Dogs have anal sacs on either side of the anus that fill with fluid produced by the anal glands. Anal sac disorders involve impaction of anal sac fluid, inflammation of the sac s and abscess of the sac s , which can lead to a dog having a ruptured anal gland. Impaction is the most common disorder of the anal glands. Your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical exam on your dog, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition.
Anal Glands: Your Dog's Scent Maker – American Kennel Club
There are a few theories as to why dogs have anal sacs and what purpose they serve. Some say the excretion from the anal gland act as a territorial scent marker. Others argue the excretion acts as a lubricant that helps a dog pass a hard stool. Like it or not, your dog is a predator.
This discharge has a scent that is unique to each individual and allows canines to identify one another. Anal sac disease occurs when these glands become disturbed by tumors or are otherwise obstructed, constricted, or irritated, though cats most frequently experience the disease when these glands become impacted. Anal gland problems are relatively common in canines and occur most frequently in smaller breeds, namely Chihuahuas, Miniature Poodles, and Toy Poodles. Most problems with the anal glands are not life threatening, but anal gland disease can quickly worsen if left untreated.
All dogs have anal glands that secrete odorous fluids when they defecate, coating the feces and effectively personalizing it. The anal glands allow dogs to identify other dogs by smell. This is why dogs greet each other by sniffing their backsides -- the anal gland odor helps them identify one another. Defecation isn't the only time when the glands emit their pungent secretions, though. Generally, dogs can't choose when they empty their anal sacs; it simply happens naturally when they defecate.