A: Anal sacs (sometimes referred to as anal glands) are
located on either side of the anus at the 9:00 and 3:00 positions, where they are
positioned just under the skin. They connect to the anus by means of small canals or
ducts. Anal sacs produce and store a dark, foul-smelling fluid. Usually the dog will
express these anal glands himself when taking a bowel movement. However, it is not
uncommon for a dog to have to have his anal glands expressed by their vet or owner, on a
regular basis, so that a problem does not occur.
There are 3 problems that occur in the anal sacs.
Symptoms of anal sac problems include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to make an appointment with your
veterinarian to have it checked out. The vet will be able to explain to you further about
the anal sacs and show you how to express them. If you are not comfortable expressing them
yourself at home, you may need to take the dog back to the vet at the most once a week to
have this done. Doing this can prevent infection, impaction, or possible abscess of the
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