Talking To Your Vet about Anal Sac Disease

Talking to your vet should be as easy as talking to your doctor. There’s probably nothing that he hasn’t already heard, seen, or experienced, so you should not be embarrassed to tell him anything that you are concerned about regarding your pet. Sometimes, we don’t know the correct vocabulary when it comes to animal biology, so it’s perfectly all right to draw pictures, imitate, or describe things the best that you can. If your pet’s comfort or life is depending on it, just jump right in and do your best.


There’s no better way to describe when your dog suddenly drops his bottom on the floor and drags it as he frantically goes to and fro. Every vet knows what you mean when you say that your dog is scooting because everyone calls it that and all dogs do it.

Some people will automatically assume their dog has worms, but usually that is not the case. Most dogs will scoot when their anal sacs become enflamed. All dogs have anal sacs, and it’s all right to use this term. It’s part of a dog’s anatomy, just like their stomach or their nose. If your dog is scooting, biting, or licking in that area, take them to the vet right away to alleviate the discomfort.

What Are Anal Sacs?

These are small glands surrounding your dog’s anus. They are located between muscles so the dog can secrete the oil inside for marking their territory, and they do this every time they defecate. All dogs have them, and the larger the dog, the larger the sacs. Small dogs will have anal sacs the size of a pea, and large breeds might have some as large as a kidney bean.

Talking To Your Vet about Anal Sac DiseaseWhen the sacs become too full without being emptied, they become impacted, which can lead to infection. What happens is that when they are not secreted, they become thick and pasty, so emptying them becomes nearly impossible and very painful for the dog. Once it gets to this point, it’s difficult for the vet to empty them, so you should have it done regularly at checkups or by a groomer.

You may feel strange discussing this with your vet, but remember, this is a normal part of your pet’s anatomy and a normal process. There isn’t a single dog owner who hasn’t experienced problems with their dog’s anal sacs at one point or another. Be proactive in your pet’s health and you’ll have a happier and healthier pet.