Or down in some instances. The anus and other areas of the animal’s derriere are sometimes chronic issues and sometimes sudden in nature. The result is the animal exhibiting pain and inappropriate behavior for the owner. Let’s discuss some of the more common ones:

  • Anal glands can be full causing the classic scooting on the floor or licking the area. The pet is trying to express the fluid buildup by applying pressure to express the glands. These glands have putrid smell and is the gland a skunk sprays when scared/stressed. These glands are sometimes expressed during grooming but this varies from groomer to groomer and you may need to ask if yours automatically does this for the dog during its bath. If the gland doesn’t empty, it can abscess to the outside causing bleeding and a lot of pain. Using a higher fiber food or adding fiber supplements can help to bulk the stool up to express the glands naturally when a bowel movement is produced as Mother Nature intended. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories with sedation/anesthesia is needed in abscessed cases.
  • The anal glands can also develop tumors which in many cases are cancerous with some causing high calcium levels that lead to excessive drinking/urination and more serious problems.
  • Surgery is the treatment for tumors followed by radiation therapy at UW-Madison which is in the thousand(s) of dollars range. Surgery is also needed for constant leakage of anal glands fluid or chronic relapsing of impacted glands with both glands usually removed. If your dog has the glands removed, remind the groomer to make sure they don’t try to express a gland that isn’t there anymore.
  • Another mass is the perianal (“near the” anus) tumor which are smooth polyp looking. These often are benign, but can be locally aggressive cancers. Overproduction of hormones in either of the testicles in intact dogs or one of the hormones of the adrenal glands can contribute to these and surgery is the only option and it is advisable to remove these sooner than later due to the amount of skin available and the close proximately to other structures like the anal gland openings. These masses can ulcerate either from trauma or if allowed to get large enough can outgrow their blood supply, but this is rare due to amount of blood supply these have.
  • The rectum (just inside the anus) can get inflamed from parasites like whipworms, bacterial infections, allergies of the skin causing similar signs so a veterinary exam will be needed to assess what the problem is in your pet.

Courtesy – Dr. Sanjay Jain