Anal gland removal treats all anal gland problems, which are among the top reasons why dogs visit the animal hospital. Our veterinarians at Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic in McMurray, PA, will determine whether or not it is indicated to remove your dog's anal glands.
Anal Gland Problems
You can locate your dog's anal glands (or anal sacs) at the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions on either side of its anus. The anal glands contain a fluid that is emptied every naturally once in a while. Ideally, the process of defecating should create enough pressure to empty the anal glands. But if your dog has diarrhea, the pressure is not enough to empty the glands. If diarrhea goes on for days, the anal glands may become full and distended. This is what we call impacted anal glands.
If the anal glands stay impacted for long, there are chances of developing an infection and anal gland disease, which are typically treated with antibiotics. If infections keep recurring, your veterinarian may recommend anal gland removal surgery.
Recognizing Anal Gland Problems In Your Dog
Signs your dog is experiencing problems with its anal gland include:
- Biting or licking of the tail
- Acting fearfully or angrily when touched on the back
- Unexplained foul smell
- Bloody pus or yellow fluid
If you suspect anal sac problems in your dog, contact an animal hospital immediately.
What Is Anal Gland Removal?
Anal gland removal (or analsaculectomy) is the last resort surgery to treat blocked or infected anal glands or glands with tumors. Removing the anal glands cures your dog of all anal gland issues completely. Since the surgery poses potential complications like the development of fistula and stool incontinence, it should only be performed by qualified veterinarians.
When is Anal Gland Removal Necessary?
When the anal sacs remain full for a long time, the fluid thickens and becomes difficult to express. At this point, attempting to express the fluid can rupture the sac. If the gland is constantly becoming infected, anal gland removal will be recommended. If an inspection reveals a tumor in the anal glands, it will be best to remove the anal glands while the tumor is still small. Constant fluid expulsion may also warrant anal gland removal.
What Happens After Anal Gland Removal?
After the surgery, you will need to give your dog anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. You will also use an E-collar to prevent your dog from licking the surgical wound as it heals. The anal glands' purpose is to mark territory for your dog. Since your dog is domestic, removing the glands does not harm your dog. Dogs also use urine to mark their territory.
Animal Hospital in McMurray, PA
For more information on anal gland removal or to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, call us at (724) 941-5484.