Anal sacs are lined with small scent glands that produce a putrid smelling liquid of the consistency of cooking oil. This is why dogs wag their tails and smell each others bottoms. Tail wagging helps distribute the scent and the smell is a type of canine identification system. The secretion is squeezed onto faeces during defaecation.
Unfortunately, the anal sacs are a bit of a doggy designer fault. They have a long list of problems from obstruction, infection, anal sacculitis, abscessation and cancer.
Anal sac problems are common.
It is possible to remove the anal sacs. We can do this procedure at Treendale Pet Medical.
We use a balloon catheter to accurately identify the anal sac and gently and carefully remove the sacs without causing too much damage to soft tissues and nerves that control the anal sphincter.
The photo shows a dissected anal sac with an inflated balloon catheter. Accurate dissection is important to prevent damage to the muscle of the anal sphincter and the nerves that innervate the anal sphincter. If carefully and atrumatically dissected, complications are low. Complications of anal sacculectomy include perforation of the rectum, muscular damage to the anal sphincter and damage to the nerves innervating the anal sphincter. This leads to faecal incontinence.
Balloon catheters allow very accurate identification of the anal sac and we are able to do very fine dissection to prevent damage at complications at Treendale Pet Medical.