Anal sacs or anal glands are two small pouches that are present on either side of the anus at the four o ‘clock and eight o’clock positions. They are lined with sebaceous glands and produce foul-smelling fluid that is stored in the anal sac until it is released into the anus via a small duct. They are often emptied during defecation. Sometimes, anal sac disease (ASD) occurs when sacs cannot be emptied either due to obesity, inflammation, diarrhea, or tumors. Symptoms of ASD include excessive licking, swelling, pain, and foul-smelling discharge from the anal sac.
ASD varies in severity of the disease and ranges from mild infection and thickened secretion impaction to severe infection that involves the whole skin around the anus. The treatment of ASD is the flushing out of the solid debris followed by an infusion with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. To prevent the reoccurrence of the disease, underlying causes must be investigated and treated. If the anal sacs rupture or there’s chronic inflammation, surgical removal of the anal sacs may be required.