Why does my pet drag its rear on the ground?

Anal sacs (also called anal glands) are two small glands just inside your pet's anus. The material secreted into these glands is thick and foul-smelling.

Domestic animals have largely lost their ability to empty these sacs voluntarily. Walking around and normal defecation serves to empty the glands but some animals become unable to empty their glands at all on their own. The sacs become impacted and uncomfortable. Dogs with impacted anal sacs usually drag their rear on the ground in an attempt to empty the glands.  Cats often lick the fur off just under their tails.

What Happens If an Impacted Sac doesn't get Emptied?

An abscess can form and rupture out through the skin. This is a painful, messy and smelly condition often mistaken for rectal bleeding.  It mustCleaning Anal Sacs be properly treated by your veterinarian. Antibiotics will be needed.

How often should Anal Sacs be Emptied?

This is a highly individual situation. The best recommendation is to let the pet tell you when the sacs are full. If the pet starts to drag its rear or lick the base of it’s tail again, it is time to bring him in.

What if My Pet's Sacs seem to Require Emptying all the Time?

To avoid the expense of having the sacs emptied, you can learn to empty them yourself at home, but most people feel it is well worth having someone else perform this service. A non-invasive technique that helps some patients is a change to a high fibre diet. This will produce a bulkier stool that may be more effective in emptying the sac as it passes by.

Anal Sacculectomy

If the sacs need to be emptied every few weeks or more, you may opt to have the sacs permanently removed in a surgical procedure.

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