OT: Question for Dog Owners/Vets (ill dog - anal infection)

Submitted by Ultimate Quizmaster on January 6th, 2010 at 3:01 AM

My german shepherd was looking sad and sniffing himself more than usual, so I took him to the vet. The vet said that it was a anal sac infection common to the breed, and extracted quite a bit black pus from the anus. I was told to give him antibiotics over the next few weeks and monitor feces to see if everything returns to normal.

My question is, do any of you have any information/experience on this? I was looking at online sources, but I think other dog owners would provide better answers. I'm just worried that the infection won't go away so easily, so I'm just not sure about the prognosis or better treatment. I hope everything will return to normal... Any help would be greatly appreciated.



January 6th, 2010 at 3:22 AM ^

You (meaning your pet) can get secondary infections by knocking off the antibiotics early or otherwise messing with the prescription.

He should be better fairly quickly (1-1/2 to two days); antibiotics work fairly quickly. But don't stop the meds before the prescription runs out. If he doesn't rebound quickly, you should be able to at least consult with the vet by phone without another actual visit.

Make sure you keep clean water available at all times and monitor appetite.

It never hurts to research and become better informed. If the condition doesn't improve in a couple days, you do need to follow up with other diagnoses or treatment of secondary conditions as they arise -- dehydration, anorexia, etc.


January 6th, 2010 at 6:17 AM ^

If so, problems with them are not that uncommon in dogs; they can become impacted or blocked distressingly easily. It's also one of the worst smelling problems in the animal universe, and you have my sympathy. If it's not the anal scent gland at issue, then I don't know what in hell the "anal sac" is. Have you had any x-rays or other diagnostic tests done of his digestive tract?

Whateve, bjk's advice about taking the meds all the way to the end of the prescription is spot-on.

Good luck.


January 6th, 2010 at 12:18 PM ^

I think Don has the best answer so far. I have a Beagle. The scent glands in her rear have to be "expressed" every couple months to avoid discomfort to the dog. She actually requires less, but it's good to be safe.

All part of Beagle maintenance: along with the ear cleaning and property fence adjusting to keep the roaming sniffer from getting loose.

In any event, my aunt is a vet, so she kindly does Bella's 'expressing' for me. Apparently this issue is more common with scent hounds, who, go figure, are genetically predisposed to sniff a lot of asses. A LOT. Of asses.


January 6th, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

beagles fun??? :) i have 3 of them, one pure bread and 2 lab/beagle mixes... we only have to drain the anal sacs with one of them but cleaning the ears are a must.... as for the fence thing, my wife and i only looked at houses with privacy fences. one of them is a jumper and she has proved that a 6' fence might not be able to keep her in if she builds up enough speed.


January 6th, 2010 at 7:58 AM ^

From the sounds of it, your dog has/had a blocked anal gland. This is a failry common condition and usually dogs take care of this themselves. If you've ever seen a dog "scooting" on the floor, they are trying to relieve the blocked gland.
In some of my dogs, the vet simply puts a finger into the anus and massages the gland to drain the fluid. Unfortunately, this doen't solve the problem forever and the gland needs to be managed long-term. Antibiotics are only a short-term fix and prevents/manages an actual infection. The great majority of the time the gland is not actually infected.
I know this is too much information, but from someone who has owned at least 3-4 dogs at at time for many years, I wanted to give my experiences.


January 6th, 2010 at 9:08 AM ^

empties our beagle's(the one in my avatar) every month or so... but your right when they start scooting you know they are full. our vet told us that the reason why this happens is that his stool isn't hard enough to drain the glands when he drops a deuce... he told us to add some fiber to his food and it would help.


April 15th, 2010 at 1:22 PM ^

were so perpetually problematic that we went ahead with the surgery to remove them. We tried everything we could before resorting to it, but they just kept getting infected over and over again. My wife said that the vet told her they had never seen any anal glands as big as the ones they removed from my dog's ass. They even traced one of them on their whiteboard so that staff who weren't in that day could see how enormous they were.

Wolverine In Exile

January 6th, 2010 at 7:59 AM ^

She had to get them professionally treated at the vet and was given antibiotics (given that she received the antibiotics in peanut butter, I don't think she minded one bit).

One of the suggestions our vet gave us was to make sure we had a groomer that specifically cleaned out (expressed) her anal glands at every grooming. If they didn't then we could take her into the vet to have it done regularly, $15 a pop.

Some breeds you can have these sacs surgically extracted, but you have to get a vet's opinion on that. I'm not a vet, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. (Cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls, hot and delicious, hot and delicious)

Six Zero

January 6th, 2010 at 8:29 AM ^

Actually, this is a great place for me to ask a question. Obviously there's quite a few dog lovers/owners here at MGoBlog. Anyone ever get frustrated because you can't find good gear for the dog to sport on gameday??

Or... would you buy your dog a shirt from the MGoStore???


January 6th, 2010 at 9:02 AM ^

I hate the idea of putting clothes on a dog, but if there was a dog shirt in the MGoStore referencing Woodson, I'd almost have no choice but to buy it since my dog is named Woodson. He'd only be allowed to wear it during games, though. I just really dislike playing dress-up with a dog.


January 6th, 2010 at 10:58 AM ^

I used to feel that way, too, but my lab really likes to wear shirts that I've been wearing. He used to sleep in the closet on top of the dirty clothes pile, so one day I took off my t-shirt and put it on him. He walked around the house showing everyone and wagging his tail for hours. I'm sure it's the smell.

So now I'm occasionally one of those people . . .


January 6th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

I don't have anything against people who do. Well, actually I do hate people who do it to their little designer dogs and have tons of outfits for them. A dog isn't a doll. But that's neither here nor there.

My mutt so far is really only interested in socks. He likes to carry them around. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to get him to wear them, though. It would be fun to watch him slip around the house while wearing them though. Makes me think of "kitten mittens" from It's Always Sunny.

Wolverine In Exile

January 6th, 2010 at 9:07 AM ^

I have pirated t-shirt designs from MGoStore and iron-on decal'd them onto a blank dog shirt from Target. Even though my dog walks around the house on game days in a "Worst State Ever" dog shirt (this btw is the ONLY time my dog wears clothes), I feel ashamed for potentially taking money out of the starving mouth of Brian.


January 6th, 2010 at 10:14 AM ^

I've seen M gear for dogs at a number of stores, both traditional pet stores and the more standard department stores. Typically you'll see this stuff randomly placed in store, normally right next to MSU gear or other college gear. My dogs used to wear M shirts on gameday until I got the crazy idea that they might have been hexing Michigan during the 3-9 season. I still havent allowed them to wear M gear on gamedays just yet though.


January 6th, 2010 at 9:00 AM ^

Those anal glands should be emptied regularly. My wife is a vet so it's not like I really know anything, but she does it to our dogs every 3-6 mo's. I know that some dogs can develop cancer if it is not tended to.


January 6th, 2010 at 9:02 AM ^

There may be no fouler smell on earth than the stuff that comes out of those sacs. Skunks? Not pleasant, but not horrible. Crap? Puke? I can take them. Even chicken and pig crap (which are horrible) can't come close to that smell.

I have a mutt that has that problem every once in awhile. If you are a brave soul and want to save yourself a few bucks, you can empty those sacs yourself. Get some rubber gloves. Rub something like Vicks on the inside of your nose and go to town. Most vets will show you how to do it. There are four sacs that you have to empty.

I assume that when dogs sniff each others butts...this is what they are sniffing. That would also explain why they roll in deer scat as well. They must truly think humans smell awful when we get out of the shower.

Give your pooch some ear scritches from me.


January 6th, 2010 at 10:41 AM ^

One of my dogs leaks fluid from her anal glands occasionally, too. We like to refer to this as "stink butt." Unfortunately, it happened a few nights ago when she was laying on my bed. Ugh! Those blankets immediately went in the washing machine. It smelled like a dead, rotting fish in my bedroom.

She also can have this happen if she starts barking at someone for extended periods of time. I've had friends come over to the house and she barks at everyone at first, but if she keeps going, the glands start stinking up the joint.

My sister's first dog had the same stink butt problem and they had the anal glands removed. If I had the money to spare for this procedure, I probably would get it done.

Another thing that can cause this is simply the food you feed them. My dog had this problem much more frequently (not to mention passed a lot more silent but deadlies) when she was on certain brands of food. These ranged from the cheaper ones like Purina to more expensive ones like Natural Balance and Solid Gold. I finally found one that has minimized both problems (NutriSource), so it's the only dry food I feed her now. If your dog has this problem a lot, you might want to consider switching brands.

Hoken's Heroes

January 6th, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

Unfortunately, this can happen..infected anal sacks that is. It's common with many Ohio State fans. Do as the vet says and monitor it. Better that it's an anal sack infection than hip dysplasia.

And for those that didn't know...anal sacks are like a dog's calling card. It's why they sniff each other's asses all the time.

Btw, does your dog have neuticles?



January 6th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

I'm about to adopt my first dog, an adorable 3 month old husky/pit I found at the local shelter. I know it's gonna be quite a handful, but man, I hope she doesn't develop this problem.
While I'm here, any preferences between the following names:
Wolverina (wolvie for short)
Maizey Blue (got the idea on here)
Maude (Lebowski)
Rilo (Kiley)
Wu ("No, Wu peed on my rug!")


January 6th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

This is the single most disgusting thread I could have ever imagined ending up on Mgoblog. We are discussing black goop seeping out of dogs' asses on a football site.