What is the Stinky Smell on My Pet’s Hiney?
Pet parents often complain about a foul-smelling odor coming from their pet’s anal area. They say that it smells like rotten fish or a heavy metallic odor. If you smell this odor coming from your pet’s bottom, it may be due to your pet leaking anal sac fluid. Sometimes, you may even smell a foul odor coming from your pet’s mouth. This may be due to your pet licking the anal sac secretion leaking from anus.
What are anal sacs?
Anal sacs are small pouches on both sides of the anus located at four o’clock and eight o’clock position. The size of the sac varies by your pet’s size, but it is generally the size of a pea to a large grape. The sac is made up of specialized glands that secrete a pungent smelling secretion which fill the sac. The anal sac is connected to a small duct where the anal sac fluid is emptied just inside the anus. In most pets, exercise and normal defecation will empty the sacs.
Why does my pet have anal sacs?
Anal sac fluid is a territorial marker or scent marker. Both female and male dogs and cats secrete this fluid when they defecate which coats the feces. If you have noticed, dogs will sniff each other’s hind end when they greet each other and smell other dog’s feces.
Why does my pet scoot across the floor and try to lick the anus?
If you see your pet dragging their bottom across the floor, licking the anus or biting at the top of the tail near the anus, this could be the first sign of an anal sac problem. The anal sac may simply be too full and needs to be expressed, or it may be infected leading to an abscess.
Why does my pet get anal sac disease?
The ducts in the anal sacs become inflamed and cause the anal sacs to become impacted. The secretion in the anal sacs become thickened and becomes clogged leading to swelling and distention. When this happens, it becomes painful when your pet tries to pass stool. When the anal sacs become clogged, bacteria multiply and abscess will form. The abscess will cause a painful swelling and eventually if left untreated, the abscess will burst releasing puss and blood.
How is anal sac disease treated?
Anal sac disease is a common problem in dogs and cats. If you suspect that your pet has an impacted anal sac, call your veterinarian for an exam. An impacted anal sac is easily treated by expressing and emptying the anal sacs. If there is an infection, the anal sacs may be flushed out to remove solidified material and an antibiotic may need to be instilled into the sacs. Oral antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and pain medication may be prescribed for your pet. If your pet has recurrent severe anal sac disease, surgical removal of the anal sacs may be indicated.
How can I prevent anal sac disease?
Early detection is the key to preventing serious anal sac disease. Check your pet’s anus by lifting their tail. If there is any redness or irritation around the anus, this could be a sign of a developing anal sac problem. If your pet is chasing the tail, chewing or licking at the anal area or dragging the bottom, make an appointment with Vetsavers Pet Hospital to have the anal sacs checked. Don’t let your pet’s anal sac symptoms turn into a painful abscess.
Your veterinarian may advise you to have the anal sacs expressed more regularly to prevent future impactions.