All Pets Veterinary Clinic

Anal Gland Abscess

Dogs can cats have two small glands located on each side of their rectum.
These glands are called anal glands. In many cases, pet owners do not even
know these glands exist and they do not cause any problems. However, in some
dogs and cats, anal glands can cause many problems. This picture shows a
ruptured anal gland before any treatment.

Animals with anal gland abscesses may have a fever, lethargy, depression,
and loss of appetite. In addition, they may lick the area excessively or
scoot. If the anal gland ruptures, there will often be bloody discharge and/or
pus pasted on the hair around the rectum. This is a picture of a ruptured anal
gland abscess after the hair and debris has been removed.

Treatment of anal gland abscesses involves emptying the anal gland, draining
the abscess, removing any dead/necrotic tissue, flushing and cleaning the area,
suturing the area closed, and placing a drain. Animals with anal gland abscesses
are often placed on antibiotics and pain medications. An e-collar will help keep
the pet from chewing the stitches and drains out. Many dogs that have anal gland
abscess are prone to repeat infections, thus, surgical removal after the site is
healed is often recommended. This is a picture of the anal gland abscess after
surgical treatment.

For more information on anal glands see our health topic section Click here.

Karen Blakeley, DVM, MPH
27 April 2006