appreciate it.
      Do you mind if I ask what the outcome was regarding Frankie’s diagnosis? I ask because my 6yr old chiwennie is having the exact same issue without the anal gland problem. I think. He could have butt issues, I’m just not sure.

      • Jenni McMahan says:

        My chiwennie (Bam Bam) has been doing this weird backwards army crawl. He wags his tail like he’s happy. He does have these odd looking balls on top of his…well balls. My apologies for that. I’m open to any thoughts or what it might be. I’m sure most of us can all agree that stuff is getting expensive.

        • Doc says:

          Hello, Jennifer,

          If the “odd looking balls” are about an inch in front of his testicles, you may be observing the so-called “dog knot” of his erection. When the penis is engorged, there are round swellings on either side. This is why dogs can get “locked up” together during mating. Bam Bam may be engaging in an masturbatory behavior.

  41. Doc says:

    It sounds to me like your veterinarian’s assessment of spinal cord inflammation may be close to the mark. They have ruled out many other possibilities and some type of neurological problem does fit the clinical signs that you have described.

    I urge you to follow your veterinarian’s recommendation to see a specialist, an internal medicine specialist first, then possibly a neurologist. If there is a veterinary school nearby, it’s great to have the benefit of all the specialties under one roof.

    Good luck.

  42. Kam says:

    My mini schnauzer had her anal glands surgically removed on Wednesday, she has had extreme leakage the last two days. It’s only Friday but I’m totally stressed out and thinking that I should have continued to have them drained every other week instead of doing the surgery. Does this leakage mean that the surgery was a failure or is this common for a few days? If so, how long?

  43. Doc says:

    Hello, Kam,

    You should contact your veterinarian. It is quite possible that the incisions have become infected. Regardless of WHAT is wrong, something IS wrong if there is drainage. Your doctor will want to know and check it out.

    Surgical incisions heal best if kept clean and dry. These incisions are next to the dog’s anus. This is not a clean, dry place. It is quite difficult to avoid some contamination during the healing period, making infections fairly common.

    Again, let your veterinarian know what is going on.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  44. Jo says:

    For several weeks my Bichon
    has been emitting that real
    putrid odor and we wash her
    hind area. My husband does
    groom her and squeeze her anal sac, but why is she releasing it herself so much in the past few weeks?
    Appreciate your opinion and
    suggestions, thanks.

  45. Doc says:

    Hello, Jo,

    Two things come to mind here. One is that dogs who stress easily can have “butt-pucker moments” when they spontaneously expel secretion, due to sudden contraction of their anal sphincter. It would be unusual for this to be a continuing event in the home.

    The second thing that comes to mind is that the sacs are not being fully emptied, despite your efforts to do so. Dogs whose sacs remain full have discomfort, which they try to alleviate by scooting on their rears. This can empty a bit of the secretion, but it winds up smeared on the dog, rather than free on top of the stool outside somewhere.

    If the sacs are infected, the dog may behave similarly, even if there is not a great deal of secretion accumulated.

    Your best bet is to have your veterinarian assess the situation. He/she will be able to tell whether the sacs are overly full, and whether the secretion is abnormal.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  46. vanessa drakain says:

    i just purchased a great dane puppy from a breeder.. he is going to be 8 weeks old on the 27th of november… that being said i noticed during the 6 days ive had him his anus seems to pucker out more than normal.. i have expressed his anal sacs.. they emptied but they still tend to pucker out.. its not always puckered.. just sometimes.. should i be greatly concerned? he is not in any type of pain at all.. he doesnt lick or scoot his rear end… but it does look a lil…odd.. to say the least… its not like a hemrrode (sorrie for bad spelling)… it look like his anus is just “longer” than normal… like it extends further from his body than it should… if that makes any sense… so what do you think?

  47. Doc says:

    Hello, Vanessa,

    Without actually seeing it, I suspect that this is something that he will “grow out of” (or “grow into”). I often see puppies that look a little weird back there and look perfectly normal as they mature.

    Be sure to mention it to you veterinarian when you take him in for his first check-up (which should be right away).

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  48. Dan says:

    We have an 11 yr old Min Pin who has an infected anal sac. He is overweight, but otherwise healthy and energetic for his age. We didnt notice any symtems until we noticed some bleeding from a rupture. He had one other espisode some years earlier and the vet emptied the sacs manually. However they were not able to empty them this time. They prescribed antibiotics and suggested removal of the glands might be the best course of action. What do you think of the chances of success of the operation? Are there any other courses of treatment you would recommend?

  49. Doc says:

    Hello, Dan,

    Many of these will heal with antibiotic therapy and some supportive care in the way of a hot compress applied for 10 to 15 minutes, three times daily.

    If there are recurrences, I would consider having the sacs removed. However, some dogs have this problem once and have no futher trouble. After he heals (assuming that he does), you should have your veterinarian check his anal sacs monthly for a while to keep tabs on things.

    The surgery is a complete removal of the sacs, so that’s the end of the problem. One has to be careful with the procedure so that the anal sphincter is not damaged, resulting in incontinence. However, I’m sure your veterinarian is capable.

    Post-surgical infections are common, as one is supposed to keep incisions clean and dry, and these incisions are next to his anus — not a clean place.

    Your veterinarian is actually seeing your dog, and is the best qualified individual to advise you.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  50. Nikki says:

    I want to thank you for such an informative site. As a life long dog owner, I have only recently become aware of anal sac “issues” when our latest canine addition was a male Jack Russell pup. The almost daily spontaneous expulsion of his anal sacs is the most foul smelling experience I’ve ever had – and there have been many ‘fox poo’ moments with the pups over the years! Now I’ve read this page, I will be taking ‘the smelly one’ to visit our vet tomorrow. Thank you for the great advice.

  51. Anabela says:

    Less than a year ago my cat went through a procedure to flush the anal glands. Yesterday, the same problem. This time the vet did just express the gland and gave him an injection. The expressing was pretty painful. I don’t think he’s getting better since he’s licking a lot.
    What else to do?
    How to treat?
    How to prevent future episodes since this is the 2nd one in less than a year?
    How to incorporate fiber on his diet?
    Please help me.
    Thank you very much

  52. Jan says:

    My 14 year old male dachsund has a eraser size blister at the 7 o’clock position of the anus. He appeared to be lethargic recently, shallow breathing, with cool extremities. I thought he might be diabetic so I gave him orange marmalade on bread to pick up his blood sugar. The anal problem I thought was just a rub blister from the carpet. It appears after reading and taking him to the vet that day that he may have a anal sac infection. This was a new vet filling in so I wanted to buy time for the regular vet to return and wanted a run of oral antibiotics (Keflex) and he recommended pain meds in case. After the first does he picked up and seems to be getting back to normal. I have been applying warm compresses to the area. Tried to external express the fluid with not results. I want to avoid surgery at all cost with his age and my area does not have a big vet selection. His blood work was normal in all ranges except Albumen (just under high) and Phosphate (just under)? He has not been neutered and has recently had swelling near his front right shoulder.I fear cancer the most but since Keflex that has reduced. Please give your recommendations as I do not want to do more harm in expressing the glands if they are clogged or have burst on that one side.

  53. Doc says:

    Hello, Anabela,

    The easiest way to add fiber would be to use a low-calorie diet. They have fiber added. Also, the hairball control diets have additional fiber.
    You could add a 1/4 teaspoon of plain, unflavored metamucil (psyllium) powder to the regular food.

    It is unusual for cats to have anal sac problems. If he continues to have difficulty I would strongly consider having the sacs surgically removed.

    If having the sacs emptied is painful, sedation may be required. When they are infected, we also use a tiny, blunt-tipped needle (cannula) to infuse medication directly into the sacs. I have had pretty good success using an ear medication called Otomax. You would definitely need a tranquilizer for the infusion procedure.

    Systemic (oral) antibiotics can be helpful, and so can using a hot compress on the area for 10 to 15 minutes, three times daily. I run a pan of water as hot as I can stand to put my own hand in it. I wring out a small towel and use that to apply heat. Heat causes capillaries to dilate, bringing more blood supply to the area (more antibiotic, more oxygen, more healing factors), and this speeds the healing. The heat also can help break up crud that needs to drain.

    Good luck.

  54. Doc says:

    Hello, Jan,

    You don’t want to get rough, but the glands should be emptied with gentle pressure. It sounds like one of the sacs has already abscessed and ruptured. In cases like this, I usually have to put a finger in the rectum to better assess the situation. I empty what I can with gentle pressure, cleaning both sacs.

    If the stuff is too hard to empty, I infuse an oily ointment into the sacs to break it up.

    The hot compresses three times a day are very helpful. Heat dilates the capillary blood vessels, bringing in more circulation, antibiotic, oxygen and nutrition. It really can speed the healing.

    The pain medication is certainly a good idea, as this has GOT to hurt.

    There is a good chance that this will heal without surgery. You may have to change antibiotics if the Keflex (cephalexin) isn’t working. I also use Clavamox and Primor on these.

    Good luck.

  55. Cilla says:

    Hello – first f all, thank you for this site – the information in yor replies to other posters has been useful to read. My cat apparently has an anal sac infection. The vet put her on one medicine for two weeks, which didnt seem to work well enough, so now she is on another medication. I think it is looking worse, and sore and a bit inflammed. What are some of the things they may consider doing next if this 2nd medication does not get rid of the problem? Is it possible that they will try another oral medication, or inject something or have to do a surgical procedure? Is this type of surgery very expensive? Thank you very much!!!

  56. Doc says:

    Hello, Cilla,

    Some anal sac infections will not get better without surgical drainage, sometimes as simple as just lancing an abscess (making a drain hole low on the sac to allow infected material to drain freely).

    Sometimes we are successful in infusing the sac with medication. We take a blunt-tipped needle and insert it into the natural opening, and inject medicine to flush the sac.

    With continuing problems, the patient may be better off with simply removing the sac entirely. Its only function is to produce a scent territorial marker, which is not needed.

    The removal of the entire sac is the only one of these procedures that most people would consider moderately expensive. It is not a major surgery in regard to the amount of tissue removed, but it is a delicate surgery and one must be very careful not to damage the anal sphincter. It certainly requires a skilled and careful surgeon for a successful outcome.

    As far as being “very expensive”, that depends on what your doctor charges and what your budget is. If your budget is five bucks, then twenty is expensive. If you’re expecting five hundred and it’s one hundred, then it’s cheap.

    I really can give you only the most general of advice. Your veterinarian is the one best equipped to answer your questions, as he/she has seen your pet.

    Good luck.

  57. Lisa says:

    I’m very glad I found this site. The previous comments are very helpful. I’m hoping you can give me some more insight, though. My 8 1/2-year old male Pitt Bull had his sacs expressed on Friday, and the vet said there was no sign of an infection. He was fine until Monday, then the smell started coming back. By Tuesday the sacs were leaking (never happened before). It’s getting really tiring to wipe his behind every 40 minutes or so. Since we’re out of town right now, I’m trying to decide if he needs to go to a local vet. (sorry to get a bit graphic…) The color of the leakage started out more on the clear side with a hint of brown color and the normal smell that was initially noted before getting the sacs expressed. In the past 12 hours or so, the color has been getting darker and redder and the smell is getting a lot more foul. Could my vet have been wrong in saying there was no infection? And why would it be getting suddenly worse a few days after having the sacs expressed? I hate to see my little guy suffering. Any advice would be great!

  58. Doc says:

    Hello, Lisa,

    It sounds to me like the infection was just getting started when your veterinarian looked at the dog and expressed the sacs a few days ago.

    This “Monday morning quarterback” stuff is always just so much speculation, but this is my suspicion:

    The dog had enough inflammation that he was uncomfortable, so you took him in. The doctor emptied the sacs and the secretion looked normal and expressed easily. The infection (being in the early stage), while uncomfortable, had not progressed to producing the yucky stuff that you are now seeing.

    Since then, the infection got progressively worse (it was actually there all the time, even though it wasn’t obvious at the time of the first exam). Now it’s major yucky and needs to be rechecked, possibly flushed out and infused with medication, probably needing oral antibiotics and hot compresses topically.

    We make our best judgment based on what you (the owner) tell us about what has been happening at home and what we can see during the exam. If things change, we need to know that so that we can re-evaluate our diagnosis and treatment plan.

    The fact is, your dog’s situation looks a lot different today than it did when your veterinarian saw the dog. You need to get this feedback to your veterinarian so that he/she can help you.

    Good luck.

  59. Lisa says:

    Doc, thank you so much for the fast response. I’m going to take him to a local vet first thing tomorrow morning and get him checked out. Your reply really helped since we are on vacation with him and away from our regular vet. Thanks again!

    Take care,

  60. Rachel Williams says:

    Our dog has had his glands cleaned and the vet has given him atopica to take. Is it usual for this drug to be used for anal gland problems.

  61. Doc says:

    Hello, Rachel,

    Some dogs with anal sac problems have an immune-mediated problem. The inflammation is caused by the body’s own defense system. The body has mistakenly begun to attack the area as though it were some sort of germ invader.

    Atopica suppresses the immune response with fewer side-effects than the cortisone type drugs.

    I would not say that it is used “commonly” because it is more expensive than some other medicines. However, it can be very beneficial in reducing inflammation in the area IF it is immune-mediated. It is the drug of choice for peri-anal fistulas (another, much worse, problem in that general area).

    If you do not fully understand why the drug is being used, ask your veterinarian for clarification. Sometimes we think that we have explained things fully and eloquently. The client misses part of it for whatever reason and is embarrassed to ask. Don’t be. I feel that if you didn’t understand my explanation, it wasn’t a very good explanation.

    Talk to your veterinarian about your concerns.

  62. Amanda S. says:

    Hi..I have a 3 year old male IG who had his sack rupture this morning. We took him to the vet who squeezed out the other side, but stated there is a mass still present in one side and suggesting we have surgery next week to remove it. Does this sound right? He has blood work done a few months ago and everything seemed normal. I am wondering if I should get a second opinion?

  63. Doc says:

    Hello, Amanda,

    Your veterinarian is in a better position to recommend the course of treatment than I am. Without performing a rectal examination myself, I really cannot speak to your dog’s condition.

    In general, anal sacs that become impacted, infected and rupture will have a lot of inflammatory swelling present. This could mimic a mass.

    My usual approach to one of these is a week’s course of antibiotic treatment (Clavamox or Primor) and hot compresses three times daily until the drainage stops and swelling is reduced.

    If things are looking pretty good outwardly at this point BUT the mass can still be felt with a rectal exam, then surgery would certainly be indicated. Anal gland tumors are heavily influenced by testosterone, so an intact male should be neutered at the same time. While a tumor would be unusual in such a young dog, it is certainly possible.

    Good luck

  64. says:

    Why does my Schnauzer smell like corn chips? He’s 11 years old and this problem has developed in the last 3 months or so. I’m bathing him more and more often, but it’s gotten to the point that he’s stinky again the following morning. Within a few days, nobody wants to be near him! He has no skin problems at all, no fleas, no ticks, very rarely scratches.

  65. Doc says:

    Hello, lfeagins,

    Well, my own sense of smell is not great, so I may not be the best person to ask. I’m trying to think of a stinky dog I’ve seen that smelled like Fritos.

    I think it’s possible that you are smelling the “rancid oil”-smell that you get when a dog is producing too much of his natural skin oil. This happens with some dogs who are just genetically messed up, a fairly common problem in Cocker Spaniels. However, those dogs have a lifelong problem.

    For dogs that develop Seborrhea oleosa (oily seborrhea) later in life, most have either a bad itching problem (and self trauma cranks up the skin oil glands), or a yeast infection in the skin. These dogs usually have greasy-feeling skin, as well as the funky odor.

    I would recommend that you make an appointment for the dog with your veterinarian, and refrain from bathing for at least 5 days before the appointment. You want the doctor to see/smell it at its worst.

    Good luck.

  66. Cecilia says:

    I have a 7yr old Tabby who has always had a little bit of rectal bleeding for the past 5 yrs or so. It would happen only about once every 2 months and she was perfectly healthy otherwise. Our vet would recommend having her drink more water and eat less fatty foods. We did this and it helped. We recently moved and switched vets. The new vet recommended having her anal sacs emptyied. We had never had this done before. A few days after her this visit to that vet, her condition has gotten worse. She now has a mucousy diarhea like discharge drip from her anus after a normal stool. Something that happens 2/week now and did not happen before getting her anal glands emptyied by the vet. Even more alarming is that the rectal bleeding is more frequent now, about once a week. The blood is bright red and few drops drip from her anus. Her stool looks normal but is slightly coated by thick mucous like blood in some areas. Please help! I want to know if the vet somehow hurt my cat.

  67. Doc says:

    Hello, Cecilia,

    Since I cannot actually examine your cat, I can only give you general ideas.

    First, I think it is unlikely that your new veterinarian injured your cat in cleaning the anal sacs. With recurring blood from the anal area, it would make sense to drain the sacs to examine whether or not they are the source. While cats have fewer problems than dogs in this area, there are many toy-breed dogs whose sacs do not drain automatically and require assistance every month, or more often. This is not likely to be a traumatic procedure.

    With a problem that has been going on for five years, it seems more likely that we are seeing a worsening of that problem, and it is time for some diagnostic tests. You could try changing the diet again to add fiber, but five years is a long time to be passing blood. If it were my own colon bleeding, I believe I would have asked the doctor to take a look in there before now.

    The mucus on the stool usually means you have colitis. This term is not really a diagnosis, meaning only “inflammation of the colon”. This could be anything from parasites to an infection to a tumor to inflammatory bowel disease. Often the diagnosis cannot be made definitively without colonoscopy and a biopsy. The biopsy might require surgery, but can probably be done with an endoscope under light anesthesia.

    Other tests would include rectal cytology (just takes a cotton swab in the rectum), fecal flotation for parasites, and possibly a stool culture.

    It sure sounds to me like it’s time for some diagnostic testing for your cat.

    Good luck.

  68. Marni says:

    I have an 8 year old german shorthair with an infected anal gland. He did not scoot and his tail is not docked so, unfortunately I did not notice a problem until I bathed him earlier today. I expressed them externally (which I have done before) but it appeared that most of what came out was from the other side, and it was pretty thick. Financially, I cannot bring him to an emergency vet so it will be another 36 hours before I can get him in. I have given him metronidazole and baby aspirin for the pain hoping that will hold him over until I can get him in (the metronidazole was excess the vet had given me from a previous infection). I plan on doing an internal expression tomorrow but, should I? I would like to hear what you think I should do until I can get him in. FYI I am a zoologist and work with animals so I have access to metacam and buprenorphine, would one of these be better for his pain? Also, is there a topical I can apply to his irritated skin around that area that would help?

  69. Doc says:

    Hello, Marni,

    I cannot prescribe for your dog, as I have not examined him.

    I would recommend hot compresses applied to the area for 15 minutes three times daily. I doubt that topical medications will help much. You can use the Neosporin Plus Pain Relief for its topical numbing property.

    Buprenorphine is a narcotic pain reliever and would be more effective than the aspirin. It could be used on top of the aspirin, but due to our lack of doctor/client/patient relationship, I cannot recommend a dose for you.

    Metacam would be more effective than the aspirin, but the two should not be combined. You need a 24-hour “washout” (zero aspirin for 24 hours)before starting the Metacam.

    Putting a finger in the rectum to help express the anal sacs will give one a better grip and a better feeling for the size of the infected sac. HOWEVER, putting too much pressure on the area can certainly make things worse. I cannot recommend this to an inexperienced operator.

    These cases may or may not require surgical drainage. There are other antibiotics that will probably penetrate better than the metronidazole.

    Good luck.

  70. MissSea says:

    Hello, Doc!

    Great to find this article — even after a year! We have a question, though. Could blocked anal glands cause lethargy? Our dog, Jake, was scooting quite a bit. We didn’t think much of it — he can normally expel his sacs on his own. But now he’s not acting like himself. We took him to his regular vet, and she noticed he’s been chewing on the area around his penis, causing a raw spot that has been oozing pus. She prescribed Keflex for him. However, we forgot to mention the scooting bit and are wondering if it could be related.

    He’s still emptying his bowels on a regular basis and peeing normally. He was diagnosed with bladder stones about a year ago and had several removed. Since then, he’s been on Prescription Diet U/D. We try to limit any and all extra protein (though some occasionally sneaks in).

    Any thoughts on Jake? Feel free to e-mail me as well. 🙂

    MissSea =)

  71. Doc says:

    Hello, Miss Sea,

    Usually blocked anal sacs cause local discomfort, with scooting, rubbing or chewing at the area. If they are infected, that can certainly make the dog feel bad.

    If his other problem does not resolve, or if it does get better and Jake still feels bad, be sure to mention your concerns to your veterinarian.

    If she found the problem around his penis, she is probably doing a pretty thorough physical exam. If she repeats that and cannot see an obvious cause for Jake’s problem, then she will probably want to do some diagnostic testing.

    If she recommends a complete blood count and blood chemistry profile, that would be a pretty basic start to screen for medical problems.

    Be sure to stay in touch with your veterinarian and let her know how Jake is doing. If she doesn’t hear anything, she will assume he is getting well and everybody is happy.

    Good luck.

  72. Dawn says:

    My 6 year old samoyed seems to be lazy when passing a stool, he will then walk around dropping lumps of feces around the house. Any ideas? Thanking you in anticipation. Dawn

  73. Doc says:

    Hello, Dawn,

    I would recommend that you take you dog to see his veterinarian. He/she can check the anal sphincter and related structures. It would also be good to take stool specimen (about one teaspoonful, same day it is passed) for microscopic examination.

    You need to rule out parasites, colon irritation, and sphincter problems first. This is not something that can be done over the phone.

    Good luck.

  74. Weymouth says:

    Our son has an English Bulldog and after this last visit I am ready for wood floors. How often should his anal sac be cleaned? With what? I had brown shots all over my carpet and after the 4th day it appeared to be more watery. Could that be from eating other than the dog food?

  75. Doc says:

    Hello, Weymouth,

    The anal sacs are emptied (cleaned) by gentle squeezing. Sometimes this can be done externally. With an English Bulldog, it may require inserting a finger into the rectum to get a better grip on the sac.

    In dogs whose sacs do not empty spontaneously at the end of the bowel movement, the secretion accumulates, causing pressure and discomfort. The dog scoots around on his bottom, trying to relieve this. If successful, some of the foul-smelling secretion comes out.

    If the spots are anal sac secretion, it has nothing to do with what the dog eats. If the spots are loose stool, then yes, it could be diarrhea from a change in diet.

    Try to keep the diet consistent and have your veterinarian check the dog’s anal sacs to see if there is a problem there.

    Good luck.

  76. Paula Wright says:

    I work at a veterinary clinic. I have previously worked as a groomer and decided to go into the vet tech field. I help the groomer’s at the clinic every now and then when time allows and one of them wanted me to express her dog’s anal sacs. I did and a lot, I mean a lot of the mess squirted out and it was in liquid form, a watery stinky dark brown. She said did you get it all and I said, yes, I see there’s definitely more in there. So I squeezed again and blood spurted out, a good deal. All this stuff was liquid mind you and not solid, so what does this mean exactly? Our substitute vet was filling in for the original and he felt around and said he believed one was ruptured. All the stuff came out easily so what in the world happened? An infection? The dog is a pointer and it is an 8 year old female. She is in tact and hasn’t been fixed either. The groomer said she was licking her bottom and a foul smell was coming from her anus. And her anus was red, but the dog never whimpered or anything when I was doing all of this. The fill-in vet finished emptied what was left in the sac/s which was a little more blood, but most I had emptied. If I had known they were like this I would’ve let the vet have a look first but I thought it’s coming out easily so they’re not rock-hard and the stuff’s not pastey-like. Probably should’ve been infiltrated instead. He prescribed antibiotics for it and Panalog to apply into the rectum/sac.

    With all this said, even if they’re not rock-hard and it comes out easily, it proves that it is better off and safer to have the vet do this procedure, especially if there’s a foul odor coming from the sacs. I always let the vet do this procedure when you can’t get the stuff to come out easily b/c they can rupture from the pressure you apply, but I’d never expect this to happen when it comes out like a faucet and I was applying firm pressure but not that hard.

  77. Doc says:

    Hello, Paula,

    From your description, I suspect all the bloody, nasty material was already present in the sacs, and was not produced as a result of your manipulations.

    Sometimes they do become infected spontaneously, and I surely don’t know why. When I find one like that, I flush the sacs out with Otomax or Panalog or some similar greasy ointment with antibiotics and steroids. Then I send the patient home with oral antibiotics and instructions to apply a hot compress three times daily. We recheck in a week.

    Dogs that have persistent or recurring problems are candidates for removal of the anal sacs, in my humble opinion.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  78. Isabella says:

    Hi. Are you still there? My dog has what I think is an anal gland infection. He had it before–I took him in and the tech who expressed the sacs said she didn’t like the color or consistency of the fluid (kind of thick). He got some purple pills (don’t remember the name) and had no more problems for about a year. Well it’s back. I learned to express the sacs rectally (I’m a physcian) and the fluid is slightly bloody with some thick bits in it. What kind of antibiotic would you recommend? Clindamycin?

  79. Doc says:

    Hello, Dr. Isabella,

    It certainly sounds as though you have an anal sac infection there. Anal sac neoplasia more commonly manifests as a palpable mass.

    The purple pill might have been Baytril (enrofloxacin), but I’d hate to make that extrapolation and swear to it.

    I really can only give you general advice, as I am not actually attending your dog’s case. Therefore I cannot prescribe a specific medication for you. I have had good luck with antibiotics that one would prescribe for a deep pyoderma, i.e. those that would achieve a high level of concentration in the skin and subcutis.

    Applying a hot compress to the area for 10 to 15 minutes three times daily is often helpful.

    Some of these cases will not do well unless the sac is irrigated and infused with antibiotics (+/- steroids – I often use an oily otic preparation; the disadvantage being that those are a little thick to push through a 20-gauge olive-tipped catheter). Some dogs will tolerate this infusion with minimal restraint, while others will require sedation.

    Dogs that have chronically recurring problems can have the sacs surgically removed and eliminate the situation in the future. This is a scent-marking apparatus and of no practical use to a house-pet, so they get along fine without them. The surgery requires some delicacy, so as not to produce incontinence, but it’s not rocket science.

    I hope this helps you in your decision. Just as I feel competent treat myself, I can understand your willingness to treat your dog. However, I let someone else do my colonoscopy. I would recommend that you discuss your options with your regular veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  80. Myrna says:

    Thank-you sooo much for the info! We had an little old dog that smelled very foul. We actually joked about taking turns opening the laundry room door to let her out in the morning. She was 16 when it started and the vet really would not do much for her because she was literally barely hanging on but managed to stay with us for another year. She took 5-10 min everyday to get on her feet and many times during the day we would think she had passed because she slept so deeply and was completely limp when we tried to wake her. I stress this so you don’t think poorly of the vet. We never really discussed the cause of the smell but it was awful. Shortly after her 17th birthday she left us. Now my other pooch is getting on and we thought it was just “old dog smell”. So glad for the info as a course of antibiotics cleared it up! Your web page is really a blessing! Thanks again!

  81. Adrienne says:

    My little Chihuahua/Greyhound cross had a walnut sized lump next o her anus. Called the ER (it’s Saturday) and they agreed this would probably be anal glands. I tried to express it and it ruptured. Bunch of goo came out. She has been licking it on and off since.

    If she shows no other signs am I looking at needing systemic antibiotics? I saw something about topical antibiotic. Would this be like Neopsporin? Is licking it good or bad? When you say hot compress, how hot? Like body temperature or hotter? I can stand pretty hot water and don’t want to burn her. Does it help to put anything in the water for the compress? Like salt or something?

    Thanks bunches!

  82. Adrienne says:

    P.S. She is s very active little dog with good muscles, so I don’t think that’s an issue. This seems to have blown up overnight. Though I wasn’t home yesterday and could easily have missed something.

  83. Doc says:

    Hello, Adrienne,

    Sorry to be so late on this. We have been changing over our practice management computer software in the last week and it has been killing me.

    Topical antibiotics like Neosporin won’t hurt, but really won’t penetrate deep enough to help the infected tissue. Systemic antibiotics work much better, like oral Primor (a potentiated sulfa).

    If you think your pain tolerance is too high, then use water as hot as your wimpy friend can stand to put his/her hand in it. You just don’t want to scald the dog. It should feel good, not bad. Putting stuff in the water really doesn’t make much of a difference.

    Licking doesn’t really help, but you can hardly keep them from doing it. Their mouth is full of bacteria and saliva really doesn’t have any healing properties to speak of in a wound. It’s just all they know how to do.

    I hope things are going well now.

  84. Adrienne says:

    To expand (now that the computer is letting me post). Thanks for the help. I can relate to software issues!

    It ruptured but there was absolutely *no* smell. No smell at all and I was expecting a horrible stink. What came out looked like little bits of dried blood in a clear fluid. I used hot compresses. I gave her a squirt of colloidal silver and spritzed the wound with it. Natural anitbiotic, figured it couldn’t hurt.

    She showed no signs of fever — no hotness, no lethargy, eating, active. So I just kept an eye on her. The swelling was cut in half that day and now, two days later it is back to normal size and the skin has healed over.

    But as above, the other side has swollen up to several times it’s size.

    Very bizarre.

  85. Doc says:

    It is possible that if it is just impacted (stopped up) the veterinarian will be able to empty it. It is also possible that this sac is headed for the same outcome.
    If this problem keeps recurring, consider surgical removal of the sacs. They serve no useful purpose, and the solution is permanent.

  86. Adrienne says:

    Well, took her to the vet. He got some of the gunk out, said there was not enough fluid to lance it . Put her on antibiotics. They seem to be knocking her out pretty well. Hopefully this will help.

    I’ll let you know!

  87. Amanda says:

    Hi, I have a 5 year old pekignese. He hasn’t had any problems before. I noticed him acting strangely today when trying to use the restroom. After straining for about 6 or 7 minutes, he was finally able to go. He wouldn’t walk or move after pottying. I went to pick him up and he cried, after that i looked at his behind and noticed a large purple bulge on his anus. Its very painful for him. He is extremely uncomfortable. What could be the problem? This has never happened before. I plan on taking him to the vet tommorrow.

  88. Amanda says:

    I am in a panic over my pekingese. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. I just couldn’t bare losing my dog. I have no clue as to why this happened….Thank you

  89. Doc says:

    Hello, Amanda,

    I can’t really make a “long-distance” diagnosis, but..

    Your description sounds like your dog is developing an abscess in his anal sac. It may burst on its own before you get to the veterinarian. If not, he/she will probably lance it so that it can drain.

    In the meantime, it usually helps to use a hot compress on the area. It might make it break and drain sooner. It is certainly helpful after the drainage process starts. Heat opens up the blood vessels in the area, bringing more circulation for faster healing – more oxygen, more nutrition, more antibiotics (which your veterinarian will likely be prescribing).

    I usually take a pan of water as warm as I can stand to put my own hand in. I soak a dish-towel and use that to apply moist heat to the affected area.

    Seeing your veterinarian is absolutely the right thing to do here.

  90. Marly says:


    I have two chihuahuas and they are both about 6 lbs, they are both 2 years old, one of them has the recently started scooting her butt around the floor every so often and so I was freaking out thinking it was worms. I went to the Vet and they tested her for worms and it came back negative. Now, that I read your post, I am almost sure that she has this problem because for the past week at least once a day she releases a disgusting “metal” like smell that is very strong and can stink up the whole entire room. She is very small so my question is should I take her to get that drained?? and how much does that cost?? and also is this due to the type of food they eat??

  91. Doc says:

    Hello, Marly,

    It surely does sound like you have anal sac problems. If they are drained completely, this should relieve the dog’s discomfort for weeks, plus no odor.

    I would take her in for the procedure. I would not expect it to be expensive. Usually one of the technicians can do it, rather than the doctor. The doctor may prefer to examine the area the first time the problem is presented, and do it himself/herself.

    It should give you relief, and be inexpensive.

    Good luck.

  92. Doug W says:

    My French bulldog definately has a ruptured anal sack. (bloody, pus discharge) I noticed the enlarged sac this morning and then this afternoon it looks like it has popped. do you recommend stitches? or just warm compress and antibiotics?

  93. Doc says:

    Hello, Doug,

    These usually do not require surgery. Antibiotics and warm compresses usually take care of them. Even if you were going to do surgery, you would wish to wait until the infection is under control. By that time they are usually healed.

    I usually prepare a pan of water about as hot as I can stand to put my hand in. I wring out a small towel and use that to apply the heat for 10 to 15 minutes, three times daily. This also cleans the area as you are removing the towel and re-wetting it.

    It would be a good idea to have your veterinarian take a look at this.

    Good luck.

  94. derrick feliciano says:

    my dog had been staying with my parents. i just got him back.he has an ear infection which is beening treated.he seems to have a fever cause his ears are really warm. he always sleeps in his cage but on his second night i didnt put him there and was awoken to him nudging my hand as if he wanted out or attention he jumped on the bed and layed down i then got up to take him out i get to the door and notice he was carring his tail weird and as he went out he yelped and nipped at his tail and sat down.i looked for anything odd in the area and didnt see anything, i tried to lift his tail but he wont let me . he is walking around fine and went pee fine but yelps when he tries to rais his tail. he is panting alot and has me concerned. what is the poblem and what should i do.

  95. Doc says:

    Hello, Derrick,

    I wish I could make a long-distance diagnosis for you, but this one doesn’t jump out at me. I think your best bet this time is to take your dog to see his veterinarian.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  96. Kelly says:

    Hi. Our dog had a red, puffy spot next to her anus which then started to bleed. We took her to the vet and they told us she had a ruptured anal gland. They flushed it out and gave us medication to give her. About 6 or so months later it happened again, and this time it was worse than before. We took her to the vet, a different one as I moved states, and they sedated her and went in to clean it out. I was giving her oral medicine as well as injecting some into the actual wound. This has been a couple of weeks ago now. It was starting to look a lot better, but last night we noticed it was really puffy and red. This morning I noticed blood in her bed and when I looked it appears as though the puffy part had popped and there is blood all around the area. We are taking her into the vet this afternoon, but what do you think would be the cause of this? Thanks!

  97. Doc says:

    Hello, Kelly,

    You do not say how old your dog is. An older dog might possibly have a tumor in this area, which would not heal very well.

    Regardless of the dog’s age, you may simply need to take a different antibiotic. The vast majority of these respond to antibiotics and hot compresses three times daily.

    When your veterinarian re-examines her, he may find a need to culture the area to help with antibiotic selection (though sometimes we just pick another drug that usually works in the area).

    He/she also might feel the need to perform a biopsy if there is any indication that a tumor might be present.

    Be sure and let your veterinarian know about your questions.

    Good luck.

  98. James Neuner says:

    Greetings: My dog is an 8 yr old Beagle. He had numerous small Rice-like pellets and long strings of creamy lines shoot out of his anal glands as I was cleaning him today? Any idea what this could possibly be & can it be contagious.
    Thank you for your assistance. James

  99. Doc says:

    Hello, James,

    When the secretion doesn’t get emptied for a long time, it can get dry and hard. Sometimes it comes out like caulking compound, or peanut butter.

    I have seen what you describe a number of times, and it doesn’t seem to be an active infection. Rather, the sacs have not been emptying regularly, and the opening is a little small.

    I believe that I would try keeping them emptied more often, at least every 4 weeks to start with.

    Good luck.

  100. Joani Scott says:

    We have an airedale terrier who has had infected anal sac/gland issues with strong odor and discharge. We have inquired about anal gland removal and have also found that there is a procedure for an anal sac/gland infusion. Which would you recommend as the best option for success with the least amount of discomfort to our “baby”. Thanks

  101. Doc says:

    Hello, Joani,

    We usually don’t recommend removal unless there are chronic recurring problems. The surgery doesn’t often have complications, but it sure can have.

    The infusion process may require some sedation, but is not very traumatic otherwise. A small, blunt-tipped tube is inserted into the openings of the sac, and those holes are small and hard to see. The patient needs to be pretty relaxed, which is unlikely with a wide-awake dog who has a finger in his anus.

    The sac is flushed to remove debris, and then a soothing ointment (antibiotics and cortisone, usually) is squirted into the sac. This may have to be repeated, and it may be accompanied with systemic (oral) antibiotics. Hot compresses on the area may help, also.

    Good luck with this yucky problem.

  102. Kim says:

    Hi there
    My 11 year old calico cat has been acting weird lately. She has a swollen bottom and we found some nasty, smelly, bloody,sticky poop like substance around the house. What should I do? What could be wrong?

  103. Doc says:

    Hello, Kim,

    You could have anal sac problems, colon problems, parasite problems, bleeding disorders, or a combination, or something else.

    Your cat really needs to see her veterinarian. Sorry that I cannot do the long-distance diagnosis.

    Best wishes.

  104. Sarah Donald says:

    Hi I have a male 3 year old English Bulldog. He has had to have his anal glands released before. He does not rub his behind on the ground but he has alot of gas. Alot of gas. anyway. Ive noticed on our bed cover were he sleeps theres always spots of poo with a little bit of blood stained on the sheets. I think this is where he is letting the gas but not sure. should I be worried that this is a gland thing? Thanks Sarah

  105. Murphysmum says:

    Hi, I have an 11 month old Great Dane who on and off was having ‘the oily bum smell’ (as we refer to it), but also never really having hard poo, so wetook him to the vet to have his anal glands done, vet said it was the fullest she has ever seen them on a dog, even for a great dane. Anyway, he was given antibiotics for a spotty/itchy chin, probiotics for his bad tummy and we have also stopped topping up his dry food with water. Hes definately got harder poo, now to the point, he’s only doing half the job at a time. But I expected the smell to go, but now its as bad as ever within a day of having the glands emptied. Are we going to have to take him to the vet every week to get this done?

  106. Doc says:

    ello, Murphysmum,

    It sounds like you have been addressing a lot of the dog’s problems. If you still have the odor, I would recommend a recheck with your veterinarian.

    It is possible that the odor is something else. It is also possible that the anal sacs need to be infused with some antibiotic/steroid ointment.

    This really needs a little more hands-on recheck.

    Good luck.

  107. Peter says:


    My 7 year old GSD bitch has had her anal sacs washed out twice in the last 12 months, The last time was two months ago. On Tuesday we took her back for a check and the vet expressed them but just 2 days later she started to smell again we took her back and a diffrent vet expressed them again and found both sides full again. The vet was sure they were not infected but again just 2 days later she is leaking this light brown golden fluid and the smell is terrible . She does not seem to be in any discomfort but if she lies on her back with her tail out we see the liquid seping out. not sure what to do. can expressing them to often cause problems. can they fill up in a day. The risks of removal seem very high. Thanks for any advice you can offer

  108. Doc says:

    It certainly sounds like you have an excessive problem there. It would be unusual for them to fill in a day if they were not infected or abnormal in some other way.

    They may need to have a sample taken for culture.

    It is possible for them to grow tumors, but that usually makes a lump, rather than lots of fluid.

    Removal takes a skilled surgeon. I’ve taken out a few and done well, but had one that was a nightmare. It is certainly possible to have complications.

    Consult with your veterinarians. If they don’t have a good game plan, then ask them if there is a specialist they could refer you to.

    This is an unusual situation, and I am not comfortable trying to advise you “long distance”.

    Good luck.

  109. Peter says:

    many thanks for your guidance. Roxy had her sacs washed out and packed with antibiotic cream. She seems a lot happier and has not reacted to the sedation like she did last time. They said that one was empty and the other was full of pus and discharge. We are going to ask how often they should be expressed but we are still worried that the expressing might be causing the infections. I have found reading your pages very intresting. Peter

  110. Doc says:

    Expressing the sacs might cause inflammation only if excessive pressure is used. This is most likely to occur when the secretions are really hard and dry. Sometimes we try to just squeeze it out, when we should be sedating the dog to flush them and loosen it up first. That can be problem.

    Just emptying the sacs without too much pressure should actually be helpful.

  111. Margaret Skidmore says:

    Well after reading all of the responses I feel at home. I have four dogs all rescue. One lg part Coon-St. Bernard, wgt 110lbs a lg baby, has been releasing anal secretions lately in his sleep. I have been looking for the “Butt Fresh” Pfizer’s Canine Eliminodor everywhere can’t seem to find it. I need something to spray on him before the soap & water. Seems like the odor is worse when I just try soap and water..Suggestions?

  112. Dustyne says:

    Tonight I found blood on my carpet and when I inspected my Lab I found icky slimy stuff on her rectum and it was bleeding and very swollen looking. Now I don’t normaly look at dog butts but I’m pretty sure this didn’t look normal. But it wasn’t smelly at all.

  113. Doc says:

    Hello, Dustyne,

    Despite the lack of odor, it still could be a ruptured anal sac. Your dog needs to go to the veterinarian.

    Wish I could help you long distance, but this takes “boots on the ground”.

    Good luck.

  114. says:

    Thank you very much for the prompt response and will be getting the neutrolizer. I have read all the comments and in your message where you talk about the dogs that have to have their anal sacs squeezed, my daughters beagle has to have this done. The vet told her to give the dog powder fiber to make the stool form better, this would help the dog. He has to be squeezed on a monthly basis, I think it is foolish. So what can you give a dog to make its stool firmer to helps the sacs secrete normally? Thanks Again Margaret

  115. Doc says:

    Oddly enough adding fiber to the diet helps both with constipation and with diarrhea. Giving the intestine more fiber to work with tends to “normalize” its function.
    My usual guideline is one teaspoon of Metamucil (generic psyllium mucilloid, unflavored, actually) per 20 pounds of body weight per feeding.
    Unfortunately, I am not sure that will help so much with the anal sac thing. Worth a try, though.

    I have patients that just need help periodically. When the owners see them scooting, we empty them out.

  116. J says:

    Hello there, your Q&A session has so far been the most useful internet source on anal sac infections. My dog has a ruptured anal sac abscess. I’m a broke and stubborn medical student, and wanted to try to take care of the problem myself. My question is, generally speaking, does cephelexin provide good coverage for anal sac infections? I know it’s impossible to state either way for sure without a culture, but I’m wondering if this is something that vets typically end up giving dogs for this condition or whether this drug is just not strong enough for this type of infection? I only ask this because it’s the only non-prescription medicine I can get my hands on, and it’s sold as fish flex in different doses.

    My other question is, I was planning on cleaning the site of rupture thoroughly with normal saline, and applying triple ointment into the wound and then applying a dressing. Would it be overdoing it if I were to do this 3 times a day? Sometimes with humans, we do it every 8 hours, especially with large wounds that are kept open. I figured since this is an open wound maybe it’s appropriate to do it that frequently as well. Oh and after expressing the fluid from the anal sac, is it appropriate to pack the wound with iodoform packing strips, would that aid in the healing process, or would I be going overboard again?

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me advice in a general way. I know you can’t answer questions specific to my situation without seeing my dog, but any information about the general concepts involved in the standard algorithm for treatment would be greatly appreciated.

  117. Doc says:

    Gentle flushing would be okay, but be careful not to force stuff into the tissue planes. Packing it with iodoform is certainly overkill.

    Using warm water (as hot as you can stand to put your own hands in it) to apply a warm compress for 10 to 15 minutes three times daily is really all the local/topical treatment you need. This stimulates the circulation and simultaneously removes drainage as you take the towel off and re-soak it to re-warm it.

    I usually use trimethoprim/sulfa systemically (i.e. Bactrim). Cephalexin is commonly used for skin infections in dogs, so it may work here, as well. 15mg/pound twice daily is an average dose.

    Good luck.

  118. J says:

    Thank you for the response. I did the warm compresses, and gave him cephalexin. After administering the antibiotic, there was visible improvement in just two days. The area is healing very nicely. Again, this was the most useful source on the subject, thanks!

  119. Samantha says:

    My dog has had to anal sac ruptures, why hasnt the vet ever given me the option of removing the sacs, it just seems odd. and what is the recovery like with getting them removed? I have a 6lb, 2 year old yorkie poo.

  120. Doc says:

    The surgery is pretty delicate, especially on such a small patient. It would be easy to damage the anal sphincter and become incontinent (leak poop). I wouldn’t be crazy about doing it myself.

    If you have continual problems, you might ask for referral to a surgical specialist. They will charge more, but it might be worth it.

    Good luck.

  121. Nicole says:

    I have a 1 year old male dacschund. He’s never scooted or had any anal gland symptoms before. Tonight though he was on my lap and started to lick his rear end and when he got up and jumped off my lap, I noticed a large wet spot on the couch that I thought was from him licking but it’s got a very strong metallic odor!! Any ideas on what this could be???

  122. Doc says:

    Hello, Nicole,

    It sounds as though he spontaneously emptied his anal sacs on the couch.

    You’ll need some kind of odor eliminator. That stuff is nasty.

    The sacs should empty automatically at the end of each bowel movement. Sometimes a dog that is stressed has a sudden contraction of his anal sphincter (“butt-pucker moment”), and the stuff squirts out.

    If this happens a lot, you should have your veterinarian examine the dog.

    Good luck.

  123. Fifi says:

    My dog keeps licking his bum hole and i smell a slightly metallic smell coming from there. But he is acting normal eating normal otherwise. Do I need to take him to a vet?

  124. Doc says:

    Hello, Fifi,

    It sounds like there is irritation in the anal sac area. I would definitely let your veterinarian take a look at it. It could be as simple as needing to be emptied, but sometimes there are more serious problems.

    Sorry about the late reply. I was out of the country for two weeks visiting my daughter who is a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia. We had not seen her for 17 months.

  125. ema says:

    Yet another anal sac question, Ye Lords, this world didn’t exist for me until yesterday. My elderly Golden Retriever (14 years) had a ruptured anal sac three days ago. Understandably, she was pretty distressed. The vet diagnosed this and gave her anti-biotics ( or equivalent of) and sent us on our way. Tonight, however, she is in mortal distress: yowling periodically, pacing about, can’t settle, really upset, panting constantly and in obvious pain. I am taking her back to the vets first thing tomorrow (it is 3.00 a.m now and i am up nursing her) but for an impartial diagnosis – should the sacs have been flushed, bathed or dressed? All the vet did was look (smell) and diagnose. Why would the pain become more severe three days on, after anti-biotics, and the pus has stopped leaking out? Many, many thanks, Ema

  126. Doc says:

    Hello, Ema,

    It is possible that the abscess sealed prematurely on the outside, trapping pus on the inside. As it builds up again, it creates pressure, and pressure is painful.

    It is also possible for these things to rupture internally, spreading infection into deeper tissues.

    Hot compresses (like a small towel soaked in water as warm as you can stand to keep your hand in) applied for 10 to 15 minutes three times daily help to improve the circulation and stimulate drainage. It can also help the discomfort.

    There may be a need to change the antibiotic. It certainly sounds like some pain medicine is needed.

    Please do NOT give over-the-counter pain medicines to your dog, as many have serious side-effects.

    DO contact your veterinarian with your concerns as soon as possible (as you planned).

    Good luck.

  127. Scarlett says:

    My dog has been having anal glad problems for 4 weeks now. She is a 4 yr old wired hair dachshund. Four weeks ago we were out of town on vacation and she started to smell bad so I expressed her anal glands. Afterwards, she still smelled bad and was scooting and licking her butt. I took her to the vet once we got back into town and the vet tech. expressed them again and said that they were very clogged up. (she does not seem to be in any pain) A week passes and she is still scooting and licking her butt. I was concerned because she has never had any problems before, the leakiness was a lime green color and I thought she may have an infection. I took her back to the vet, they confirmed that she did have an infection in her anal gland. Also, now one of our male dogs in the house is after her as if she is in heat (but she’s fixed). She has been on antibiotics for almost 2 weeks now. I thought she was doing better but she is still leaking a little. We go back to the vet Wednesday. I’m concerned this has been going on for too long, also the male dog is driving us all nuts. What could be wrong?

  128. Doc says:

    Hello, Scarlett,

    The male dog may simply be confused, mistaking the unusual odor for a female in heat, or he may just love a nasty odor. He is a dog, after all.

    While many anal sac infections respond to oral antibiotics, some do not.

    When the veterinarian re-examines your dog, he/she may find it necessary to infuse the anal sacs. This usually requires some sedation of the patient. A small, blunt-tipped needle called a cannula is inserted into the opening of the anal sacs. They are flushed, and then medication is put directly into the sacs.

    Without actually examining the dog, it is difficult for me to advise you. Share your concerns with your veterinarian.

    Worst-case scenario would be needing to remove the anal sacs surgically. This is seldom necessary, though.

    Good luck.

  129. Liz says:

    Our 7 year old German Shorthaired Pointer was recently diagnosed with Toxoplasmosis. Our vet had never before seen an adult dog with toxo, but Mandy was the second he had seen in 7 day. She is taking clindamycin. It has been almost a week. She is much better, seems more like herself. But she has an occasional foul odor. We bathed her today, but she still stinks. My brother asked if she was ok, he says he thinks she is expressing this odor, that it is not in her skin/hair. It smells like she rolled in a dead critter. But when we put our nose to her coat, she smells fine. Could it be her sacs?

  130. Doc says:

    It certainly could be the sacs, as the odor is quite strong with even just a little of the stuff leaking out.

    If the problem persists, be sure to tell your veterinarian when he/she rechecks her for the Toxoplasmosis.

    Good luck.

  131. Jane Franks says:

    We have a 1 year old chow. She has never been welcoming to company. She doesn’t bark at people walking by outside or people we pass on a walk, but gets really upset and barks if people approach us/visit.

    During her barking fit (when company first arrives) or if we give her a bath, she squirts this smelly brown fluid from her butt. I have seen this can be a result of being scared, nervous, territorial,etc. Is this something to be concerned about? Is there any way to prevent it, especially when company comes over? I would appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks 🙂

  132. Doc says:

    Hello, Ms. Franks,

    This is a stress response.

    The anal sac liquid is discharged when the anal sphincter tightens down. This usually happens at the end of each bowel movement, causing a few drops to fall on the stool as a scent territorial marker. That’s what is supposed to happen.

    Your dog is getting upset enough to have a “butt-pucker moment”, causing the sacs to empty at that time.

    Solution #1: Have his sacs emptied manually on a frequent basis — not a great solution.

    Solution #2: Have his anal sacs surgically removed. Expensive, and there is a potential for complications with the operation. Not a great solution.

    Solution #3: The most difficult solution: work with a behavior specialist to lower the dog’s stress level. This is no small difficulty, as there are a lot of things that may be stressing your dog. On the other hand, a good behavior specialist may make your dog’s life (and yours) a lot easier in the long run.

    It is true that there are a higher percentage of Chows that are aggressive and territorial than in other breeds. This does not mean that they should be excuse and no effort made to salvage their behavior.

    It will take someone who is expert in the field, though, I suspect.

    Good luck.

  133. Katie Manthey says:

    On Wednesday night our dog was scooting around, running around, licking herself too much and rolling around like a crazed dog. We took her to an emergency vet at the local University who did an exam and found her to be healthy. They did empty her anal glands and said they were easy to empty and the liquid looked normal but they were very full. She seemed improved but not totally improved. She seemed a little uncomfortable over the last few days. Tonight is Saturday night and she ran around and scooted a lot again. We are wondering if we should take her back to a vet, or is it possible that her glands could just still be recovering from getting them emptied on Wednesday? Would you recommend we try the hot compress thing or should we take her in to the vet again? Several notes, she has been under a lot of stress lately from starting an obedience class and being terrified of the furnace! She is an olde English bulldogge. Also, we’ve been messing around with her food which maybe was a bad idea, going from Blue Buffalo lamb and rice to Blue Buffalo grain free chicken, and now Blue Buffalo grain free duck. Maybe she needs the grain to have enough fiber so maybe we should get off the grain free diet.

  134. Katie Manthey says:

    Just wanted to update you- we found out she is having a skin allergy and it just happened to coincide with having her anal sacks emptied a few days ago, and she is acting the same way that prompted us to bring her to have them emptied. Now we are wondering if that was why she was upset a few days ago too, and her anal sacks were full but the main problem was the allergy. That explains all the running around,and rolling around and her lower tummy area and legs have pink spots as well as other areas of her body. Our first guess is it is because we switched her food, so we are going to try lamb and rice which she used to eat and work on getting her to feel better. Thanks!

  135. Doc says:

    Hello, Katie,

    Sorry to be slow in replying, but I was at a Boy Scout campout all weekend.

    Sounds like you are on the right track now.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  136. Julie says:

    My 2 1/2 year old English Bulldog was acting very strange yesterday morning.. she was doing like an army crawl and plopping down every few steps.. eating normally and drinking, using bathroom normally- but I took her to the vet & anal glands were expressed. She was acting normal the rest of the day and very playful– back to her old self! but this morning, she is doing the same thing as yesterday & acting like something from behind is irritating her. I bathed her with medicinal soap for her tail and vaginal area (the vet had given it to me for that); and it did not seem to help.

    is it normal after anal gland expression for the dog to act this way? She used potty this morning as well,but I had to bring water and food to her- she’s very uncomfortable 🙁 Please help Maisy.

  137. Doc says:

    Hello, Julie,
    Sorry to be late replying, but have been covered up.

    The expression of the anal sacs shouldn’t make things worse. Sometimes there is residual inflammation that responds to infusing the sacs with a soothing ointment.

    There may be another problem. Skin-fold dermatitis is common in this area.

    Sometimes a trial therapy for allergy may help determine if that is part of the problem.

    Let your veterinarian know what is happening. When he/she doesn’t hear from you, they just assume that the dog must be doing great now.

    Good luck.

  138. Arlene Dix says:

    Hi my 4 year old pug dog had a horrible problem with leaking anal gland fluid on a daily basis. It was small quarter sized brownish clear liquid. Over a year ago I decided to pay to get his anal glands removed. He healed perfectly & never had a problem with going to the bathroom. I thought the problem was fixed but I’ve noticed that I still find these same spots on my bed sheets of a brownish clear liquid. Its not as often as before when he still had anal glands but it still happens weekly. Why is this? Do dogs still have anal fluid after their glands are removed? I thought getting his anal glands surgically removed would completely solve the only reduced it. Can you please help me.Thanks

  139. Doc says:

    Hello, Arlene,

    Generally I would say that removal of the anal sacs relieves the dog’s discomfort and stops discharge.

    The glandular tissue that produces the secretion is not removed. It is microscopic and diffuse in the area. There isn’t something you can see to remove. It is the collecting sacs which are removed.

    I would be wondering if what you are seeing is actually anal sac discharge or some type of problem with a little bit of runny stool.

    If the only place that you see the discharge is a spot on the sheets once a week, this is going to be difficult to pin down.

    I will post a query to the surgeons on Veterinary Information Network. If I can find out more I will relay it to you.

  140. Doc says:

    Hello again, Arlene,

    Without examination, again it is hard to tell you a lot.

    The surgeon says:

    “If the anal sacculectomy was done correctly and the problem persists, it could be something else. It is possible that following the sacculectomy there is some fecal incontinence.”

    So, not a lot of help from “long distance doctors”. You really need to discuss this with your veterinarian and have the dog re-examined.

    Good luck.

  141. Angie says:

    I have a little poodle mix who has been scooting his butt across the floor here and there. I didn’t think much of it until I started seeing him do it several times a week. I attempted to empty his anal glands myself with some gloves, paper towels and ky jelly. I felt these things in there..almost like a pea and when I squeezed them a kinda gritty lookin peanut butter stuff came out. The two things that felt like peas went away…so I’m pretty confident that I emptied them entirely. My question is I thought this was supposed to be like a clear color and actually squirt out. And if this is something I can do on my own is there anything I should look for that would signal a bigger problem and require me to take him to the vet?

  142. Doc says:

    Hello, Angie,

    Emptying the anal sacs is not rocket science, and it sounds like you did get them empty.

    On the other hand, the secretion was not normal. It should have been a watery, clear to tan fluid. (just aside from the fact that the dog ought to be emptying them spontaneously with every bowel movement)

    Because you don’t have experience emptying a lot of them and looking at the secretion, you don’t have anything to compare it to.

    If you have to squeeze too hard, you can actually damage the sacs.

    The next time they fill up (i.e. your dog is scooting), I would recommend a trip to the veterinarian for evaluation. This is one time that it would be worth having an experienced observer give his/her opinion.

    Sometimes the sacs need to be infused with medication.

    Your veterinarian can help you work out a plan to manage this.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  143. Steph says:

    Hi, I have a 12 pnd Shih tzu that has been on chicken,rice and carrots for stomach problems and allergies…. sometimes a brand of dry food that’s organic.I’m dealing with more constipation now and now her stomach seems tight and her rectum is sore.She wont let me near it.Also looks kind of swollen. I have tried a warm bath,heating pad and everything I can think of. She is drinking water,actually more than normal and eating some. Plan to take her to the vet if it isn’t better by tomorrow. Just wanted to know if there’s anything I can do to help her. She used the bathroom yesterday but it wasnt what I’d consider normal for her.She means the world to me and I’m usually told that I’m overreacting….better safe than sorry!

  144. Doc says:

    Hello, Steph,

    Many dogs will accept the addition of psyllium mucilloid (Metamucil, or generic, unflavored equivalent thereof) mixed with the food. This is a very safe laxative for dogs with constipation problems. I usually add 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of dog per feeding. This can be done regularly, or as needed for constipation.

    I would be surprised if the signs you are seeing are simple constipation, though. I would be concerned about her anal sacs, a perineal hernia, or maybe severe constipation, where the colon is dilated.

    I think a trip to your veterinarian is highly indicated. He/she may be able to make the diagnosis from a physical examination, but the swollen belly may indicate a need for X-rays or ultrasound exam.

    Good luck.

  145. Crystal Rogers says:

    This has been a wonderfully informative thread. I took my 2 dogs, a Pomeranian and a Keeshond, to the groomer at a chain store on Saturday at 9am. I picked them up at 1pm and the moment we returned home, my 3 year old 10lb Pomeranian started scooting, acting uncomfortable, whining, etc. I called the groomer who told me it was normal behavior after having their anal sacs emptied because hers was really full and it must just feel weird now after being emptied and that the weird feeling would go away in a couple hours. 3 hours go by and it’s the same behavior. I took my Pomeranian to the vet where a vet tech said everything looked normal (which it did, no inflammation or discharge) and that she felt the anal sacs and they felt empty so to wait 24 hours and come back if nothing has changed. 24 hours later, still the same behavior. I go back to the vet where the Veterinarian performs a rectal exam and says everything still looks normal, feels normal (empty), and gave me no explanation, medication or recommendations for my dog’s obvious pain / behavior. I decided to trust the vet and try and stop overreacting.

    This morning, 48 hours later, my Pomeranian was still scooting (although not as much – before it was almost constant now it’s a couple times every hour or so) and acting a little lethargic. She eats and potties normally, but she doesn’t seem as energetic or happy as she did before the appointment at the groomers. Also today, the fur around her back end has been hard like it was wet then sticky, but there’s no foul smell. The skin of her anus seems to be a darker color now when it looked better yesterday and even the day before. I’m about to get a second opinion at a different vet, but you have been so knowledgeable about this issue in general so I thought I would check here first. I have metrodinazole on hand and can do the warm compress if you think that may help. I just don’t know what is wrong or why she would be acting weird all of a sudden AFTER the grooming appointment where they expressed her anal glands. She has NEVER had an issue before this. Maybe it’s sore because she has never had it done before? Maybe the did it incorrectly? My other dog is fine. I’m so worried about her lethargic behavior now in addition to the scooting. Ideas?

  146. Doc says:

    Hello, Crystal,

    Once upon a time, I had a patient whose anal sacs were really full of really thick,dry secretion. In emptying them, I squeezed the dog hard enough to bruise the tissues.

    When they are that difficult to empty, it is really better to sedate the patient and infuse some oily medication to loosen up the junk.

    It is possible that this is what happened in your dog’s case. Initially, there wouldn’t be much to see or feel on examination. Later, one may or not be able to see the bruising from the outside.

    I’m just guessing, since I haven’t had the opportunity to see the dog. I think that getting a second opinion is a good idea. Please remember that the situation may look a lot different when the second veterinarian sees it (compared to when the first doctor saw it). We can only go by what we see at the time (and what you tell us). The second doctor will have the advantage of knowing what has occurred over several days time.

    I’m guessing that you may need some anti-inflammatory pain medicine, and perhaps the anal sacs will need to be infused with medication.

    Good luck.

  147. Caitlin says:

    My poor dog is starting to feel left out of everything because of her stink. She’s an 11 y/o labrador who in the last year has gotten really stinky. This stuff literally drips down her butt while she’s just lying down with no excitement or stimulation, so you can imagine when something gets her going (like mommy coming home). I’ve brought her to the vet, the groomer, they can’t get anything out of her glands and say they aren’t impacted, so are they just overactive? I’m tired of wiping her butt every 2 hours. Please help. I feel so bad that no one wants her in the same room anymore.

  148. Doc says:

    Hello, Caitlin,

    The sacs are supposed to empty spontaneously at the end of each bowel movement when the sphincter contracts to finish it off.

    When a dog gets frightened enough to have a “butt-pucker moment” they often blow out spontaneously.

    Steady dripping and drainage is quite unusual. I will put it up to a dermatology specialist and see if we can get more info.

    The only thing I can think of to do would be a cytology exam on the secretion (looking at cells under the microscope) and possibly infusing the sacs with an anti-inflamatory medication to slow the production of the stuff.

    Surgical removal of the sacs is another option. You’ll want a good surgeon who is experienced in the procedure so that they can minimize the anesthetic time for your older pet.

  149. Shanda says:

    I have a Chihuahua around 8 years old. About two weeks ago I noticed she was acting more sluggish and laying around more than normal. She also had a very bad smell, kind of like old feces and iron, with some brownish red discharge coming from her bottom. That same day I realized she had worms. I went to the vet to get wormer and they informed me that she should not be smelling like that with just worms and if it did not go away in a couple of days to bring her in. I came home gave her the wormer and a bath. I haven’t really noticed anything else until the last couple of days. The smell came back, gradually stronger. Today I noticed the discharge was back. It is getting on things where she sits. Both smell and discharge are worse than before. She is not scooting around but is licking a lot. She seems to be going to the restroom regularly. I also noticed that she has two small bumps beside her anus. I have recently moved and know she has been more stressed than normal. She is usually very timid and doesn’t socialize well with people, just a chosen few. She also seems to be eating and drinking normally.

  150. Doc says:

    Hello, Shanda,

    It certainly sounds like your dog is having anal sac problems.

    You really should let your veterinarian examine her. She may need antibiotic treatment, she may need to have the sacs infused with medication.

    Good luck.

  151. Skye says:

    Hi Doc,

    Do you have any idea how great it is of you to take the time to do such Q&A with us worried, anxious, nervous wreck Humans with Pets? I just hope you really do realize what a wonderful thing it is you have done!! This is one of the BEST resources I have come across and am in awe of a very busy doctor taking so much EXTRA TIME. And I’m sure many animals, if they could, would thank you as well. And you have a daughter in the Peace Corps. Sounds like being helpful healers runs in the family 🙂

    I did wonder as I read through, though, if it wouldn’t make things easier on you to collect your most frequently repeated advice efforts and put them under a category with a title like “Dog Got Bad Butt?” or something ( j/k about the category title ). I know my pets vet is one busy lady, even with two other veternarian partners, so your extra mile efforts are really very impressive – but…do you ever sleep?

    I do my dogs anal sacs after watching my vet and my dogs near angelic willingness to tolerate my anxious prodings ( I tend towards extreme gentleness so don’t always get it on the first go ). ‘Normal’ discharge for him seems to be dark tan and with an odor, well, it probably wouldn’t do well as a designer perfume.

    ONE pets specific detail did jump out at me though and that was regarding her dog seeming to sit in such a way that it appeared as if his rear legs were giving out, and you suspected possible spinal cord something…a bad back possibly that should be checked out.

    OK, well, my dog does something similar but passes neuro exams ( physical ). My vet doesn’t feel that any test NEEDS to be done past that and she’s a good country doc.

    Butt, I think sometimes when his glands are pestering him he just does not want to stand. He does sort of ‘plop’ his butt instead and looks at me. It’s obvious he WANTS to play, and tries, but will pain in the rear get worse with such efforts, and so the dog opts to just sit? Why would they want to sit on an area – apply pressure – that is swollen or painful?

    I am going to try warm compresses tonite. He did expel some fluid, strike that, he SHOT FLUID OUT lol ( that’s a first btw ), last night with external expression. With his little fat butt, it’s not always easy to tell if both sacs are empty, or at least emptiER.

    Which is better? Assume they didn’t completely empty and prod at a painful area to achieve that, or give it a couple more days or get him into the vet ASAP? If the dog is plopping or folding his butt in and acting more sedate, it’s kind of hard to determine wether to get brave and noodle around at the other sac or let the dog suffer till the vets can squeeze him in ( as they won’t see it as an ER, it could be a week! We’re in a rural area and this practice, even with three vets, serves MANY pets ).

    Oh…if the dog is sleeping, but you think it’s a sac problem, do you wake them up to get the problem ‘solved’ or just let them sleep? That may seem like a weird question but it’s hard as a neurotic, worried, but loving pet friend to determine how fast sacs ‘go bad’ once full or not totally emptied 🙁 Does ever hour ‘count’ or are they cool to leave alone for a few hours or more?

    THANK YOU x 100 if you answer this worried owners post. I’m sure you’re probably tired of or feel you like you do say the same things over and over, or have worked a normal 12 hour day and then take even more time to reach out to an online presence of humans stressing out over their furry friends!

    P.S. The Metamucil tip! OMG, I never even heard of that and am going to try to sneak it into my dogs green beans 🙂

    Bless you and your family!!


  152. Doc says:

    Hello, Skye,
    Good thing this is email instead of paper, or you’d have killed a few trees with that one. Just kidding.

    While there may be other problems, I think that sometimes a swollen sac is more uncomfortable versus painful. The scooting is simply an attempt to relieve the pressure caused by being over-full.

    It is possible that the position in some way makes it feel better.

    With overweight dogs, I often have to do a rectal exam in order to fully evaluate and empty the sacs. Sometimes I find a lot of tissue swelling that is internal and not visible from the outside.

    I certainly would not wake my pet to work on some uncomfortable problem. Let them get what rest that they can.

    If you are having persistent problems, then I would say that another trip to the veterinarian is in order.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  153. Emily H. says:

    My pug is about 3 years old and in the past year or so we have been experiencing an odor. It smells like dirty old pennies, metallic, a hand full of change… If he lays, sits or merely has his rear on a surface there is a small spot the size of a nickle that is absolutely putrid! However, this is the only time you smell it. Is this the smell of full sacs??? He is 25 lbs and is stocky build, will more exercise or a change in diet help???

  154. Doc says:

    Hello, Emily,

    That certainly does sound like anal sac drainage.

    I would recommend that you have your veterinarian examine your dog.

    Dogs that are a bit overweight can have more problems with their anal sacs than they would otherwise.

    Also, these dogs are more difficult to evaluate without a rectal examination.

    There can be other problems in the area that are affecting the anal sacs, too. Again, a rectal examination by your veterinarian can be very helpful.

    With chronic problems, sometimes the best solution is to remove the anal sacs surgically.

    Good luck.

  155. says:

    Very helpful, thank you! After reading all the comments I was sure draining the glands was the first thing we need to check after my 7-year-old asked why Molly, our 6-year-old Black Lab smelled like pennies. Whew! Talk about a metallic/fishy stink! We’ve taken her in a few times this last year because she was scooting, but this time there was none of that, just the smell. We just got home from the groomers and as expected they did need draining, so hopefully that will take care of the problem. (gladly pay $10 to have someone else do the dirty work) I will update with any pertinent developments.

  156. stephanie says:

    i believe my dog chance a 9yr old Siberian Husky has Perianal Fistulas… he has 3 openings around his anus. And he stinks horribly, they look like tunnels and they bleed every now and again, is there anything i can do since i can’t afford surgery or to take him into the vet at the moment. He isn’t scootching, and acts like himself just a little more liking of his rear. If there is anything you could give advice to help me out i would love it thanks a bunch

  157. Doc says:

    Hello, Stephanie,

    Some of these require antibiotic therapy, some require immunosuppressive drugs, some require surgery.

    The only home remedy that may be of benefit would be to apply a hot compress to improve circulation and keep the area clean.

    I usually run a pan of water as hot as I can stand to put my own hand into, and use a clean cloth to apply moist heat for 10 to 15 minutes, three times daily.

    Your dog really needs to see the veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  158. Skye says:

    Don’t want to write too much 😉 but visited back by and noticed the post about being unable to afford veternarian care by one poster.

    There are options sometimes but you have to dig for them AND your vet, or one you inquire to, must be willing to accept the payment. I’m referring to organizations such as PetSamaritan ( I forget the url – Google it :)), who can sometimes help with costs for owners who are in a serious pinch. They do not pay the owner. They pay the vet directly. Org’s such as theirs are good ones to donate to when you have extra money again, or now.

    The other is your local pawn shop. Seriously, if your dog needs to see a vet try to find something you can pawn to pay the bill. Don’t be embarassed about it, that’s almost universally what pawn shops see in terms of customers and our pets shouldn’t have to suffer because of something like ego.

    Also check with your local SPCA about what you might do. They may be able to recommend a vet who can work with you on a sliding scale or be willing to work on a payment system.

    You can also Google around and see if there are any ‘no kill’ adoption orgs in your area. If you call them too, they may have some ideas about how to get your pet needed health care.

    IMHO, doing stuff like the above is better than waiting till the pet is REALLY in a bind because something got worse, and you’re going to wind up looking at a bigger bill anyway.

    Thanks Doc for letting me share this info, especially during this awful recession that’s impacting people and then their pets. I’ve seen too many people ‘dumping’ their pets, literally, and this dooms the animal to potential abuse, starvation ( a painful thing ), and often death. It’s sad because it’s an avoidable decision but a lot of people just don’t know there are resources out there to help.

  159. Rachel says:

    My 4 year old lab has seemed to always let “bombs” or secretions. They are an unmistakeable odor. Lately this seems to be happening at least once a day and he is ruining whatever he is sitting on at the time. These have been in the past but mostly not stress related. In fact hell be sitting there and randomly start smelling towards his butt sit up and start licking the fishy odor. Why is this happening every day? He is on high end dog food and has relatively hard stools. If we milk the glands I fear it will only be band aiding the problem. Anything we can try before popping meds and certainly not surgery to try and fix?

  160. Doc says:

    Hello, Rachel,

    You really should have those anal sacs checked by you veterinarian. From you description, it sounds like they may be infected.

    It is possible that infusing the sacs with an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory ointment (like Otomax) may be what is needed.

    Surgical removal is usually not necessary, but sometimes is the only remedy.

    I really can’t give you much long-distance advice on this one. It’s a hands-on situation.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  161. Teresa Kirby says:

    I have a chinese crestepoo (dad was chinese creste and mom was poodle) she will be year old Jan. 8. I took her to vet today because she was gagging and throwing up white foam liquid and stopped eating today. She had eaten a halls cherry cough drop…paper and all. She also has a strong odor coming from her anus. The vet gave her fluids and amoxocillin. She has eatin some chicken/rice and has kept down fine. No bowel movement yet. She did pee and it look like it had a pink color. My vet is closed and the nearest one is an hour away. Could the pink come from cherry cough drop or is this definetly blood in urine now?

  162. Doc says:

    Hello, Teresa,

    I would not expect the red food coloring in the cough drop to show up in the urine. You should let your veterinarian know about this.

    Blood is the most likely explanation for the red color. This could be anything from a bladder infection to a stone, to hemolysis (where the blood cells rupture and the red stuff comes out in the urine).

    This is new information that your veterinarian did not have when he/she saw your dog, and you should let them know about it.

    Good luck.

  163. Natalia says:

    Hello, just a quick question, my dog has had a ‘sour’ smell, no matter how often we bathe her it does not go away, i started research and thought this may be the cause of her smell however the smell is more concentrated to her fur, smell transfers to your hands when you pet or scratch her, its really a disgusting sour dairy-ish smell, i was sure that this was her problem however she is not rubbing her butt on the floor or showing discomfort of any kind, but the smell persists despite above normal frequent bathing, not to the point of drying her skin out, but definitely more then you should be washing your dog…. what could this be?

  164. Doc says:

    Hello, Natalia,

    I would not think that anal sac odor would be “all over the dog”. I don’t recall dogs with a “sour” smell, but it would be easy to have a misunderstanding as to what that word signifies to each of us.

    The overall body odors that I have seen in clean dogs have been more related to seborrhea, which I would call a “rancid” smell.

    Seborrheic dogs feel kind of greasy or oily. Most of them are secondary to excessive scratching, though there are cases of primary seborrhea.

    My recommendation would be to take her to your veterinarian when she is in full stinky mode. If you take her right after a bath, the doctor won’t be able to tell much about it.

    Good luck.

  165. Angela Jenkins says:

    Hi, I have a Yorkie with a smelly rear-end. I was wondering can some dog foods be to rich causing her to smell bad. She smells bad after going outside to potty-she smells when she has laid around in her bed most of the day-she only licks her self when I leave her at the house by herself to go to town. I have purchased a collar so she can’t get back there and lick and waud her hair up in a knot-I have recently shaved her tail and rear area. I had switched foods and she has been on this food for almost year and have been noticing the smelly rear coming back-there is no scooting or such going on-I will bathe her once to twice a week because of the smell-since the collar is on when I leave her I was hoping that would control some of the smell like from her licking and just her smelly bum mixture but have found that I still have the smell but no licking. And it is wierd that she will only lick when I leave her at home. Hope you can help, Angie

  166. Doc says:

    Hello, Angela,

    I have not seen a problem with any particular foods causing an odor in the dog.

    Anal sac odor is very potent. Even a small leakage, if on the dog rather than the ground, will give a persistent and unpleasant smell.

    My best recommendation is for you to have your dog examined by you veterinarian to rule out medical sources of the odor, including the anal sacs.

    Good luck.

  167. Skyler says:

    My 9lb. dog had an anal gland rupture and we visited a new vet who gave us amoxicillin for 7 days and an ointment. He didn’t clean out the abscess and I actually expressed a lot of pus out of the wound when I got home after leaving the clinic. I have been applying hot compresses 2x/day, as well as the ointment into the wound. Do you think this will work out okay? I haven’t seen any more pus since yesterday (first day of treatment). This morning redness was better around her wound, but sort of reddened again, once I applied the ointment into the wound. I was thinking of flushing the wound with some saline solution? What do you think? If so, what ratio of solution would be good? I have also wondered if applying honey (or adding into a saline solution) would help the healing hasten? I was not pleased that the vet didn’t clean out the wound so not sure if I want to return to this clinic again. What do you think about my dog’s situation? Thanks!

  168. Doc says:

    Hello, Skyler,

    I can’t really prescribe for you without seeing your dog.

    Generally speaking, you have to be careful about flushing, as too much pressure can force junk into other tissue planes, actually spreading the inflammation and infection.

    Saline should be the same concentration as body fluids, so this is 0.9% sodium chloride in water.

    I have used honey on broad open wounds under a bandage. It is helpful in some cases. I have no experience packing it into a cavity, so I cannot advise you on that. Totally different situation.

    Continuing the hot compresses for 10 to 15 minutes 2 to 3 times daily will probably do as much to clean the wound as anything. I usually just run a pan of water as hot as I can stand to keep my own hand immersed in. Then I soak a towel and use that. As the towel is taken on and off to re-soak, it carries away most of the drainage.

    If things do not appear to be steadily improving, be sure to let the veterinarian know. They may need to re-evaluate the situation, or change antibiotics.

  169. Skyler says:

    Thanks a lot for the information. I will continue with the compresses and forget about the flushing. She’s gotten antsy about me even applying the ointment, so I was only able to apply it to the outside of the abscess tonight. The abscess still looks open and is still a bit red. I only started with the antibiotics Monday, so it’s just been 3 days. When should the redness be expected to go away or should I reconsult considering the timeline? I only have a 7 day course of antibiotics. Again, thanks!

  170. Mary says:

    Hi:) please don’t hate me!

    My dog:

    13 year old , staff mix ( an actual staff:)) and is in very good shape.
    So the Bad dog mom that I am, I noticed my dogs anal gland infection, too fullness, abscess whatever it is. Sat night, so I wasn’t gonna take her to our emergency clinic and was gonna wait till Monday plus Murphy’s law happened to me last week and yea… So I doctored myself.. Under the condition i would see improvement by Monday.
    I tried to express it internally and I got it all out with little trouble through the duct. It was soft but still gritty blackish stuff, after all that was out there was a pinkish fluid which I’m guessing was the infection?
    After all was said and done, I guess she had an abcess , bec it ruptured the day later the same pinkish fluid came out .. But no dark gritty stuff.
    So I put her on amoxicillin & metacam which I had at the house…I flushed the abcess and the gland with chlorhexidine ( that wasn’t the best to use?. After the swelling went down , I check to see if the duct was still open , it is, I kept the abcess open with warm compresses and cleaning it with that chlor stuff. It looks grand! Beautiful butt.. Basically back to normal , except for the abcess which I fought to keep open .so now I started filling it with neosporin… I’m so freaking out about the neosporin bec I wasn’t able to get my hands on panalog! I’m about to crawl back to my very handsome vet and confess what I did! what about the sac, what if it did rupture? Will it still heal up. See also I still feel the enlarged kinda hard sac in there although u can’t see it on the outside at all anymore, it went from lemon size on the outside to a raw almond size on the inside with the empty pocket above it… Wait… If the sac was ruptured , would the neosporin come out of the duct? Hmm

    I’m a total mess…

    I really appreciate your time spent on me! Thank you!

  171. Mary says:

    Oh I forgot , it’s been almost six days now… , I stopped giving her the metacam , she usually only gets it for bad day joint pain…

  172. Doc says:

    Hello, Skyler,
    It’s really hard for me to estimate your dog’s progress, since I’ve never seen it. I’d say average recoveries are 7 to 14 days.

    If it’s not looking pretty great at 5 days, as in much improved, I’d be going back to the veterinarian.

  173. Greg says:

    Thank you so much for your service! I have an 13.5 year old basset hound, bogie. He is normal weight in good health and muscle tone for his age. He has reoccurring problems with his anal sacs filling. sometimes the stuff is yellow and rarely it has some blood and other colors. We have treated him with the main wide spectrum antibiotics with no relief. His glands usually only one, but sometimes both fill as often as a few days after being expressed by a vet. I am beginning to fear cancer and have had him to several vets. None have said the C word. Anyway one vet wants to express his glands on a weekly basis and give him an injection of NSAIs and antibiotic cocktails at a tune of $60-80 per week. Another wants to do a urine culture (? why not a culture of the anal stuff?). Another thinks a surgical removal would do the trick even though he is elderly. I am of modest means and am ready to jump off a bridge with bogie…just kidding but its depressing and making me crazy to see him in pain. The pain seems mild his appetite is ok, but drinks a lot of water (again C raises its head)and is energetic begging for his mile long walks times two a day.
    I was hoping for a pain relieving suppository, even a opiate was available. Then if I could find a tech to express his glands PRN ? Please advise on what you think would be a plan?

  174. Doc says:

    Hello, Mary,

    I’m not sure how much you are helping by cramming the abscess full of neosporin. You have to be careful not to force inflamed junk out between the other tissue planes.

    Generally speaking, systemic (oral) antibiotics work better than topicals on an abscess.

    I’m thinking it’s time to see your veterinarian. These things aren’t rocket science, but when you don’t have a lot of experience to compare your situation to, it’s just really hard to know how things are going.

    I can appreciate wanting to do your best for your pet with what you have, but I do think you need some professional help here. If it’s on the way to getting well, it should be a pretty reasonably priced visit.

    Good luck.

  175. Doc says:

    Hello, Greg,

    It is really not possible for me to give specific advice for a pet I have not seen.

    Generally speaking, a situation like you describe would often require systemic (oral) antibiotics, and flushing out the anal sacs with saline, then infusing an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory ointment. That can sometimes require mild sedation. Sometimes more than mild, depending on the dog. It often has to be repeated.

    Surgery finishes the problem, but occasionally has some complications.

    I suspect the urine culture was suggested because of the excessive water drinking (usually secondary to excessive urination). Sometimes old dogs have trouble concentrating their urine, and there is not too much wrong otherwise. You do want to rule out urinary tract infections, and culture is more definitive than urinalysis. UA can look okay on a particular sample, but you still grow bacteria. They’d also check for sugar in the urine to rule out diabetes.

    It just sounds like you need to get more communication with your veterinarian. Keep asking questions until the answers make sense (which should be easier than finding advice on the internet).

  176. Skyler says:

    Don’t want to clog up your blog posting over and over again, but wanted to say an extra thank you for being here and helping to relieve our stress over our ill pets. You are very appreciated!!! Thanks so much!

  177. Mary says:

    Hi Doc,

    By the time i saw your reply everything healed good and is back to normal. Thank you for your answer!!!
    This isn’t something I would have done if I wasn’t in a bind and i was pretty embarrassed writing to you bec I know it’s not right. , it was a day by day choice and i made to see how the wound healed. I guess i was lucky!

    I really appreciate all the info and your personal time spent for me and others!

    Thanks again!

  178. Brittany says:

    My 15 year old lhasa apso poodle mix recently developed a sore near his anus. I am away at college and when I was home for the weekend my Mom asked me to check his rear because he had been spending excess time ‘cleaning’ down there. I cut back some hair that was by the sore, because there was a small mat. I am assuming it developed because of discharge from the sore. Was I was doing this I notices the tissue around his anus appeared swollen. Could he develop a sore because of his anal glands? He gets groomed every month, and they are supposed to be expressing the glands.

  179. Doc says:

    Hello, Brittany,

    The anal sacs can abscess and rupture, even if they have been emptied regularly.

    Also, in a dog of that age, I would have concerns about a peri-anal tumor.

    This guy needs to see his veterinarian.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  180. maressa says:

    I have a one and a half year old female siberian husky. She has had issues with her anal gland smell since she was about a year or so old. I noticed the liquid coming out of her bum and that it smelled bad, and eventually found out it was her anal sac. We were feeding her blue buffalo, and a few months ago switched her to Natural Choice. The food doesn’t seem to be making a difference, as she is still leaking from her bum almost daily. I can smell it any time she comes near me. The vet has expressed her glands twice, the second time within a week of the first time, and he said they were full both times. I don’t know what else to do besides surgically remove them. But I cannot deal with this odor for the rest of her life, and the surgery is very expensive. Any advice? Is this a common problem in Siberian Huskies?

  181. Doc says:

    Hello, Maressa,

    I don’t see a lot of Siberian Huskies. I have only had one patient of that breed who had such persistent problems that we surgically removed the anal sacs.

    Some individuals will respond to infusion of something like Otomax into the sacs (this is an oily ointment usually used for ear infections – antifungal, antibacterial, and with cortisone for inflammation).

    That would be a job for your veterinarian (as in “Don’t try this at home.”).

    I doubt that the food will make any difference in the condition.

    Good luck.

  182. Cam krafthefer says:

    I have a four month old cocker spaniel who has been bum scooting since I’ve gotten her. She has just finished all of her shots and has been on trifexus for the past two months. She has been dewormed and her anal glands were expressed about 6 wks ago. But now her booty has a strange metallic smell and I’ve noticed that all of her business has been soft and yellow/pale brown. Should I have her glands expressed again? Is this common for her age? I dont want to get surgery but I do want her comfortable. Do you think adding fiber to her daily diet will harden her business and express her glands naturally? Help me please! I am worried about my Sadie. I try to do everything to make sure she is healthy. But I can never seem to keep the little princess well!! Thank you for your time.

  183. Doc says:

    Hello, Cam,

    It is certainly not common for a dog that age to have persistent anal sac problems.

    Trifexis treats hookworm, roundworm and whipworm, but there are other intestinal parasites that it does not treat. It also may not be 100% successful in treating hookworm.

    When you take her back to your veterinarian, be sure to take a good spoonful of fresh (within 12 hours) stool for analysis.

    Your veterinarian can check the anal sacs and their secretion. It is possible that the sacs are infected (though why, I don’t know) and will need medication infused into them. This would require some sedation.

    Adding fiber to the diet may help, and some dogs need to be on a hypo-allergenic diet, such as Purina HA, or Royal Canin HP, or Hill’s Z/D.

    I would recommend a visit to the veterinarian and a stool analysis first, in order to rule out medical problems.

    Good luck.

  184. Priscilla says:

    Hi there, I have a 4 year old Boston Terrier and I know how normal it is for dogs to have the anal secretion but my dog releases it about 3 to 5 times a day. Is this normal? He doesnt seem to be in any pain and does not drag his butt at all.


  185. Doc says:

    Hello, Priscilla,

    The sacs should empty spontaneously at the end of each bowel movement.

    If they are emptying at other times, that is not really normal. There are certainly some dogs that seem to have “butt-pucker moments” when they get excited. This is not something that usually happens in the course of a normal day at home.

    I would ask your veterinarian to examine the area and check the secretion for signs of infection. If his anal sphincter muscles and sacs seem normal, there may be no real solution other than deodorizing him or having the sacs surgically removed.

    Good luck.

  186. Tracy S says:

    I have a three year old shih tzu who has been having reoccuring anal gland problems. Her gland orginally ruptured about a month ago and she has been going to the vet every week for this problem. The area will heal over and then swell and rupture again. She has tried multiple antibiotics and has the glands expressed weekly by the week, but I am worried as to why this has not healed completely. Should she have the gland removed?

    Thank you,


  187. Doc says:

    Hello, Tracy,

    It sounds like this is quite a bit worse than the usual situation. It is possible that irrigating the glands and infusing antibiotic ointment directly into them might help, in addition to the systemic antibiotics (oral) that you have been doing.

    If this were my patient and I just wasn’t making any progress after doing all I know to do, my next step would be to consult with a dermatologist.

    Surgical removal of the glands can certainly be done, and is sometimes the best option. Ideally, this would be done when you didn’t have a roaring infection going on, though. The operation can have complications, even under the best of circumstances, too.

    I can only speak generally here. It is best to stay in communication with your veterinarian. He/she is the person best equipped to answer you questions, as he/she is actually seeing your dog.

    Good luck.

  188. Lucy says:


    I have a 5 year old Miniature Pinscher, male, who stinks. He stinks bad. He makes our other dog, usually odor free, stink, too (because they sleep in the same bed). We have tried everything – changing diet (to an expensive, high quality dog food), bathing frequently, changing sheets on the bed frequently. Recently, I noticed that there was a pee-like stain on the sheet over the dog bed. I’ve seen it several times now. I am convinced that this is anal gland leakage rather than marking. He has no signs of infection; no swelling and does not scoot or lick the area. The stain is clear and smells horrible. What is causing this? What can be done? He smells so bad (stinks up the entire room) that we keep both dogs locked away from the rest of the house/family until we can bath them and change the bedding. Do you think adding fiber would help? He is a rescue dog and has “issues” – could it be fear? Also, he used to itch and appeared to have allergies but that seems to have gone away since we changed his diet.


  189. Doc says:

    Hello, Lucy,

    As you may have read, the anal sacs are supposed to empty spontaneously at the end of each bowel movement. They are not supposed to leak at other times.

    Some dogs when stressed to tend to leak some fluid.

    The first thing would be to have your veterinarian examine the dog, doing a rectal exam to evaluate the area.

    There could be some other problem putting pressure on the anal sacs.

    After a thorough exam, your veterinarian should be able to advise you on this.

    Good luck.

  190. chass says:

    My female Boston terrier won’t eat much,she sleeps alot now she smells and she had yellowish pus come from her..we just brought her back from the vet she already finished all of her meds..should I take her back to the vet..what could this be

  191. Doc says:

    Hello, Chass,

    This is something I don’t feel that I can help you with much “long-distance”. I would definitely contact your veterinarian and give him/her an update.

    If they don’t hear from you, they think everything is okay. Let them know what is going on. I am sure they will want to recheck the situation.

    Good luck.

  192. Edmund says:


    My cat had a ruptured anal gland and after having it flushed 3 weeks ago, the wound is starting to heal nicely. However, recently I noticed a dark bruise like area near one of the closed wounds. Is this normal?


  193. Doc says:

    Hello, Edmund,

    I would not say that the dark, bruise-like area you describe is typical in these cases.

    That sounds like something your veterinarian should recheck. It may not be a problem at all, but I really cannot make a long-distance diagnosis.

  194. Traci Arganbright says:

    My dog had been leaking all over and it is staining everything. I took her to the vet last week and they cleaned her out and said no infections, and her right anal gland was very full. They suggested to bring her back in a month. Over the weekend, it has happened several times, and then last night she threw up ALL over the carpet in the family room. I have to believe it is related??? I will take her to the vet again tomorrow…for now, any suggestions, or has anyone had this problem like she is having? Worried:(

  195. Doc says:

    Hello, Traci,

    Sorry to be slow in answering. I cannot think of a direct link between anal sac problems and vomiting.

    Obviously your dog has something going on that hasn’t been fully diagnosed. I hope that your veterinarian has been able to sort things out.

  196. CT says:

    My 10 yo intact male German Shepherd ?? mix rescue from the Yellowstone area has had some serious anal sac issues lately. When I took him in for a bath and to have his glands expressed by the vet, they informed me at one point last summer, that only blood came out. I backed off on getting this done, then last April there was a rupture. He had to have surgery to repair, go on antibiotics, e collar etc. It didn’t heal and ruptured again, so a more extensive closure procedure was done with the second surgery. Well now the hole is back where it was sutured up before. What are my options, if any? This summer heat is too much for him outdoors so my stink-o buddy is in the house with me and all the carpets are covered with tarps. It’s just so smelly. Should I take him down to Texas A&M and see if anyone there can help? Thanks

  197. CT says:

    PS – he never did the butt-scoot, but he had a history of food allergies to grains, the allergic reaction being a very loose stool. So the sacs may have not been emptying properly for a long time. After allergy tests, we put him on only certain grain/gluten free products. He now has normal stools, but the damage seems to be done with regard to his sacs. He also was relocated from a very rural alpine environment to North Central Texas and a fenced yard,and he wont foul his yard, so we go walk. Thanks

  198. Doc says:

    Hello, C.T.,

    Some of these are not your basic anal sac problems. There are more severe conditions, some of which are immune-mediated (a screw-up of the body’s defenses that involve self-attack).

    If you have the option to take him to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at A&M, I would certainly do so.

    These conditions can really be frustrating and difficult to treat and the advice of a specialist would be my next stop.

  199. Vi says:

    My 5 yr old cat has been having anal sac problems for a few months with scooting. Vet emptied them and she continued scooting. Then Vet put her under anesthesia and flushed them, gave her a cortisone injection and a course of antibiotics. It has been about 1 & 1/2 months and cat is still scooting. 3 weeks ago Vet expressed anal sacs again and said they were not impacted. Cat was put on a hypoallergenic diet of canned foods. I went thru 4 of them and she would not eat them. Now she is on Z-D dry food which she eats. It has been 10 days on this food and she is still scooting. Vet says to give it a month to see if the food improves the scooting. Vet says may be due to food allergies. I think if scooting doesn’t stop I will be told to remove the anal sacs. Vet said there is a risk of the cat becoming incontinent of bowel, but it is unlikely because they are extremely careful doing procedure. I could not handle that. What do you think? Does this happen often? I have problems with my other cat whom I have written to you about (15 y/o with sarcoma). Thank you for your help

  200. Doc says:

    Hello, Vi,

    It sounds to me like your veterinarian is being extremely thorough and proceeding as well as anyone possibly could.

    Removal of the anal sacs is a delicate procedure, but usually successful. Even with the best surgeon there is a small chance of damaging the anal sphincter, which could result in some degree of incontinence. The cat wouldn’t have diarrhea, but might dribble a little stool. This usually does not happen, but the risk is there.

    If your veterinarian feels comfortable performing this surgery, the odds of success are very much in your favor.

    This sounds like a very frustrating case. I feel for you, your cat, and your veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  201. Lyndsay says:

    My dog had anal glands flushed a couple of weeks ago as he was having to have them expressed every couple of weeks and vet thought this would be best. Procedure went well and my dog has been fine with no issues since, however today he has started licking his bum and biting his tail which I’m now thinking is a sign that things aren’t as great as I hoped. His stools have been firm and I noticed a couple of tiny drops of water like substance have been coming out as he emptied his bowels(which i presume means his glands are expressing naturally) Am I just being over anxious or could his glands be full? I don’t really want to have them squeezed for the sake in case it starts off problems again. I’m such a worrier when it comes to my fur kid!

  202. Doc says:

    Hello, Lyndsay,

    When the anal sphincter and sacs are functioning normally, a few drops of liquid should fall at the end of the bowel movement. As the dog’s sphincter is closing off the poop, it should also squeeze the sacs, emptying a few drops of the secretion as a territorial marker.

    I can appreciate that you don’t want a lot of squeezing of the sacs to get things irritated. Unfortunately, without a rectal exam to do a touchy-feely, it would be difficult to know if the sacs are over-full or what.

    Since the veterinarian flushed them pretty recently, I would recommend that you tell him what the dog is experiencing and let him/her take a feel to see where you are.

  203. Lyndsay says:

    Thank you for the quick response. After visiting vet they discovered that his glands were pretty full already- it’s only been two weeks since he had the op to have them flushed so they’ve recommended that we go down the route of having the glands removed. We’re going to have to think long and hard about this as knowing our luck he’d end up incontinent! Just don’t know what to do for the best for our furry friend!

  204. Doc says:


    I can’t comment on your luck. I will say that the operation is usually successful. Complications are certainly possible, though.

    You could apprentice with a groomer and learn to empty them yourself, I guess. It’s not rocket science, it just takes practice to get a feel for where and how hard to squeeze.

    Long term you will probably be happier with the removal of the sacs.

  205. Melissa says:

    Hi – I have a 10 year old Pit-Mix with a seasonal skin allergy. We started him on prednisone two weeks ago. Since then he has a brownish, metallic, foul smelling, sometimes bloody discharge coming from his butt. We were at the Vet and the glands were checked. We were told they were empty however when the Vet did the exam, there was a little blood. The Vet is now saying he could be involuntarily expressing the glands and wants a sample of the substance. His poops are normal. No straining and pretty firm. Could this be a gland problem tied to his skin allergy or something else?

  206. Doc says:

    Hello, Melissa,

    I can’t really give you a diagnosis without seeing your pet.

    If blood was coming from the anal sacs when they were emptied, that is not normal.

    I would say that the anal sacs should be rechecked. They may require flushing out and infusion with antibiotic ointment (which will probably require sedation). Oral antibiotics could also be needed.

    Surgical removal would be the last resort. Most of these can be treated medically.

    Let your veterinarian take another look at this.

  207. Clarissa Smid says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve just taken my five years old Bengal cat Lexi to the vet because he had a leaky bottom. I suspected it was his anal sacks, and I was right. This is the first time we’ve had this problem.

    We actually saw the nurse, but she squeezed his sacks, and as we both expected, there was some brown discharge which was a bit stinky. She seemed satisfied that was okay and that he would be fine from then on.

    Anyhow, he’s been home for several hours now, but is still leaking clear secretions from his sacks…

    Interestingly, in comparison to what other commenters have written, his clear discharge doesn’t smell of anything much.

    Is there a reason why his sacks would have continued to secrete clear fluid even after they’ve been emptied?

    We’re going to switch him to a better food from next week onwards, to make sure he’s getting enough protein and enough fibre to help with this issue.

    What to do? Take him back?

    Poor cat; he hates going to the surgery!

  208. Doc says:

    Hello, Clarissa,

    Most pets with anal sac problems just have overly full sacs. Thus, emptying them usually takes care of the problem for quite some time. Having the Veterinary Assistant empty the sacs in such a case would be a pretty common way to approach the situation.

    In this case, something quite different is going on. This needs to be communicated to the veterinarian. This is NOT the average case of full anal sacs.

    I have not encountered an identical situation. If I were seeing the cat, I would wish to sedate the cat lightly in order to do a better exam of the area, possibly probing the sacs and flushing them. Possibly I would obtain some of this clear liquid to examine under the microscope for evidence of infection. A rectal examination might tell me more.

    This is something that likely requires the doctor’s attention, rather than a simple squeezing by the assistant.

    Good luck.

  209. Megan says:

    My American bulldog went to the vet last Tuesday and stayed till Wednesday and while there he had an anal gland rupture. The vet sent is home with antibiotics and told us to keep it flUshed. My dog is still now on Saturday acting moppy and not really eating or drinking. I am giving him water with a syringe to make sure he stays hydrated. He is drooling a lot a well. The vet have us no pain meds. I am concerned about my dog especially his behavior. Is this normal? Should he go in again?

  210. Doc says:

    Hello, Megan,

    It does not sound like your dog is responding to treatment as well as would be expected. You should definitely let your veterinarian know what is going on.

    One thing that often speeds the healing and helps with discomfort is to hot-pack the area. Run a pan of water as warm as you can stand to leave your hand soaking in. Wring out a cloth in this very warm (but not painfully hot) water, and use this to apply moist heat to the area. As the towel cools, re-soak in the warm water. Apply heat for 10 to 15 minutes, 3 times daily.

    This gently cleans the area, and stimulates the circulation to speed healing.

    Your dog may still need pain medication, or there may be other complicating factors.

    You definitely need to let you veterinarian know what is happening. Otherwise, he/she will think things are going well. The doctor who has seen your pet is in the best position to advise you.

    Good luck.

  211. Katie Fritzsche says:

    I need some advice….
    My 8 year old lab, Annie, has had quite a run. Since she was a babe she’s had sac issues, sometimes requiring draining once a week but at least once a month. She is very food sensitive and grains really fill up her sacs. We have done grain free, raw and now we cook her chicken, rice and feed raw carrots with apples as treats and two a big marrow bone every Sunday. Oh, did I mention she also used to be terribly overweight, topping out at 107, is a notorious food thrift (baby gates are ALL over my house) and will chew up a stuffed animal in a second, and will get a yeast ear infection if you look at her wrong, but-we love her. She now weighs between 85-92 lbs. She has always done this butt rub move, not scooting but a balancing thing to really rub her hiney in there, and I knew it was time to squeeze. But them she started getting infections 2 years ago and I think we have tried every kind of antibiotics there are. It cost $976 before it was gone 8 mos ago. Now she has it again. We have already done one round of clavamox at $200, and 3 days after the last pills Weee takin I woke up in a small puddle of her blood, which smelled of rotted flesh. It continues to leak from her sac. I emptied and it fills by the end of the next day, so, 24 hours. Also, Dr says there is a mass in one. We have done steroids, diet, antibiotics…. I don’t know what else to do for this girl. She is miserable. The Dr said surgery was an option, but its not in my budget and I’m hesitant to do it at her age and condition. Then said ointment infusions at $40 a pop every three days. I wonder how many…. I don’t mean to put a price on her, but my funds agent limitless. And I worry that I could spend say $200 clearing it up this time, and it’ll be tight back again. I think surgery is the only option and I don’t know if she sounds like a good candidate, do you? What is your opinion on this Doc? Is it our decision that she has had enough and say goodbye or do we need to try more stuff and see if she gets sicker? Please help?

  212. Doc says:

    Hello, Katie,

    I don’t know where you live, but it is hard for me to imagine spending almost a grand on antibiotic treatment.

    She definitely sounds like a candidate for surgery. I don’t know what other problems she has (it sounds like she has a lot of allergy problems when you talk about the recurrent ear infections), and your veterinarian is your best source here, as he/she knows your dog.

    All things being equal, though, I think you would be ahead in the long run to have the sacs removed.

    There is always a chance of complications, but you are having continual medical problems as it is.

    I would be talking with your doctor about the surgery and starting to plan for that.

  213. Katie Fritzsche says:

    I’m in AZ, and it wasn’t a grand at once, it was $200 at a time trying this one and that one…
    The vet called today, they want to do the ointment infusion I read about here on your page, $90 for the first, $40 each subsequent, every 3 days.
    And they want to biopsy the mass, I’ve told her surgery is off the table for us. The cost is prohibitive and with her health I feel we would see too many complications, and the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. My vet isn’t hearing that….

  214. Doc says:

    Hello again, Katie,

    The difficulty with infusing the sacs is that it is an uncomfortable area for the dog to have worked on. They often require sedation. You have to sort of turn the anus a little bit inside out to get to the openings. The openings are small and hard to see. This is unpopular with the dog.

    If surgery is just out of the question, then infusion is probably the next best alternative.

    Then I would be looking at managing your dog’s allergic condition on a continuing basis, rather than waiting for flare-ups. We would hope that would greatly reduce the number of flare-ups, both with the anal area and the ears, as well.

    Good luck.

  215. Heather Bennett says:

    HI there. Just had to take my cat in because he was having difficulty pooping and the vet discovered his anal sacs were enlarged especially the left one. She drained the glands, gave a steroid shot and antibiotic shot. I have a follow up appt in 4 days. How long does it usually take for a cat to recover from this procedure? When I brought my cat home, he was still walking very slowly, not eating or drinking and hasn’t used the litter box yet. I thought I would see a change right away, but it isn’t happening. Is this normal?

  216. Doc says:

    Hello, Heather,

    I wouldn’t expect the procedure itself to cause much lasting discomfort or depression. It sounds like a sedative might have been given.

    I also would not expect to see immediate relief from the medical problem if it had been going on for a while. Give it 48 hours, let your veterinarian know what is happening, and go back for your recheck.

  217. Tiffany Bartczak says:

    I recently acquired another adult pug (female). From day 1 she was always after my other pug’s butt (9 yr old male)! Constantly licking it and quite aggressively. She also would try to hump him all the time; frontside or backside. No one could really give me any answers for it other than her trying to dominate. I then thought maybe I should get his anal glands expressed so I did at his last vet visit just last week. I never saw him squirm and yipe in pain so much when having it done! I was afraid the lady was really hurting him. She said the one side was really full, but she was being gentle. My female pug no longer licks at his butt or trys to hump him anymore. But since then over the last couple of days, his butt has been leaking fluid out; brownish with some pink color to it. It stinks really bad, and it is getting all over our sheets and pillows. I am really afraid the lady injured him. I’m not sure what to do. Did the lady hurt him? This has never happened before. Will it get better on its own and the leaking stop or do I need to demand that the vet address this problem that they caused? He seems to be acting normal.



  218. Albert says:

    We have a 4 year old sharpei mix and a few months ago she started having those “butt-pucker” moments you mention (foul smell and some brown colored leakage). It happens both when she gets excited and also when she is just relaxing at home. We’ve raised this concern with her groomer and her vet and they both said her anal glands just needed to be expressed but nothing out of the ordinary. However, after they squeeze her butt, she comes home and is still as smelly and leaky as before. She stains the carpet and couch whenever she sits to scratch herself. Does it sound like another trip to the vet is in order?

  219. Doc says:

    Hello, Albert,

    I am glad I am not your veterinarian. Why? Because it sounds to me like they have done the normal handling, and you are still having problems. Therefore, I don’t know what’s going on here.

    It is possible that the sacs are inflamed or enlarged, so not fully emptying. This would require a rectal examination to verify.

    Sometimes the sacs need to be infused with medication for a while, rather than simply being emptied.

    If this has only begun lately, as you tell me, then I have to wonder what has brought it on. Perhaps there is a mass in that area.

    It is certainly not common for the sacs to just “become leaky”.

    I don’t envy your veterinarian, but it’s time to go back.

  220. Doc says:

    Hello, Tiffany,

    It sounds to me like the anal sac was having problems. It wasn’t emptying on its own as it should. It was overly full and difficult to empty. Its abnormal situation was attracting the attention of the other dog.

    The leakage could simply be evidence that the sac was infected in the first place, rather than that it was traumatized by the emptying.

    It is possible to squeeze too hard. I have done it myself once. The sacs were impacted with a very hard, dry secretion. Now if I am worried about that, I will sedate the patient and infuse oily medication to loosen the stuff. That being said, I hardly ever actually have to do that. Usually, I just squeeze them to empty them.

    I would recommend that you let the veterinarian know what is occurring. I don’t think I would start by “demanding she fix the problems she caused”. First, there was a problem already, and you may just be seeing the natural evolution of that. Second, she is much more likely to respond positively to a request for help than she is to an ultimatum.

    The bottom line is that the dog’s bottom needs additional attention. Start by telling your veterinarian what has happened and asking what she thinks you need to do. I suspect she will want to re-examine the dog and finish sorting out the problem.

    Best wishes.

  221. Tabbatha Couch says:

    Hello Doc, I have a 3 year old italian greyhound that has pancreatitis and IBS. she is on science diet low fat id and gets a few treats daily. she is also on prednisone and pepcid daily. she has had many anal gland issues. 3 ruptures. 2 on one side and one on the other. all were brought on by the fact that she was at the vets for several days for a pancreatitis episode and the vets didn’t wipe her booty. she can’t seem to clean her own butt. the problem is she started leaking poop about a week ago. i know what anal gland secretions are and this is straight poop. Any ideas on what is causing this. She isn’t acting sick and she’s just a little red, but it’s mostly from being constantly wiped with a wet wipe. Can anal glands be swelled only on the inside and cause her sphincter muscle to not work properly? I am planning on getting her anal glands removed after the first of the year even tho my vet isn’t really excited about it since she’s so small.

  222. Doc says:

    Hello, Tabbatha,

    Ah, the Italian Greyhound. If they were any thinner and more fragile, you could see through them.

    It is possible for the anal sacs to be full and not easily felt from the outside, though this is more likely to be a problem in a fat dog, which you don’t have. Also, full anal sacs in my experience would be more likely to cause the dog to avoid straining, rather than just leaking.

    Incontinence of the anal sphincter could be a neurological problem. If the stool is really soft, it can leak, as in an animal that has been given mineral oil for hairballs or constipation.

    I’m not surprised your veterinarian is not-excited about doing surgery on your tiny fragile little dog. I’d be scared to death.

    If the stool is normal and the anal sacs are not full, this could be another manifestation of your IBS.

    Rectal cytology might be helpful. I fear that if this dog were in front of me, I’d do everything I knew how to do, and then be calling a specialist.

    Sorry I don’t have a great answer for you. I would definitely recommend that you let your veterinarian know what is going on, as he/she is familiar with your dog’s case.

  223. Molly says:

    I have a 7 year old male Cavalier King Charles. He just had his anal gland expressed yesterday. They said it was hard but it came out. They prescribed him Amoxicillin and Meloxicam. Im just worried because his anus will not stop bleeding. Should I be worried or will it get better soon? He seems to be very bothered by it and will not stop licking. He whines from the pain (I think). Can I give him an extra dose of Meloxicam?
    Thank you,

  224. Doc says:

    Hello, Molly,

    Sorry to be late in replying. Do not double up on the Meloxicam. That could cause some serious stomach bleeding. Also do not combine it with aspirin or other pain medicines without consulting your veterinarian.

    Warm compresses are often helpful. I run a pan of water as hot as I can stand to keep my own hand in. I use a small towel to keep applying moist heat for ten to fifteen minutes, three times daily.

    This opens up the blood supply, bringing more oxygen, nutrition, and medication to the area. It really does speed the healing. It is not just busy-work.

    It is not normal for the dog to be bleeding after having the anal sacs expressed. If you have not discussed this with your veterinarian, you need to do so.

    I would be concerned that there is some problem other than just a lot of stuff impacted in the sacs.

  225. Adina says:

    Hello, my dog is a female 5 year old chihuahuah and I’ve recently noticed a blood like discharge coming from a sore next to her anus. She has not been scooting her butt lately but she has been vomitting often and her feces has been a pinkish/redish color. She does not seem to be in pain;only when the sore is touched with pressure. My mother and I have decided to use neosporin for now but I’m not sure how much help that will be. Will my dog be okay? Any further advice?

  226. Doc says:

    Hello, Adina,

    This sounds as though an anal sac has become infected and ruptured to the outside.

    Warm compresses applied to the area for 10 to 15 minutes three time daily can help. (Don’t get it hotter than you could stand it on your own skin.)

    Most of these will heal much faster with systemic (oral) antibiotics. The topical neosporin is not likely to help much.

    It is possible for there to be something more severe going on, like a tumor.

    This is really something that your veterinarian should see and evaluate. It is pretty easy to make a mistake “long distance”.

  227. Anne says:

    Hi Doc. This link has been so helpful! My 4 year old shih tzu mix hasn’t ever had issues with anal sacs before, but yesterday I took her to an emergency vet after her behind had what looked like 2 bite marks in it and she had licked it raw. It was bleeding. Her anal gland ruptured and abscessed. She was put under, had then drained and cleansed out. She is on pain med and antibiotic. My vet didn’t say anything about cleaning it, but we are to leave it uncovered. She has the cone of shame. 🙂 I read about your method of hot compresses which I will start. Should I apply anything after compresses? She also is constipated. How long should I keep the cone on her? Thanks so much!

  228. Doc says:

    Hello, Anne,
    The cone is ot keep her from creating further damage.

    You are leaving it uncovered to allow unrestricted drainage.

    When you use the warm cloths and warm water to apply heat (no hotter than you can stand it yourself), this will cleanse the area as you take the cloths on and off.

    I cannot think of anything useful to apply after the warm compress.

    Follow your veterinarian’s instructions and call them with your questions.

    If your dog really is constipated, a safe laxative is psyllium muciloid (plain, generic, unflavored Metamucil). You should contact your veterinarian for dosing information or other recommendations.

    Good luck.

  229. D says:

    I have an almost year old Maltese, and when he woke up today he was acting unusual. This morning when I let him outside to use the bathroom, he was outside trying for literally 10 minutes. I brought him in and he wouldn’t sit on his behind. It was bath time anyway so I started bathing him and he did not want me washing behind there. Sorry for the foulness but I found a fece that was hanging out. I’m not sure if it was stuck or what. I was assuming he was constipated so I gave him some canned food with his wormer shot in it. He ate it fine but then would just stand there so I wrapped him up in his blanket to get him to just see if it’d pass by when he woke up.

  230. D says:

    (Cont.) left him alone for a minute and when I came back he had pottied on his pad and it was a bit runny but nothing awful. Well I cleaned his fur back there because he had gotten a bit on it. Later I smelt something horrible and his rear was leaking brownish/red. It didn’t seem like blood though. I washed him off and he had a fit when I wiped him and was hoping that was the end of it. But it happened again at least 2-3 more times. He usually sleeps with us but I put him up by hisself. You’re help will be greatly appreciated so we can have our bed buddy back!

  231. Doc says:

    Hello, D,

    Sometimes poop gets tangled up in the hair of long-haired dogs, and then gets hung halfway in and halfway out. Be sure to keep the hair around his anus trimmed short.

    The brownish/red leakage could be from an infected anal sac.

    This is something that you really need to have your veterinarian examine. This could be anything from an infected anal sac to a tumor to some kind of bowel trouble.

    Even if I could make the diagnosis “over the phone”, I don’t know any good home remedies for any of those conditions.

    Good luck.

  232. Justin says:

    Hey Doc,

    I have a 3 year-old min pin who licks her butt all through out the night. Not only does she lick, but she also has a very foul smell when she does. There are also light brown stains every morning on our sheets. We assumed that her anal glands were full so we had our vet empty them. The problem still exists even after the vet emptied her glands. Any advice on what we should try next?? It’s driving my wife crazy!

  233. Doc says:

    Hello, Justin,

    First, let your veterinarian know that the problem has not been solved. See what he/she has to say on the matter.

    It is possible that the anal sacs are infected and need more intensive treatment than just being emptied.

    I am assuming that her stools are normal and this is not diarrhea.

    Your veterinarian may need to actually infuse medication into the sacs. This may require some sedation.

  234. Corrine says:

    My 8 year old, overweight cat, has been yowling and has not had a bowel movement in about a week. While cleaning her, I noticed her anal sacs were in need of expression. We expressed the sacs, and an enormous amount of brown “paste” came out from both sacs.
    There is no indication of any sort of infection in the sacs, ie pus or blood.
    She still won’t eat, but seems spry still. However, she is still “contracting” and yowling without a bowel movement.
    What would you suggest? And how much longer should we wait for a bowel movement?
    Thanks so kindly.

  235. Doc says:

    Hello, Corrine,

    I do not believe that the over-full anal sacs are related to the yowling and lack of bowel movement.

    You really need to take this cat to your veterinarian. I am concerned about possible blockages. While this may be something treatable with medicine rather than surgery, you need to find out what is causing this.

  236. Basset momma says:

    I have a 10 month old basset hound. He has had anal gland issues for the past 2 months. He has to be expressed every 2 weeks. I spend anywhere from $32.00 to 100.00 every time I take him to get him expressed. He has been on round after round of antibiotics and special dog foods. The vet says he needs more fiber. Well its not working! I’ve tried expressing them myself but I just can’t get the hang of it. The smell doesn’t ever really go away after expressing them it just gets stronger and that’s when I know it’s time to call the vet. Is this really a anal gland issue or could there be something else going on they should be checking? I have a 5 year old female basset as well, and have never had to have her expressed. This is so frustrating, not just for me but I’m sure he is tired of it as well Thanks!

  237. Doc says:

    Hello, Basset Momma,

    Has your veterinarian tried infusing medication directly into the anal sacs?

    If this has been ineffective, then you really need to ask him/her about removal of the sacs.

    This is seriously not normal.

    If the secretion actually seems to be normal, you might ask your veterinarian about referral to a groomer. If the sacs just need frequent emptying, a groomer should be able to help you at less expense than taking the doctor’s time.

    A technician in the veterinary hospital should also be able to do this. If there is no infection or disease, then the tech should be able to handle this, again at less expense than the doctor doing the job.

    The situation does not “sound normal”. You really shouldn’t need the sacs manually emptied so often.

  238. Kim B. says:

    I need help. I have taken my dog into get groomed the past two times and the gal doing it has tried to express her anal glands without success and has said they are rock hard. I took her to the vet and he treated it with antibiotics but it didnt do anything. She licks her butt constantly, has poop stuck to her bum and scoots around like crazy outside. She is an older dog and acts like this is really bothering her- any suggestions?

  239. Doc says:

    Hello, Kim,

    It sounds to me like you need to let your veterinarian know that the treatment doesn’t seem to have helped. He will want to know that and take the next step.

    I would be concerned that there might be something else going on. It is possible to have anal sac tumors.

    It is also possible for the secretion in the sacs to be really dry and hard. This can require anesthesia to allow the infusion of warm, oil medication to soften up the junk so it can be removed.

    Let your veterinarian know what is going on.

  240. Kim says:

    My dog has always had the occasional leakage from time to time, nothing that I really worried about. We recently switched her food to a higher quality food. It has been close to a month since the switch and she has developed a daily problem with leakage. Is this something that will go away with time or should we try to switch her food to something different. She was eating beneful and we switched to Natures Recipe.

  241. Doc says:

    Hello, Kim,

    I’m not sure how the food would be affecting this.

    Generally speaking, food with a higher fiber content gives firmer, more regular bowel movements.

    That might have an indirect effect on the emptying of the anal sacs.

    I really think you should have your veterinarian do a rectal examination to check for abnormalities. I just am skeptical about the food being the cause of the situation.

  242. Heather Spears says:


    We have a 10 yr old male rat terrier, neutered if that matters, and recently there has been some visible light colored blood in his stools. Not usually at first, as he usually poops 3 or 4 times when he goes out, so usually the 2nd and/or 3rd & 4th times is when we see it. It is very small amounts, but nevertheless it is there consistently. We have to take him to the vet occasionally to have his anal glands expressed, probably a few times a year. On several occasions throughout the years they have been pretty full &/or “impacted” as one vet put it one time many years ago. Also, for years now, on various occassions when he is ust lying down he will jump up and yelp out, looking toward his back end area. It will only be an isolated yelp, and may happen once or twice a month then not again for months, there is no rhyme nor reason to it. I only mention it in case it has some relevance to the blood that has been spotted in small amounts for about a week now. Any insight you can provide will be most appreciated as this is our “baby boy”. We do not have extensive funds available but we are going to take him to the vet as soon as possible. We are Owner/Operators in trucking and always on the road, so we do not have only one vet that we see, we use Banfield for both our dogs since they can access their records Nationwide. We are presently in Canada but will be back in the US soon and will be going to the vet then. We are just really worried in the mean time and I thought maybe I could find out some information. By the way, his appetite is fine, no diahrrea, vomiting or anything, not lethargic, the only sign is the blood and then he yelped pretty loud just a few moments ago, this is the first yelp since we first noticed the blood though. Thank you so much for any help you can provide.

  243. Doc says:

    Hello, Heather,

    This does not sound like a typical anal sac problem. It could be further up in the rectum, or there could be a problem with a tumor in the anal sac area.

    Your own plan to see your veterinarian as soon as possible is the best plan I can think of.

    He/she will likely start with a rectal examination, a stool exam, rectal cytology, plus or minus X-rays, possibly even a colonoscopy.

  244. Debra says:

    Hi, my name’s Debra. This past week I’ve noticed that my 1 year old pug has a red sort of sore coming out of his butt, also has diarrhea and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, or what to do – help? 🙁 I’m scared for him.

  245. Doc says:

    Hello, Debra,

    This is not something I can help you with on a long-distance basis. You really need to take your dog to his veterinarian. This may be something very easily handled, so don’t be scared, just get it seen to.

  246. Jennifer says:

    Hello, Our female dog was curled up on the couch licking her butt…I happened to look over and saw something clear squirt out…where it came from …I’m not quite sure…she kept licking as it squirted out. Would this have been anal gland fluids? She hasn’t been in any discomfort…and it looked as though she did it on purpose…like she enjoyed it….Could you please give me a suggestion as to what on earth I just witnessed….Thank you!

  247. Doc says:

    Hello, Jennifer,

    If it squirted from the anal area, I would be pretty suspicious it was anal sac secretions. She may have been licking for the same reason that many dogs scoot on their rear. Pressure has built up because the sacs did not empty, and she is trying to relieve that discomfort.

    If you relieved a discomfort, then you might enjoy that.

  248. victoria says:

    Hi my 10 year old German Wirehaired pointer recently had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his anal sac. Surgery went well and he seemed to recover. Tonight he secreted about a teaspoon of fluid from his sac,I know this as the smell is so distinct. I am worried it may be sinister as the only other time this has happened was a little while before the tumor was found. Is it possible the cancer has returned? I will be getting him seen to but wondered if you had any thoughts. Thanks Victoria

  249. Doc says:

    Hello, Victoria,

    Sometimes the sacs empty spontaneously when the dog is stressed. So, maybe it’s nothing.

    Malignant tumors can certainly recur.

    Your doctor will do a rectal examination to get a better idea what is going on.

    Best wishes.

  250. Bernie says:

    Hi, I have a 12yr old Jack Russell, he is a diabetic, he has suffered with his anal glands alot recently, he was due to go in and have them removed and be castrated at the same time due to the glands developing an abscess which was not healing with anti biotics, the vet carried out the castration but not the removal of the glands due to the mass being to big !! he has been on anti biotics a few times in the last couple of months but the abscess is not healing I am due to take him back to the vets on monday, but have noticed the abscess bleeding, should I try to get an earlier appt? he will not let you anywhere near the area. Many thanks

  251. Doc says:

    Hello, Bernie,

    If your dog won’t let you get anywhere near the anal area (so no warm compresses can be applied to help the discomfort), then he must be in some significant pain.

    If you cannot get an earlier appointment, ask your veterinarian if they can give you pain medication to use in the interim.

  252. Bernie says:

    Hi took ted to the vets and now the abscess has ulcerated we are bathing it, but the vet says there is no more they can do, (its a type of cancer) not sure which because i was so upset I didnt take it all in … they have giving us more antibiotics and inflammatories to try and ease it … ted is still happy in himself to a certain degree … but the vet said when it starts to effect him we will know its time !!! we have got to go back in two weeks and I have lots of questions now, but was wondering what do they mean when it effects him what are the signs any info would be appreciated. thank you bernie.

  253. Doc says:

    Hello, Bernie,

    If this is cancer, then the prognosis is indeed poor. They tend to be aggressive, and not to respond well to therapy. Sometimes they are treated with radiation, but this is a complex process, not to mention expensive (two to four thousand dollars is common).

    As to what your veterinarian means, I guess you need to ask him. I would think that he is suggesting that Ted will at some point quit enjoying life. That he will stop doing the things he likes to do. He may even cry, but most dogs are pretty stoic, and even when in a lot of pain they don’t cry.

    You don’t have to wait two weeks for your appointment to give your veterinarian some feedback on how Ted is doing and ask for guidance. That is what I would recommend.

  254. Debbie says:

    Hi Doc.
    Have a question. I have a 5 year old male chow that had an abscessed and ruptured anal gland which resulted in a hole about the size of a number 2 pencil through the skin at about 7 o’clock. It first ruptured about a month ago and the hole closed up within a couple days, which was probably too soon and he was put on a course of antibiotics which we later found the bacteria was resistant to….it ruptured again.
    After culture sensitivity was done, he was put on Clavamox and the anal sac was filled with anamax. We have been keeping the pencil size hole open, now only big enough to insert the tip of the ointment tube, with saline rinses and filling the wound with anamax. Tis has been going n for 3 weeks now. There appears to be a void, like a pocket, right under the skin that the hole comes from because we are able to put about 3cc of saline in it. The anal glands are empty and normal size, but there remains this ‘pocket’ that doesn’t seem to want to close. The hole would if I let it, but am afraid to because I don’t want it to get infected or abscess again.

    The vet that has been treating him believes that the pocket needs to be opened up, maybe scraped out, a drain tube put in it, and stitched shut, but I can’t find another case of anything like this. Is there a name for this?

    Is it common for a ruptured anal gland to leave a ‘pocket’ like this?

  255. Doc says:

    Hello, Debbie,

    If the hole is not at the bottom of the pocket, then it never fully drains, and doesn’t heal.

    Another thing that can happen is that the body, in its attempt to deal with the problem, forms a sort of capsule to wall it off. This is not a normal structure. If this has happened, then your veterinarian’s recommendation is correct.

    Surgically open, peel out the pocket lining, and close with a drainage tube exiting the bottom so that fluid does not accumulate and prevent the pocket from closing in.

    It sounds to me like your veterinarian is right on the money with this difficult case.

    Best wishes and thanks for reading and writing.

  256. Debbie says:

    Thank you for your time and thoughts on this. I hate the thought of putting him through anymore, but want to get this taken care of.

    I’m also trying to decided if we should go ahead and have him remove that anal sac since he has had trouble with it three times now. He seems to have a problem about once a year….this is the first time it ruptured, but I’m concerned that perhaps the amount of trauma that’s being/been done is causing it to be a recurrent issue. His right one has never been a problem. Thank you again for the info….made for some interesting late night reading.

  257. April says:

    Hi, I have a 9mth old Chihuahua, I was wondering if you can tell me whats happening… when I hold him in my arms and rock and sing to him, he usually falls asleep, his bum is almost always resting on my arm, when I lay him down, my arm is wet, and it reaks. Im assuming this is an anal gland issue. Whats happening when this happens and should I be concerned. He shows no signs of needing his glands emptied. Also he is very protective of his hiney. If anyone pets him on his back side, including me he gives a low growl and a little flash of his teeth. Any advice would be great.

  258. Sara J. Parsons says:

    Our Brussels Griffin has very and frequently swollen anal sacs. Even though our vet and bis tech have tried to show me how to extract the fluid, I can’t see with their hands in the way. Could you please show a diagram indicating the proper place and placement of fingers so I can give our sweet boy some relief?

  259. Doc says:

    Hello, Sara,

    While many dogs are protective of their privacy in that area, I am concerned that there may be a painful issue back there.

    I would recommend that you let your veterinarian examine this.

  260. Doc says:

    I really don’t think I can teach you this over the phone, so to speak.

    If you really want to learn to empty anal sacs, then I would recommend working with a groomer. It just takes practice.

  261. Wendy says:

    Hello, I am seriously worried about my 6-yr old poodle. Friday morning I discovered a “blood blister” on his rectum. I took him to vet that day. I was told it was the worst impacted anal gland they had ever seen. It had a dried-up rocky substance packed inside and blew out two holes in his anal gland (sac). They flushed both glands out, put antibiotic in them, and sent him home with a drain tube device and collar (lampshade collar) on him. They also gave me two types of antibiotics to administer to him. Since Friday, (it is now Sunday afternoon), I cannot get my dog to eat one morsel of food, nor drink a drop of water. He just lays around listless. I was told to bring him back in a week for a check up and to remove the drain tube. He hasn’t had any drainage since Fri night. Is that normal? I’m worried he’ll become dehyderated since he won’t drink. Please help me. I’m so worried about him.
    Thank you.

  262. Doc says:

    Hello, Wendy,

    I usually recommend putting warm compresses on the area for 10 to 15 minutes, three times daily. Run a pan of water as warm as you can stand to keep your hand in it. Keep wringing out a cloth (like a dish-towel) and applying moist heat. This stimulates circulation in the area, helps break up stuff that needs to drain, and cleans the area as you keep removing the cloth.

    I would suspect that your dog is having a lot of pain. He isn’t likely to get seriously dehydrated overnight, but I would definitely call your veterinarian first thing Monday.

    Even if the dog is doing better, they would want to know how things are going, and that you had a difficult weekend. They may prescribe some pain medication for him.

    If he still hasn’t felt like eating or drinking, he may really require some fluid therapy.

    Be sure to call your veterinarian first thing on Monday.

  263. Miasmom says:

    My 8yr old GS female has been discharging a watery fluid, but doesn’t stink, from her glands and she’s scooting. When i examined her rear it looked swollen so i gave her a bath and applied PreperationH. She felt so much better that she lets me look at her butt now when i mention PH before i had to coax/force her. The discharged seems to have slowed/stopped, swelling is down and she is no longer scooting.
    My ? is: Is PreperationH safe or can it harm the dog? and have you heard of using PreperationH before?
    love ur site and thanks x’s a million!

  264. Sophie says:

    My 5 year old white german shepherd has recently had a foul smell and brown colouring around her butt. I assume the colouring looked quite bad because of her white fur. She was taken to the vets and they said her anal glands were compacted and they have now been expressed (the vet said they were quite bad). She’s been given antibiotics and anti inflammatory tablets to take.

    About 2weeks ago (before any of the colouring/foul smell) my mother was looking after the dog and held out a ice lolly for the dog to lick and my dog wolfed the stick down quick enough out of my mums hand for my mum not being able to stop it (stick roughly 3inches). A week or so later this brown liquid started being left on sheets etc she had sat on and the colouring/smell started. An out of hours vet was phoned and she’s also been to the vet and they say they don’t think the sticks there anymore (though not seen it) and its just her anal glands.

    My concern is that she still smells though not as bad, and there is still colouring/leaking. There also seems to be a red/pink tinge but I don’t know if this is the anal gland fluid just being emphasised by her white fur. We’re trying a warm compress after reading your previous advice but shall we wait for the drugs prescribed to finish or something else? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  265. Doc says:

    Hello, Miasmom,

    Preparation H will not hurt the dog. It has even been used as a lip balm (use a specially designated tube, though).

    However, if you continue to have problems, you should let your veterinarian examine the dog.

  266. Doc says:

    Hello, Sophie,

    If you do not feel that the problem is quite a bit better by 4 or 5 days of medication, do let your veterinarian know.

    Sometimes these require flushing of the sacs, followed by placing medicine directly into the sacs. This will probably require some sedation.

  267. Koryne Garcia says:

    I had an 18 year old female cat who was going in and out of the litter box frequently tonight but not necessarily doing anything. When I tried to scooch her over on the bed my hand hit her back end where this red jelly type of goo was on my hand. I then noticed what looked to be a red mucus glob on the bed and as I cleaned it noticed that a fair amount of liquid was also on the bed which kind of smelled like urine just not as strong…..wondering if you have any idea what this could be. Also the way she meowed was different than normal.

  268. Doc says:

    Hello, Koryne,

    If she has not been spayed, I would be concerned about an infected uterus.

    At any rate, there is nothing normal that causes this. She needs to see her veterinarian and pretty soon, too.

  269. Glenda says:

    My 9 year old Airedale has been having trouble finishing off his bowel movements. The first stools are very normal but the last little bit is very soft and causes him to strain to finish. This has been going on for some time. Do you think this is a dietary issue or anal sacs?

  270. Doc says:

    Hello, Glenda,

    It doesn’t sound like an anal sac issue, though to be sure you should have your veterinarian examine him.

    It is possible that this would be fiber-responsive, but I really cannot prescribe for a dog I have not seen.

    Good luck.

  271. Lauren says:

    Hi doc, love the post. Helpful info. My cat who’s 1.4 yr old has a anal sac problem. I can decrease the gland by squeezing the liquid out. Softly but it looks like it keeps filling up. I could be wrong though. Not as hard now, and it doesn’t hurt him. He doesn t meow about it. He playfully and takes poops with out much noise or strain. What if anything should I put on it to make sure no infection comes. Thank you. Concerned for my kitty prince willam

  272. Doc says:

    Hello, Lauren,

    Since the sacs are not exposed to the outside, there really isn’t anything that you can “put on them”. If they are continually causing a problem, then let your veterinarian examine your cat. It is possible that medication may need to be put inside the sacs. This requires sedation.

    With constant problems, sometimes it is best to remove the sacs surgically. This is seldom necessary, however.

  273. Alicia Pan says:

    Hello! My dog has had his anal glands cleared by the vet about 3 months ago and few days back he doesn’t seem too well again, letting out a lot of gas, not eating and lethargic. We suspect it might be his anal glands affecting him again. I went on to google how to clear the glands myself for him at him. While ‘massaging’ the 4 and 8 O clock direction from his anus, nothing came out. After about an hour or so, he went on to poop a lot. Just like what happened when he had his anal gland cleared by the vet. I’m just wondering if this is normal? Everything he lets out a lot of air, he doesn’t poop. And he don’t eat much. However after he clears his bowel, his appetite came back and is a lot active. I’m not sure if I did the right thing while trying to clear the glands……… Just seeking for opinions on what happened. 🙂

    Thank you in advance!

  274. Doc says:

    Hello, Alicia,

    Anal sac problems usually cause pain or discomfort in the anal area. They do not usually affect the dog’s bowel habits.

    Lots of gas means that either he has eaten something that he digests poorly, giving gas-producing bacteria a lot of food, or that he has eaten something nasty with a lot of unusual bacteria.

  275. James says:

    I have a 8 month old german shepherd. here recently he started licking his butt which now is red and raw for about 3-5 days now. He takes trifexis which kills worms and etc, so i dont think it’s worms. but then again im not a doctor haha. when he uses the bathroom some are normal others might be runyish. i have been wiping the area and has a light funky smell I have notice. before he uses the bathroom he sits first than stands back up to use it. like i said i have no clue, please help, Thanks!

  276. Doc says:

    Hello, James,

    Trifexis is a good heartworm preventive, and is pretty good at keeping the dog free of hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms. It is a great flea-control product.

    While it doesn’t kill tapeworms, fleas are the most common intermediate host and source of tapeworms, so you’re less likely to get them.

    Dogs do occasionally scoot when they have tapeworms. Usually you would see evidence of the parasites, little pieces of worm that look like a bit of rice or noodle in the dog’s stools (or sometimes on his rear, or where he has been sitting).

    Most dogs that scoot on their rear do have anal sac problems. Your veterinarian can check the area and see if the anal sacs are overly full, or inflamed, or painful. They can become infected.

    I would not expect an allergic inflammation to do this.

  277. mehak says:

    hi..i hav a 1 yr old new to d dog club so jst tonight i got to knw about anal glands expression problem…. i see my pug runs arnd tryn to chase his tail a lot many tyms….bt is it bcoz he has some problm wid anal sacs??plz help me on dis..

  278. Doc says:

    Hello, Mehak,

    Anal sac problems don’t usually cause tail-chasing, but they might.

    The best way to tell if there is a problem with the anal gland sacs is to let your veterinarian examine them.

  279. Leci says:

    I have expressed my dogs anal glands serval times in the past 3 weeks. She was leaking a reddish-brownish fluid. After reading this article I expressed them. ( As I was expressing..) The fluid was white the first few times. Now it’s had a slight greenish- brownish tent. I can tell she is feeling better, but she is still leaking the reddish-brownish color. I cannot feel any glands that I haven’t reached. Not sure what to do. Any suggestions? This article was great!

  280. Doc says:

    Hello, Leci,

    The leakage is not normal, and suggests a medical problem.

    I would recommend that you take her to your veterinarian.

  281. Stephanie says:

    My kitten has green stuff in/coming out of her butt hole. She’s having some trouble going to the bathroom. What is this?
    – Stephanie

  282. Doc says:

    This is not something that is common. Could be some kind of bad diarrhea.

    She needs to see your veterinarian.

  283. Marissa Milam says:

    Hello I have a two week old kitten and on her right side in front of left leg this bump popped up and now 3 days later its bigger.. I put a pin in it and clear liquid came out with a smell.. Help me pleade

  284. Kennyann says:

    Hello, I have a 1 and almost a half year old female black lab. She has been panting tonight and has been acting lethargic. She is not fixed and her nipples are’nt any larger than they were a month ago, but we have left our Cocker Spaniel alone with her for over a day. He is almost 9 1/4 years old, none-spayed. I need to know!

  285. Doc says:

    Hello, Marissa,

    This sounds like an abscess, and is not something that can be treated “over the phone”. The best advice I can give you is to see your veterinarian.

  286. Doc says:

    Hello Kennyann,

    The panting and lethargy are not very specific signs. They could indicate a fever or any number of things.

    If your dog continues to feel bad, then she needs to see your veterinarian.

  287. Emily says:

    Wow, this is so useful. My 6 year old doxie is a great weight and in good health. She does however need her anal sacs expressed every 4-8 months or so. She’s never scooted, but she’ll lick a lot and sometimes when she’s walking along she’ll let out a sharp quick whine and turn and look at her bottom. Last night she was whining all night and licking, and we’ve done this song and dance since she was about 3.

    I have zero cash until Friday, and in February I had to express her bladder when she had back surgery for a ruptured disk, so I figured how hard can expressing anal glands be? I needed something to get her through to Friday, though.

    I got a little tan-colored liquid out on the second try and squeezed a little more firmly and one side shot across the room. Liquid, but grainy particles in it, too. No blood that I could see. She’s acting just fine now and no whining, but I’m reading now it’s possible to rupture the glands with too much force.

    Are there signs I should watch for in case I squeezed hard enough to rupture one? Normally is it painful enough she would have responded or yelped if I had?

  288. Doc says:

    Hello, Emily,

    I’d say the big pop and squirt was due to the fact that the opening was blocked. The extra pressure required to “pop the cork” resulted in the jet stream.

    The grainy particles suggest that the secretion had been sitting there for a long time (as in a blocked orifice).

    How much pressure is too much? Unfortunately, that is something learned by experience. Certainly if the dog appears to be hurt by the process, you may be squeezing too hard. Sometimes a clogged gland requires some very special treatment by your veterinarian.

    If you had damaged the gland, I would expect to see some swelling and pain in the area.

  289. Emily says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. She seems to have a little more pep in her step and I don’t see any swelling. I’ll keep a close eye on her the next few days. If I suspect anything I’ll take her in to the vet.

  290. Valarie says:

    I have a 4 year old Beagle. For the last year or so he has been licking at his bottom…and occasionally jumping as if something hurts. He also farts a lot after eating.
    Took him to the vet… they expressed his glands and said that they were completely full.
    He seemed ok for a while, and is now behaving the same way AFTER he eats. Sometimes, he’s up all night… licking his bum, and running with his tail tucked.
    We took him back to the vet about 3 months ago. The expressed him again (said there was some, but glands were not full). They also checked his stools and gave him a rectal exam. They didn’t find anything. They did give me some Pro biotic powder to sprinkle on his food. I’m not sure if its helping or not.
    I’m at my wits end… I don’t know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  291. Doc says:

    Hello, Valerie,

    The probiotic sounds like a good idea.

    I don’t really know how to help you “long distance” with this.

    I would be concerned about something physically irritating the area – a contact dermatitis or allergic reaction.

    There is a product called “Relief Spray” that is a moisturizer with a local anesthetic in it. You might ask about that.

    If your veterinarian hasn’t seen the dog in three months, there may be something new for him to see that will help you. I’d get a recheck exam.

  292. kathy G says:

    I have a 4 month old great dane that has had issues with diahrrea. His poop has firmed up somewhat but twice now I have noticed a spray come out at the end of a poop. I have been reading and no one has mentioned a spray. could it more of a great dane thing? Thanks Kathy

  293. Doc says:

    Hello, Kathy,

    The anal sacs usually just give a few drops. If the dog is really stressed, he might have a squirt, but it wouldn’t necessarily have to be associated with a bowel movement. It’s more of a “butt-pucker moment”.

    With the diarrhea issues, I’d be suspecting your spray is more related to that. You really should let your veterinarian know what is going on. Persistent diarrhea can indicate a parasite problem or intestinal infection that really needs treatment.

  294. Terry Key says:

    So happy to find this site! My Bailey has had anal gland issues for some years now chronic infections, glands are double the normal size, hard and scarred, per my vet. My vet internally expresses them every 3 weeks and they are always full and usually ‘white toothpaste-like consistancy. They have been flushed, infused, and my vet is very concerned he’ll develop cancer there due to such abnormal glands. So they are to be removed on Monday.

    I’m a wreck, he’s a 10 year old Maltese and my baby. I fear the anesthesia first, then the chance of losing control of his bowels. My question is, if this happens, does fecal matter just leak all the time or only when he would normally go poo? Would it be best to keep a doggy diaper on?

    Also, I read your post that say its a long surgery. I was going to have her clean his teeth while he’s under, but that would mean he’d be under longer, is that bad for him?

  295. Doc says:

    Hello, Terry,

    The risk of incontinence is there, but it is small. Most do not have problems after the surgery (but it is possible).

    If incontinent, then they can just leak at random. You might need a diaper.

    I would not plan on having the dental procedure done at the same time. The anesthesiologists tell me that they would prefer two short anesthetic procedures over one long one, as far as being better for the patient.

  296. Niki says:

    My 2 year old chihuahua went to the bet with an abcess anal gland that was infected. It didn’t rupture but the vet lanced it and then stitched a tube in for a few days to him so it can drain. The problem is that they had to remove a lot of the dead skin from the abcess that the skin is so thin where they sewed it. The 2nd day it came undone (I could see the middle of the tube going through) so they stitched it again. My dog is wearing the collar and just sits in his bed all day and today I checked and the outside stiches are fine but the internal stiches I found dried up in a bit of old blood and now I can see the middle of the tube again. Obviously it’s not staying closed. My question is- can this heal on its own if I keep it clean and continue his Clavamox that he is on? Obviously the stitches are not hiding due to the very thin skin and I can’t afford to keep having it rest itched if it will keep coming out. He gets his tube out tomorrow but I’m looking for any advice on of this has happened before and what to do

  297. Doc says:

    Hello, Niki,

    Since this is doing so poorly, ask your veterinarian if he thinks it might do to let it heal as an open wound by “second intention”.

    This would involve using warm compresses for 10 to 15 minutes three times daily, and staying on antibiotics and pain medicine.

    I really cannot advise you as to the best way to handle this, as I have not seen your dog.

  298. Ann says:

    My Morkie appeared to have feces stuck on his behind, when I cleaned him up I noticed it appeared his anus was severely stretched out what do we need to do?

  299. Doc says:

    Hello, Ann,

    It sounds as though your dog is having trouble with his anal sphincter (the muscles that close up his anus). This could be a neurological problem, or related to anal sac problems, or even a tumor.

    You need to have your dog examined by your veterinarian.

  300. Bobbi says:

    Hello. I have a 12 year old GSD/Greyhound cross. About a month ago, I noticed he was very smelly, and took him to the vet, who expressed his glands. He never had prior problems. Since then, he’s still been very smelly, so I took him back in, and the vet got a handful of blood when she expressed his glands. She said it was ‘concerning’, but just gave me oral antibiotics. My dog has no problems going potty, and he doesn’t lick himself…he’s just really smelly with occasional scooting. The ‘concerning’ comment kind of freaked me out; they just said to make sure he finishes his medication and they’ll recheck him in two weeks. Should I be more concerned?

  301. Doc says:

    Hello, Bobbi,

    I would recommend following your veterinarian’s advice. She has seen your dog and I haven’t.

    If the sacs don’t clear up, they may require direct infusion of medication, but this requires sedation. Since many dogs clear up with the oral meds, I can see why your doctor started with that.

    Keep your doctor posted as to how the dog’s condition progresses.

  302. Coco says:

    Hi Doc hoping to get your opinion. I have a princess shih tzu that just turned 5, Martial, and I noticed he is just now scooting and his rear end has been secreting pus. A few days ago he vomited bright yellow liquid. The anal gland issue is actually not new, he was diagnosed with an anal sac problem whoch persisted so I had them taken out a year and a half ago. After the glands were removed though he developed a fistula and a very large wound opened just below his anus. That went on for 8 months, I was told he had cancer, until I sought a second opinion and his vet gave the right treatment (diapers) to get the wound to close. He has been fine until now. I have been doing research (again) which all seems to suggest that an anal sac disease will be fixed permanently by removal so I don’t understand how this could be happening again. I have checked his anus and can’t determine whether the pus is coming out of another fistula or his anus. Please help! Im taking him to the vet tomorrow but want to understand how this could be happening again. Is it something with his food? I feed him a brand called Holistic and mix vegetables in, usually carrots or lettuce or cucumber (wo seeds of course) or our environment? Are there other causes of pus secretion from the anus other than anal sac disease?

  303. Doc says:

    Hello, Coco,

    I would be concerned that even though the previous fistula healed, there was a small cyst (enclosed cavity) that got walled off. Sometimes things heal over on the outside, but there is still a pocket of something nasty inside. This could break to the inside of the rectal area.

    This would certainly be a rare thing. Your veterinarian may be able to sort things out with a rectal examination, but it may take a colonoscopic exam.

    I do not think that this is related to the food in any way.

  304. Kayla Ortiz says:

    hi there my name is kayla and my mother in law has a chiawaw i think thats how you spell it she is spayed and shes been having this discharge come out of her anus and it slimly and it stretechs and well theres blood in it can you tell me what we could do for her cause we do now have the money to pay for a vet

  305. doc says:

    Hello, Kayla,

    I’m not sure that this can get well without some medical help. You may be able to give the dog some relief with warm compresses. I fix a pan of water as warm as I can stand to keep my hand in it. Using a dish towel or other small cloth, I keep soaking the cloth and using it to apply heat to the area. As the cloth cools, re-soak it. This cleans the area, helps things to drain, and improves the circulation.

    This will not hurt things,and usually gives the dog some relief from pain, but there could be something serious going on that won’t get well without proper medical treatment.

  306. julie says:

    Hi, so we have a GSP only a year old. we have notice about 3 tims now that when he stretches he will spray. we dont think he realizes it. there are no signs of any discomfort and we take him outside regularly and notice that he does sent on his piles. but for him to spray while stretching seems odd. any ideas? thank you julie

  307. doc says:

    Hello, Julie,

    We usually just see this with major stress, physical or emotional, a “butt-pucker” moment.

    If this happens frequently, I’d let your veterinarian check him out.

  308. Gigi says:

    I have a Dachsund/Terrier mix dog, 1yr-9months old (15-1/2lbs). She’s had her anal glands expressed a few times. She had luxating patella surgery (due to grade 4 diagnosis) in August 2013. Her leg is good now, however sometimes it does act up and she’ll do the skipping/lifting of her leg (vet said that could happen).

    I’ve noticed lately that sometimes she will drop a little poo (small round firm nugget) while she’s sleeping through the night. It doesn’t happen often, but am seeing it a bit more. She is so ashamed when this happens too. There are days when I give her more treats than I should and I wonder if that is causing this (her eating too much). However, I also wonder if dropping poo while sleeping could be due to needing her sacs expressed, or if maybe the surgery she had could be the reason this is happening? Thank you very much for your help!


  309. Mary says:

    Last week my dog was rubbing his butt across the ground. Knowing this is common regarding anal sacs the first few minutes we didn’t look at it. Then we picked him up and saw the severity. He never showed any signs like that up until a couple of days ago. Thankfully my vet, who’s appts. were full that day told us to bring him in, an thankfully we did. He said one of his anal sacs was infected. He said it was very large. He said he couldn’t lance it because the material was was impacted and solid. He took a conservative approach. He told us since he cannot lance it due to the fact that it was not liquid, we should give him warm compresses every hour, and he put him on an antibiotic. He said by the time the antibiotic was done, the anal sac would be back to normal. I have to say within a day it looked a lot better, and is continuing to be doing much better. He said follow up was not necessary if we follow what he said, which we have. Everything looks clean around his anus and there is no foul smell. He still isn’t quite his zippy self, but looks like he is on the road to recovery. When explaining his condition, he gave some information I never was aware of. He said small dogs, and dogs that are farther away from the wolf family sometimes have anal sacs that are not positioned properly, and that is one reason it happens to small dogs. I had a poodle that I used to have to take in, but nothing this serious. I hope by the end of the antibiotic and warm compression is over, things are okay up to this point.

  310. doc says:

    Hello, Mary,
    Most of the patients that I see with anal sac problems are small dogs or overweight dogs, or elderly dogs. We feel that they don’t have enough muscle tone in the anal sphincter to empty properly after each bowel movement.

    Certainly, the farther one gets from the natural successful model for a dog (i.e. wolves, foxes, coyotes, etc), the more problems you run into. English Bulldogs are just a catalog of medical problems.

    I hope that the treatment handles things for you. Sometimes it is necessary to sedate the dog and infuse a warm, oily ointment into the sac to help break up the junk so it can be emptied and treated thoroughly.

    When you have completed the treatment, it would be a good idea to let your doctor recheck the area.

  311. Gary Bates says:

    First, thank you for all you do. I see where your daughter gets her altruistic spirit. I have become a connoisseur of fine anal drippings.

    Our 7 yo Great Dane always needed her anal glands expressed. She had progressively become immobile due to suspected degenerative disease or perhaps a knee injury. The vet started Rimadyl, which worked like a miracle. On that visit, we took the opportunity to have her glands emptied. The tech was showing me how (I’m an experienced medical provider), but she seemed very rough, and the liquid flew everywhere and smelled like it came from the devil himself.

    On the way home, the dog’s glands leaked in the car, and they never really stopped since. The fluid is bloody and god-awful. It leaked everywhere she went, and we shampooed the rugs, bed, etc, daily, and tried diapers which she hated. We thought the tech had injured her, and we got a appointment a week or two later.

    They said she had sacculitis, and prescribed Clindamycin. She was already on tramadol, and we added Benadryl, and Pepcid. I’ve been externally expressing her glands every few days. The leaking isn’t as bad as it was, but it’s still there, and it’s still bloody after 3 weeks of oral meds. There’s clearly no external abscess. She has a good appetite, and is happy until she sees me donning my rubber gloves. We love our primary vet, but I’m hesitant to go back because they have always been savagely expensive ($10,000 on this dog over 3 years, including 2 bouts of pneumonia).

    My questions are:
    1) Could the tech have possibly injured her the first time? She’s never leaked before. And if so, should they take financial responsibility. My wife is disabled and I work 3 jobs, and it literally comes down to paying the electric bill, or treating our dog.
    2). Would an IV antibiotic be in order, and if so which one? I could possibly get antibiotics that are due to be discarded, and could very competently place the line and give it, or we could call in a favor from a friend who lives couple of hours away and is a veterinary anesthetist.

  312. doc says:

    Hello, Gary,

    While it is remotely possible that injury occurred during the squeezing of the anal sacs, I think it is unlikely.

    The only time one would need to squeeze that hard is when the secretion is very thick and hard (like cheese). It certainly wouldn’t squirt across the room in those circumstances.

    Rather than intravenous antibiotics, my next approach would be (and this would require at least mild sedation) to directly infuse the sacs. First flushing them to remove debris, and then instilling an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory ointment. This may need to be done more than once.

    I also usually use warm compresses to help with increasing circulation in the area.

    You might ask your doctor about this, since things do not seem to be improving with the current treatment.

    Since I have not examined your dog, I really cannot give you any specific recommendations.

    Best wishes.

  313. Louise says:

    Our dog went to the vet yesterday because of scooting & cough. I thought it was heartworm but after sedation, X-ray and anal glands expressed, he was diagnosed with bronchitis and a half full gland. I put him in the car, drove home and tried to get him out of car but he won’t move. I cannot move him.

    I opened all car doors and left him there, checking every 30 minutes. Sometime during the night he got out of car and is laying on the rug next to car. I cannot coax him to stand. He won’t drink or eat.

    He’s obviously in some kind of pain. What in the world could possibly have happened during this anal gland expression to put my dog in such distress?

  314. doc says:

    Hello, Louise,

    I hope that by now you have called your veterinarian to let him know what is going on.

    I cannot imagine anything with the anal sacs that would produce this.

    I would be much more concerned about him having trouble eliminating the sedation from his system in a normal fashion.

    If you have not contacted your veterinarian to let him/her know about this, you should do so at once.

  315. Louise says:

    Thanks for your speedy reply. I did call my vet as soon as they opened this morning and of course they wanted me to bring him right in. My husband is out of town and there is no way I can move this dog. But I thought I’d try. So I went out to the car and opened the door, he jumped right in!!! I was so worried he was paralyzed but evidentially he was just sore from the procedure and loopy from anesthesia.

    I just wanted to let you know. Thank you for such an awesome blog.

  316. alison prince duffy says:

    Hi I have a 5 year old male boxer and for the past few months has been doing the carpet scoot! he has bad smelling wind, but nothing awful & no leaking from his rear. we visited vet who expressed his glands (the dogs that is) and sent us on our way to think about an allergy diet. I have treated all sorts of foods but the scooting continues. His rear looks red & he will often jump up with his back legs semi buckling beneath him… please can you help just need to know where to go next. Thanks Alison

  317. doc says:

    Hello, Allison,

    If your dog really has a food allergy, it is very important to select a hypo-allergenic diet, not just try a bunch of different foods. Also, a dietary elimination trial requires eating NOTHING other than the prescribed diet (not even flavored heartworm medicine) for at least 12 weeks (though you would hope to see some improvement by four weeks).

    You need to have a new discussion with the doctor who is seeing your dog. I do not believe that you guys are in full communication here. You need to let him/her know what you have tried, and how the dog is doing.

  318. Linnea says:

    I have a cocker spaniel and I usually clean out her anal glands every 6 weeks or so… Yesterday I noticed she was having a hard time pooping. The poop was not really dry but hard balls. She whined a little and went all over the yard till she finally pooped. I picked up her tail to check her anal glands and she whines a little but lets me feel the sacs. I have been cleaning out her glands and I know when they need to be expressed and they don’t feel like they are that full. Could this be constipation or anal sac problems? No scooting, no biting the tail, etc. Nothing new in her diet either.

  319. doc says:

    Hello, Linnea,

    Poop that is dry, hard balls sure sounds like constipation to me. I doubt it is related to her anal sacs. There may have been no change in what you feed her, but sometimes dogs find things to eat on their own.

    Your veterinarian can help you with a safe laxative, or even give an enema if necessary. Please don’t use over-the-counter stuff. Talk to your veterinarian.

  320. Debra H Carter says:

    I am concerned about my dog. she is a miniature rat terrier and she used the bathroom and I seen a little blood about 3 days ago and she has not used the bathroom since. I called the vet and they said give her metamucil but this morning she passed what looks like a long sac(gland). Can these come out of a dog?? Concerned

  321. doc says:

    Hello, Debra,

    The anal sacs would not pass out of the dog.

    I couldn’t say whether she has passed some nasty object she found, or what it would be.

    Metamucil is a pretty safe laxative.

    If she continues to have difficulty, let your veterinarian examine her.

  322. Danielle says:

    I have a Himalayan 10 year old cat. He had a ruptured anal gland last week. This is his first one. The vet drained it, put an antibiotic on it and then had him wear a cone for the week. We took him back today, exactly one week later, and she is recommending he wear the cone for another week!!! Apparently under the scab she ripped off, there is still a pea size wound. Is it necessary that the cat even wears a cone while it is healing? I haven’t read that cats need to wear a cone in any of my research on treatment of anal glands. Two weeks seems cruel. How long does it typically take to heal? This is the only time we had to use this vet so I don’t feel very comfortable yet. Also When talking to other cat owners with similar problems this seems to be a bit long.

    On another note, do you recommend any of the cloth cones for cats? I just really can’t watch him suffer in a plastic cone for another 7 nights.

  323. doc says:

    Hello, Danielle,

    The key question here is whether or not the cat would traumatize the area and slow the healing. Some cats would, some would not.

    If you leave the cone off and the cat makes things a lot worse, you’ll wish you left it on. If you take it off and the cat never bothers it, then you’ll feel it was unnecessary in the first place.

    It sounds to me like your veterinarian is just trying to take every precaution to ensure the most rapid healing possible.

    You might consider leaving the cone off while you can supervise the cat closely to see what happens, but put it back on again when you are not present.

    This is really a highly individual situation, and I cannot give a blanket recommendation, as to cone or no cone. The soft cones sometimes are just fine, sometimes do not provide adequate protection.

    Generally speaking, I feel that the person best equipped to advise you is the doctor who is actually seeing your pet.

    Good luck.

  324. Stacey says:

    Hi I have a 5yr old Chiuawawa (treena) Thursday I took her to the vet BC/ I noticed she had a red hot lump next to her anal. So I was told by the vet to take her home and put warm compresses on her because she has an anal abcess. If it didn’t pop by Saturday to come back and they would have to lance it out. Well later that night it did pop and I started the anitobotic and a pain pill the vet had gave me. Sunday I ended up taking her back to the vet because she wasn’t eating or having a bowl movement. The vet said she had a secondary infection around the abscess gave her a morphine type drug and flushed the wound out. Sent me home with two anitobotic’s an anti inflamotory and a pain pill. She has not had a bowl movement since Thursday and is eating (not much) and drinking water. My concern is no bowl movement. It’s been six days. How can I help her?

  325. doc says:

    Hello, Stacey,

    I recommend that you contact your veterinarian and let them know the situation. They will probably recommend a stool softener, but they may want to recheck her to be sure that the healing is proceeding.

  326. svetlana latkovic says:

    I have a 15 yr old jack Russell terrier that has been having constipation issues as of late. He keeps trying to go and has been in ditress. Then the last few weeks his stool has been runny almost like diarrhea. I tool him to the vet for this before and they told me he is fine. Now he has lost weight. What could it be?

  327. doc says:

    Hello, Svetlana,

    A 15-years old dog with chronic bowel problems is certainly no fun. The fact that he is now losing weight suggests that he is not fine.

    The dog needs to be re-evaluated in light of the new developments.

    There are many things that could be causing this, and there is no way to sort it out without diagnostic testing. It could be anything from previously undetected parasites, to inflammatory bowel disease, to intestinal cancer.

    Let your veterinarian know of the change in your dog’s status.

  328. Phyo Arkar Lwin says:

    Hello Doctor,
    I am from Myanmar.
    I have a civet pet , who is 4 years old

    Civets are famous for their sweet smelling anal sac secretions but their anal glands seems to get iflamed easily. Starting from last 2 days , his anus surrounding is red and wet, four smell coming out and seems to be very painful after pooping. He start biting things around and scooting a lot after pooping. Today he is not eating well , he afraid to poop, stop at half way and just scooting around. Sweet smell become foul Smell and got worse and he is avoiding human contact now.

    Vets here do not know how to treat well, here education is very bad. Last year , one civet died .That time I went to vet from zoo but he is not that good.Last civet also have similar symptoms to him , but zoo vet can’t treat and she died after not eating anything for a month.So i do not dare to bring him to that vet from zoo.

    He dosen’t allow me to touch his anal region , below area is very wet , even Legs are wet. Should i try to put warm towel around his anus? What antibiotic should i give? What oinment ? Please help ..

  329. Doc says:

    Hello, Phyo,

    I must confess that I have no expertise with Civets.

    Generally speaking, to infuse the anal sacs with ointment requires some pretty heavy tranquilizer, possibly light anesthesia.

    I often use an ointment made to treat ear infections, such as one containing an antibiotic, antifungal, and corticosteroid. These ointments often come with long flexible tips that can be inserted into the anal sac opening.

    In smaller animals, the ointment is transferred to a syringe, and a blunt-ended needle type catheter is used to infuse it into the sac.

    Badly infected sacs often need to be flushed.

    Systemic antibiotics should be chosen based on their ability to treat skin infections. These usually have good penetration into the area.

    Warm compresses stimulate the circulation, which helps drainage of infected material and speeds healing.

    I really cannot give you specific treatment recommendations in a situation where I cannot examine the animal.

    I also cannot recommend that you try direct treatment of this area without professionally supervised sedation of the animal.

    This is a sensitive area, and can be damaged by rough handling, particularly in trying to put medicine into the sacs.

    I wish I had a good home remedy for you, but I do not.

  330. Worried Doxie Mama says:

    Hello! My 2.5 year old mini doxie had his anal glands flushed and treated after the vet expressed them twice in a two month period and believed the material to be infected (treated with oral antibiotics first before the surgery). He had a dental cleaning at the same time. He was a very “regular” dog up to this point in terms of his pooping (and had no other concerns other than the scooting), but he has had chronic diarrhea since, and it’s been a month today. We took him off of the cephalexin a few days post-surgery and the vet put him on metronidazole and ID food. No change. Went back to the vet with a stool sample (looked fine) and continued metronidazole and IE and added endosorb. Diarrhea actually got worse. Tried a dewormer and did urinalysis. No difference and no ideas. Added fortaflora this week and no change. My dog is beginning to act more lethargic and is whiny. I am super concerned, and the vet just said to continue the ID food. I also took him to a groomer this week and she said that his glands were definitely full. I picked up some infant pedialyte today and diluted it in his water dish in case he is dehydrated. Any ideas? Please help.

  331. Doc says:

    Hello, Doxie Mama,

    Even when the anal sacs are quite full, it doesn’t generally cause diarrhea. Sometimes the discomfort in the area will make a dog reluctant to have a bowel movement, so constipation might occur secondary to that.

    The Fortiflora usually takes more than one week to work.

    Pedialyte won’t hurt anything, as long as the dog likes it well enough to keep drinking. If they don’t like the taste, they may drink less, which would not be good.

    It sounds like your veterinarian has been pretty thorough. It is possible that your dog has some type of inflammatory bowel disease. This is hard to diagnose 100% without a biopsy of the intestines.

    Sometimes when metronidazole doesn’t work, we have better luck with another medicine called sulfasalazine. Some dogs respond to steroids (cortisone-like drugs).

    I’d want to give the Fortiflora more time before I went the biopsy or steroid route.

    Stay in communication with your veterinarian so that he/she knows what is working and what is not working.

  332. Lanette says:

    i have a Boston who has hemagioscarcoma. He has been doing ok but recently had an anal gland blowout. He is on prednisone and a dieuretic. Is there anyway to give him an antibiotic I can get at a farm supply store? I ask because his bills for the cancer have been very large!! Thanks for your help.

  333. Doc says:

    Hello, Lanette,

    We try to select an antibiotic that has good penetration in the skin area. The penicillins and tetracyclines do not do well with this.

    Using injectable cattle products is kind of iffy in dogs anyway, with a small dog, especially. Very hard to get a correct, small enough dose, as the products are concentrated to deliver a lot of medicine in a small volume for injecting the cow.

    I would not think the appropriate medication would be very expensive from your veterinarian. Some of the commonly effective drugs are available in generic at a very reasonable price.

  334. Alisa says:

    Hello I have a 9 year old male fixed pitbull that sometime throughout the night has some sort of weird to brownish or clear spots left on the sheet. So we lived in Houston Texas up until about 3 months ago when we moved to Wyoming. Domino has always eaten Blue Buffalo dog food lamb and rice. but started having liquid poops so the doctors in a small town gave him all sorts of medications switched his food up to the ID hills kind and once I ran out of that I switced to Blue Buffalo basics sensitive solution formula. Now his stool is harder but not completely hard. I don’t noticed him scooting. But sometimes I do notice in out of licking his behind but I’ve never had a dog he’s done it for years so I didn’t know if it was common or not. I don’t think that he is overweight and he is moderately active. But I’m not sure what the spots on the sheets are or what do they mean also if he has some other parasites or issue with transition of moving and picking up some foreign thing like Giardia that’s messing him up… So the vets in the small town that I live check for worms or parasites and they said they didn’t see anything in his stool sample that I gave them. Well he has a healthy appetite and only drinks bottled water. We are going to return to our regular vet in Houston and I was going to get them to check him up but I don’t know what to test for or to check for… plus he has severe anxiety problems and even to take him to the vet to get his nails cut I would have to probably give him some sedation pills That the vet gave me and then he wouldn’t freak out. I want him to live a long healthy life he is my best friend please let me know what to do thanks and have a blessed day.

    Best Regards,
    Alisa Wolf

  335. doc says:

    Hello, Alisa,
    Somehow this went to my spam folder and I just found it.

    I hope that your regular veterinarian has sorted this out on your visit.

    The leakage could be either the diarrhea or anal sac problems. A rectal examination would be necessary to evaluate the anal sacs.

    Probiotics like Forti-Flora could help with diarrhea. A trial therapy for giardia is something wouldn’t hurt.

  336. Julie G says:

    I have an almost 15 year old mixed breed spayed female dog. We believe she’s a pit bull/boxer mix who weighs 48lbs. Two months ago she had an impacted (infected?) anal gland that ruptured. Anal gland issues have never been a problem for her in the past and she’s been my pup since I rescued her at 3 months old. I took her to the vet, who cleaned it out, told me to use warm compresses a few times a day, and prescribed an antibiotic and a pain reliever. She mended well and was soon back to her old self. But today she started licking her rear again. At first I didn’t think this was a cause for concern, as my kids were splashing her with water from our pool to cool her off, as she is not nearly as active as she was in her younger years. But tonight I noticed she was continued to lick, so decides to have a better look at the area. Although I’m not seeing any of the swelling I saw with the last episode, her anus looks like it’s leaking gland fluid. It’s definitely liquid, doesn’t appear too thick and is brownish in color. I brought her into the bathroom and applied a warm compress and attempted to clean around the area, but it seemed like it was still oozing a little. She has pretty severe arthritis and I really hate to upset her or keep her standing for extended lengths of time, especially on a hard surface floor. My plan is to see how she is in the morning, and make an appointment if necessary. As I stated, she is very arthritic. I have her on high doses of chondroidin and glucosamine, she still struggles. She would never be able to “scoot” anymore if her anal glands weren’t expressing completely. And I’m sure her muscle tone is deteriorating. Is this something I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of her life? I’m not complaining, and love my girl very much, but I want to know if I should be proactive about avoiding this problem (if it is a problem), and how do I go about doing that?
    Thank you very much in advance for any advice you have to give. 🙂 ~ Julie

  337. Doc says:

    Hello, Julie,

    You’ve probably already seen your doctor by now. Sometimes infusing the sacs with an antibiotic/antifungal/cortisone ointment is helpful.

    Learning to drain them for her is not rocket science, but does take practice.

    Surgical removal of the glands is possible, but I would be afraid of poor healing in a dog her age. It’s a little bit of a situation anyway, as one is supposed to keep surgical incisions clean and dry, and these get pooped on.

    Your doctor will also have differentiated between anal secretion and stool leakage, which would be another concern.

    Your best source of advice is the doctor who is actually seeing your dog.

    Best wishes.

  338. nicola schiewe says:

    Hi. My 1-1/2 mini pin has been running a fever, is lethargic, doesn’t wanna eat or drink n has dark blood in his stool but only the first day sick. His feces was like jelloe. He has been sick three days. This isnt the first occurrence. My fat boy has been sick several times like this lately not so frequent which usually use to be every three to four months. He stays sick for a about 5 days n then it goes away it seems. Unfortunately the love for my dog doesn’t help me pay for him to see a vet. So I nurse him back to health in a sense. I hve a mini pin and chuahua mix that has never had any of these symptoms and since puppies they have been together. Please gve me some advice so I can stop my fat boy from getting sick.

  339. Doc says:

    Hello, Nicola,

    Whipworm infestation could do this. Over-the-counter dewormers are not effective against whipworms, so you would need to contact your veterinarian.

    A firm stool is more likely to contain a detectable number of the microscopic worm eggs than is a loose stool (diluted, so eggs are harder to find).

    A teaspoonful of firm stool, within 12 hours after it has been passed, is what is needed by your veterinarian to do a good check.

    You could also be having some type of inflammatory colitis.

    I would want to start by ruling out parasites first.

  340. Nicole says:

    Hello. I have a 2 year old Pomapoo dog. For the past couple of days he has not wanted to jump up on us or the couch. My husband saw him last night scoot his butt on the carpet. I went to pet him and he cried out when I touched his hind legs. Is this because his anal glands might be full? He has already had a problem with not being able to express his anal glands

  341. Doc says:

    Hello, Nicole,

    Scooting on the rear is most commonly caused by anal sac problems.

    I would not expect his anal sacs to cause pain in the hind legs, or to keep him from jumping.

    It sounds like your buddy needs to be evaluated by his veterinarian.

  342. Ben says:

    I have a German shepherd about 10 years old. this year he hasn’t been great collapsed on a hike. So I switched him to a raw meat diet. within a week he perked up, has more energy and seems a lot happier him himself. That was about 2 months ago. Last week I found there was an accumulation of feeces under his tail, He is a long hair german shepherd and it had to got caught up in the hair. So I bathed him and cleaned him off but his anus seemed very hot and red. So I took him to the vets and told me he probably had an infected fissure in his anus. Honest cant remember what he called it. He gave me 14x prednidale 25mg 1x day for 7 days then 1 every other day. and 3